Here are 52 tools, plugins, and other resources to help you create and improve the WordPress site for your business.
Note: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click and purchase, I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and these commissions help me to keep providing free information about building a WordPress site.
Domain Name Registration and Hosting
Before you can have a website, you need a domain name, and a place to host the site. Many people start with shared hosting, which is inexpensive, but plan to move up to managed hosting once you have some revenue. (Or, if you’re starting a solopreneur business, start with managed hosting.)
- Domain Name registration with Namecheap
- Shared WordPress hosting with Siteground (excellent for starting bloggers and freelancers)
- Managed WordPress hosting with WPEngine (better for freelancers and solopreneurs)
Downloading and Installing WordPress
If you’re using shared hosting from Siteground, or other popular shared hosts, you’ll be able to use one of the WordPress auto-installers through the cPanel. If you have to set it up manually, though, you’ll want these.
- Download the latest version of WordPress
- Filezilla, a free FTP program
My three go-to theme designers. . .
- Studio Press, creators of the highly rated Genesis Framework and a wide variety of child themes
- Elegant Themes, creators of “amazingly beautiful” themes for WordPress. For a modest annual fee you can use all of their themes.
- Astra Theme, blazing fast and highly rated.
- Free themes from WordPress.org.
Every site has different plugin needs, but these are the ones I use most often. There are four I install on every site – I’ve denoted these with an asterisk(*).
- *All in One WP Security to improve your website’s safety and security. You can never make it completely hacker proof, but installing this plugin is one of the things you can do to avoid those opportunistic hacks
- *WP-DB Manager for backups and database management
- Updraft Plus for backups
- *Yoast SEO for help with search engine optimization and keywords
- Google Analytics for WordPress so you know where you stand
- If you’re using a StudioPress theme, add the Genesis Responsive Slider to dress up your home page
- Make it easy for visitors to share your best stuff with Social Warfare
- For a dedicated membership site plugin check out Wishlist Member
- Ninja Forms
- Contact Form 7
- Smush, for image compression and optimization
WordPress Books and Tutorials
- WordPress Building Blocks
- Video Training Courses from WP Apprentice
- 31 Days to Build a Better Blog
- BlogWise: How to Do More with Less
- Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers
- ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business
- ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging
- The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing
Help with Writing
There are tons of writing resources available. These are the ones that have helped me the most.
- American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI)
- Wealthy Web Writer
- Make a Living Writing
- Smart Blogger
Help with Social Media
- CoSchedule, the all-around best editorial calendar, task list, and social media automation tool
- Nelio Content (CoSchedule’s less expensive cousin)
- Hootsuite, to manage all your social media accounts in one place
- Meet Edgar, for social media automation
Help with Productivity
- Trello, for the best in kanban-style project management
- Milanote, the best for professional creatives
- TeamworkPM if you prefer a more traditional style of project manager
- Toggl, to keep track of billable time
- Google Drive, which includes documents, spreadsheets, drawings, forms, and more. I’d be lost without it! It makes collaborating on documents absolutely painless.
- Evernote, for keeping everything in one place
- Slack, for fast and easy group communications, ideal for teams
- AppSumo, for heavily reduced (and sometimes free) prices on helpful apps and programs
- Google Analytics, for your web stats
Help with Images
- Pixabay, free, royalty-free images you can use on your WordPress site
- Canva, online tools to help you create beautiful images for sharing on your site and social media
- iStock, royalty-free images at reasonable prices
Do you have other resources you like? Share them in the comments below.
This post was updated on February 4, 2021.
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