Tools

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OMG, finally: yes!

Here is the generateCLICKS list of the best tools for building and running WordPress websites. By far not all of it is mandatory. But it’s worth going through the recommendations and comparing them with similar lists and your own experience.

On this page are only tools and services that we use successfully ourselves and therefore can recommend 100%.

Hosting

As a rule, websites run on rented servers or share a server provided by a service provider. In addition to this web space, a domain is required, which gives the IP address of the server a name such as “generateclicks”. Such names are available for various top level domains, e.g. .de, .com, .net.

Both together – server and domain – are often offered as a package. Consisting of a server or virtual server and a number of domains included in the total price.

There are various contract terms and payment methods for web space hosting. For domains, there is usually a term of 12 months and an annual payment.

do.de

The more projects and websites, the greater the need for web space and different domains. With increasing traffic, the requirements become more complicated. Occasionally, the migration or relocation of a web hosting is necessary. There it is sometimes advantageous to manage domains separately from the web space and rent them from a provider specializing in this.

generateCLICKS recommends DomainOffensive for domain hosting.

HostArmada

For foreign language projects, the idea of choosing a hosting that fits the target language regionally suggests itself. At least to the main region, e.g. the USA, if the target group speaks English.

generateCLICKS recommends HostArmada for hosting international projects.

RaidBoxes

When hosting websites, many criteria are crucial. One can be, for example, to manage x websites with the same standards. Or that the server must necessarily be located in Germany. Or that the provider has taken special precautions for data security, backups, etc.

For managed WordPress hosting in Germany generateCLICKS recommends RaidBoxes.

webgo

The range of web hosts is huge. It is difficult to keep track of them all. The list of web hosts of the year, which is updated every year, is a good guide. But you only find out how good the service and support is when you need it after signing a contract.

generateCLICKS recommends webgo for the price/performance ratio and the excellent support.

WordPress Themes

It seems the choice of WordPress themes is endless. And there is something undeniably tempting about trying out the latest every now and then.

On the other hand: the more chic, variable and powerful a theme is, the less it is done with the WordPress-typical Click & Shoot. Because after the installation, the work begins, with all the inevitable adjustments and the disillusionment, what does not work with it, or at least: not just like that …

That’s why we rely on a single “standard”.

Which is called theme, but is actually a construction kit. For all imaginable types of websites. The main thing is that we master the construction kit. And this construction kit is called:

GeneratePress

GeneratePress is available as a free theme.

A paid plugin is also available (GeneratePress Premium, GPP).

And if you want to extend GP or GPP with page builder qualities, you can additionally install the GenerateBlocks plugin from the same provider. Also in a free or paid “Pro” version.

As an alternative to GeneratePress, the “Astra” and “Kadence” themes are particularly suitable.

WordPress Plugins

Even more rampant than the selection of themes is the incredible variety of plugins that make WordPress a universe of possibilities. At least at first glance.

With practical experience it quickly becomes apparent: there are some good reasons to install as few plugins as possible and to limit experiments to a test site.

The following selection of plugins has proven itself from our point of view.

Borlabs Cookie

As long as the laws and jurisdiction in the EU is as it is, practically no one can avoid a “cookie consent” solution for the time being. The best one for us is the Borlabs Cookie Plugin, because it is easy to install and flexible to configure.

Moreover, this plugin is very convenient to combine with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. And last but not least: it looks, under the given boundary conditions, also quite appealing. The look can even be customized to your own taste.

Code Snippets

For many small additional functions you don’t need extra plugins. Often it is enough to integrate a small section of PHP source code into the functions.php of WordPress. With the plugin “Code Snippets” this can be done directly in the WordPress backend, without having to change source code, create a child theme, etc.

Disable Comments

The days of guest books and comments under all blog posts are long gone. As a rule, the potential benefit for the operator today is out of proportion to the obvious risks.

Therefore, if you simply want to disable all comments on the entire WordPress website, the “Disable Comments” plugin is the easiest solution imaginable. And if necessary, the global block can be relaxed gradually.

