These are some Web Tools and Resources that I have used to be successful (I think) online. If you are looking to get started with a new website or already have a website, I don't think you can go wrong with these tools and resources. I only spend my time writing about and recommending products I actually have used and like.
A domain name acts as your “frontdoor” to the internet. You won't be able to setup a website without a domain name, like this blog. Read my tips for choosing a good domain name before you use one of these registrars and buy one though.
NameSilo is one my favorite and preferred domain name registrars. They claim to be the least expensive around without you having to hunt for coupons, which I believe is true from what I've seen. NameSilo offers an extremely easy-to-use interface, quick and painless checkout process, fast DNS propagation, free whois privacy, and great security for your domains. You can read my NameSilo Review to get a better idea about their services and why I recommended NameSiloto so many people.
NameCheap is another good option for domain names. They have a pretty quick checkout process but their user interface takes more getting used to than Name.com's. You can read my NameCheap Review to get a better idea of their services. I have many domains registered with NameCheap mainly because of all the coupons they offer. You can find good registration and transfer specials if you check NamecheapCoupons.com (the site is run by NameCheap).
FYI NameCheap is an eNom reseller, but they do have ICANN accreditation.
If you are going to start a website you are also are going to need web hosting. A lot of people don't feel they should have to pay to for a website but running servers is takes a lot of energy, expertise, and skill you don't have.
Interserver – This is truly a hidden gem in the web hosting industry in my opinion. Interserver offers a great shared web hosting plan at $5 a month but like most web hosts you get a discount if you prepay for a longer term though. I recently moved a medium traffic news site to Interserver and have been extremely impressed with the web hosting experience. The servers are fast and since they implement a local cloud at their datacenter, so the fastest DNS option for websites are always presented. Interserver owns and operates their own datacenter in Seacus, New Jersey so they configure all servers and the entire network optimally . Support is incredible as they offer chat, phone, and ticket support 24/7 and you don't have to wait around like other web hosts to get questions answered. Response times are usually under 5 minutes or less and support techs know what they are talking about. Interserver's Chief Technology Officer, John Quaglieri, responds to tickets and is helpful and really wants to solve problems for customers. Michael Lavrik, the founder of Interserver, even responded to a sales questions I had. For $5 a month I think it's impossible to beat Interserver on server speed, customer support, and all around value honestly. Interserver also offers unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth as well so you don't need to fret about space or bandwidth transfer. These guys are a great alternative for those looking for an HostGator Alternative or BlueHost Alternative or pretty much any other EIG company. In the future I would definitely consider trying out one of Interserver's Cloud VPS or Dedicated Server plans as they are extremely reasonably priced as well.
Site5 is the hosting company I used to use for AdamYamada.com and several of my other key websites, like my auto blog. Customer support is generally fast and responsive and Site5 support reps will take time to explain problems in detail, which I appreciate. Site speed is also better compared to some other hosts I have used. I wish Site5 offered better phone support hours but support is still top notch. If you have a custom script or are have some specialized programming needs Site5 is a great hosting option too by the way. You can checkout my Site5 Review.
PowerUp Hosting (SEO)
PowerUp Hosting – This is a great web hosting company that you should use if you are looking for a Windows VPS (virtual private server) for search engine optimization (SEO) software. You need to host most SEO software on a Windows VPS since they usually coded to work only on Windows machines. (If you like using a Mac or Linux system or server it is possible but somewhat tricky.) PowerUp Hosting has had good support which is readily accessible via Skype, good uptime, fast servers, and customer communication when they are issues with their servers. I use one of the lower tier Windows VPS hosting plans with PowerUP mainly for running competitors research for myself and clients. I always recommend PowerUp Hosting anytime someone asks me about good SEO web hosting for a Windows VPS.
