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Choosing Your WordPress Tools Correctly

Choosing Your WordPress Tools Correctly

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So why does choosing your WordPress tools correctly have an impact on both you and your customer? Actually, it’s fairly simple.

It’s about delivering a polished product that is easy for your customer to use that provides them with a creative suite of tools to make updating their website content easy.

Choosing A Pagebuilder

Let the arguments begin now. I would like to say that there are probably 4 pagebuilders that come to mind when it comes to utilizing WordPress as your choice of a CMS.

You have Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, and the newest kid on the block, Brizy.

Choosing your WordPress tools correctly

Each one has its own uniqueness as well as challenges. The one thing that I have noticed within several of the Facebook Groups that I am affiliated with for the above-mentioned page builders, is that everyone seems to think that each one should be the end-all to end-all.

Let’s just eliminate that myth from the beginning.

While the vast majority of pagebuilders have some pretty amazing tools and capabilities, it still falls back to the developer’s table when it comes to understanding the capabilities as well as the limitations to each.

Getting Your Theme Together

Ahh, the vast amounts of complaints I see in regards to page load times and other related metrics. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everything in WordPress starts at the very core with a theme.

Without it, you don’t have a website. It brings forth the basics that are required for a WordPress site to function correctly. Such things as headers, footers, body, post and page types and the list goes on.

Starting off with a lightweight theme is crucial if you truly want to eliminate headaches that will sneak up on you further down the road once you begin adding additional functionality, plugins, and content to your site.

Do I have a favorite theme when it comes to our development stack at Creative Website Design? You bet I do.

Actually, I have four that are my turn-to themes of choice. My absolute favorite right now is the “Hello Theme,” which is made by the team that brought Elementor to the table. It is minimalistic and puts 100% of the design control into their premiere pagebuider, which is the way it should be.

Too many themes out there have additional bloat baked into them that slows a site down from the word “Go.” Some of my other favorite themes are Pagebuilder Framework, Generatepress, Astra, And Divi.

Make Choosing Your WordPress Tools Easier

I could sit here all day long and provide you with my theories on choosing the best WordPress tools for you, however, there are some pretty amazing people within the WordPress community who have made this process a little easier and a bit more streamlined.

My top two favorite individuals for this are Adam Preiser from WPCrafter, and Paul C from WP Tuts.

Both of these gentlemen have made it their business to cover both various pagebuilders as well as the best themes a little easier.

Who Doesn’t Love A Good WordPress Plugin?

I believe the last time I heard a podcast that covers all the WordPress plugins that there is now over 50,000 available from the WordPress Repository in which to choose from.

That being said, don’t do what many noobs do and start downloading everything you can get your hands on, especially not on a live site.

Let’s be real, who doesn’t like to smell of a new car with leather interior, I certainly know that I do. However, after a while, that new car smell begins to wear off and it’s not long that you find yourself looking for a better one.

I love experimenting with new tools, especially if they make my life easier as a developer. However, it is important to remember that with each and every plugin you add to your site, you make additional pulls and various calls that must be served up, which can have an impact on your site’s load time.

Just like the old saying “less is more.” Probably a great thing to put into practice when beginning to develop yours or a clients website. Unless that plugin is required to produce the functionality that is required for any website, it’s probably best to leave it upon the shelf.

How To Implement Choosing Your WordPress Tools Correctly

Building a website really isn’t that hard, or at least it shouldn’t be.

However, choosing your WordPress tools correctly will certainly make putting all together a little easier.

Building a website it much like building a home. First you need a set of blueprints. Then you must have an architect, the you have to have the actual builders.

The very first thing you should be thinking of is what is that your website will primarily be doing. Is just going to be a brochure style website, will you need eCommerce solutions, or are you going to need a bit more by integrating custom post types and such things?

Next, you’ll certainly want to determine which pagebuilder is right for getting the job done and with the least amount of frustration. While some may argue between the various pagebuilders about which one allows for this, I am going to stick with Elementor or Divi as my preferred options.

Getting Past The Hype

You can read a variety of why which theme or pagebuilder is better than the other. However, what works for one person’s needs will not essentially be the right choice for someone else.

Everyone has their favorites. It’s about what will work the best for you and your specific website needs.

Free Vs. Paid

Who doesn’t love something that is free? Whether it be in a theme, pagebuilder or plugins. However, it is crucial to understand that free can mean and result in limited capabilities.

Sometimes you’re going to need to throw some money into the game to get the best experience. This is why pre-planning your site is crucial to determine exactly which route you will need to take.

The Right Hosting Environment

I can find cheap hosting all day long. However, cheap usually means that somewhere down the line, I’m going to run into some headaches that will prevent my website from operating the way it was intended.

If you absolutely have to go with the more affordable, then I suggest looking into using SiteGround or InMotion hosting as your choice.

However, if you are truly looking to put some power behind your website, step up your “A Game” and look into using a hosting provider who is set up specifically for WordPress such as Flywheel, Kinsta, or WP Engine. If your website exists to sell your products or services, don’t go cheap.

I’m notorious for telling my clients to either “Go big or go home.”

If you expect our agency to develop a premium, fast delivering website, then start with the right set of tools out of the box.

Be The Master Of Your Toolbox

Lastly as I begin to call this article a “wrap,” regardless of what set of tools you choose to use in your development stack, become the master of them.

Learn what they can and cannot do. There have been too many times that I am in a Facebook group and consistently read people complaining about the fact that their pagebuilder or theme is unable to produce a given result and they automatically begin jumping onto the backs of those who provided the tools, to begin with.

Look, here’s the deal. If it was that easy to create the ultimate one-stop product that was the ultimate in creating a theme and relevant content, then everyone would be in the market.

That being said, quit complaining about what your tools can’t do and learn more about them and how to work them to their fullest extent.

Remember, what may be the Cadillac for one person, may be another person’s VW Bug (sorry to you bug owners.)

Do You Need Help In Choosing Your WordPress Tools Correctly?

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed and stuck in determining what is going to work best for your specific website needs.

That’s why our agency exists. We have been deploying basic and complex WordPress websites for over 10 years now. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your question(s) and let our team of professionals help you out!

So what tools are you using for your WordPress powered websites?

Share them with us and our audience. We’d love to hear more about them!

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Greg Hyatt

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