WordPress essentials

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WordPress is the most popular content management system. It has been around almost twenty years, I have used it from the beginning and witnessed it’s progress from the first versions to the powerful CMS running today on 30% of wordl’s all websites. Here’s the collection of the best tools, plug-ins, themes and fastest WP hosting every webmaster needs.

Best themes

GeneratePress.com – The perfect lightweight theme for your next project.

Genesis Framework – my original love.

WPAstra.com – If NASA uses it, maybe you should also? Comes with extensive template library.

Best page builders

I’m not the biggest fan of page builders as I’ve build websites directly editing html code, and builders tend to brake down layouts and code. However, in many situations page builders makes design process faster and easier. So, there is certainly reasons to used them in some projects. Builders are especially handy if you are not familiar editing html code as you can just drang & drop elements.

Elementor.com – The best page builder. Makes life a bit easier or more complicated.

WP Table Builder – Going to build some tables. Five stars, and they actually solve your problems. Makes it easy to build complex, but beautiful and responsive tables.

Best WordPress security plug-ins

Security has been the biggest issue for WordPress websites from the very beginning. There are many security related plug-ins build to improve security, and certainly you need to install a few to secure the basic WP installation.

Wordfence – free and paid versions. Firewall, blocking and scanning. You don’t need paid version as free does the job very well. This is what I usually install at the very first. I have used it on over one thousand domains, and it has eliminated countless attacks. Both thumbs up!

WPS Hide Login – customize WP login URL, so bad bots does not find it easily.

Disable XML-RPC – Disables XML-RPC which causes security issues.

Best WordPress cache plug-ins

The website loading speed can become significant problem for many reasons. Under the hood WP is quite complex, it does database queries and runs PHP almost on every click. That slows down site very quickly if you have enough visitors. Another common reason for slow WP website is hosting that is not optimized for WordPress.

There are quite many cache plug-ins available, which reduces db queries and need for executing PHP. Most cache plug-ins create static html pages, which are far faster to server than dynamically created content. Also CSS can be optimized as well as Java scripts etc. Here is the list of the best cache as well as optimizing plugins.

WP Super Cache – Fast caching engine for WordPress. Produces static html files.

Fast Velocity Minify – useful WordPress CSS optimization plugin for advanced users.

Autopmize – minimizes CSS and Java etc.

Autoclear Autoptimize Cache – Automatically clear Autoptimize cache.

Redis Object Cache – A persistent object cache backend powered by Redis.

WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache – Speed up a WordPress website by enabling and managing a page cache on a Cloudflare free plan.

Best WP contact forms & mail handling

Disable Email – does what the name says, disables WP email functions. No emails will be sent, not even for password resets or administrator notifications.

WPForms Lite – using this in the most of my sites, free version is more than good!

WP Mail SMTP – makes email delivery easy for WordPress. Was my favorite SMTP setup tool until it caused some grey hair. Still using.

Post SMTP – my new favorite SMTP setup tool for WP. Send, log and troubleshoot your Outgoing Email easily. Supports everything: SMTP, Gmail, Mailgun, Mandril, SendGrid, Elastic Email and OAuth 2.0.

Mailabler.com – WP Mail and post SMTP compatible mail server. Pefect for WordPress websites. Oh, yes, it’s actually my service.

Other essential plug-ins

Really Simple SSL – if you have problems with certs, this helps. You only need an SSL certificate, and this plugin will do the rest.

Sitekit.withgoogle.com – Google’s official WordPress plugi.

The SEO Framework – SEO solution for your WordPress website. Five starts tells something.

Duplicate Page or Post – why these options are missing from the WP itself? This helps!

WP Maintenance Mode – keep prying eyes out until you are ready to launch. Quite much five stars and one million plus installations.

Duplicator – Clone, backup, move and transfer an entire site from one location to another.

UpdraftPlus – Complete backups; manual or scheduled.

Nomiddleman Crypto Payments for Woocommerce – as the name says, cryptocurrency payment gateway that eliminates the middleman. Accept all major cryptocurrencies directly to your own wallets for free.

Media Cleaner – By Jordy Meow cleans your Media Library of unused files / Woocommerce product images.

MyRecorp – Export WP pages as static HTML/CSS

Best WordPress hosting

WPSmart – lightning fast WordPress hosting with Smart Updates, Plesk and WP-Tookit.

WPSmart Cloud – Managed WordPress VPS

WPSmart Woo – Woocommerce SAAS, ready to use online shop.