Every business that uses or intends to use WordPress faces common obstacles. These may include finding qualified developers to build a theme, finding particular plugins to achieve a task or not knowing where to find help online to fix an issue.
Below I have added helpful WordPress resources where you can find solid answers and help from the WordPress community. You can skip to the topic below:
- Page builder Plugins
- Finding the right WordPress plugin
- Managed WordPress Hosting
- WordPress Support Services
- Maintaining Multiple WordPress installs
- Learning WordPress
- Staying Connected in the WordPress Community
- Turnkey WordPress site solutions
You can also watch my WordCamp presentation where I go over many of the resources listed in this post:
I recently wrote about choosing the right WordPress theme for your business and the difficult task of choosing between a installing a free theme, purchasing a premium theme, modifying a theme with a child theme or building a custom WordPress theme. In that article I shared some great resources for finding a solidly built WordPress theme:
- Array Themes – I have used this theme shop before with clients and I couldn’t be happier with their themes.
- The Theme Foundry – Another excellent theme shop!
- Theme Friendly Theme Finder – a source for finding WordPress themes with scores determined on whether they are following WordPress best practices
- WordPress theme Review – this is a service run by 2 former WordPress theme review team members. If you have a theme already and are wondering about its quality you can submit it here for a review.
- StudioPress – Premium themes built on the Genesis framework.
Page Builder Plugins
The best way to use a page builder is with a plugin, that way you are not tied to the theme for your layout. I would be wary of any theme that comes with a page builder. If you do get a theme with a ton of functionality built in, you may be stuck with that theme forever!
Below are a few page builder plugins I could recommend. For a deeper look into page builders check out Chris Lema’s article on Comparing Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders.
Velocity Page is a tool that enables you to build page layouts and customize the look of your content. Basic packages start at $97 for a 1 year license which covers supports and updates.
Conductor Plugin is a page builder with plans that start at $49 for a 1 year license for support and updates.
Beaver Builder‘s standard plan starts at $99 for 1 year of support and updates.
Finding the right WordPress plugin
Finding the right plugin can be an exhaustive process, downloading and testing each one from the WordPress plugin repository to see if it suites your needs. To top it off there are hundreds if not thousands of premium or paid plugins to sift through. You may not want to purchase a plugin that costs $100 just to find out it is not what you need.
Here are some general guidelines for finding a good plugin in the WordPress plugin repository:
- Read through any descriptions and documentation before assuming it does what you want
- Ratings can be deceiving but if there are 90 one star ratings that may be telling. If there is one 1 star review don’t assume it is a crappy plugin. That person may have rated the plugin that way because it didn’t do what THEY wanted.
- Check and see when the plugin was last updated. If the last update was 2 years ago the developer may not be actively working on the plugin. This could be a problem as many issues may not be being addressed or there could be security issues as well.
- Check and see if they have a premium version of the plugin. The reason I mention this is because if the developer is being paid to work on the plugin there is a greater chance it will have continual support. This isn’t always the case, but imagine if you had to support thousands of non paying customers with support tickets.
- If the plugin doesn’t do what YOU want it to do don’t give it a bad review, it just isn’t the plugin you’ve been looking for.
If you are still frustrated or don’t have the time to look for the right plugin I suggest checking out the Tidy Repo. This is a curated list of plugins both free and paid which have been carefully reviewed. But one of the best services they offer is finding a plugin for you!
Managed WordPress Hosting
Just google WordPress hosting and you are bound to find hundreds of recommendations. These also change with time as well. In this case I am not going to go into it too deeply. If you are curious about what the difference is between hosting and managed WordPress hosting check out this article from WPBeginner. There are only a few I have experience with and they are listed below:
- WPEngine – this site is hosted on WPEngine. Perhaps a flagship in the managed WordPress community. If you need an SSL certificate you’ll have to fork out $99 a month for their professional plan
- Pagely – great for scalability and enterprise solutions
- Siteground – very popular and active in the WordPress community. Great support
- Flywheel – a great non-technical option, good for simple 1 site installs
- Media Temple – owned by GoDaddy, plans start at $20 a month
Each of these services is slightly different. For a run down of choosing between managed hosting Chris Lema has some thoughts.
WordPress Support Services
Maintaining your site is super important. If you fall behind on important security updates your site may be vulnerable to malicious attacks or bugs. Updating plugins can sometimes result in unwanted conflicts resulting in error messages or even your site going down. It’s these moments that having a “go-to” person is super helpful. Luckily there are some WordPress support companies which have your back!
Some of the common support features these companies offer are:
- Security Monitoring
- Site Backups
- Theme and Plugin Updates
- Uptime Monitoring
- Small fixes and customer support
Here are some of the best options for having an ease-of-mind with your WordPress site so you can focus on your business:
Maintainn plans start at $49 a month and include 24/7 security monitoring, secure off-site backups, WordPress Core Updates, Theme/Plugin Updates, Add-on hours available.
