Recommended Tools + Resources
Wondering which plugins, software, and other tools you need to grow your online business and elevate your online presence? I’ve got you.
Here, you’ll find all of my favorite tools and resources that will help you save dozens of hours per week, automate key marketing activities, and save lots of money!
I am an affiliate for many of the companies on this page, which means I may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase using my code or link. I only recommend companies or products because I believe in them, not because of the small commission I may receive. Please do not spend money on any product unless you believe it will help you achieve your goals. See my disclosure policy for more information.
More Helpful Resources
I love to create free downloads, tutorials, and easy-to-use templates to simplify your online business.
Domains + Hosting
Cost per domain varies
NameCheap makes registering, hosting, and managing domains for yourself easy! Their domains are secure, affordable, easy to use, and paired with great support.
Plans start at $14.99/mo (billed annually)
Hosting – Shared
A budget-friendly shared managed WordPress hosting provider with great up-time, built-in performance optimization + security, 24/7 customer support, one-click staging, and more.
Plans start at $34.95/mo (billed monthly)
Hosting – Dedicated
BigScoots offers fast, managed WordPress hosting plans with NO shared hosting or overages, free website migrations, stable monthly pricing, and unparalleled customer support!
Tools To Design Your WordPress Website
Free theme + plugin available
Pro Bundles start at $149/yr
Theme + Design – Page Builder Plugin
The best lightweight, full-featured WordPress theme that allows you to create fast-loading websites!
Plus, you can download the Kadence Blocks plugin for added design capabilities to mimic a page-building experience right in the Gutenberg editor without the bloat.
I strongly recommend upgrading to a Kadence Bundle (which includes Kadence Blocks Pro, Kadence Theme Pro, and a suite of other premium plugins) to extend the functionality of your website.
Block templates start at $89
Child themes start at $119
Design – Child Theme + Design Templates
Katy Child Themes & Website Templates
Looking for a design shortcut? Snag one of Katy’s strategically designed WordPress child themes or block templates. All you have to do is choose your design, install and customize it with your own content and hit publish!
Not tech-savvy? No worries. Your purchase comes with setup tutorials that will guide you through the entire setup process!
Free plugin available → Pro starts at $49/yr
Design – Page Builder Plugin
Not into Gutenberg? Design your website with Elementor, which is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop page builder. I’ve used it to build dozens of client websites! Because it has so many robust features all rolled into one plugin, you can say goodbye to dozens of other plugins and create gorgeous custom page layout designs.
Additional WordPress Plugins
Get 100 images/mo FREE
Upgraded plans start at $3.99/mo
Image Optimization Plugin
Short Pixel improves website performance by using advanced compression technology that reduces image size without any before/after difference in quality… thus making your pages load faster!
You can also use their free image compression tool on their website before uploading images to your website.
Plans start at $49/yr
WP Rocket is one of the most powerful and user-friendly caching plugins that can drastically improve your site speed. Even if you’re not a developer you can quickly implement & configure this plugin!
Free plugin available → Pro plans start at $129/yr
RankMath SEO Plugin
Rank Math is an SEO plugin for WordPress that’s packed with features to ensure your website is optimized with search best practices in mind. Use this plugin to optimize your content, customize SEO settings, control page indexing & setup redirections, and more.
I recommend this over the Yoast Plugin.
AccessAlly Pro starts at $108/mo.
Course + Membership Plugin
AccessAlly is an advanced learning management system that allows you to sell courses, memberships & digital products on WordPress. It integrates with your email CRM for a seamless user experience. This is a bit complex, so I wouldn’t recommend this to newbies.
I’ve created a few custom membership websites with AccessAlly.
Pricing starts at $199/yr
If you want to create a Directory website on WordPress, GeoDirectory is the best on the market. With it, you can scale to millions of listings and withstand the battering of traffic that comes along with that.
I’ve used this plugin to create several custom-designed Directory websites.
Email Marketing Tools
Free plan available for up to 1k subscribers→ Creator plans start at $29/mo
My #1 recommended email marketing tool!
ConvertKit simplifies email marketing! You can create forms, automations, landing pages, broadcasts, tagging & segmentation, and more making it easy to connect with your audience, share valuable resources and sell with ease. Seriously… ConvertKit is so easy to use and affordably priced.
