Using the right tools is always essential to get things done efficiently. As a website dedicated to empowering people by teaching website skills, I think it will be helpful if I share the details of the tools I use to run this website. Also, I recommend only the products that I believe will be truly beneficial for my readers.
Hosting & Content Delivery
I have been using DigitalOcean for more than a year. Even their smallest $5 VPS is way more reliable than most of the shared hosts out there.
I prefer cloud VPS hosting over shared hosting any day. It can be challenging to manage directly, but there are lots of control panels out there to ease it.
As a managed Cloud Hosting platform, Cloudways is another way to host your site on DigitalOcean, Vultr, AWS, or others.
While it is a bit more expensive than starter shared hosting plans, using a cloud platform eventually gives more freedom and room for growth
While there are enterprise-level solutions like Cloudfront, I think they are an overkill for most blogs. That’s why I recommend BunnyCDN, and that’s what I use here as well.
Their bandwidth costs are one of the lowest, and performance is on par with the big contenders also.
Themes & Page Builders
As a person who has an aversion towards code bloat, I never liked heavy and feature-packed WordPress themes. They make optimization difficult.
In the beginning, I even created a theme based on Underscores for myself to use on personal projects.
That’s when I came across Astra. The core theme was just under 50Kb, but still, it offers lots of customizations and integrates well with page builders.
After Astra, another theme I quite like is GeneratePress. The reason is its focus on minimalism.
The core theme is less than 30KB and is lighter than Astra.
So, whenever you want to build a fast loading site, GeneratePress can give a perfect base for that.
The page you’re viewing right now is built with Elementor. Whenever I want to create complex layouts without writing code, Elementor is my go-to choice. It pairs well with most of the themes like Astra and GeneratePress.
Unlike other page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor’s free version includes lots of elements like buttons and icon lists. That’s why I prefer it when the default WordPress editor feels inadequate.
W3 Total Cache
When it comes to caching, I don’t think there is another free plugin that can rival W3 Total Cache. There are also some premium solution. But W3TC’s wide range of features is more than enough for most websites.
ShortPixel helps to compress all my images as I upload them into the WordPress Media Library, in addition to WebP support. They offer image credits as one-time plans, which is quite cost-effective.
Yoast is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin available today. Here I am using its free version, which helps set up many things, including title, meta description, schema, and so on.