Table of Contents:
- Why Use WordPress, Like… Ever?
- Hosting for WordPress
- Great WordPress Themes
- Must-have WordPress Plugins
- Other Great Tools
Why Use WordPress, Like… Ever?
In the web development world, merely mentioning “WordPress” can get you exiled onto a digital deserted island in a heartbeat. I get it. I mean, who would want to use a platform that runs over 30% of the entire internet, has a global community of plugin and theme developers as well a monster hosting company (WP Engine) that devotes itself 100% to WordPress? If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, let me assure you, that was sarcastic af.
Look, I understand why so many developers frown upon WordPress. It does come with security issues and uncertainty when adding new plugins, themes, etc… Plus it just isn’t very sexy to a web developer. BUT, if you are reading this article, you probably want to start or upgrade your current blog site, which is EXACTLY what WordPress was built for. There are many ways to fix the many cons of WordPress if you know what you are doing, or simply put into an expert’s hands, like WP Engine.
If you are a content creator, please take this to heart: WordPress is your ONLY option for blogging. You will not find a better supported platform for content creation out there, period. Sure you can hire someone to build you a custom solution that may be miles beyond the capabilities of WordPress, but if he/she gets hit by a bus… what then? You think I am being funny, but it happens everyday. Custom built site goes down all the time; one day the developer goes MIA and you have no money left to pay someone else to rebuild it, or they tell you to use WordPress anyway.
Now that I hit you with some real stuff, I will share with you some of my favorite WordPress hosting, themes, plugins and some other great tools for optimizing your blog.
Hosting For WordPress
Picking the right hosting for your blog can be overwhelming. Where do you even start? Who is the most reliable hosting provider and more importantly, what can I afford? I know how you feel, because I have been there, done that, wasted money on crappy shared hosting, dedicated servers and even hosted it myself. All of the above was a huge lesson that I had to learn the hard way.
You might think, well I registered my domain at GoDaddy, why don’t I just keep it simple and host there as well? Regrettably, I fell for this line of thinking when I was starting out. Shared hosting services like GoDaddy, BlueHost, and HostGator are ok if you are on a shoestring budget. But if you are going to take your blog seriously, you need to make sure you make a sufficient budget for your tech and get the right resources.
Here are some of the key factors that play into choosing the right hosting for your blog:
- Redundancy (backups)
- Ease of use (especially for non-dev folks)
I can’t tell you how many times I have had a WordPress site compromised while on a cheap shared hosting environment. It is a straight up nightmare! Yes, it was inexpensive, but I spent most of my time just trying to secure my site. Even when I would hop on a support chat, I would be there for hours and MAYBE get the problem resolved. It is discouraging and all I wanted was to create some content on the internets.
All that being said, here are some great WordPress hosting solutions that will keep your site secure and get you up and running in no time:
Option #1: WP Engine
This is by far the best hosting environment for WordPress out there. Wp Engine is exclusively for WordPress sites and makes it stupidly easy to setup a website. They have one of the most secure servers and gear their whole setup around securing WordPress and its vulnerabilities. Have you ever been hit by a DDoS attack or someone hijacking your WordPress site? This virtually never happens with WP Engine.
If you do have any issues, they have a first class support team. You can hop on a chat and have your problem worked on in no time. Plus it comes with a ton of useful features in their user portal, such as, free SSL certificates, staging environments, git integration and more. This, as well as a thousand other reasons, is why Plattr hosts with WP Engine.
Option #2: SiteGround
If you are looking for something a bit more affordable, SiteGround is a good “cPanel” shared hosting service. They offer increased security over the cheap shared hosting guys and even give you free SSL certificates. The user portal is a little harder to navigate and if you don’t have any hosting experience, you might get lost a bit. That being said, their support team is actually pretty good if you do run into any issues. This solution is no WP Engine, but it will get you by without much of a headache.
Option #3: Dig A Hole
Dig a hole, throw your money into it, pour lighter fluid on it and light a match.