As Cap Web Solutions’ business expands, we come to depend more and more on various tools to deliver WordPress services, manage the business, learn new technologies and become a better business person. Some may be primarily useful as a WordPress developer, some as a remote worker, and some as an online business owner. Everything that I recommend on this page I have used, or I am currently using, in the business operations. Take a look and see if they would work in your situation.
Please note: Most of the links below are what is referred to as an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase or use the product or service through that link, I will get a small referral fee from the service or product provider. The price of the resource is the same whether or not you use my affiliate link.
Domain Names, Hosting Services and Productivity
domains.google.com – Good resource for quick domain name purchase and registration. I have found their domain portal to be one of the easiest to use and quickest when it comes to making DNS changes.
WP Engine – The only managed WordPress host that I trust for the live Cap Web Solutions family of sites. Secure. Fast. Exceptional Customer service. Not much more to say.
Flywheel – Can’t beat the prices and the tools. Services range from bare bones shared servers to full on dedicated boxes. I’m currently using the shared service platform to host my personal site but the integration with a local development and testing environment to beyond compare. WordPress setup in minutes. MySQL tools at your fingertips.
Google Apps – Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that includes Gmail for professional, branded email, Drive for online storage, Meet for video meetings, Calendar for scheduling and Docs for editing files. I especially like how easy it is to get things done and work with others from anywhere, using any device I choose. I’ve also found GSuite to be highly cost-effective at $5/user/month.
FreshBooks – Cloud-based business accounting for the non-accountant. Couldn’t live without it. Recurring invoices, WooCommerce integration, auto-billing of credit cards, subscription services.
Development, Management and Graphics Tools
Genesis Framework – I started using Genesis after exhaustive research about frameworks, premium themes, and child themes. What really sold me on this product is the level of support they provide to their customers, and the available components for extending the product.
Desktopserver – By the team at SeverPress. An easy -to-use development environment which serves as the starting point for all websites developed by Cap Web Solutions. This dev environment permits easy migration of the finished website directyl from my Windows environment to the WordPress hosting server.
MainWP is the website management tool that I use to manage all of my support and maintenance clients, as well as my own sites. With self hosted MainWP, I have access to one-click updates, backups, cloning, up time monitoring, and SEO analysis. Using MainWP enables me to provide a comprehensive solution to maintenance customers including scheduled backups using an integrated UpdraftPlus, updating the same plugin across multiple sites at once, and fully customized customer reports. This last feature sold me immediately as I am able to create detailed reports for customers regarding our activity on their site.
Canva Logo Creator is a new resource to my collection. I have long used Canva for creating all the graphics I use on client websites and my own sites. With Logo Creator I am not limited by my graphic design experience; I can create pretty unique branding options for client websites.
Themes and Plugins
Cap Web Solutions uses a variety of free and premium themes and plugins to create the websites for clients. But here are a few of the ones that I couldn’t live without either on my own sites or those I develop for others.
Jetpack – Jetpack is a WordPress developed plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com. stats, email sign-ups, social integration, to name a few. Excellent package.
BackWPup Free – This plugin can save your butt one day! It can be used to save your complete installation including /wp-content/ and push them to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and many more. With a single backup .zip file you are able to easily restore an installation. Every site deserves this protection at a minimum.
BackupBuddy – This premium plugin from iThemes is one of the strongest backup performers available. In addition to scheduling full and database-only backups, BB can be used to easily migrate your website from one host to another. A must-have when you need/want to change hosting providers.
Contact Form 7 – Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple HTML.
WooCommerce – The basis for all eCommerce sites we develop. Delivers enterprise-level quality and features, backed by full support from WooThemes.
Books and Training Programs
Platform. Get Noticed In A Noisy World– by Michael Hyatt, the intentional leader, offers a step-by-step guide to building your brand by getting noticed. A must for anyone with something to say online.
The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work– by Scott Berkun. A humorous look into the workings of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, and how a distributed workforce can be corralled into a industry leader.
Professional WordPress Design and Development – by Brad Williams, David Damestra, and Hal Stern
WordPress To Go: How To Build A WordPress Website On Your Own Domain, From Scratch, Even If You Are A Complete Beginner– by Sarah McHarry. Why list this book? Well, because its just about the best book I’ve found for WordPress beginners. An excellent resource if you are just starting out with your first WordPress site and want to get your hands just a little dirty with the insides.
WordPress Tutorials by Lynda.com– Some of the finest WordPress training videos on the web.