Blogging Resources

photo:  penang, malaysia

Welcome to my Blogging Resources section. I get a lot of questions about blogging, and created this page to give you a "one-stop shop" to all the tools, resources and services that I use on my blog today.

Everything on this page has been tested extensively by me. In fact, if you spend a few minutes clicking around my blog you will see everything here being used on my site in some way. I use these tools on a daily basis (yes, all of them!) and if my opinion ever changes or I find a better product/service, this page is updated.

Last updated: May 2020


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Dreamhost

Choosing the right web host might be the most important decision you make for your blog, because if your site is slow or offline all the time, nothing else will matter.

My websites are hosted by Dreamhost. Why? Because they're the best.

I've used many hosts and had more headaches and meltdowns than I care to remember. Moving my sites to Dreamhost was life-changing (seriously).

Their packages are also among the cheapest out there for starters, with options to upgrade to faster managed plans once your sites grow. Less than $2.50 per month for your first site is perfect for getting started!


for designing your site

I built this site from the ground up using Thrive Theme Builder. A drag and drop creation tool specifically for WordPress. Easy to use and super affordable.

for creating content

I use Thrive Architect for creating my blog posts and pages, including the page you're reading right now. It is more powerful than the standard WordPress editor and allows you to customise your content exactly how you want it. 

for managing your email list

I recently moved my email list to Mailer Lite because of the crazy price difference. The move saves me over $1,000 per year for the exact same service. Very happy with it!


for design cool graphics

I use Picmonkey to make all the graphics for my website. Super easy to use (a million, no, a billion times easier than Photoshop) and you can make quality graphics for Pinterest and social media within a few minutes. 

for backing up your site

Dropbox is amazing and I don't know how I would work without it. I keep hundreds of files in my Dropbox account and love the peace of mind knowing my site is backed up automatically. Get your account now while they're still free.

for staying secure on wifi

If you're not using a VPN I would highly recommend you start. If you ever use free or public wifi, this will encrypt your connection and keep your sensitive data safe. Standard practice for remote workers at big companies, and should be for travellers and bloggers too! 


for photo hosting

I host all my photos on Smugmug! Because they are hosted offline I can embed them at full resolution in my articles without slowing down my site. Also reduces bandwidth considerably.

for managing payments

I use Sendowl to handle payments and delivery of my premium travel guides and any other service I sell. I looked into Gumroad and E-Junkie, but Sendowl just came out as the most complete and user-friendly. It also has a built in affiliate program which is excellent too. 

Full disclosure: For some of these services, I earn a commission for referrals made through the links on this page. It does not cost you extra if you purchase through these links (in some cases there may actually be a discount). I recommend them not because of the small commissions I earn but because I really believe they are the best. I use all of them on my own blog, and have full confidence recommending them to you as well.

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