The best tech stack for WordPress websites

We optimize our WordPress web design services by leveraging the best tools on the market. In this article, you’ll get a breakdown of the most important tools that we rely on.

1. Cloudways Hosting (DO Premium or Vultr HF)

Your choice of web hosting will have a massive impact on site speed, security and reliability. We use Cloudways hosting for most projects as it allows our websites to thrive on all 3 of those fronts.

Cloudways offers several server types, but we most frequently leverage Digital Ocean Premium and Vultr High Frequency.

Vultr High Frequency tends to perform a bit faster, but Digital Ocean Premium is slightly more reliable (better uptime).

Note: Vultr High Frequency is only available to existing Cloudways users. New Cloudways users aren’t able to use Vultr High Frequency anymore. If you’re new to Cloudways, Digital Ocean Premium will likely be your best option - and it’s a great one!

2. Cloudflare CDN

On Cloudways, you’ll need to select a location for your server, such as New York City. This means that your website will load fastest in New York City and slower in distant locations around the world. To make your website load fast across the globe, regardless of the visitor’s location, it’s imperative to integrate a CDN (content delivery network) such as Cloudflare.

Cloudflare is widely accepted as the best CDN option as they have the largest network of servers worldwide. They also have a ton of extra features to make your website even faster and more secure.

3. Elementor Website Builder

Elementor is the most popular website builder on WordPress for good reason - it’s incredibly flexible and easy to use. It has the largest suite of native features and widgets compared to other website builders, and it integrates with tons of other plugins on WordPress.

When you’re using Elementor, it’s important to make sure that you’re using it correctly. For more information on that, check out our comprehensive article that explains how to make a fast loading website with Elementor.

4. Hello Elementor Theme

There are tons of themes to choose from on WordPress, but we recommend using the Hello Elementor theme because it’s one of the most lightweight themes on the market, allowing your website to load quickly.

If you’re using Elementor, the Hello Elementor theme is a no-brainer because it’s Elementor’s default theme and integrates seamlessly with the Elementor website builder. This eliminates technical headache and makes ongoing maintenance very simple for your WordPress site. We don’t recommend using a different theme if you’re using the Elementor website builder.

5. JetEngine & Crocoblock Suite of Plugins

To manage dynamic content such as blog posts, team members, properties, etc, we use JetEngine. It’s the most flexible and user-friendly dynamic content plugin on the market. Using a dynamic content plugin will make it much easier to update content on an ongoing basis. We consider it to be absolutely necessary for any content that receives frequent edits and additions.

The JetEngine plugin is developed by Crocoblock, and they have a ton of other helpful plugins to achieve advanced functionality - such as JetWooBuilder for eCommerce, JetBooking for booking systems, and much more.

6. Rank Math

Having a website isn’t very useful if nobody sees it… and one of the best ways to get people to find it is through ranking highly on Google with SEO. It’s vital to use an advanced SEO plugin such as Rank Math to ensure that you have all of your bases covered from a technical perspective.

It’s also important to do keyword research, competitor analysis and website audits with a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.

7. WP Rocket

Your website needs to load quickly if you want to provide a good user experience, achieve a great conversion rate, and rank highly on Google.

WP Rocket is a site speed plugin that integrates a variety of helpful features such as website caching, CSS & JS minification, lazy loading, and much more.

8. Imagify

Use Imagify in combination with WP Rocket to compress and resize your images. This allows your website to load even faster. Imagify is owned by WP Rocket, so they work together seamlessly.

9. Wordfence

As an open-source platform, WordPress is vulnerable to security risks. To prevent your website from getting hacked, you’ll want to use a security plugin such as Wordfence for a website firewall, malware scans, two-factor authentication, and more.

10. WP Armour

Hate spam? Well, when you’re on WordPress, you can expect a ton of spam (from robots) to come through your website’s contact forms.

To block the vast majority of that unwanted spam, we recommend WP Armour. The setup is quick and easy, and it blocks almost every single robot without slowing down your site and without having any false positives.

Common alternatives are reCaptcha and CleanTalk, but reCaptcha slows down your website and CleanTalk occasionally blocks real humans by mistake.

11. ManageWP

Your website host, such as Cloudways, should be taking daily backups of your site. However, we recommend having a 2nd source of backups in case something happens to the backups on your web hosting plan.

ManageWP is a great 2nd source of backups, and it has a bunch of other helpful features as well - such as uptime monitoring. It’s also very helpful for agencies who are managing several websites.

12. Site Kit

Google developed the Site Kit plugin to make it incredibly easy to connect to Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other Google products directly from your WordPress dashboard. Save yourself from some technical headache by using this simple plugin.

13. WooCommerce

If you’re creating an eCommerce website, you’ll want to use the standard eCommerce plugin that is natively offered in WordPress - called WooCommerce. We recommend using WooCommerce in combination with Crocoblock’s JetWooBuilder plugin to make your eCommerce website more flexible and easier to manage.

Looking to hire an agency to build your WordPress website? Our team of WordPress designers and developers are here to help! Get in touch with us here 🚀