Below are various products and services that I use (or have used in the past) that I am happy to recommend to others. Each one has to meet my standards or I won’t recommend it. I’ve tried probably hundreds of products and services that I eventually rejected for one reason or another, so you won’t find those listed here. Many of the products I recommend are WordPress-related, but not all. I’ll add to and delete from this list occasionally as I see the need for changes. Of course, you can probably assume that any product link you find on my site may be an affiliate link. Just keep in mind that I won’t recommend a product just because it has an affiliate program, and you won’t pay anything extra for a product even if I do get a commission from the sale. In fact, sometimes, you’ll actually get a discount because of the special deals I can sometimes obtain as an affiliate of a product.
Front-End Page Builders
Page Builder Sandwich (PBS) – My favorite FRONT-END post editor. Just edit your pages right from the front end of the site. There is so much wonderfulness about this plugin, I’m almost speechless. Try it. It’s great and gets better all the time.
CSS Editors and General Styling
SiteOrigin CSS Editor – I’ve fallen head over heels in love with this one. It’s free forever, and it works beautifully on any theme. Visual mode lets you see your page, select what you want to edit, and then choose your changes (colors, margins, padding, fonts, etc.) This freebie outperforms the premium ones I’ve tried, and I’ve probably tried them all.
Easy Responsive Shortcodes – There are plenty of shortcode plugins around that let you easily create columns, buttons, tabs, accordions, etc., and many of them are pretty good, but this one supports responsive themes, and is seo-friendly, so it’s my favorite.
Cache – Speed Up Your Site
WP Fastest Cache – Want to speed up your site? Just install this plugin and your site will immediately get faster.
WooCommerce – Easily the best, most popular ecommerce solution for WordPress. The free plugin will cover most needs, and special needs are covered by a myriad of optional 3rd-party addons.
Easy Digital Downloads – If you’re selling digital goods, instead of physical products, then EDD is definitely a great choice. Although Woocommerce can handle digital products, this isn’t its area of focus. Easy Digital Downloads, on the other hand, is designed from the ground up to handle digital download ecommerce. And like Woocommerce, the free plugin handles most situations, but there are addons for special needs.
Caldera Forms – Responsive, drag and drop, multi-column, mobile-friendly forms that are simple to create through a visual editor.
Backups and Site Migration
Backup Buddy – This is a great way to backup or move your WordPress site. With automated, offsite storage of backups, and quick, easy restore functionality, you can quit worrying about losing all of your hard work.
Duplicator Pro – Migrate a site to a new host in minutes. Great for backups too, but Duplicator Pro is well known for making site moves a breeze.
CSSIgniter Themes – There are some here that I use a LOT! I tend to try others and decide to come back to one of these.They look great and do the job well.
Tesla Themes – Interesting designs, good prices, and excellent documentation.
Themify – Solid framework, easy to customize, nice designs.
My Theme Shop – Ideal for complex sites, magazine-style needs, and even the free themes feel premium. Always look great.
Woo Canvas – Great framework that lets you start from scratch to more easily make your own design.
Themeforest – Endless choices, but be sure to read the reviews before choosing one. There are always duds in a marketplace as large as this, but if you need lots of choices, this is the place.
Tutorials / Education
Lynda.com – The leader in learning. Lynda.com has been around for a long time, and it provides tutorials that can be counted on for quality.
Easy WP Guide – My favorite WordPress documentation. I make sure every client gets this.
WPBeginner’s WordPress 101 video tutorials – Good video tutorials for WordPress beginners. I tell all my clients about this as well.
Design / Development Help
Envato Studio – Like Themeforest, Envato Studio is a part of the Envato network, this is a marketplace of web developers and designers hand-picked for you to choose from.
PicMonkey – My favorite online photo editing tool, to add filters, frames, text, and other cool effects.
ThemeMatch – This could go in either the Themes section or the Design section, but either way, if you need to create a WordPress theme that matches a current HTML site, ThemeMatch is your first stop. It will often make it super-simple to create a matching theme, so try it first before doing it the hard way.
Marketing and Conversion Help
Icegram – If you want the conversions of popups without the annoyance of popups, that are easy to manage, and your users won’t be upset by them, then you probably want Icegram. It’s free for much of what you’d want it for. You could get premium addons if you wanted to, but they absolutely aren’t necessary unless you want specific functionality. Really. Try it, and check out the demos. Very cool.
Domain Names and Hosting
Namecheap – I’ve been using Namecheap to purchase all my domain names for years. I got tired of all the crazy upsells that “other” registrars used, and I’ve been happy I moved to Namecheap ever since. Solid and dependable, without any of the annoyances.
Siteground – Siteground hits the sweet spot between shared hosting and VPS. It’s like shared hosting but with your sites being isolated from others. It’s not perfect, but I haven’t found a host yet that is.
Mediatemple – If you’re looking specifically for WordPress hosting that is a step up, and geared towards developers, this is for you. With site staging and GIT integration, SSD servers, and more, you’ll find the hosting home you’re looking for here.
My own hosting for clients – I have my own server for my sites and client sites. I like to keep it small and manageable, so I can give great support. For that reason, I won’t link to the signup here. If you would like sweet spot prices, but personal service, then get in touch and we’ll talk. I’ll only host sites that I think are a good fit, so the best way to find out is to contact me.