Since 2011, WPMarmite has been helping you set up your WordPress sites, customize them, and manage them on a daily basis like professionals.
Whether you are starting out or have a little more experience, you have probably asked yourself the following questions:
- Where to find the best WordPress resources without spending too much time there?
- How to choose from the tens of thousands of options available on the market (for example, there are nearly 55,000 plugins just on the official directory…)?
- What tools/services are really reliable?
Don't worry, this page is here to help you.
You will find our favorite resources, divided into several categories as you can see below.
Fasten your seat belts, we'll take off right away!
Some of the links to these resources are affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy one of them, a small commission will be paid to WPMarmite (without any extra cost on your side). These revenues are used to keep the blog alive in order to continue to offer you the best possible content to help you progress.
Despite everything, we do not promote products for the commissions they generate. If free resources are suitable, then we present them to you. WPMarmite would like to express your interest before its own.
That's it, you've made the decision to create your WordPress site. Congratulations.
If you create a site with WordPress.org (discover the differences with WordPress.com in this article), you will need web hosting to store the site's files and database. Then you will need to install the site. For instructions for use, see below:
- Why is your domain name a crucial element to choose? The domain name is one of the elements that will inevitably remain in your visitors' minds. In this video, I focus on this crucial element, and I explain to you why it is important to take your time to choose it.
- O2Switch: WP Marmite is hosted by the French company O2Switch. It offers only one offer at 5€/month (excl. taxes). Everything is included in this amount. If you want something big, you can trust them.
- How to create a professional WordPress site in 2019: This handy 30-minute video guides you step by step through the process of creating a professional WordPress site. I reveal 5 steps: the choice of the domain name, the hosting of the site, its installation, its customization, and finally the choice of the plugins.
WordPress theme shops
In order to organize your website content, you will need a WordPress theme. WPMarmite presents you some regularly and to go even further, the theme shops below will also allow you to discover new ones.
- Themeforest: The world's largest template sales platform. You will find WordPress themes in all domains (blog, portfolio, magazine, ecommerce etc.). However, don't buy one on the spur of the moment. Weigh the pros and cons without being influenced by the demos.
- ElegantThemes: This shop offers 87 themes, including the famous Divi, which has attracted nearly 600,000 customers!
- ThemeTrust: If you are looking for themes with a minimalist and bold style, ThemeTrust can help you. This shop offers about twenty themes that can be adapted to many projects (business, portfolio, blog, ecommerce).
- CSSIgniter: Founded in 2010 in Greece, CSSIgniter offers nearly 80 modern and refined themes adapted to different sectors: online shop, business, hotel, magazine, blog, restaurant, photo, music etc.
- Tesla Themes: The Tesla Themes boutique stands out for the originality of its themes and the care taken in the design, with a lot of attractive visuals. You will necessarily find a theme that suits you if you want to create a blog, a portfolio or an ecommerce site.
- Themes Kingdom: Themes Kingdom offers about twenty truly unique and original templates, which will be particularly adapted to creative jobs (photographers, designers, decoration or clothing shops etc.).
- WP Zoom: The themes proposed by WP Zoom are rather elegant, refined and functional. This company launched in 2008 and based in the Netherlands has developed about a hundred themes in different niches: business, magazine, blog, food, portfolio, WooCommerce, video, education. In short, there is a lot to do.
If you want to use free WordPress themes, you can go to the official WordPress theme directory.
A plugin adds new features to your WordPress site, without you touching a single piece of code.
On the official WordPress directory, there are nearly…. 55 000 plugins. To start with, here are some that may be useful to you (many others are presented throughout this page as you move through the sections):
- Akismet: With more than 5 million active installations, Akismet is one of the most popular plugins on the official directory. Free and available by default on all new WordPress installations, this plugin filters out spam comments.
- Gravity Forms: A premium plugin that enables you to create very sophisticated contact forms on your site.
- Duplicator: Duplicator allows you to move a site from one location to another (e.g. from the local server to your live site), without getting your hands on the code. Thanks to this fantastic plugin, you will be able to duplicate a site to work on it without altering the main site. I show you how it works in this video.
- Polylang: With Polylang, you will be able to translate the content of your site to make it multilingual. Speaking about translation plugins, you can also use LocoTranslate if you want to give it a try.
- UpdraftPlus: To harden the security of your website, you will need to backup it regularly (files and database). Among the many solutions on the market, I recommend the very effective UpdraftPlus. This plugin allows you to set up automatic backups and send them to the cloud.
- Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd: Sometimes, you will need to limit access to your website, to perform maintenance operations, or to work quietly on it before launching it. To do this, you can use this plugin, which allows you to create a Coming soon page.
Finding the right plugin for your needs is not easy. To help you, also check this post on our blog: The Best WordPress Plugins – the Top 25 you can't do without.
You don't know how to code, but you want to design custom layouts, in accordance with your graphic expectations or those of your customers? No problem, with a page builder!
- Elementor: With more than 2 million active installations, Elementor is the most popular page builder on the official directory. Seduced by its wide range of options and its ease of use, I use it for some WPMarmite pages. Its average rating is very high (overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars) and it continues to grow at high speed, regularly offering new features.
- Divi: The other sector giant. Flagship product of Elegant Themes, Divi is a premium theme that features a page builder, the Divi Builder. Like Elementor and Beaver Builder (see below), it is used on the front end of your site (what your visitors see) and you can build the layouts of your choice by dragging and dropping your elements on your page (modules, templates etc.).
- Beaver Builder: Let's finish with another page builder that is popular and enjoys an excellent reputation among website design professionals: Beaver Builder. This freemium plugin works the same way as Elementor and Divi (drag and drop), but has a little less options than its two competitors.
