On it’s own, WordPress is the business. In fact I can’t think of a good enough reason why any business or individual would want to use anything else other than WordPress to build their website with, and create an epic online brand.
WordPress currently powers over 25% of all websites on the internet. That’s some crazy stats right?WordPress currently powers over 25% of all websites on the internet.Click To Tweet
The great thing about WordPress is that you don’t need to be savvy to use it. Anyone in fact can get to grips with this platform, literally within a few hours of starting to use it.
Yes, WordPress is an open source platform, but seriously you don’t need to be a designer or experienced developer to make the most of it, or any of the the thousands upon thousands of tools, services, endless themes and plugins available on the market today, that makes WordPress truly versatile.
Whether you’re a blogger, small business owner, solopreneur, whoever, if your site is built on WordPress, you’re going to enjoy reading through this resource post.
Without wasting anymore of your precious time here, I give you 40+ awesome WordPress design and development tools. Including apps, services and various online technologies for savvy and none-savvy bloggers out there.
Just to mention quickly, I’ve outlined some tools and services below that aren’t directly related to WordPress, but are certainly extensions of using WordPress. For instance I mention tools for editing photos, so that you can make them look good on your WordPress site, etc.
OK so enough ranting from me, let’s roll with this.
Domain Name And Web Hosting
Every single WordPress website project starts with two critical things, a unique domain name and some reliable web hosting.
1. Siteground Web Hosting – What ever WordPress development project you’re creating, whether it’s for yourself or for one of your clients, you won’t go too wrong with SiteGround, for reliable domain names and quality hosting. There are plenty of others out there to choose from of course, if you’d like to get more information on what’s available and what to choose from, check out my web hosting guide for bloggers here.
Browser Tools, Apps And Extensions
Now here’s a list of useful, and some of my personal favourite Chrome extensions and browser tools, to help you with your WordPress management and development. I apologise now if you use any other browser other than Google Chrome.
2. WordPress Style Editor – A very useful Chrome extension which will allow you to save any CSS changes you make using Chrome developer tools, directly to your WordPress stylesheet. This extension has been one of my favourites for some time now, and a huge time saver for both client and personal projects that I’ve worked on in the past.
3. WordPress Admin Bar Control – A simple Chrome extension to view and hide the admin bar control from your browser. Useful when you want to access the admin bar from the front end, and hide it again without having to change the settings inside of your WordPress profile.
4. WordPress Site Manager (Chrome ext)
5. Web Developer Checklist – A useful little checklist extension for Chrome that analyses website SEO, mobile, usability, accessibility, environment integration and performance.
6. CSS Shack (Chrome ext)
7. Color picker And Converter – Save a ton of time with this simple but useful colour picker app. Great for finding colour values from websites and pages and converting them into HEX, RGBa or HSLa.
8. WhatFont – This is another favourite Chrome extension of mine. Have you ever stumbled upon a website that was using a particular style of font that you loved the look of, and wondered what it was? This tool will tell you. See image below.
Online Design And Development Tools And Services
When it comes to design, having the right tools and online services available at your fingertips will save you a heap of time right? Here are some of my favourite creative tools and services, that you might find useful too, to help you with the design aspect of any WordPress project.
9. Pingdom Website Speed Test Tool – A free reliable website page speed / loading test and page insights tool.
10. Google PageSpeed Insight Score Tool – My personal favourite tool for testing website or page speed. Provides information with tips and advisories on where to make improvements on your site, so to improve overall site performance. Also tests and provides a score on how your site appears and performs on mobile devices.
Read this post: How to improve your page speed insight score
11. Google Webmaster Tools – Must-use set of tools to help you monitor the health of your WordPress blog.
12. Font Squirrel Webfont Generator – Useful for generating web friendly fonts to upload to your WordPress site. Works well with Thrive Themes Custom Fonts.
13. Pixlr – Powerful and free collection of photo editing applications for iOS and Android. Theres also a desktop editor available.
14. Photoscape (Mac & Windows) – Super simple, feature rich desktop photo editing tool, complete with filters, fonts, shapes, brushes, effects and more.
There is a free version, and a premium version of this desktop software. The premium version opens up more tools and creative possibilities, with many more filters and design elements to use.
15. TinyPNG – An extremely useful online tool for compressing and shrinking PNG and JPG files, before uploading them to your WordPress site. Optimising your images of course will save you a lot of space over time, and help to reduce page load time for your visitors.
Every single image and screen capture in this post, has been compressed and optimised using TinyPNG.
16. Affinity Designer (Mac & Soon Windows) – An award winning fully professional graphic design suite for serious visual designers. Probably the most affordable graphic design suite on the market today as well.
17. Affinity Photo (Mac & Soon Windows) – Beastly professional photo editing software to rival some of the best in the business, including Adobe’s Photoshop, but at the fraction of the price!
18. Macaw – Whilst you can’t actually use this tool to export projects to WordPress, it’s great for creating wire frame website design templates, before finalising and moving your design concept to a different platform.
Expert recommendation: “To create my online brand, I use several different things to help me.
1. An image template I created using the simple program Paint. (This is pre-installed on most computers and is free!) I then use Canva and/or Pixlr Express to create images for my blog posts, and place my business/site’s name in the bottom right-hand corner.
2. My business logo, which I paid a designer for. (Thanks, Fabrizio!)
3. Trello, which I only recently started using. I know a lot of freelancers who use this to organize their tasks and projects. Because of their recommendations, I decided to check it out. I’m very organized already, however, so I’m not sure I’m a fan yet! ;)” – Lorraine Reguly, WordingWell.com
Project Management And Development Tools
Now here’s some of my favourite project management and web development tools, for both Mac and Windows environment, as well as online tools and mobile apps.
