This page contains links to some of Julia’s favorite web dev, WordPress and freelance tools, applications and services. We will continue to update this list as we comes across new tools and resources that improve our knowledge and streamline the business!
Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means she may earn some money if you make a purchase (i.e. more dog toys for me). But don’t worry, she only recommends products that are totally awesome and that she loves and uses herself.
Website Hosting & Domains
- Flywheel — Managed WordPress hosting (the best)! Julia hosts with Flywheel and she’s actually a re-sellers too, so most of her clients use it too! What to know why she love it so much – check out this info sheet on why she recommends managed hosting for your WordPress site(s)!
- Siteground — Easily the next best thing to managed WordPress hosting! Julia loves Siteground and recommends them to clients that aren’t quite ready for the higher price tag of managed hosting. She’s completed SO MANY website/email migrations from crappy hosts (i.e. GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost) to Siteground because they really are awesome!
- GoDaddy — DOMAINS ONLY!! Do not host with GoDaddy…I repeat DO NOT host with GoDaddy. That being said, purchasing domain from them is absolutely fine and it’s easy to point your domain to another host.
- Namecheap — Another option for domain name registering if you’d prefer to avoid GoDaddy all together.
- StudioPress – Genesis Framework — In Julia’s humble opinion, the Genesis Framework and all StudioPress themes are the absolute best in the industry! She even wrote a whole blog post about it – check it out here! Excellent design, mobile-optimized, SEO-friendly, WooCommerce-ready, secure, clean code (not full of bloat) and optimizable out the wazoo! Plus, there’s an amazing community behind StudioPress, so you’ll never not be able to figure something out.
- Underscores — Basic starter theme with ultra-minimal CSS (zero design), but an excellent choice if you’re just starting out and want dive into the nitty-gritty of all things WordPress and PHP. When Julia got started in web dev, she challenged herself to build 2 websites from scratch using Underscores and it was easily one of the best decision in her career because now she truly knows the ins-and-outs of WordPress and is comfortable trying new things and customizing sites to make them just right for her clients.
- Restored 316 — Feminine WordPress themes build on the Genesis Framework.
- Bluchic — Another great option for feminine WordPress themes.
- Elegant Themes – Divi — A very popular and powerful drag-and-drop visual page builder. Julia has built several websites with Divi and she has a lot of great things to say about it, including how easy it is to use (and learn) and it’s versatility. That being said, it is difficult to make customizations and the code base is pretty bloated.
Digital Marketing Tools
- ClickFunnels (2 week free trial) — Sales funnel software that gives you everything you need to market, sell and deliver your products online…seriously, it’s awesome!
- ConvertKit — Email marketing software to help you grow your audience, increase conversions and organize and understand your subscribers.
- Ontraport — The Mac-Daddy of Digital Marketing tools all-in-one – Ontraport is the most power visual marketing automation and reporting platform in the world!
- Beaver Builder — If you like drag and drop page builders, this is the best one available! Plus, it seamlessly integrates with the Genesis Framework. It’s easy to use and an excellent tool for building landing pages and sales pages.
- Ninja Forms — The only form builder Julia uses – it’s free, easy to use, powerful and customizable.
- Social Warfare — The best social media sharing plugin on the market…hands down!
- UpdraftPlus — Backup and restoration plugin that is free and easy to use – plus, it’s the highest ranked and most popular backup plugin!
- WordFence — Free security plugin protecting your site from hacks and malware.
- Sucuri — Excellent security platform that monitors for security incidents, fixes hacks and protects your server!
- Yoast SEO — The most complete WordPress SEO plugin – don’t build a site without it!
- Code Canyon — Marketplace of excellent plugins, code snippets and scripts for all things web dev and WordPress.
- Hootsuite — Social media marketing and management dashboard where you can manage multiple networks and profiles and measure your reach.
- Tailwind — Pinterest and Instagram marketing, scheduling and analytics tool. Tailwind helps you to discover content, schedule posts, monitor conversions, analyze results, etc.
Business Tools: email, CRM, accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, project management, etc.
- G Suite — Google’s email, what more needs to be said?! Julia uses G Suite for her business email (associated with her website domain) and she loves all the extra features, including Google Calendar and Google Drive. WANT A 20% OFF COUPON FOR YOUR FIRST YEAR? CONTACT US AND WE’LL EMAIL IT OVER!
- Dubsado — Client management system and accounting software all in one – Julia loves all the features and how she can manage all things business in one system…plus, it integrates with Quickbooks.
- Quickbooks — Accounting and bookkeeping software for small businesses.
- Wave — Easily the best free option for tracking expenses, sending invoices, getting paid and balancing your books!
- Bench — The best thing since sliced bread…seriously! If you don’t have the time or inclination to balance your own books, hire Bench to do all the work behind the scenes. This one system has literally saved Julia hours of time (and frustration)!
- FREE Accounting & Bookkeeping Resources for Freelancers — Check out this list of FREE accounting and bookkeeping resources from the University of Alabama’s Business School – best part, their specific to freelancers!
- Asana — Project management software that is easy to easy and has lots of awesome features!
- Toggl — Easy to use time tracking software with a powerful timesheet calculator. Julia loves that she can sync it to her phone in case she gets unexpected work while she’s on the go!
- LastPass — Their tagline is ‘simplify your life’ and they really mean it! This program remembers all your passwords so you don’t have to – and it’s secure (as secure as things get nowadays). LastPass has been paramount in Julia’s business because on any given day she could easily be working on over 10 WordPress websites, so now she never has to type in or remember another password.
Online Leaning, Courses & Networks
Web Dev & WordPress:
- The Odin Project — Learn web development for free!
- Codecademy — Learn to code for free!
- TutsPlus — Free and paid online courses to help you learn skills like code, photography, web design and more.
- Team Treehouse — Paid online courses to help you learn web design, coding and more.
- Skillcrush — Paid online classes in web design, coding and other marketable skills. Julia took a few of their blueprints when she first got started and it was a HUGE help!
- Lynda — Paid online courses, classes, training and tutorials to help you learn software, creative and business skills. NOTE – check with your local library as some offer free access to all Lynda courses.
- WPBeginner — Beginners guide to WordPress – this is the largest resources site for WordPress beginners with easy to understand tutorials for master the basics and beyond.
Networks, Digital Marketing & Freelancing:
- CYLL Network — A business and lifestyle community that accelerated Julia’s business growth faster than she ever could have done alone. It literally took her from being a new and floundering business owner to a savagely smart and profitable online entrepreneur.
- The Digital Gangsta — Full-on, no-holds-barred course on all things Digital Marketing, from Facebook ads to email marketing to sales funnels. It seriously has it all.
- Four Figure Facebook Formula — Exactly how to find, approach and book clients through Facebook groups (without being sleazy!) – Julia completed this course and landed 3 new clients within a week of implementing the tactics.
- FREE 5-day Facebook Ads Masterclass — The FB Ad Masterclass is meant to be a CRASH COURSE in the five most popular types of ads that funnel builders and launch strategists use everyday.
- Coder Newbie Warehouse
- Genesis WordPress
- Intermediate WordPress
- Advanced WordPress
- Advanced WooCommerce
- Divi Theme Users & Elegant Marketplace
- Living The Laptop Life
- Creative Superheros
- Creative Freelancers Unite
- The Freelance to Freedom Project
- Social Boss
- Brazen and Badass Entrepreneurs
- The Smart Passive Income Community
- Freedom Hackers