I work mostly with .NET on my daily job. But my personal websites and if I help a friend set up a website I mostly use WordPress. Why? Because it’s free, popular (meaning that there’s a ton of good tools and plugins available) and you get it up and running very fast. So this blog post will be about some of the tools I use and a short presentation of my WordPress workflow.
My WordPress workflow
To get an effective workflow when using WordPress (especially when you run more than one site) it’s crucial to use the right tools for the job. The tools below are the things I use and think is the best option currently. There are a lot of great tools, plugins, and themes for WordPress so it’s impossible to cover everything. It’s also important to find the tools that work the best for you. What works for me might not be the right choice for you.
There’s a lot of themes, both free themes and premium themes that cost a fortune. The theme you chose is one of the most important steps in your overall WordPress workflow. You can buy a complete premium theme, create one from scratch or choose a starter theme. The theme I use the most (on my personal site for example) is called Astra.
- Transparent Header
- Sticky Header
- Advanced Footer
- Color & Typography Options
- Custom Header & Footer
- White Label
The last and most expensive, option they have is called Astra Agency. The price for Astra Agency is $249/year. That might sound much, but it’s mostly for web agencies or WordPress freelancers. The difference is some unique plugins and also a thing called Astra Premium Sites,
- Astra Pro Addon
- Astra Premium Sites
- Convert Pro
- All-in-one Schema Pro
- Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder
- Addon for Elementor (Coming January 2018)
- Our Future Plugins
If you hurry up you can buy Astra Pro and Astra Agency as a Lifetime deal. Meaning you only pay for it once and can use it forever. So you don’t have to worry about paying each year. This option will go away soon, so it might already be gone when you read this. To find the lifetime deal, simply visit Astras website and click on pricing. If to see a toggle between annual and lifetime, the lifetime deal is still available.
The theme Astra I wrote about above is built for almost every page builders (at least every popular page builder), Beaver Builder, Elemenator, Divi, and Visual Composer. You can use Astra without any page builder also, but a good page builder speeds up the development in my opinion.
I use both Beaver Builder and Elemenator. I think they are both good choices. They both have a free version and also a paid version. I use the paid version of both. The main reason I prefer Beaver Builder and Elemenator over the other are that I feel I have much more control of the output. Also, one important thing is that they don’t use shortcodes which prevents that you get “locked in”.
So I think you should try both Beaver Builder and Elemenator and pick the one that you feel most comfortable with.
If I had to choose only one page-builder, it would be Elementor. The reason is that I think that the team behind Elementor have a great momentum at the moment and releases a lot of cool features. Also, I think it’s a bit easier to get started with.
Most hosting companies offer backups, even the cheap shared hosting companies. Most of the times they work great. But what if your hosting company gets hacked (yes it has happened) and they have to try to restore every website. It can take days or even longer before you have your website up and running again.
Therefore I think it’s crucial that you have an own backup of your site to have a complete WordPress workflow. My choice is a plugin called Updraft Plus. They offer both a free option and a paid product called Updraft Plus Premium. With the premium version, you get a lot of extra stuff. So if you run a lot of WordPress site I think the premium version is a good investment.
With the premium version, you get a lot of very useful add-ons. Go check it out!
The last thing I’m gonna mention in this blog post about my WordPress workflow is security. First of all, it’s very important to keep both plugins, themes, and WordPress up to date. WordPress is installed on extremely many websites around the world. And therefore it’s very popular to try to find security holes and also to try brute force hacks to get access to WordPress admin.
Therefore I strongly advise installing a security plugin. To me, it should be a trusted security plugin that is maintained by a company with good reputation. Some of the best knows are Sucuri, Wordfence, and iThemes Security. They are all good. It’s more or less a personal choice which one you prefer.
I’ve chosen iThemes Security. It’s available in both a free version and a paid version. I use the free version. It has all the important things in my opinion that a good security plugin should have. Some examples, block specific IP’s, it’s connected to a network with known hackers, you can block a user that tries to brute-force attack your site and much more. So what are you waiting for? If you don’t have a security plugin installed, install one now! Only by installing one of the examples I gave you, you’re probably safer than 90% of all WordPress installations in the world. But don’t forget to keep themes, plugins, and WordPress up to date as well.
I really hope you found this blog post useful. If you did, please let me know in the comments below. If you disagree with something, please write that as well. I think that the most important thing is that you find a WordPress workflow and the right tools for you. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many people that call them self-web developers don’t have a clue about things I mentioned in this blog post. They think they are a web developer simply by being able to install a ready-made template. Nothing could be more wrong.
Do you think I can help you? Contact me!
Disclaimer: Some of the links is so-called affiliate links, meaning that I get a small percentage if you decide to buy the product. Everything that I write is my own thoughts. I don’t get paid to write anything. I have used every product I recommend and I give you my honest opinion.