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I do virtually all my work on a MacBook Pro. My machine is a 15-inch, late 2011 model with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 memory, 121 GB Macintosh HD and Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB. I can’t recommend enough the MacBook experience. I’m truly in love with my Mac. :)
To back up my data, I use the My Passport Ultra 2TB external hard drive. I use this drive for backing up my MacBook with Time Machine as well as for photo storage (both family photos and blog photos).
I recently switched to Black Chicken Host and could not be happier! Black Chicken currently hosts FindingMagick.com and one other website for me on the Farmstead plan.
I switched hosting companies because I wanted to be with a company known for stellar customer service as my blog grows, and Black Chicken Host has not disappointed. The staff is top notch and super helpful. I haven’t felt like “just a number” with this hosting company.
Previously, I used Bluehost for blog hosting. It was a wonderful “starter” host for my smaller blogs. I had a great experience with Bluehost and recommend it to beginning bloggers.
Once you have a blog host, I recommend installing WordPress.org which is free and the tool of all blogging tools! The self-hosted WordPress.org is a powerful content management system and blogging platform. I’ve worked with other platforms, like Joomla, and can’t recommend anything other than WordPress.org at this time.
Finding Magick uses the Genesis Framework and the Beautiful Pro theme by StudioPress. I was attracted to the mobile-responsiveness of the themes, which is important to me in today’s device-dependent society. I also love that after purchasing your first theme, you receive a discount on any additional themes you buy (and you can use each theme on an unlimited number of sites, too!).
If you’re new to blog setup, StudioPress provides tutorials to walk you through installation and setting up the theme to look like the demo version.
The blogging tools I use to edit images — I bounce between Adobe Photoshop Elements and PicMonkey, which is a free web-based tool. Occasionally, I’ll use Canva too if I can’t accomplish my goal using Photoshop or PicMonkey.
Photoshop Elements can do a lot of what the full version does but at a fraction of the price. Discovering PicMonkey was a game-changer for me though because it’s super convenient for quick edits like resizing or adding text. PicMonkey’s basic tools are free. It’s premium option — which unlocks all the site’s editing tools — is just $33/year, which is a steal when you consider how powerful these tools are.
Blog Stock Images
I use a mix of personal and stock images here on FindingMagick.com. My favorite sites for stock images are Dollar Photo Club (which, unfortunately, isn’t accepting new members at this time. It looks like Adobe purchased the site) and DepositPhotos.com. I also like sites such as Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo.
Blog Social Media
I use Feedly.com to curate content for FindingMagick.com’s social media channels.