At Code + Coconut, we believe that you should only work with the best companies. You’ll come across a lot of recommendations as you grow into your blogger skin, and some might be more genuine than others. We promise only to refer companies that we 100% believe you should spend your money on. And 99.5% of the time, we’re spending money on them too, so we know what we’re talking about.
This page contains affiliate links, because not only do we want you to work with the best companies, we want to make sure our themes are as affordable as possible. That means that if you buy using one of our links, you help us keep the cost down for other bloggers.
Obviously, we love WordPress since that’s the platform we use for our themes! It’s made for bloggers, and even though it’s got a learning curve, we believe it’s the best option for most.
WordPress (the self-hosted version) is a free, open source software. So nothing to buy here, just something to keep in mind when you get started!
To have a self-hosted WordPress site, you’ll need hosting. And they are about a billion hosting companies out there, who offer all kinds of different packages at different prices.
We’ve been with SiteGround for years, and we don’t want to switch to any other company. They offer the best support out there, which is 100% needed when you’re a new blogger and you don’t really know what you’re doing. They’re so helpful!
If you want a domain name at a cheap price, Namecheap does exactly that! They even throw in free WhoIs protection for your first year, which is absolutely necessary. (Unless you want spammy calls at all hours of the night)
All our domain names are with Namecheap, and we couldn’t be happier with their prices or their service!
Since our all of our themes are built on the Genesis Framework, we can’t really have a resource page without them on it! They offer a framework that’s easy to work with as a developer, but that’s also really fast and SEO friendly for bloggers. It’s the perfect framework for a new blogger!
We actually offer 50% off one of our themes if you buy the Genesis Framework through us, so go check out our New Blogger promos to claim this deal!
When it comes to your own inbox, GSuite is what you want. Of course, you can get free emails with most hosting, but my emails ended up in the spam folder so many times that $5/month was 100% worth it.
You’ll also get 30GB of storage with Drive, where you can store your website backups and all your images!
If you’d like to get 20% off your first year with them, check out our New Blogger promos and we’ll send you a coupon!
Mailchimp is the first newsletter software we recommend, and the one we use, because of how powerful it is. You get up to 2,000 subscribers for free, so you can use this software for a while before you need to pay for it!
The only downside of MailChimp is that is has a steep learning curve, but it’s soooo powerful if you’re up to the challenge. We love it and definitely won’t stop using it anytime soon.
Our second recommendation is MailerLite, which we’re using for another business. It’s a newer company, which makes their product a bit less developed (and less powerful) but for the price difference, it’s worth it.
If you’re a new blogger who wants a pretty straight-forward newsletter platform, Mailerlite is the right fit for you!
It’s free until 1,000 subscribers, and their price is really reasonable once you hit that mark.
When it comes to sharing your content across social media platforms, the Social Warfare plugin is the bomb. The free version is pretty powerful already, but we bought the Pro version here at Code + Coconut. Why? Because we wanted to be able to specify the image we want people to pin on Pinterest without having to do a weird hiding hack. The Pro version can also recover your social media shares if you changed your URL. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!
If all you need on your website is a contact form, you might not need this plugin. You could probably get by using free plugins. But if you want to create anything a tiny bit more complicated, WPForms makes it soooo easy to create powerful forms.
You can waste hours coding your own forms, or you can spend $49+ and get it done in a few minutes.
After trying both Gravity Form and WPForms, I have to admit I prefer WPForms. It’s cheaper, and easier to use. Overall, WPForms has less integration with other platforms, but it’s still my favorite!
wp fastest cache (free)
If your host doesn’t already come with caching (always use that first if available!), WP Fastest Cache is by far my favorite caching plugin! It has great reviews, gets updated pretty frequently and does the job. Caching is essential to speed up your website, so make sure to get this plugin if you don’t have anything else handling your cache!
yoast seo (free)
SEO is extremely important when it comes to blogging. Search engines are a great way to drive passive traffic to your website, so if you’re not making sure your website is as optimized as possible, you’re missing out.
We love Yoast SEO since it’s an all-in-one solution for SEO. It will help you write better posts and make sure all the information you need to for your website to get indexed is there.
When it comes to internal searches, the default WordPress search engine is quite lacking in features. It’s honestly not that great, that’s why I always install Relevanssi on all my websites! It makes the search results a lot more relevant, meaning your readers are actually going to find what they’re looking for!
easy affiliate links (free)
Affiliate marketing can be quite lucrative as a monetization strategy, but it can get quite complicated to remember all those different links… And what if someone changes their affiliate program and you’ve got to edit all those old links to make your money? That’s not a problem with Easy Affiliate Links! Add all the links of the programs you’re a part of, and it’ll do three things: 1) remember them for you, 2) make them look prettier and 3) if your link changes, you don’t have to edit them in your old posts!