VPS.net Managed Cloud – If you are looking for something a little more robust than shared hosting it's hard to go wrong with VPS.net which offers a number of cloud hosting and VPS (virtual private server) options for growing sites. They have unmanaged server options and web hosting plans but I really doubt that many of my readers want to go that route. Although these are more reasonable you will have to know how to manage a server and know Linux programming. A managed VPS cloud plan is probably most ideal for you. VPS.net is a preferred web hosting technology partner for Litespeed, which will make your website so fast it will probably blow your mind. 🙂
VPS.net also has Managed WordPress Cloud web hosting plans which are again are not inexpensive but managed wordpress plans tend to be expensive. These are ideal plans for those looking to have a hassle free WordPress hosting experience since they take care of any issues. I'd recommend these if you can afford the extra money each month.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you get your posts, pages, and sites seen by more people and visitors. A lot of people think you need expensive tools or software to do proper SEO work, but in reality you don't. Google hires some of the smartest people in the world to work on their search products. Google is getting extremely selective about how people are tricking and gaming their search engines. So as long as you don't do anything suspicious and use proper keywords and develop good backlinks with these tools, you should be good.
Google Keyword Planner is probably the best known tool around the web for anyone in the internet game. Best part is… it's free but you need to sign-up for a Google account so you can take advantage of the all the valuable keyword information it will give you. If you truly want to get an idea of how many people are searching for certain terms and whether you should be writing about that topic, then you need to use the Google Keyword Planner… all the time.
Google Trends is often overlooked but should not be if you are serious about SEO. The great thing about Google Trends is that it shows you what is hot NOW. It is best to use the Keyword Planner along with Google Trends to make keyword determinations. Keep in mind sometimes what is popular now may not be 1-month down the road. Depending on your content goals you will want to find the right balance of what people are searching over the long term and what is being talked about right now.
SEOquake is a free Firefox and Google Chrome extension that makes sizing up the competition easy. It can show the backlinks a site has, pagerank, Alexa rank, indexed pages, Whois creation date all while doing Google searches or using other popular search engines. It is a must have for anyone trying to rank ahead of the competition or who needs to learn more about SEO and why certain pages rank better.
Be aware though that SEOquake can make Google think you are a bot. It pulls pagerank data much faster than you could query the system yourself. So I recommend you use it intermittently and turn off the plugin so you don't get a “Unusual Traffic is coming from this computer” message when you are doing casual internet searching and browsing.
PageRank Status I use this Chrome extension all the time while doing research on other sites. It shows you pagerank, Alexa traffic rank, Quantcast rank, Compete rank, namesever info, Whois creation date, and even other useful information.
WordPress is the greatest and most widely used blogging, publishing platform and content management system (CMS) available on the web today. It is easy-to-use, simple, and extremely powerful. Some of the largest websites and news platforms use the WordPress framework. It is also ideal for static websites as well. I use WordPress for the majority of my sites and will continue to for years to come.
MyBB If you are looking for a good free and open source forum software MyBB is your answer. It is powerful, fairly easy-to-use, and has a great support community. In addition there are lots of great MyBB plugins which can really improve the functionality of a community. Read more about MyBB in my best free forum software write-up.
Google Analytics is another great free tool from Google. This software tracks visitors to your site and shows where they came from, what browser they were using, average time spent on a certain page, and host of other useful data.
Google Analytics offers an lot of information but all the data can be confusing and hard to understand for new webmasters (and even experienced ones). As a great alternative I really like Piwik which is a free and open source site analytics tool. Anyone can contribute and help out with Piwik and it is fairly easy to install on any web server. The interface is simple and customizable to your liking which is something people really like about Piwik. You also get the benefit of not having to share you data with Google which could possibly help your SEO, or hurt it, depending on how you look at it. It is the best alternative to Google Analytics and there is a good support community behind the project. If you need to upgrade to more robust hosting to handle your Piwik data analytics they offer a Piwik Pro Plan.
TweetDeck is a great tool for power Twitter users or if you only have one account. TweetDeck allows you to arrange and sort Twitter feeds, filter for keywords and twitter chats, schedule tweets, and get alerts for tweets you are mentioned int. I probably would not use Twitter if it wasn't for TweetDeck and I am glad that Twitter made it. I only wish Twitter didn't stop support for the TweetDeck mobile.
Note: Some of the links to external sites on this page are affiliate links, meaning I get a commission when you purchase a product or service from that company. That does not affect my opinion about these services or products.