MY MOST RECOMMENDED
On all the blogging tools and products that I use, there are a few that stand-out. I am always excited to recommend these because they continue to work wonders for me. I have a very high confidence level on these products and I’m sure that you will have the same too.
Bluehost – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Bluehost for your first blog or website because it is very easy to use and customer service is awesome. Installing WordPress is very EASY and QUICK and the service is very reliable. Here is a comprehensive tutorial (with video) that I prepared on Starting a Blog using Bluehost.
StudioPress Themes – Themes make a blog or website look good. Think about this as a new dress or outfit for your blog. It also makes things easier by letting you configure your blog without any programming involved. I use StudioPress themes in 98% of my blogs since 2010.
FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS
Tasty Food Photography ebook – This photography ebook has been my guide in taking and publishing AWESOME food pictures. I was a beginner in food photography when I started this blog and learned a lot from this book throughout the years. You can compare my past photographs from the current and you will see the big difference.
Nikon D810 – The Nikon D810 has been very useful to me in photographing food. I also use this sometimes in shooting videos. It handles very good and give me high quality images and videos. I do not think that I can continue to blog without it.
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm – This Nikon lens is one of my prized macro lenses. I love the details that it produces in photographs when taking close-up pictures of food. In fact, I use this lens 70% of the time. I am glad that I purchased this lens.
Lowell E1-92 Ego Two Light Set – A set of good photography lights is all you need to make good pictures become excellent. I must admit that I got these Lowell light set late in the game – I should have bought these earlier if I only knew that it can help me produce amazing lighting that improved all my food photographs. This is definitely a keeper.
FREE WORDPRESS PLUGINS
All of these plugins are FREE. It may be able to help you make your blog better.
EASY RECIPE – All recipe blogs need to display clear recipes which are easy to format and maintain. EasyRecipe (and EasyRecipe Plus, which is the premium version of this plugin) makes it easy to create, format, display and print recipes without coding involved. You do not need to be a programmer or a geek to use this tool.
GZIP NINJA SPEED COMPRESSION – If you want to rank higher in Google’s search result, you will need tools and plugins that can help you make your pages load faster. I use this FREE speed compression plugin to compress my Gzip site and it works wonders for me.
SMART YOUTUBE PRO – Having lots of cooking videos from YouTube can be complicated to manage when each is embeded in its respective recipe blog post. This plugin makes it easier for me to manage the format of all my youtube videos so that I won’t deal with each of them when updates are needed.
SOCIAL MEDIA FEATHER – A social media plugin is important to a blog because your readers can share your post to the rest of the world using this plugin. However, this can also affect the page speed of your blog and your rankings in Google’s search result pages. This social plugin is the lightest plugin that I tried. It is simple, easy to implement, and effective.
WORDPRESS POPULAR POST – Let your blog visitors know the top and popular post in your blog. This will help them get engaged and it can also attract more page views. This popular post plugin is what I use.
WORDPRESS SEO – WORDPRESS SEO by Yoast is the plugin that I use to improve my blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It also optimizes my WordPress site making it faster perform better.
YARPP – Get more page views by directing your visitors to your other blog posts. Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP) helps you by displaying the related post so that readers can view them. This is a very effective tool as far as I am concerned.