Free 14-day trial → Plans start at $15/mo for 500 subscribers
Active Campaign is another solid email marketing and automation tool that allows you to create email marketing broadcasts and campaigns with powerful tagging & segmentation capabilities. I typically recommend ActiveCampaign for more seasoned business owners.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools
Free 7-day trial → Plans start at $119.95/mo
SEMrush is the secret sauce to a winning SEO strategy! It’s been my go-to tool for years to find & rank for hundreds of highly targeted keywords!
This premium keyword research tool allows you to spy on your competitors, find juicy keywords to dominate the search engines, improve your overall online visibility and make smart business decisions with their marketing insights.
Get 100k credits for $10
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that’s extremely handy for keyword research and creating blog post outlines. You can view monthly search volume, CPC, and competition data of keywords on multiple websites. I personally use the Chrome extension to gather additional keywords for H2’s & H3’s in my blog posts
Graphics & Stock Photos
Free forever plan → Pro plans start at $9.95/mo
Canva is an online drag-and-drop design tool that allows you to create beautiful designs including graphics for your blog, Pinterest printable PDFs, slide decks, business cards, and more!
I personally use the Pro plan to unlock all of their features including downloading images with transparent backgrounds, accessing premium stock photos, resizing graphics with a single click, and more!
Free membership available → Upgraded membership plans start at $167/yr
Ivory Mix – Feminine Stock Photos
Ivory Mix is the most comprehensive membership of stock photos and marketing resources built to empower busy female entrepreneurs. You can plug these photos into your website, Instagram, blog, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube strategies!
Monetize Your Website
Free to join!
Share-a-Sale – Affiliate Marketplace
ShareASale is an affiliate marketplace that connects merchants with content creators. If you’re looking for products and companies to promote on your blog or business website, ShareASale is one of the leading affiliate networks online.
It is always free to join ShareASale as an Affiliate, the sign-up process is quick and easy and once you are approved into the ShareASale network, thousands of Merchant Programs will be waiting for you to join them as a partner.
Free to apply → $99 setup fee if approved
Monumetric – Ad Network
Interested in monetizing your site with display ads? Monumetric is your full-service ad revenue partner, helping you reach your revenue goals while preserving the best user experience for your site. If you have between 10,000 – 80,000 monthly page views, you can apply to get into Monumetric’s program.
This is the first ad network I used on my Christian lifestyle blog!
WordPress Technical Support
Pricing starts at $47 (one-time fee)
iMark Interactive is a full-service WordPress support company offering one-time support or ongoing plans to help site owners with any technical issues.
If you need a quick WordPress fix, monthly support plan, HTTPS site integration, or site speed overhaul, Grayson’s team at iMark Interactive is the best in the business!
We can’t forget about these other business essentials!
Free 14-day trial → $6/mo per user
Google Suite – Business email, file + photo management & more
I recommend G Suite Basic for every blogger & business! I personally use it for my domain-name-based business email, shared calendars, online document editing, organization & storage, & so much more. I know it can help you do the same.
Free trial for 1st 3 clients → Plans start at $35/mo Enjoy 20% off your 1st month or year when you use my link!
Dubsado – Client Management, Invoicing & Schedulers
Dubsado is a powerful CRM for service-based businesses. Now, you can send proposals, invoices, and contracts plus you can automate call scheduling and email communications with prospects and clients!
I use this tool in my business every single day. It makes life as a service-based business owner easy!
Free forever plan → Pro plans start at $11.66/mo
As you type, Grammarly checks your text for hundreds of common and advanced writing issues. (Since I write so much I use the premium version but they have a free version available!)
You can use the Chrome extension or use their desktop app and use it literally anywhere you type! This is a MUST-HAVE because it will make your messages, documents, and posts clear, mistake-free, and impactful.
Bundles start at $197
A Self Guru – Legal Website Templates
Free forever plan → Pro plans start at $12.95/user per year
With Cloud App you can record your screen as a video with your voice and/or face, capture your screen and annotate the image, or record a GIF and then instantly share it as a link. I use this tool all the time to visually communicate with my clients and create tutorials!
Social Media Scheduling Tools
Being consistent on social media is half of the battle. Using a scheduling tool can make it easy to offer new and relevant content on a regular basis to various social media sites.
Forever free plan available → Pro plans start at $9.99/mo billed annually
Tailwind is the social media scheduling tool you need when you don’t have a marketing team. You can create and schedule your Pinterest or Instagram content making it easy to show up consistently without feeling like a slave to your phone.
Get 10 posts FREE → Starter plan starts at $12.50/mo (billed annually)
With Later’s visual content calendar you can plan and schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, and/or LinkedIn posts. Plan ahead, batch your posts & save a ton of time!