We’ve put together a helpful Resources page to share our recommended Tools of the Trade. Whether you’re a Web Developer, Blogger, Business owner that’s creating your own website or hiring someone (why not us?) to make your site for you, you’re sure to find some super helpful recommendations on our Resources page.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links on this page and throughout our website are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I only recommend companies and services that I use and trust because I find them to be a great value and helpful to you, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please only purchase these products if you find them useful or feel they will help you achieve your goals.
My Top Recommendations
Genesis Framework for WordPress, by StudioPress – My top recommendation for successful web solutions, whether hiring someone to make your website for you, doing it yourself, or making websites for clients. Genesis is the smart way to create fast, effective and easy to use websites! HTML5 Responsive designs, SEO optimized, lightweight and efficient code for faster page load times, easy to customize, air-tight security and unlimited support and updates, and an absolutely amazing community, with tons of great tutorials and support. If you’re not using the Genesis Framework as the foundation of your website, now’s the time to go get it!
SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting – We’ve recently made the decision to move our site hosting from HostGator to SiteGround. We needed to have a host that “gets” wordpress, and provides blazing fast speed along with great uptime and amazing customer service. That’s why we chose SiteGround’s GoGeek service. Since making the switch, our website is faster and more stable than ever. If you need a new host, or a better host, I highly recommend SiteGround!
Gravity Forms – Gravity Forms is the premium plugin for creating advanced forms on your WordPress website. Used by over 1 million websites, Gravity Forms is the best contact form plugin available! Gravity Forms easily integrates with some of the most popular web apps like MailChimp, Aweber, Paypal, Stripe, FreshBooks, Zapier and more. We use Gravity Forms on every website that we create, period.
BackupBuddy for WordPress, by iThemes – Don’t take chances with your data. BackupBuddy is the easy way to recover your website from hackers, accidentally deleting files, fatal plugin errors and more. Automatic scheduled backups or one-time, one click backup of your entire website (database and all files). Quickly and easily clone or migrate your website. Automatically send your backups to offsite storage including BackupBuddy Stash, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Rackspace, FTP or email.
Dropbox – Safely store your files on the cloud. With Dropbox, you can edit and access your files from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Privately share files with friends or coworkers. Dropbox has a “FREE” plan that includes 2 gb of online storage, and their business plan was just upgraded to 1TB ($9.99/month).
Favorite WordPress Plugins
Soliloquy Slider – We consider Soliloquy to be the best responsive WordPress slider plugin available. We purchased the developer license and it’s now the only slider plugin that we use. Fast, well coded, very flexible and lots of options.
Envira Gallery – We consider Envira Gallery to be the best responsive WordPress gallery plugin available. Create incredibly simple and easy to manage galleries in WordPress. Brought to you by the same people that brought you Soliloquy Slider. We purchased the developer license and it’s now the only gallery plugin that we use.
SearchWP – Instantly Improve WordPress Search. We believe this is the best Search plugin for WordPress available! Improve the WordPress standard search in two minutes. Also allows you to have supplemental search engines which search only your specified criteria (only search within a specific custom post type, for example).
FacetWP – FacetWP adds Amazon-like filtering to any WordPress content listing. It allows users to quickly browse and drill-down through your site’s content to find exactly what they’re looking for. Check out their awesome online demo to instantly understand why I recommend this plugin!
WooCommerce – WooCommerce is a very popular, feature rich and free eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Exchange by iThemes – One of the new eCommerce plugins, iThemes Exchange is a simple to use eCommerce plugin. Basic plugin is free, along with the free Stripe payment plugin. Exchange add-ons allow you turn it into a powerful membership plugin and more. Supports physical and digital products.
Sublime Text – Sublime Text is a very popular, fast and lightweight text/code editor widely recommended by developers. It has a free trial, then $70.00 to purchase a license.
Trello – Trello is an online project management tool that allows you to visually organize your projects, add notes, lists, images, comments and collaborate with others. There’s a free version and premium version.
Evernote – Evernote is a free app for your smartphone and computer that makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.