WORDPRESS TOOLS & RESOURCES

These are the WordPress tools & resources I use for all my WordPress builds.

I’ve listed my go-to WordPress tools & resources for designing WordPress to help you in your decision making. I stand by these companies and what they offer, and can assure you I use these products every single day! The most important aspect of running a web design business is have your tools in place to simplify your builds, and create a repeatable process for all your clients. 

Full disclosure: some of the following links I get paid for recommending, which is cool, but keep in mind I only recommend these because I trust and use these. I will never recommend a product that would not be of benefit to you!

Domains

Up until a few months ago, I hosted all my domains with GoDaddy. They’re cheap, run specials periodically, and have decent support. It seems to me things are changing a GoDaddy and they are less and less like they used to be in terms of support. I never really had much of a problem with them, but we had a few different issues over the past little while that sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

I have now started using Namecheap for all my domains. The interface is very easy to use and I don’t have to worry about offers or random charges on my card, trying to figure out what all I’m paying for. I doubt $4 will make or break your decision, just know there are other options out there. Find what works best for you and move on!

Hosting

Hands down the only host I use and love is Flywheel.

Years ago, we migrated over 100 sites to their platform (which they helped do) and ever since then, our lives have been SO much easier.

Not only is the platform fast, but the #1 feature is Malware Removal. You can email their emergency team if your site is infected, your site is down, or something funky is happening.

Their support is top notch!

Now, you’ll pay a little more than Bluehost or Cloudways, but the peace of mind and feeling that you have a full support team behind you is…awesome.

Be sure to check out Flywheel if you’re looking for a new host.

Themes

Divi, Divi, Divi. A friend of mine turned me onto Divi from Elegant Themes and it has seriously changed my life. I can now build sites is half the time! In the past, I’ve relied on finding themes on Themeforest and honestly, it takes too much time to find the right one. Also, you have to (or legally should) purchase a license for each install, and there’s a learning curve for every theme unless you use the top themes like Jupiter or Avada. With Divi you pay $89/year (they offer a lifetime license, too) and can use on unlimited sites. Seriously, think about the time and money you will save if you find the right tool to use every time. The key to ALL of this and the main purpose of this blog is to help you streamline your process and make it repeatable!

Plugins

Yoast SEO for Search Engine Optimization. No brainer here. Easy to use and it certainly helps steer you in the right direction. Gravity Forms for all the forms. By far the best I’ve used, and the most potential for all your functionality. There is a lot of potential when you combine Gravity Forms, Gravity Flow, and Gravity Views. Free options: Contact Form 7 and Ninja Forms. I try to use as few plugins as possible on every build. If they don’t need it, don’t install it!

Analytics

Hook up Google Analytics and Search Console for every account. Even if your client isn’t signed up for marketing, it’s always good to keep track of how a site is performing. Also, analytics can be a selling point for marketing services in the future.

Maintenance

I use ManageWP to quickly and efficiently update my sites and client sites. You get most of the features free, but they do offer some more premium services. They only cost $1 or $2 per feature per month. Fairly low-cost for what they provide. It really depends on the needs of that specific client.

Security

Update: Gone are the days of needing an additional security plugin or having to remove security. Do yourself a favor and give Flywheel a try. 

I don’t have to tell you how important security is to your website. You already know, right? An excellent paid option is Sucuri. They do have a custom plan for agencies depending on how many sites you have. Cloudways has partnered with Sucuri to give you a discounted price and a credit depending on the package you choose. It’s a small price to pay to keep your client websites safe and clean. Plus, you pass the cost on to the client :).

A free option that I use occasionally is the Anti-Malware plugin. It works great and quarantines malicious files.

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