These are some of the best resources for learning WordPress and taking your WordPress-powered website to the next level. We only recommend products and services with whom we’ve had personal experience, so we can vouch for the integrity, support, and “best of class” quality of the following WordPress tools.

WordPress Hosting Companies

While you can find plenty of cheap hosting these days, you’ll get exactly what you pay for! The companies we recommend below specialize in hosting WordPress sites, and offer services you simply can’t get from those “cheap” hosts. When you add up the value of the benefits outlined below, it’s well worth every penny!

  • Automated nightly backups for peace of mind.
  • Automatic updates for WordPress, ensuring your site is always up to date.
  • 24/7 monitoring for malware or attempts to hack your site. Plus free repairs if it happens.
  • Hosting environments that are specifically built from the ground up to host WordPress sites, which means you don’t have to bother with complex caching plugins.
  • Stellar support from folks who know WordPress inside and out, not just someone reading from a book of scripts.
  • WP Engine — Fast, Secure, Hassle-Free WordPress Hosting
  • Page.ly – Fast, Secure, Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Media Temple – WordPress made both easier to use and more powerful, never dumbed-down.
  • SiteGround – Fast WordPress hosting for just $3.95/month.
  • GoDaddy – Managed WordPress hosting for just $1.00/month! (85% OFF REGULAR PRICE!)

The Best Way to Add a Custom Form to Your Site

The one missing feature in WordPress, in my opinion, is an easy way to create custom forms. Let’s face it… every website needs at least a contact form! Thankfully, the creative folks at RocketGenius have stepped up to the plate and filled this much-needed void with an amazing plugin called Gravity Forms.

To put it simply, Gravity Forms is the easiest way to build gorgeous custom forms for your site in an easy-to-use interface, directly within the WordPress interface! It’s the only form plugin you’ll ever need!

  • Gravity Forms — The most flexible, powerful custom form plugin for WordPress.

Premium WordPress Themes

Don’t get stuck with a poorly-coded theme and no support! WP101 recommends these talented, highly-reputable WordPress theme companies…

  • ThemeForest — The largest selection of premium WordPress themes!
  • The Genesis Framework — The first and most popular theme platform for WordPress.
  • WooThemes — One of the largest selections of professional WordPress themes.
  • Elegant Themes86 beautiful, premium WordPress themes for only $69!
  • Templatic — Premium WordPress themes.
  • Graph Paper Press — WordPress themes for photographers, artists, and more.
  • Headway Themes — Drag and drop theme builder for WordPress.
  • Array — Gorgeous, responsive WordPress themes!

WordPress Maintenance & Support

Need help fixing your WordPress site, or keeping it up to date? These folks can help!

  • Maintainn — 24/7 security monitoring, backups, updates and professional support services on any host.
  • WP Curve — Unlimited WordPress support and small jobs, 24/7.
  • ManageWP — Manage all of your WordPress sites from one dashboard.
  • SucuriHacked? These guys can help! Web monitoring and malware clean up service.

The Two Easiest Ways to Back Up Your WordPress Site

  • BackupBuddy — The most popular choice for backing up (or moving) a WordPress site!
  • VaultPress — Backup and security monitoring for your WordPress site from the makers of WordPress.com

Get a Complete WordPress Site in One Day!

Pick a WordPress theme. Then our friends at wptheory will customize it to your brand, upload your content, and launch it — in one day!

What if your website could be live and getting visitors before dinner tonight? Let wptheory take the pain out of setting up and launching your new WordPress website.

  • wptheory — Your WordPress website launched in one day.

Build a Membership Site Just Like This One

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with just about every membership plugin out there! Here are the ones I recommend…

Simple e-Commerce for WordPress. Sell anything!

Best-in-class video hosting!

  • Vimeo PRO — Vimeo’s PRO service goes far above YouTube or other services by offering fast priority video encoding, full HD quality on all popular devices, and powerful privacy options that enable you to share videos only with visitors to your site. We trust Vimeo PRO to power this site!

Drag-and-drop plugin for creating custom layouts and content!

  • VelocityPage — Imagine if you could add new pages to your site, drag-and-drop text, images, and videos precisely where you want them, click save and be done… all without ever touching your admin panel.

Add a Responsive WordPress Slider To Your Site in 60 Seconds!

  • Soliloquy — The best, most lightweight, responsive WordPress slider plugin!

Events Calendar Plugin

The Best “Coming Soon” and Maintenance Mode Plugin for WordPress

  • Coming Soon Pro — Work on your site behind the scenes while you collect valuable email addresses.

Confused by SEO? Audit WP makes it easy!

  • Audit WP — These guys will show you exactly what needs to be fixed on your website for the best SEO results, plus how to fix it.

Get more traffic to your blog!

  • SumoMe — a free toolkit to get more traffic to your WordPress blog.

Take Your WordPress Learning to the Next Level…

WordPress for Web DevelopersWordPress for Web Developers: An Introduction for Web Professionals

WordPress for Web Developers is a complete guide for web designers and developers who want to begin building and administering sites with WordPress. This book is an update of Beginning WordPress 3, freshened and clarified for web developers who want to make the most of WordPress. You’ll start by learning WordPress basics, including how to publish content, add media, and manage users.

Then you’ll dig deeper into your WordPress server administration, including domain mapping, security, and importing and migrating. The book then steps up a gear with an introduction to developing for WordPress, perfect for developers and designers with some PHP experience, who want to learn to create custom themes and plugins.

This book will teach you how to make the most of WordPress’s built-in features, how to find the right themes and plugins for your projects, and how to build your own custom features.

Written by Stephanie Leary, a WordPress developer since 2005, and frequent guest speaker at WordPress workshops all around the country, this book is perfect for first-time users, designers, and developers of online content, blogs, and content management systems.

Check Out WordPress for Web Developers →

Professional WordPress: Design and DevelopmentProfessional WordPress: Design and Development

When you’re ready to move on to the next level, Professional WordPress: Design and Development should be your next investment! Loaded with real-world examples for intermediate and advanced users, this detailed resource contains the most current and proper methods for developing and designing in WordPress.

Co-written by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern, this book is perfect for beginning users, designers, and developers who are ready to unlock the potential of WordPress to create their own WordPress themes and more.

Professional WordPress: Design and Development →

Digging Into WordPressDigging Into WordPress

When you’re ready to take your WordPress skills to the next level, this 400-page book is jam-packed with everything you need to get the most out of WordPress. In clear, easy-to-read language, Digging Into WordPress shows you how to tap WordPress’ potential and take your site to the next level.

Check Out Digging Into WordPress →

WordPress Template Tag Reference Guide

Perfect for WordPress theme developers or designers, this online interactive guide contains all the most popular template tags, along with examples of use for each one:

View the Guide Now →


Note: We participate in affiliate programs with many of the companies listed above because we believe in them. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through the links on this website. You can rest assured that we only recommend products that we’ve used ourselves and where we have a personal relationship with the developer(s).