WordPress Developer Toolkit

Having worked as WordPress Developer for more than 7 years, I have sets of tools and plugins that I stick with. Whether it’s design, or development or SEO I have a predefined process I go through. Let me share them in these blogs.

SEO website design

I will try to keep the blog relatively short and focus on my arsenal rather than making it too long. This is the same process I go with almost every design and development project.

TLDR

  1. Data driven wordpress web design
  2. Custom WordPress theme
  3. Solid host
  4. ACF PRO, iTheme Security, WP ROcket, LiteSpeed Cache, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7
  5. Unsplash and Adobe Stock
  6. PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools

WordPress web design

WordPress web design is of course the first step of any project. I do include content research before I start designing if the client is focused on SEO. This is the key part of a successful website in SEO rankings.

At the moment, I am using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Along with that I am also using Figma. I am leaning towards Figma for WordPress web design at the moment.

WordPress Development

With WordPress Development, I build everything custom.

I strongly believe a custom built WordPress theme helps in SEO Optimization, as they are lightweight, fast, user friendly and so on.

I do use ACF Pro, as part of my WordPress development process.

SEO Optimization

Data driven website with custom WordPress theme, covers more than 30% percent easily as part of my SEO Optimization.

This added with Content research, hierarchy, and website architecture is the core of SEO. Which will cover both On-Page SEO and Technical SEO.

With the plugins, I am still loyal towards Yoast. It works for me as I built custom themes, and I am well equipped with adding things like schema, json etc as needed.

Website Hosting

WordPress Web hosting is one of the critical parts of website success.

A good WordPress web hosting brings following advantages:

Superior speed in loading which contributes to good user experience, PageInsight scores and loading speeds
Various security features
Awesome support
GOod backup strategies

As Sydney based WordPress Developer, I stick with VentraIP as they have all features above align with all servers hosted with Australian IP, which is one of the key features of local seo.

WordPress Security

Along with the solid WordPress web hosting, I do take extra care for WordPress security.

First and foremost, I make sure that I code within WordPress’s best practices for both frontend and backend.

Secondly, I make sure all my plugins along with WordPress are up to date.

My plugin of recommendation for WordPress security is iTheme.

WordPress Forms

It took me a while to move from Contact Form 7 to Gravity Forms.

Since I moved to Gravity Forms, I have never looked back. But Contact Form 7 is awesome too, and most importantly free too. For simple contact forms, I might still use Contact Form 7 if I didn't have a Gravity Forms license.

Images

Images are the elements that make website design pop.

If you are taking User Experience and website design seriously, having good images is critical.

For free images I use Unsplash and for stock images I use Adobe Stock.

Website Optimization

Website optimization is a critical part of any website, whether it's for User Experience or SEO. Fast loading website serves both purposes.

So how do I optimize my website? Here are some of the crucial steps:

  1. I design with optimization in mind. Yes, well thought design loads fast as well as score great in
  2. PageSpeed Insights
  3. Custom WordPress themes and carefully selected plugin
  4. Solid WordPress web hosting
  5. WP Rocket if client can afford or LiteSpeed Cache

Website Testing

Website testing before launch for SEO and Speed is important part of my process.

Various tools i use for testing include:

  1. PageSpeed Insights - https://pagespeed.web.dev/
  2. Pingdom Tool - https://tools.pingdom.com/
  3. Schema Validator - https://validator.schema.org/
  4. Rich snippets testing tools - https://search.google.com/test/rich-results

About Author

Robin Thebe

Digital Strategist based in Sydney.

I am multi disciplined web developer based in Sydney focusing around WordPress web design, wordpress development, SEO, SEM and Email Marketing.