I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your WordPress theme, plugin and hosting needs. Some of these might be obvious to seasoned pros, while others will be fresh and innovative even to them. Here are WordPress resources for beginners as well as the advanced WordPress webmaster. These WordPress tools will help you with finding themes, branding, design, graphics, mailing lists, marketing, customization, hosting, and so much more. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!

WordPress Resources and Tools

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Check out this guide to get started with WordPress: How to Start a Blog with WordPress.org

wordpress hosts

You can host WordPress on any web host with a MySQL database. But in some cases, you might want a dedicated WordPress host. These hosts specialize in managing WordPress for optimal speed, security, and traffic. After all, if you’re planning on getting decent traffic, you’ll want to go with a host who can keep your site loading fast.

Dedicated WP Hosting

  • WPEngine – This host is specifically for website owners running a WordPress site. I can’t recommend it enough, because it is the reason this site, SmashThemes.com, runs so smooth and loads so quickly. This is managed WordPress hosting with superior speed and performance.

Regular Hosting

  • Blue Host WordPress Hosting — Blue Host has a special deal for WordPress users; in fact, it’s the number one recommended host by WordPress.org itself. You can set up unlimited hosting with them for 3.95/month and even get a free domain with it. A good deal. This is a one-click WP installation. This isn’t the same as the dedicated WP hosting above, but they also have a program for that, for a little extra cost. The dedicated option is powered by Virtual Private Server technology.

wp hosting migration services

Hosting Migration Specialists

These are sites that specialize in moving WordPress sites from one host to another. If you’ve ever done this yourself, you know moving your WP database can be quite the cumbersome task. That’s why we recommend giving the task to professionals who can do the work for you and make sure everything on your WordPress install stays functional and running smoothly. After what I went through doing it myself, that’s exactly what I’ll be sure to do next time!

  • Fantasktic – Offers migration packages at different, affordable price points depending on the type of site you need moved.
  • WPMaintainer – Update WP plugins and themes, automatic backups, and free hosting migrations when you need them.

CDN Networks List

A content delivery network is an optional addition to hosting that makes your site run faster, even for people on the other side of the world. This is because it spreads your cached resources to server locations around the globe. This may help your SEO as well.

  • MaxCDN– Probably the most popular CDN service, and for good reason.
  • CloudFlare

wordpress theme sellers

WordPress Theme Sellers

There are talented developers cropping up everywhere. Some of these are theme marketplaces, meaning many developers list their themes for sale, while others are independent companies and designers.


Free WordPress Themes Premium

Customize WordPress Themes Service

WordPress Customization Services

  • WPCurve – 24 hour live support, maintenance and small fixes to WordPress users from $69 per site per month.
  • Engine Themes – This professional, premium theme seller will customize their own themes for clients.

premium wordpress plugins

Plugins. They enhance your site with extra features or functionality. We all love ’em. And I assume we all know where to get them for free — within the WordPress backend, under “Plugins!” That said, there are some spectacularly useful premium plugins out there, and they’re usually inexpensive and superior to freebies.

Favorite Free Plugins

Here are some classic freebies. They cost you nothing but they change everything!

  • Contact Form 7 — The contact form we use. It’s popular because it’s easy!
  • Really Simple Captcha — Get this as a companion to Contact Form 7, to avoid spam getting through. It enhances the Contact Form plugin to include a captcha.
  • WP Minify — This free plugin compresses your JS and CSS to improve your page load and site speed.
  • Yoast WordPress SEO — The standard plugin for optimizing your on-page SEO and getting better Google rankings. It will generate your XML sitemaps for Google, optimize your permalinks and give you live tips on your posts for better search engine optimization. Highly recommended!

graphics fonts stock photos

Stock Photos

  • 123RF — This is where I get my stock photos. Their photos are generally cheaper than other places, but there are some good images in their library. You can buy credits or monthly subscriptions. They’re all good deals.
  • Creative Market — Every design element you can imagine. LOVE this place. Stock photos, beautiful fonts, graphical elements, photoshop effects, and WordPress themes.
  • Might Deals — Amazing graphic design discounts and deals, sometimes up to 85% off.

Design Elements & Fonts

wordpress subscribers mailing lists


  • WPMaintainer – Update WP plugins and themes, automatic backups, and free hosting migrations when you need them.
  • WPEngine – Managed WordPress hosting with superior speed and performance. Includes backups and protection against hack attempts. This is the host we use.

Content Creation for Blogs, Websites, WordPress


Here are a variety of links for help with populating your site or blog with regular, quality content.



  • Infogr.am – Free tool for creating infographics. They will host it?
  • Piktochart – Infographic design agency. They’ll do it for you.

wordpress analytics, page speed, user interaction, heat maps

SEO Tools

  • Ahrefs
  • Moz
  • Google Analytics — The gold standard for analyzing your traffic. Sign up, put the code up on your site (many WordPress themes come with a field for you to paste it into) and off you go.
  • Bounce Exchange – Improve your conversions.

Page Analysis

  • http://www.crazyegg.com/
    • Heatmaps At a glance allow you to see the hotspots on each page – so you know what to change, preserve or delete.
    • Overlays Find a hot spot? Use overlays to see the percentage of visitors clicking something…
    • Scroll Maps See how far your users scroll and where their attention fades or disappears.
    • Confetti It’s not just about what get clicked, but who clicks what. Map traffic sources to behavior!

Site Speed Tools

The first two are websites that will test your site speed. The others are plugins that I recommend for optimizing your WordPress site speed. You can read my article about improving WordPress site speed in the blog.

  • Pingdom – Just enter your site’s URL and measure your site speed.
  • WebPageTest.org – Measures first byte time, compress transfer (Gzipping), Compress images, Progressive jpgs, cache static content, CDN.
  • W3Total Cache – The only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework; designed to improve user experience and page speed. Recommended by web hosts like: Page.ly, Synthesis, DreamHost, MediaTemple, Go Daddy, Host Gator and countless more.

best wordpress themes lists

Business Name Ideas for Startup or Blog

It’s tough out there. You need to stand out.

  • BrandBucket
  • Namerific
  • Sedo — Sedo is the top domain marketplace for buying and selling domain names. If you can’t hand-register a domain name you like (i.e., you type it into GoDaddy or another registrar and it’s taken), check here. Many registered domains are for sale for reasonable prices.