Recommended Tools & Service Providers

As WordPress experts, it is our job to use countless tools and services on our own site and on our client sites. We have used hundreds of plugins, third-party tools, and service providers. Some are great, many are not. The recommendations on this page are for tools and services that we have extensively used and stand behind. Throughout our blog, we cover many of these individually, but are providing this page to compile our recommendations in one convenient place.

Hosting

SiteGround

If speed, security, and support are of primary concern, SiteGround is the host for you! They provide the very best in managed WordPress hosting – you cannot go wrong with SiteGround. The support cannot be beat; they never overbook servers, and they have fantastic security measures in place to protect your site from hackers and malware. Learn more at SiteGround >

fast wordpress hostingA2 Hosting

A2 offers the fastest solid state drive hosting plans at the lowest prices available. Their servers are configured for WordPress; their hosting plans offer free CloudFlare CDN, automatic hack/intrusion monitoring, and lots of additional features most standard hosting accounts don’t offer. Prices for Prime hosting plus SSD start at just over $7 a month. Learn more at A2 Hosting >

Bluehost shared hostingBluehost

For starter websites and smaller business and organization websites, Bluehost is a very popular host for WordPress websites. We have used Bluehost ourselves, and for a number of our client sites, for many years. In fact, the Webscaper site and our dev servers are hosted with Bluehost. For the price (introductory pricing as low as $4.95/month), Bluehost is the most affordable and reliable shared WordPress host available. Learn more at Bluehost >

Backup & Security

BackupBuddyBackupBuddy

We can’t recommend BackupBuddy enough. Backups are essential if you hope to restore your site after an unexpected catastrophe (and they do happen). Manual backups are tedious, require that you remember to perform them, and still require advanced knowledge and time to restore a site. BackupBuddy is made for performing automatic, scheduled backups, and their backups are bundled in such a way that sites can be restored (or even moved to a new server) in just minutes. We strongly recommend all of our client websites have BackupBuddy. Learn more at BackupBuddy >

Sucuri SecuritySucuri

Website security is a concern that any site owner has. With WordPress, keeping your WordPress software updated is the first step to preventing malware and intrusion. But nothing can guarantee that your site will never be compromised (especially on shared hosting servers). Sucuri provides website monitoring and alerts you to any suspicious activity on your website, so you can immedately take steps to remedy the issue. The most valuable feature of Sucuri is their malware removal service; if your site is infected, Sucuri will fully clean and restore the site at no additional cost. Learn more at Sucuri >

Email Marketing

AWeberAWeber

We have found Aweber to be a solid choice for professional email marketing programs. They have excellent customer service, many pre-designed templates to choose from, and solid adherence to anti-spam laws which means their deliverability rates are among the best in the industry (99% and above).  Learn more at AWeber >

MailChimpMailChimp

We love MailChimp. We’ve been using MailChimp from the beginning and even after having used numerous other email marketing systems with clients over the years, we choose to stay with MailChimp and love to see how they’re growing. MailChimp used to be seen as the less professional among the major email marketing providers, but in the past couple of years has completely risen above that stigma and proven themselves to be a solid, competitive choice. We recommend them because they are the easiest provider to use, with the most intuitive user interface. They have excellent templates to choose from, and flexibility in creating your own design. And most appealing to many of our startup and non-profit clients: a MailChimp account is FREE until you hit your first 200 subscribers. After that, rates are pretty similar among providers… but by then we’re sure you will love MailChimp so much you won’t want to consider switching. Learn more at MailChimp >