handshakeThis is a list of links to the vendors we use for WordPress hosting, themes, plugins etc.  It has taken much time and effort to source these vendors so if you are going to use one of them, please click the link so we get a tiny “kickback”.  Among our criteria for selecting the vendors we use are value, reliability, compatibility, responsiveness to questions, high ratings from other users and rapid support.  In many cases we have tried numerous versions of each type and settled on the one which best met our criteria.  None of the following recommendations are free.  Wordpress offers thousands of free plugins* and we have used, and continue to use, many of them.  The ones we recommend below are commercial and have proven to be much, much better for our purposes so we are happy to pay for them.

  • Hosting.  When we host a site, we host it with Webfaction.  They are priced competitively, their up-time is outstanding and the support is superlative.
  • Themes.  Because most of the sites we build are custom, we use Headway.  Headway is neither trivial nor intuitive (in our opinion), but it is extremely flexible, well supported by both it’s support staff and a huge user-community and offers much in the way of documentation and “how to” videos.
  • Security.  The last thing you want to have happen is for your website hijacked.  We use both Sucuri and Bulletproof Security.  Sucuri monitors the site daily for malware and if your site is the victim of malware, Sucuri will fix it.  Sucuri is very, very responsive to requests.  Bulletproof Security prevents intrusions – it is not trivial, but it certainly does what it claims to do.
  • Forms.  Gravity Forms is by far the best plugin we have found for forms.  Extremely flexible, configurable and, as long as your needs are not too complicated, easy-to-use.  They offer a number of add-ons for custom forms.
*If you choose to use a free plugin from WordPress, be sure to carefully check that it is compatible with your version of WordPress, that it is regularly updated, that it has a good user rating, that there are not too many unresolved support threads and that its documentation is clear and written by someone for whom English is either a first language or who clearly comprehends English – unless of course you happen to be fluent in the native language of the author.