Did you know that? On average, 1 website is hacked every second in the world. If WordPress remains a secure CMS, it is necessary to apply best practices and use the appropriate tools to try to protect you as much as possible, because no site is unfortunately infallible.
- IThemes Security: IThemes Security is an all-in-one security plugin. Among the many features offered, this plugin protects you against brute force attacks, allows you to change the default URL of your WordPress login, or detect malwares.
- SecuPress: SecuPress is a 100% French plugin pretty similar to IThemes Security. It applies several security settings such as anti brute force login, block visits from bad bots, move login page etc.
- ManageWP: ManageWP is a tool to monitor and maintain your WordPress websites from one dashboard. But it also allows, among other things, to backup your site and restore it in 1 click. In case of hacking or plugins conflicts, it can be useful ;-).
- Really Simple SSL: If you do not have the HTTPS protocol installed on your site, you can install it manually, or use Really Simple SSL. This handy plugin automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https. Https protocol ensures that the data you exchange with a site is encrypted.
How to make your site visible on search engines, especially on Google? Answer: By working on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Admit it would be a shame to have a beautiful site that nobody can find, right?
- Yoast SEO: Is it still necessary to introduce you to Yoast? Yoast SEO is simply the most popular plugin on the official directory, with 5 million active installations and nearly 170 million downloads at the time of writing. I use this SEO plugin on WPMarmite and I explain how to configure it in detail, within this post.
- SEOPress: Developed by Frenchman Benjamin Denis, SEOPress is a serious and effective alternative to Yoast SEO. It is characterized by its simplicity of use, its intuitive interface, and allows you to act on many settings: title tags and meta description, sitemaps (XML & HTML), redirects, breadcrumbs etc. You will also find its free version on the official directory.
- Redirection: As soon as you modify or delete a content, it is necessary to set up a 301 redirect, in order not to lose your SEO. To do this, there is an essential feature: the Redirection plugin.
- MonsterInsights: MonsterInsights allows you to connect your WordPress site to your Google Analytics account. Thanks to this, you will be able to check various statistics regarding the traffic on your site, and will be able to readjust your SEO strategy.
Need to know more about SEO? Just dive into the following post: How to easily fix a WordPress 404 error.
Once your site is well established, you may want to attract new users and try to retain them to increase your traffic, reputation and revenue. To do this, you can use different options (emailing, social networks, advertising, video etc.) and tools such as:
- Mailchimp: To send newsletters to your subscribers, Mailchimp is the most popular service. It is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month. If you are new to the world of emailing, I recommend it. In addition, it is compatible with many plugins.
- MailOptin: This plugin allows you to create optin forms, in order to capture your visitors' emails. It is an easy to use freemium plugin: you can set it up through your WordPress Customizer.
- ThriveLeads: Thrive Leads is a premium optin plugin full of options and very cheap. If building your email list is a priority for you, it will certainly be the perfect fit.
- Bloom: Bloom is a premium email opt-in plugin created by Elegant Themes. This is an excellent alternative to Thrive Leads.
- Social Warfare: Social Warfare adds social sharing buttons to your website. It is characterized by its ease of use. Thanks to sharing on social networks, you will be able to attract traffic to your site, or increase your chances of getting backlinks.
The natural extension of a showcase site is an e-commerce website. Find out how to set it up.
- WooCommerce: If you want to set up an online store, chances are the WooCommerce plugin can help you. In addition, many addons allow you to bring new functionalities. However, be sure to use an optimized theme for this plugin, otherwise the appearance will not be extraordinary.
- Easy Digital Downloads: As its name suggests, this e-commerce plugin helps you sell digital products. It will be perfect to help you sell ebooks, themes, plugins or create member sites. Addons are also available to enhance its functionalities.
- AffiliateWP: With AffiliateWP, you can create an affiliate program on WordPress. And it integrates perfectly with a bunch of popular plugins such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads etc.
- MemberPress: MemberPress is a premium plugin that allows you to create a member area on your site. Only authorized users – who have paid – will be able to access content, services or products of your choice.
- Gumroad: If you want to sell a few products, you don't necessarily need to set up an entire e-commerce infrastructure. In this case, the Gumroad service can help you.
Having a fast site is crucial for the user experience, and it can also have an impact on your SEO. You get it right: this aspect must be taken very seriously.
- WP Rocket: The most powerful caching plugin on the market. Very easy to use, effective from the moment of activation, this premium plugin will simply speed up your page load time. In addition, it has many options to improve the performance of your site (e.g. database optimization). A must-have, from my point of view.
- Imagify: Designed by the same company (WP Media) as WP Rocket, Imagify is a freemium plugin that optimizes all your images in one click, without sacrificing their quality. This is really important: on average, images represent nearly 50% of the weight of a page. If they are too heavy, I let you imagine the impact on your page load time…
- Pingdom: Thanks to this online tool, you will be able to check the load time of your pages, and discover the causes of possible slowdowns. You can also use GTMetrix or WebPageTest.
Do you want to learn how to make a site 7 times faster? Check this post: How to speed up a WordPress site without breaking the bank?
How to find some help and where to meet people who share the same passion for WordPress as you? Follow the guide.
- WordPress Meetups: WordPress meetups are meetings (mostly monthly) dedicated to WordPress. They are regularly organized in many cities in France. To find out if there is one near you, you can visit the official website.
- WordPress Codex: The Codex is the official documentation of WordPress. You will find a lot of information in order to install, configure or troubleshoot your favorite CMS. Not to mention the documentation for developers (functions, APIs etc.).
- Developer Resources: WordPress provides extensive documentation to help developers achieve their goals. In addition, do some Google research to find answers to your problems.