As the founder of the digital marketing agency Terminus Agency, I’ve found that creating the time and energy for a personal blog is quite difficult to do. However, I think that the discipline of writing on a regular basis around topics that I enjoy is going to be a productive way to ensure that the writing process stays fresh and exciting. Quite often, writing for client can mean digging into seemingly irrelevant or dry topics, so exploring writing through some of my personal passions seems like a great way to prevent writing from becoming stale.
So, to start, I’d thought I’d share a little information about the tools used to create this blog, inspiration for design, and how anyone can use the same tools to start a blog at little to no cost.
WordPress for Content Management System (CMS)
Yep, this site is built on WordPress. Although WordPress sometimes is given a hard time for being a slower, aging technology since it’s built on PHP, the team at WordPress.org is doing an amazing job at making sure the Content Management System is keeping up with the modern technologies of web creation. For most marketers, writers, and bloggers, WordPress is completely sufficient and gives you the ability to customize and control your content. Also, it’s powerful and free thanks to the amazing community of core and plugin developers in the WordPress community.
WP Engine for Website Hosting
A long, long time ago, I met WP Engine founder Jason Cohen and he gifted me a free WP Engine account for a personal blog. I’ve toyed around with it a few times, but this is the perfect opportunity to begin using it for something meaningful. I’ve recommended WP Engine to several clients, particularly due to their rock-solid hosting technology and support.
Astra for WordPress Theme
Astra is a freemium WordPress theme that plays well with all the major page builders like Divi, Elementor, and Beaver Builder. It’s fast, lightweight, and has tons of great customization features. The free version gives you access to a few solid templates and some basic customization features that are perfect for a basic blog.
Since I knew we wanted to learn a little more about working with Elementor, Astra was a great starting point. If I need additional features down the road, the upgrade cost is also reasonable at $249 for a lifetime license.
The premium version offers advanced customization features, tons of templates and layouts, as well as additional add-ons for the major page builders at higher subscription tiers.
Elementor for Page Builder
Elementor is a great page builder with both free and paid options. The free plan gives access to basic modules that will allow you to build a basic website.
You can find Elementor for free on the WordPress repository.
More advanced features such as blog post layouts, integrations, and advanced builder functions are available with the paid plan.