This site was built with WordPress.org. When I first started blogging back in 2009, I used the free Blogger platform. Now that I’m on WordPress, I am SO MUCH happier with my site and all the awesome stuff that I can do with a WordPress hosted site. After switching my site from Blogger to WordPress, I doubled my traffic almost overnight (and it continues to grow exponentially). If you’re serious about starting a blog, I highly recommend starting with WordPress.org from the start (it will save you the cost and headache of rebuilding and migrating your site in the future – which was very stressful).
The Genesis Framework is what this site is currently built on. Genesis is a powerful framework that makes it easy to build amazing websites and blogs, and it’s used by many of the top bloggers. Along with purchasing the Genesis Framework, you can also purchase a child theme to get you started quickly, or you can have one custom designed for you (Get Busy Gardening is currently using a custom theme).
Hostgator is the service I use to host this blog (the internet server). Getting started with Hostgator is really inexpensive, and so far it’s been working great for me. I had some issues early on, but their customer service was really great at helping me troubleshoot and fix the issue (which was being caused by a plugin I had installed on my site).
Aweber is what I use for my newsletter and I absolutely love it. You can use a free email marketing tool, and believe me I did my homework on this. But after I read about what a nightmare it could be to switch your newsletter subscribers from a free host to a paid host (and many times you could lose all of your subscribers!), I was sold on the small cost of using Aweber from the start.
I use BackupBuddy to backup my blog. Paying for a tool that backs up your blog on a regular basis (a backup that you control) is like insurance policy. Stop and think for a second, how would you feel if you lost your whole blog tomorrow. Everything. I don’t know about you, but I would be devastated. Most hosting services provide a regular backup as part of their service, but it’s not very reliable (plus they don’t always backup everything), and it’s hosted by them. So, if you lose your blog, you have to depend on the host (and wait for them) to get restore it. If you feel safe relying on your host, make sure to do your research to ensure that they back up everything (including all of your pictures and images).