Blogging and E-Commerce

Working remotely from the Juice Kitchen in Coral Springs

Back at my neighborhood juice bar. Staying inspired for the next adventure outside of the U.S.

Resources and Tools I Use.

Ever since I started this travel blog I’ve been introduced  to countless different platforms, software applications, plug-ins and services.  Many of which have been a required source for building my websites, sustaining a healthy lifestyle and maintaining organization with my business workflow.

With all of my online endeavors I’ve accumulated quite a lengthy list of tools and resources.

Everything from online training, freelancing, remote work job hunting or just increasing my productivity has required some investment and often a learning curve.

Here I’ve listed a number of products that I have experience using on a regular basis.  Some of them are highly recommended tools, by my colleagues or mentors.

Some of the links provided below are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission, but only if you make any purchases through those links.

To be honest, when it comes to resources for productivity, management and organization, there are so many options in all areas of technology.

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t hear about some new software application that will make my life so much easier.  Not to mention, how many apps are also integrated into existing ones.  It can all just be a little overwhelming sometimes.

I am sure you may feel the same way and I hope this extensive list will give you helpful ideas and tools for creating your own website, starting an online business, or travel hacking your next trip around the world!

So, let’s just start from the beginning…

Website Platforms – Getting Up and Running

For Blogging

WordPress

I built this website on WordPress.  I will admit, it is not the easiest for a beginner to get started with, but you have so much flexibility.  It wasn’t my first website, but it’s the largest and longest lasting website I’ve created and I plan on doing a whole lot more here in the coming months and years!

There are many new options out there like:

But for now, I plan on sticking with WordPress.  There is just no other blogging platform that compares to it.

The other blogging options are great for getting started quickly and they offer pre-built themes so there is no coding required.

However, there are limitations, and in many cases there will be features that you want to add but may not have the ability to add because a theme does not have capacity for it.

Squarespace would probably be my first choice if I needed to create a quick professional site that could be easily maintained by a novice.

Their themes just look so good!

Blog Themes

ThemeForest     

High quality WordPress themes can be downloaded from Theme Forest.  They are a part of the Envato Marketplace and I’ve been using their themes, code, and even music for years!

One Away is built on the Himmelen theme.  It’s been over a year now, and I am happy with it.  What do you think?

 

Elegant Themes

I began with an Elegant Themes Theme initially a few years ago.  I am no longer using that theme, but I remember they offered great customer support and just recently came out with an amazing new theme called Divi 3.0 that is equipped with a super fast visual page builder that allows you to edit your theme in real time!

I am not an affiliate for them either, but here is a link if you are interested in checking out their themes.

WordPress Plugins

E-Commerce

Shopify

I’ve been using Shopify for my E-Commerce stores for 3 years now.  Drop shipping directly with Manufacturers in a few different niches, has been the business model I’ve used for these stores.   I currently have 2 stores open and have had to shut down 2 others.  It’s definitely not as easy as the dropship evangelists make it out to be.  It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to begin to see profitable results, especially with increasing amounts of competition.

I’ve strived to redefine my goals quite frequently and will continue working on scaling these businesses.

As far as E-Commerce platforms go, I highly recommend Shopify, for its ease of use, its wide variety of plugins, design and payment process options.

They’ve even recently added cross-selling compatibility with Amazon, with new built-in features.

A few other well-known and notable E-Commerce platforms include:

Big Commerce

Magento

Domain Names & Hosting

NameCheap

I recently registered a new domain with namecheap.com (June 2017) for the latest website I’ve developed.  I’ve heard only good things about them for a few years, however, I’ve been with GoDaddy for so long, I didn’t have the opportunity to switch.

When the opportunity came up for me, to register a few new domains, I decided to give NameCheap a try.

(Update: September 2017) So far, I am impressed with the simple, clean interface, low prices, and helpful customer service.

Namecheap.com

 

SiteGround

Web Hosting

 

E-Mail Marketing (Auto-Responder)

MailChimp

Aweber

SumoMe

Graphic Design Tools 

Canva

Pixlr

Snapseed

Royalty Free Stock Audio/Video Resources

AudioJungle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brian Dennis

I am a software test engineer, ex-mental health counselor and wanna-be vagabond with a passion for traveling, board-sports, nature and photography.
I want to provide information that will inspire you to learn more about our beautiful world and the people that live in it.
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