If you are choosing to use WordPress to bring your idea to the world, you’re in the right place. LMYU uses WordPress too and I have decades of web development experience.
Below you’ll find my experiences and expertise to help you make the most of WordPress. These posts are adapted from a previous site I created called WordPress Guinea Pig (I closed it to focus on LMYU).
Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.
First, I recommend you find a great managed WordPress host. This will free you from worrying about updates and the inner-working of how web hosting works.
Of the fantastic hosts out there, if you have a bit of technical know-how, I highly recommend Closte. It’s insanely fast and has proven reliable for my needs. But there is a lot more hands-on work with them so you might want another host if you don’t want anything to do with the technical side.
Efficient, Lightweight Plugins
There are a few plugins I always install on almost every site I create using WordPress. When I choose plugins I’m always looking for ones that fulfill what I need them to do without adding bloat to my site.
Just Enough SEO
For SEO purposes I enjoy SlimSEO. It’s ultra-lightweight, does just what you actually need an SEO plugin to do, and it’s free (there is a pro version coming soon).
The Bing URL Submissions plugin will automate the submission of your posts to Bing. I know, Bing doesn’t bring much traffic, but it’s free and easy to setup.
Best Caching & Performance Plugins
For performance there are a few plugins I use. Litespeed Cache is on every site I run because I use Closte hosting — it runs off the Litespeed web server. Litespeed Cache was created by the team who created Litespeed web server. It just makes sense to use it (plus is is perfect).
If you don’t use a host with Litespeed web server, then Swift Performance will be a great option for you.
I also always install Perfmatters. It gives you the ability to remove the extra stuff from WordPress you probably don’t need. But better yet, it lets you selectively choose what will, and will not, load per page. A must-have if you want peak performance.
If you choose to use Google Analytics in your site, use the Flying Analytic plugin to add the code to your site in the most efficient way possible. It’ll save some load time for you.
The Best Theme & Blocks
There is only one theme I use for everything. GeneratePress. Especially with the latest version, it’s fast, flexible, and you’ll find the price is very friendly too. It’s created by Tom Usborne, who also supports the product and gives great advice.
With full site editing looming, there may be less and less of a reason to purchase dedicated themes — another reason to use a great foundation like GeneratePress.
Another product by Tom, GenerateBlocks, is the only block library I use too. It has a series of foundational blocks you can use to build a wide variety of layouts and styles. Get GenerateBlocks Pro to a great deal of design and time-saving features. I really like the “local templates” feature.
Using WordPress to accept payments means you could use a variety of methods. But there is one in particular I really like if you’re seeking to sell digital products.
I meant, one-time purchase digital products like ebooks. You’ll want to use Paddle. It has a great checkout experience, handles global sales tax laws, and even remits taxes for you. It will even deliver the product for you.
You simply get to sell.
Only problem is it can be a little bit technical to implements. So you might want to use something like Easy Digital Downloads, or WooCommerce for your sales.
If you’re looking to start a membership site I recommend using Restrict Content Pro. It’s fast, flexible, and doesn’t try to add a bunch of features you’ll never actually use.
WordPress Forms & CRM
When you want to accept submissions from potential clients, like I use here on LMYU, I recommend FluentForms. It’s smooth, easy to use, and has a great variety of features.
Most notably, it directly integrates with FluentCRM, another product by the same company — which will give you email automation capabilities if you need it — extensive email marketing tools.
The great thing about FluentCRM too is you own the whole process from your site. You don’t need services like MailChimp, ConvertKit, or ActiveCampaign.
One thing you will always want to be sure of are backups. It would be terrible if you were nearly done with your idea, about to launch, and then something happened and all your work was lost.
If you use one of the managed WordPress hosts I described above you’ll likely be fine. They have host based backups for you. But you’ll want to consider everything to make sure your data is safe — especially before making changes to your site.
Speeding up your WordPress site.
When your idea is out there in front of potential customers your site performance is important. Here are some actionable web performance things to consider.
First you’ll want to test the performance of your site. Then constantly be testing it as you make changes.
You’ll want to defer as much as you can after you’ve made the site as lean as you can.
More to come.
WordPress has a massive variety of options you can use to create your idea. Over time I’ll add more to this guide to help you with the more technical side of getting what you want from WordPress.