My plan is to list a lot of helpful tools and resources on this page but for now I'll start with what I used for the site itself.
Pro tip: You can find all of the below information in the site's source code. If you right click on any page and select "View Page Source," a new tab will open. There in the source code you can find info on the theme, plugins and more. Press Control + F to use the "find" function in your browser and search for "themes," "plugins," etc. You can also find out where the site is hosted and by doing a WhoIs search.
Domain and Hosting: GoDaddy
It's veteran owned and I've been here for about 10 years. The price has always been right, I've scarcely needed customer service but they've taken care of me in those cases.
Site Platform: WordPress
My love of open source actually started back around 2008 when I taught myself how to create a site using Joomla. If I can do this, anyone can! *Big ups to my former community at USMCWives.com who helped me be better because they came to that site and cared!* Over time I moved to WordPress along with the majority due to its proliferation of plugins and increasing ease of use.
Theme: Sydney by AThemes
For a free theme, this one is pretty impressive as far as how much it can be customized using no coding whatsoever. I happily include the credit in the footer.
Social Feeds Plugin: FeedThemSocial
Another fine open source product, it took mere minutes to set up. Happy to credit the developers.
Analytics: Google Analytics Dashboard by ExactMetrics
This plugin came highly recommended by a number of WordPress users as a user friendly interface for connecting Google Analytics. I'm not expecting a lot of traffic but site analytics are a basic, 101 level component for any website in order to have insight into site visits, errors in pages and so on. This is another good and free plugin designed to save me some time and energy.
I'll be adding more resources as I beef up the site and get started with some of the labors of love I've been plotting.....