WP Site Care has a starter plan at $29 which includes 24/7 Security Monitoring, Daily Cloud Backups, WordPress, Theme, & Plugin Updates, Realtime Activity Tracking, and my favorite WordPress Tutorial Videos! That is a great deal and well worth the money if you are getting your site up and running.
Wp Maintainer has a plan starting at $99 which includes All WordPress, Theme & Plugin Updates, scheduled site backups, Sucuri Security Monitoring & Cleanup, and Monthly Site Customizations for $99 per hour.
WP Curve can take care of small jobs in addition to added support and maintenance. Their standard plan includes unlimited small 30 min jobs for 1 site, detailed notes for every job and 24 hour live chat & email support! That is a pretty sweet deal starting at $79!
WP Valet is a full service support team which offers several services including monthly support, site migrations, and a service side aspect which functions like an agency.
Codeable is a support service that works on small to big jobs. These are WordPress experts and can help you solve problems and fix bugs.
Fantasktic is a unique service that offers pain free migrations. If you are moving hosting companies this service is a great way to have a pain free migration.
Maintaining Multiple WordPress installs
If you have several WordPress installs or sites you may find it difficult to maintain all of your sites by going to each one and logging to update all your plugins and or WordPress itself. This is where these tools come in handy. They allow you to update all your sites from one central location. There are often add-on features available such as security scans and uptime monitoring.
Managewp.com has all your sites in one WordPress dashboard. Plans start at 0.80 cents per site. Yup, that’s right.
“InfiniteWP is a free, self-hosted multiple WordPress management platform that simplifies your WordPress management tasks into a simple click of a button.” Installing this service may require some help. They have a VIP service and an Enterprise solution as well.
Mainwp is a free site management service which uses plugins to help manage all of your installs. There are extensions and bundles which add extra features.
Ahh yes, I had to include Jetpack :). Jetpack has a Site Management module which allows you to manage multiple installs of WordPress.
“Give a man some WordPress he’ll publish for a day. Teach a man to WordPress and he’ll publish forever.” – someone somewhere
Learning WordPress thoroughly can take years! Don’t walk away just yet, there are several great learning resources which are available.
WP 101 – Video Tutorials
It says, “Learn WordPress the easy way.” This service is gold! I recommend this to all beginners. Starting at $15 for 30 days you get access to their entire video library. These include videos about how to edit posts and pages, add images, edit widgets, and tons more!
Sidekick is like magic! It is a plugin you install which gives you real time tutorials right inside of your dashboard. If you are a “learn by doing” type of person this is the choice for you. There is a free plugin in the WordPress Plugin Repository but the pro-plugin is $3 per month per site and includes much more tutorials to walk you through.
This is a big PDF! The easy WP Guide can be downloaded to your computer and you could even print it out if you want. It covers everything WordPress. The guide is updated with newer versions of WordPress as they are released. So be sure to grab the most recent version.
Quite simply, these are WordPress experts teaching about WordPress. This resource is a goldmine. It is slightly geared more towards developers and front-end designers but there are some business sessions in there too.
WP Beginner is a website which constantly publishes useful articles on how to do anything with WordPress. If you google a WordPress question with wpbeginner at the end you get an answer. It is a massive library of tutorials, how-tos and common issues many users face with WordPress. I can’t recommend it enough.
Staying Connected in the WordPress Community
If you are running your business or site on WordPress you have made an investment in the software. If you want to stay stay connected with what is happening in the WordPress community, find out where WordPress events are, or hear about future developments for the software you will want to tap into these blogs and newsletters.
Be sure to subscribe to these blogs if you have a feed reader like feedly. Staying in the know will make you a more conscious consumer of all things WordPress and may help you make more informed decisions regarding your site.
- WPMail.me – a weekly WordPress newsletter which goes right to your inbox. Sign up on their website.
- Chris Lema – a WordPress consultant who publishes daily on anything from membership sites, ecommerce, themes and plugins, etc.
- WP Tavern -WordPress Tavern is a site focused on all things WordPress. They cover BuddyPress, bbPress, and any project under the Automattic umbrella.
- Post Status – News & Information for WordPress Professionals. I’m a member and I love it!
- Torque Magazine – WordPress news and happenings provided by the WP Engine hosting company
- ManageWP.org – it’s like hacker news for WordPress. Articles get voted up based on popularity. This is a service provided by managewp.com that I mentioned earlier in this article.
Turnkey WordPress Solutions
If all of this is too overwhelming and you just want to get a site up and running you should check out Evermore.
Evermore offers turnkey websites for businesses. If putting all the pieces together with all the resources I mentioned earlier is too much to handle Evermore will take care of all of that, hosting, security, updates, management, support, etc. These are WordPress professionals who will put you in the best environment to run your business.