From the start of SpecialtyCakeCreations.com, my husband (boyfriend back then)  was my biggest blog-supporter and tech-guy. I don’t think I would have dared to start a website without his insights and encouragement. Little did I know that with a little guidance, it really is not all that hard.

NOTE: The following are tools and resources I am using (or have used). Some of the items include affiliate links and if clicked, I may earn a small commission. I will never recommend something though unless I use(d) it myself and think it will be helpful to you as well.

Techie Stuff

SpecialtyCakeCreations is run on a WordPress blogging platform and I highly recommend it. Not only is WordPress very easy to set up, it makes managing posts a breeze as well. Here is my husband’s short 5 steps to setting up a blog guide.
I am probably the least techiest person you will ever know, so if I was able to set up and run my own blog, you can too 🙂
I know my husband recommends a premium WordPress theme called Pagelines. I use it myself on this blog and love the clean layout, the integrated sharing and social media options, etc. It is a highly customizable drag-and-drop theme and is extremely user-friendly.
They offer a free version you can try to get a feel for it but it does not have half of the awesome features the paid version has.
Having said that, there are plenty of other free WordPress themes available when starting out. Take a look here.
Figure out what you want (general color, right sidebar vs. left sightbar etc.) and limit your search according to your criteria. I am sure there will be some cool free designs you will like!
On that note, I didn’t hire a designer for my site but instead had just the header/logo customized and did the rest myself (the Pagelines theme makes self-customization very easy). Etsy is a wonderful place to find very talented graphic designers of all kinds. You can browse pre-designed or OOAK (one of a kind) logos. Or find a designer whose work you like to custom-design the logo you have in mind for you.

WP Plugins

Manage your shopping list and search for recipes from across the web at ZipList.com
ZipList Recipe Plugin
is a great and multi-functional tool. If you enter your recipes via this plugin, readers have the option of printing it out directly or saving it to their ZipList recipe box and shopping list. And your recipes will show in Rich Snippet format in Google’s search results..

Akismet does a wonderful job filtering out all the spammy comments that come in all day long. Check the spam folder once in a while to see if a real comment got filtered out accidentally.

Fast Secure Contact Form is another way to guard off spam messages heading your way. Instead of publishing your email address, have your visitor fill out the contact form and the message will be forwarded to your inbox.

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