Resources and Tools of The Trade

I’ve used all of the products I list on this page, found them useful and believe the product I got was more than worth the price I paid.

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. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

StudioPress themes and the Genesis Framework

The industry Standard for WordPress Themes
The industry Standard for WordPress Themes

The internet is awash with free themes. Some of these are perfectly OK for a starter website. But for a business website, I highly recommend using a premium theme that you can rely on.

I’ve used StudioPress themes and the Genesis Framework for several years and I recommend them without reservation. For freelancers and agencies the Genesis Pro Pack is an especially good deal.

StudioPress Hosting is now owned by WP Engine

WPengine is premium hosting for sites with serious traffic. You can find out more about WP Engine in the link below.

High Quality Hosting

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Get Beaver Builder Now!
Beaver Builder is a highly respected page layout builder that can save you hours of work. If you want to build your own home page or landing pages this could be just what you need. Beaver Builder is especially useful for sites that use the old classic editor.

Generate Press

Generate Press DIY web design theme and plugin
Generate Press DIY web design theme and plugin

If you design small business websites on a tight budget, Generate Press is a must have tool in your armoury. It’s light weight, simple, powerful and has great support. It also integrates seamlessly with Beaver Builder.

SiteGround web hosting…

The WordPress Hosting I use
The WordPress Hosting I use

Some hosts stand out as offering a great product at a great price. My current hosting is a SiteGround GoGeek plan. I got a three year deal at half price. I don’t know of any other host offering such a good deal. I’ve used many web hosts over the years. So I have hands on experience of the main hosting companies. I’m more than happy to recommend SiteGround.

Backup Buddy

BackupBuddy, the WordPress Backup Plugin I use
BackupBuddy, the WordPress Backup Plugin I use

iThemes Homepage
As your site begins to grow you need a reliable way to back up, test and restore your site’s content in case of an emergency. Backup Buddy does all of this and more. Backup Buddy has a well deserved good reputation in the industry. I also regularly use Backup Buddy to set up a copy of a live website on a local host server. I can then make all kinds of changes to the test site, without worrying about breaking anything.

Camtasia Studio Screen Recorder

Camtasia the Screen-casting Software I use
Camtasia the Screen-casting Software I use

With Camtasia Studio you can easily clean up your screen casts. I make usable videos from so-so recordings.

This wasn’t always the case. I struggled for a long time using a free screen recorder. Then I bought some video editing software that could also make screen-casts.

I wish I’d bought Camtasia Studio years ago. Like all software, Camtasia takes time to learn. But if you make regular screen recordings you’ll soon wonder how you managed without it. Cutting out ums and ahs becomes easy. And the Camtasia Studio for Windows, which is the version that I use, has a whole host of other useful tools.

If making screen-casts is going to be a big part of your day to day workload, I highly recommend Camtasia Studio for Windows. If you just make an occasional short recording, stick to the free stuff.

Dynamik Website Builder

You can build your own Genesis Child Themes with Dynamik Website Builder
You can build your own Genesis Child Themes with Dynamik Website Builder

If you’d like to build your own theme but don’t want to spend months learning several different programming languages. Dynamik Website Builder could be just what you need.

Almost any design you or your clients demand can be made using Dynamik. And, Dynamik can output independent child themes for the Genesis Framework. Which really adds value to Dynamik and your skill in using it.

You will NOT learn how to use Dynamik to it’s full potential in one day. But if you’ve got the enthusiasm and commitment to learn a seriously powerful piece of software, get Dynamik. You’ll really be able to take control of the look of your site.

Genesis Extender

Tweak your own code with Genesis Extender Plugin
Tweak your own code with Genesis Extender Plugin

Genesis Extender makes adding new widget areas and hook boxes much easier. You can also tweak the CSS of Genesis child themes using Genesis Extender.

I think of Genesis Extender as the code editor from Dynamik Website builder, bundled as a plugin that you can install in any Genesis Child Theme.

Dynamik or Extender?
Choose Dynamik if you want to build Genesis Child Themes from scratch.
Choose Extender if you want to tweak a Genesis Child Theme that you bought from a designer or agency such as StudioPress.

Invest in your skills and your future
Teach yourself SEO, code, user experience, photography and graphic design. If you build websites there’s an almost limitless number of things to learn. Lynda.com has 4,426 courses and 171,741 video tutorials. If I want to learn any new skills Lynda.com is always my first choice.

Lynda.com

More to come!

That’s all for now folks, but come back soon. I plan on adding a section about the web hosts I’ve used and recommend for brand new WordPress sites.

P.S. If you’ve bought any products through my affiliate links, thank you. It’s much appreciated.