To give you full disclosure here’s a list of services that I recommend:
I highly recommend NameHero because they make my life easier. It took years for me to find a web host that I could trust. I have personally used over 14 different web hosts since I started online back in 1998. There have been some real horror stories! I first began using NameHero back in May 2016, when the VPS that I was currently using with another hosting provider didn’t perform as expected and the technical support from the other hosting provider was unhelpful to say the least. Transferring my sites to NameHero was a breeze, plus their price was a third of what I’d been paying. The real clincher for me was their technical support. They want to answer questions and want to help, rather than the typical response from many hosting providers that is to give a canned message and then close the support case.
Kinsta was one that I came across for clients that were looking for hosting that was fast and UK based. I found UK hosting to be a big grey area. Especially when I found out that one hosting company who’s main offering was web hosting in the UK, actually had their closest servers based in Amsterdam! Kinsta offered the UK as an option as well as 16 other major locations across the globe, all thanks to the Google Cloud Platform. On further investigation their speed obsessed architecture and rigorous security made them a great choice for growing websites and ecommerce solutions.
Over the years I’ve used WP Engine many times with client sites. They’ve been involved in managed WordPress solutions for almost a decade now and during that time have rapidly grown to be a major name in managed WordPress hosting. If I was choosing a managed host purely on performance I’d personally go for Kinsta, for some of the reasons why take a look here. I’m recommending WP Engine because of the added value that WP Engine now brings following their recent acquisition of StudioPress, the creators of the Genesis Framework. With their hosting they now offer the Genesis Framework and 35+ themes for free. Which is great value considering that you would have previously had to shell out several hundred just for the Genesis FrameWork and a couple of premium themes.
Divi by Elegant Themes first launched at the back end of 2013. Since then it has constantly been developed, with the real game changer coming in the form of Divi 3.0 back in 2016. It was then that Divi really caught my attention. It gave me a platform that sped up the whole process of creating a website, while still giving me the control to handle even the smallest of details. This is really important when building websites that are usable across multiple devices. Over half a million people use Divi! The main initial draw is their in-built layout options. These are pre-made pages that you can then use as a base to develop your website. They’re great for ideas. Divi comes complete with a large base of layouts with new ones added each week.
I came across the Genesis Framework back in 2012 when I was looking for a solid foundation to start to build from. It was the concept of the Genesis Framework that caught my eye. This is often expressed with their car analogy. WordPress is the engine that powers your car. Genesis is the frame and the body. The theme that then sits on top of this is the flashy paint job. The flashy paint job or Genesis Child Themes as they’re called were a great base to build from. This in turn led to creating bespoke themes for clients. Over the years I’ve been asked to provide assistance on many websites that have been created using the Genesis Framework. Genesis and Divi are my two main ways of building for WordPress. I’ve tried many others but have always come back to these two.
When you’re involved in building and making changes to websites you inevitably have people who contact you just to pick your brains. These are usually people who don’t want to hire you, they want to roll up their sleeves and have a go themselves. I can understand this as we all have to start somewhere. To try to help people that were asking me questions I took a look around at training resources for WordPress. Anyone can Google for help, but a lot of information is locked away behind paywalls. I found SkillShare to be an affordable way for those on a budget to find out more, especially when they give you a month of free access to over 23,000 classes covering a multitude of subjects from the basics of WordPress into programming.
Malware can be a big threat to WordPress websites with prevention being the best remedy rather than having to then go through the panic of finding a cure for the removal of malware. I used to provide malware removal as a service but I prefer to spend my time creating and modifying websites rather than cleaning up infections. For this reason I now recommend Sucuri as an option for people who need malware removed or are looking for that extra level of protection. I’ve run sites that utilised Sucuri’s WAF – Web Application Firewall. You’d be amazed at the random number of attempts that are made to WordPress websites on a daily basis.
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All the best,