The Tools I Use
I have been building websites with WordPress for more than 8 years now and during this time, I have discovered some of the very best tools for content, design speed, SEO, maintenance and so much more.
Here is the full list of them. Please note that the tools marked in blue are those that I am an affiliate for.
Siteground – I use Siteground hosting services. I started using them way back in 2012 and have never for once thought about switching to a new host. They are not as big as some other hosting companies but they offer excellent services and their customer support is second to none. I wrote an exhaustive article describing why I think they are the best and also made a video tutorial describing how to use their backend.
Wordfence – My favorite all in one security plugin for WordPress. This plugin offers firewalls, real time scanning, checks your site for known security vulnerabilities and alerts you to any issues. The plugin can also warn you about potential security issues when a plugin has been closed or is no longer supported.
Let’s Encrypt SSL – A free service that offers SSL certificates for site encryption. I usually just enable this feature through Siteground’s backend.
Akismet – My go to plugin for fighting against spam comments.
Sucuri Site Checker – If I need to scan a website quickly for any malware, I use this service. It’s free and is managed by a company that specializes in WordPress security.
Rank Math – I used Yoast for years but Rank math is now my favorite all in one SEO plugin. It’s interface is far superior, it’s better with keywords research and it’s completely free.
Broken Links Checker – Very reliable plugin for detecting and fixing broken links. It does have a huge drawback though in that it consumes a lot of resources and can significantly reduce your site’s speed. I manage this by activating the plugin when I need to run a check and then immediately uninstall once I am done.
Speed & Optimization
SG Optimizer – A plugin developed by Siteground developers. The plugin connects my website to Siteground’s control panel and allows me to utilize all the services they offer for site optimization. These services include dynamic caching, GZIP compression, front end optimization and much more.
Perfmatters – Not a very popular plugin but its one of the very best plugins I have ever used for speed optimization. The interesting thing about this plugin is that it neglects major speed features such as caching but instead focuses on improving speed through an assortment of different types of functions. Basically its a plugin that is used to improve your speeds ever so slightly.
WP Optimize – I use this plugin primarily to clean my database and optimize my images
Better Search & Replace – When I need to make changes to my database tables, I use this plugin.
All in one WP Migration – My favorite plugin for running backups and migrating content from one site to another. There are a few other plugins that do the same thing really well but I found this one to be the easiest to use. You can check out my YouTube tutorial on how to use this plugin.
Elementor – One of my all time favorite WordPress plugins. Elementor is the best page builder for WordPress and is one I use on all my personal websites. I use Elementor to create nearly all my content including pages, posts, contact forms and much more. I wrote an article explaining why I think its the best page builder plugin. I also wrote another article where I compared Elementor with the other major WordPress page builder plugins. If you are interested in video tutorials, check out my Elementor YouTube playlist
WP Review Pro – I use this plugin for writing professional and clean reviews. If you have noticed on any of my articles where I review a theme or plugin, there is a section where I highlight the major features and give it a score – that is the plugin in action.
Imagely – When I am not using Elementor to create image galleries, I typically resort to using the NextGen gallery plugin created by the awesome developers from Imagely. You can view my tutorial on YouTube where I demonstrated how to build a full gallery website using the plugin.
Hello – The theme developed by the developers of Elementor. I use this plugin whenever I use Elementor as the main content creation tool. It’s specifically designed to be very lightweight and thus its very quick.
Astra – In other situations where I need a more robust theme to work with, Astra is my number 1 choice.
Underscores – This is my favorite starter theme for hardcore WordPress development. It’s essentially a bare bones theme that provides just enough functionality