The first ever website building tool I came across was Moonfruit SiteMaker Live, way back in 2004.
At the time Moonfruit was great because you could build a flashy looking “flash” based website using simple drag-and-drop.
Over the years I’ve come across and used many similar website building tools like Moonfruit, such as Wix and Divi for WordPress.
These days, however, I enjoy using nothing other than WordPress and a small handful of cool web design and development tools that work harmoniously with WordPress for creating websites.
If you’re an avid WordPress web designer or developer too, below I’ve compiled a list of my current favorite tools, themes, plugins, apps and various Chrome extensions for creating beautiful WordPress websites for my clients.
Chances are you’re already using most of these too, but if you’re not, then you’re in for a real treat, especially if you’re just discovering some of these tools for the first time.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
9 Must-Use Tools For WordPress Web Designers And Developers
#1. Thrive Content Builder (WP Visual Editor)
Thrive Content Builder is currently my number 1 favorite WordPress website building/page builder tool.
Because it makes my job of building beautiful content rich pages in WordPress very easy.
If you haven’t come across this plugin before, you’re in for a real treat.
It doesn’t matter what type of page you want to create in WordPress, be it sales landing pages, pricing pages, an email capture page, course content pages, you name it, you can do it all with the Thrive Content Builder tool.
Thrive Content Builder is a featured-packed drag-and-drop, true WYSIWYG page editor. You can create both custom static pages and custom blog posts with this WordPress plugin.
#2. Thrive Leads
Another favorite tool of mine is Thrive Leads.
Once again I love this particular plugin because it makes my job of building custom email opt-in forms, and configuring email marketing service providers with WordPress really simple.
If you ever get a client requesting for these features to be built into their website, you know just how much work there is involved in manually coding these forms from scratch, right?
Thrive Leads takes all of that nonsense away and lets you –
- Design and deploy opt-in forms quickly
- Create relevant and highly targeted forms with advanced targeting features
- Do A/B split testing
- Generate custom reports and insights, and much more, all without touching a single line of code.
#3. Genesis Theme Framework
I’m pretty sure you’ve come across Genesis Framework at some point or another, it’s probably the most widely used premium quality WordPress themes available.
Whilst there is a steep learning curve with Genesis and StudioPress themes, especially for newbies with no knowledge or experience with HTML or CSS, once you get past that boundary, customizing websites with Genesis is a whole lot of fun.
#4. Dynamik Website Builder (CobaltApps)
If you’re a more advanced user of Genesis and Genesis Child Themes, then you’re going to love using the Dynamaki Website Builder Theme.
I’ve been using this tool for about a year now and I’ve been completely overwhelmed by how powerful it is.
Dynamik takes customizing Genesis child themes to the next level, and you can even install pre-made skins to customize even further, or you can create your own skins and child themes from complete scratch.
Whilst there is a boundary where you need to have some knowledge of HTML, CSS and a little PHP, you really don’t need to be a coding geek or developer of any kind to use Dynamik Website Builder theme. The software comes with plenty of ‘checkbox’ options for you to use to customize your site as well.
I will be providing a detailed review of Dynamik very soon, in the meantime, you can learn more here.
#5. Genesis Extender Plugin
Another remarkable plugin from Cobalt Apps is the EGenesis Extender plugin for Genesis powered WordPress websites.
This tool is very different from Dynamik Website Builder, for starters it’s a plugin and not a theme.
With this plugin installed in your Genesis powered WordPress website, you can customize and tweak the design and style of your entire site very easily and quickly too.
If you’ve ever tried to edit the CSS in a Genesis child theme and then tried to refresh the page each time to see the changes, you’ll know just how time-consuming and frustrating that is.
There’s no waiting around with the Genesis Extender plugin, you edit, save your changes and see the results instantly.
There’s also a custom front-end CSS editor for real-time editing, one of my favorite features on Genesis Extender. Most if not all of the Genesis child themes are supported too.
You can learn more about Genesis Extender here.
#6. Child Themer
Have you heard of the Child Themer plugin?
I only recently added this plugin to my Cobalt Apps toolbox and even though I’ve only been using it for a few weeks, I love it already.
For those code savvy developers looking for a full-blown child theme development tool/environment for WordPress, you’ll love Child Themer by Cobalt Apps.
Child Themer supports Genesis Theme Framework, Beaver Builder, and the latest default WordPress child themes. More are being added as I write this no doubt.
Features include child editor, child creator, front end CSS editor, Ace editor with customizable themes and much more.
You can also create, name, delete folders for your child themes all in the back end of your WordPress dashboard. Check out the screen grab above.
#7. Advanced Custom Fields
Last but not least we get to the ACF plugin (Advanced Custom Fields).
I absolutely love this plugin and it makes my list because it gives developers the power to create custom options in the back end of WordPress, without having to hack into theme files.
More options means more control, right?
You can use ACF to create additional custom field types for your categories for instance, or for your edit pages.
You can learn more about Advanced Custom Fields plugin here.
FileZilla is a popular desktop client that lets you log into your website’s server using your host, username, and password.
Sometimes you may need to create a WordPress installation manually, or if you ever need to upload large files to your, or your client’s WordPress website, I’ve found FileZilla to be very useful for this, though most of the time I don’t really use it.
That being said, it’s still a useful tool to have in your developer toolbox.
#9. Font Playground (Chrome Extension)
Font Playground is a Chrome extension which allows you to, as the title suggests, play around with Google web fonts and preview them before adding them to your, or your client’s website.
There’s another extension called “What Font” which is great for finding out the name of the font a website is using. Both these extensions are huge time savers when working with custom fonts on web design projects.
What’s in your WordPress developer toolbox?
So there you have it, 9 awesome tools to help you with your WordPress website design projects, whether you use them for yourself or your clients I’m sure you’ll love using them as much as I do.
So, what are your favorite development tools? Is there something, in particular, you’re using you think I’ll love checking out?
Is there something, in particular, you’re using you think I’ll love checking out? If so, feel free to send me an email here.