Disable XML-RPC

RPC stands for “Remote Procedure Call”. WordPress uses XML-RPC as interface for mobile apps and plugins like “JetPack” for external access to a WordPress installation.

If you do not need this interface, it is better to disable it. The easiest way is to use the appropriate plugin “Disable XML-RPC” or the corresponding code snippet.

Easy Table of Contents

Short blog articles give way to long and even longer posts to comprehensively answer a question or cover a topic halfway. At the same time, most access has long been on mobile devices with small screens.

For a halfway good “user experience” a table of contents imposes itself, right at the beginning or at the end of an article. It is best if it automatically adjusts to the current stock of h1, h2, h3, … headings in the text.

The plugin “Easy Table of Contents” does exactly what the name promises. With flexible options to configure all the ifs and thens.

Duplicator, UpdraftPlus

As an all-round tool for backup and restore of WordPress websites, the plugin “UpDraftPlus” has proven itself. Already the free version allows the scheduled recurring backup “to the cloud”, e.g. via Google Drive or Dropbox.

For local backup and restore in between, the plugin “Duplicator” is a good choice. This allows to backup the database and all files of a WordPress installation in one go, up to the following “One Click Installation” on the same webspace or elsewhere.

ManageWP

Anyone who manages multiple WordPress installations, possibly distributed across different hostings, quickly learns how much valuable time is wasted, just for plugin, theme and WordPress updates. The plugin “ManageWP” enables, among many other functions, especially a central “dashboard”, from which the status of all connected websites can be monitored and e.g. plugins can be updated in one go if necessary.

Redirection

Under every WordPress installation, the actual web server, usually of the “Apache” brand, works to handle the “traffic” of https requests.

In addition to a myriad of modules, an Apache web server offers especially the “Rewrite” module to set redirects of URLs and store them in the file .htaccess, which is stored on the server in the same directory as the WordPress installation.

Alternatively, redirects can also be defined in a plugin. And the programming language of WordPress, PHP, does the rest. For many years, the plugin “Redirection” has proven itself for this purpose.

Safe SVG

Especially for logos and similar graphics the file format SVG has become popular. Stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. In contrast to the usual representation in pixel raster, a vector graphic is practically infinitely scalable – or let’s say: sharp in any size.

Unfortunately, WordPress blocks the upload of .svg files in the normal state. The plugin “Safe SVG” provides a remedy. Or a corresponding code snippet.

ShortPixel

Many websites are lame for one simple reason: the image files used have such a high resolution that is not actually needed on any page of the site. WordPress tries to fix the problem automatically. The plugin “ShortPixel” goes a few steps further and usually leads to even significantly better loading times.

Simple CSS

CSS files (Cascading Style Sheets) are basically great. However, they quickly become confusing. During the development phase, it is therefore practical to adjust the formatting directly in the page editor. The plugin “Simple CSS” is ideal for this. Until the style really fits.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence has more than 4 million installations with the Wordfence Security plugin. In the free version, it acts as a firewall and malware scanner and supports, for example, the monitoring of frontend and backend logins. For a fee, Wordfence can be expanded as needed.

For generateCLICKS it is one of the mandatory plugins that are installed first on every new WordPress website.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization. For many years, there was no way around Yoast. The supposed standard SEO plugin for WordPress.

In the meantime, there are some serious alternatives.

And at the same time, there are more and more voices saying: so what? Google has become so good. And the SEO plugins so comprehensive and heavy. Easier and especially faster is a WP website best without.

RankMath?

We can’t decide, for the time being we also put SEOPress and wpSEO to the choice. And if you stick with Yoast, you can’t do much wrong from our point of view.

RankMath offers an incredible amount of functionality for a price of zero.

Whether this really makes a difference to the allegedly “completely overloaded” and “bloated” Yoast … which functions are actually useful, and which only look good in the feature race … we’ll know more about that soon.

is the author and publisher of generateCLICKS, based in Hannover, Germany. When he's not busy with his web agency, other websites and YouTube, he can be found with his wife, on the road in their Multivan, or he is looking for a coffee and a pretzel.