Here are some of the things behind this blog that make it work. These are the services and products that I like to use. Most are either easy or necessary or free or inexpensive, or some combination of all those factors.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.
Recommended Web Hosting:
I’m using Blue Host. Their customer service is excellent. They are available 24/7. The company is based in Utah, and the support personnel are patient and easy to understand, for someone like me who isn’t super-techie. They also have a generous affiliate program that pays for referrals. And the monthly hosting service fee is on sale now for $3.95. The regular price is $5.99. So, if you are thinking about taking your blog to the next level, Blue Host is a great way to go. They offer a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.
This blog is now on WordPress.org. My first blog was a Blogger blog, and it was a great way to get started. Free, simple, lots of ways to customize the appearance. Then I switched to WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a great community for a beginning blogger. I love the Freshly Pressed feature, and was happy when both my sister’s and my husband’s blogs were chosen as Freshly Pressed within a month or two of each other. I’ve found some great blog friends through Freshly Pressed.
But I eventually wanted to be able to use a variety of plug-ins, and to be able to monetize my blog, so that necessitated a switch to WordPress.org. I’m happy with WordPress.org. There seems to be no end to the helps and forums and plug-ins that are available for this very popular platform.
WordPress also has innumerable choices for themes available. I’m using Mesocolumn right now, a free theme, with tons of customization options. It is also a responsive theme, which means it can adapt to the different screen sizes of a tablet or mobile phone.
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program:
I signed up to be an Amazon Associate, which means this blog can display ads for Amazon, and if someone clicks on one of those ads, and buys anything within 24 hours or so, I earn a small percentage of that sale. The percentage now is set for 4%. Last year someone must and done some shopping after clicking on a link on this blog and bought a book that had no relation to anything on my site. I earned $.38.
Plug-ins I Like:
Plug-ins are software components that add a feature to a website that allows customization. WordPress.org makes it very easy to choose and add plug-ins. Some of the important ones are JetPack, which is multiple plug-ins in one package, keeping track of stats, helping with security, keeping spam out of comments and so much more. Askimet is another basic plug-in that does wonders in keeping spam off the blog. I also really like Wordfence Security plug-in – it protects the blog with a firewall, adds anti-virus features, and a high speed cache to make the load faster. Ziplist Recipe plug-in is the one I use to make my recipes look really cool.
I started this blog with a point-and-shoot digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix, that served me well. Then last year we pooled some gift money and bought a used Canon Rebel EOS T3 DSLR camera. The image-link below is actually a more recent model, the Canon Rebel EOS T5. I love being able to capture action shots of the grandkids in motion. But I’m still learning how to take advantage of all the great features of my camera. I also use my phone’s camera, as it is always handy.