19. CodeAnywhere.com – Powerful cross-platform cloud integrated development environment (IDE) with many features. Web, Android or iOS application available.
20. Quiver (Mac App) – Very useful application for organised programmers as well as bloggers working with code and text. Quiver let’s you create and mix text, code, markdown together in a notebook. Great ACE code editor with syntax highlighting support built in.
21. Notepad++ (Windows) – A popular free source code editor for Windows users, supporting many languages.
22. Atom (Mac App) – My personal favourite and current open source text/code editor application for the Mac, that’s completely hackable. These days I use nothing else but Atom and Quiver to write and archive custom code for website projects.
23. Bablic.com – Website content language translation tool.
24. Color Picker (Mac App) – A very useful application for identifying and saving HEX and RGB colour codes to use in web projects. Very easy to use, drag-and-drop on any part of your screen. Drag-and-drop colours into the palette to save for later.
Themes, Visual Editors, Frameworks & Plugins
Now we get down ‘n’ dirty with some truly awesome, and again some personal favourite WordPress themes, plugins and front-end visual design tools and editors.
25. Thrive Content Builder (Plugin) – The best and true WYSIWYG visual editor plugin for WordPress… Enough said.
Seriously, TCB lets you create visually stunning custom posts, pages in WordPress without needing to write lots of boring code. Comes with tons of built in features, design and functional elements including landing page templates, homepage templates and more from the template cloud.
26. Thrive Themes – Easily customisable, conversion focused premium quality WordPress themes for any WordPress web project. I’m currently using the Rise theme by Thrive Themes, with my own customisation.
27. Genesis Theme Framework – StudioPress have created a powerful theme framework, plus many professional child themes to work with WordPress CMS. Genesis is very popular amongst bloggers and small businesses.
28. Genesis Design Palette Pro (Plugin) – The GDP is a simple plugin with simple built in design features to help you customise any Genesis child theme, without having to touch a single line of code.
29. Dynamik Website Builder (Plugin) – DWB is a powerful WordPress plugin designed to help you create custom child themes for Genesis Theme Framework, with little or zero coding involved.
This is a plugin like no other, with many built-in features and options, including the ability to export your child themes to install into other websites running WordPress and Genesis Framework. A favourite amongst many front-end web designers, developers and bloggers.
30. Headway Themes – The original and powerful drag-and-drop WordPress theme builder since 2009. A great pleasure to work with without having to mess around with code. The developer license comes with a number of free templates.
31. Theme Check (Plugin) – A must have tool for all theme developers, to test and check themes and ensure they meet the current and latest WordPress standards.
32. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler – An awesome plugin that will help you to keep track on the performance of each plugin you have installed on your WordPress site. Great if you’re trying to optimise your site and achieve faster page load for your web projects.
Expert recommendation: “The three tools I love to use to create my online brand are: Visual Composer Page Builder, Page Builder by Site Origin and JetPack.” – Phil V Ariel pvariel.com
Other Useful Tools, Services, Apps, Reference Guides & Resources
Here is a collection of other useful tools, reference guides, resources that I’ve not already mentioned. These include free stock image libraries, colour pickers, reference guides for developers, reference resources and various other development tools.
33. MAMP and MAMP Pro – For those Mac-based bloggers and developers wanting to create a WordPress installation locally on their computer for development projects. MAMP is free and there’s also a MAMP Pro version that gives you an unlimited number of virtual hosts and more.
34. WampServer – For those Windows-based bloggers and developers wanting to create a local WordPress install on their machine, to work on development projects.
35. WordPress Codex – The bible for WordPress users and developers.
36. Pixabay – Great site for finding hundreds of thousands of free quality images and vectors to use in your personal and/or client web design projects, templates and landing pages. You can also contribute by uploading your own quality images to share with others. Check out some of mine here.
37. GitHub – A massive online filing system for developers to network and share projects, amongst many other great things.
38. Iconsflow – Need some icons for your web or application project? Check out Iconsflow. There’s a free plan waiting for you, or some very affordable plans if you want to create many more icon sets.
39. Freepik – The one-stop online portal for all your graphic resources, vectors, PSD files, icons, photos and more.
41. Flat UI Colours – An online reference portfolio of stunning flat design UI colours, complete with HEX and RGBa colour codes for you to use.
42. Death To The Stock Photo – Subscribe to this website and you’ll get free quality images sent to your inbox each month.
43. Dafont – A great place for finding cool free and commercial license fonts for use in your WordPress web design and development projects.
Yes, that’s my awesome, epic, thunder of God, supreme list of WordPress design and development tools I think every savvy blogger should use or try at least once! However, there will be more added to this list in the future, or I may create another post and call it part 2, just so that I don’t look like some kind of link farm to Google!
Anyway, make sure you bookmark this page for the future OK? Or feel free to subscribe to my email newsletter for updates here! You’ll get instant access to a ton of awesome exclusive content and goodies if you do.
For now though, enjoy.
P.s. If you know of any other tool or valuable resource that deserves a spot on this list, do feel free to mention them in the comment section below.
Hey Fabrizio here, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this awesome resource post! If you did, and would like to thank me in a small way, I love coffee, so feel free to buy me one here. If you didn’t enjoy the post, and you don’t think I deserve a cup of coffee, that’s cool, I’ll try harder next time.