Beginner’s Handbook

Here’s a list of products and services that we use regularly on our own sites.

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase through those links. These are all products/services that I currently use or have used before and I am recommending them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust.

How to Create a WordPress Site

Below you will find some information about each aspect of how to create your first WordPress site. We have also put together a complete tutorial that you can follow on the link below.

How to Create a Website With WordPress – Step by Step Guide


Shared WordPress Hosting

If you’re just starting out with self-hosted WordPress, you’re going to be looking for cheap and reliable hosting providers. Before you spend countless hours reading review upon review of the thousands of hosting providers out there, let us save you some time and give you two solid options to choose from.

  • BlueHost – You’ll find BlueHost recommended by many other top bloggers, and for a good reason. BlueHost offers unlimited hosting for just $4.95 per month and they have a very good track record when it comes to support and uptime.
  • SiteGround – My favourite host for beginners and advanced WordPress users alike, they offer 24/7 expert support via phone, chat and ticketing. They answer in an unbelievably fast time and assist with WordPress related questions as well. What’s more SiteGround does offer managed WordPress hosting as well as a host of awesome features such as a staging area where you can test changes before putting them into production.

Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’re ready to take the next step in hosting and go for something more robust, managed WordPress hosting is what you are looking for.

We use and recommend the following managed WordPress hosting providers:

  • WP Engine – This is where WP Mayor is hosted, you can read all about our decision to move from shared hosting to WP Engine. In a nutshell, WP Engine is a great hosting provider if your website has a lot of traffic.
  • Media Temple – Media Temple have been front runners in the hosting industry for years and you can’t go wrong with them.

Try a web hosting speed test to check how your current host performs, and if you’re not happy with the results consider switching to one of the hosts mentioned above.

Virtual Private Hosting (VPS)

For VPS hosting my number one choice is InMotionHosting, we’ve been using their VPS service for more intensive apps, and we haven’t been let down. InMotionHosting is a company that consistently receives good reviews,


  • StudioPress – StudioPress themes are all built on the excellent Genesis framework, the framework behind some of the top WordPress websites in the world. Nowadays we only build sites based on Genesis; it’s that good. Go with any of the StudioPress and you’re in for a great trip.
  • Elegant Themes – Elegant Themes is a theme shop which continuously churns out gorgeous looking themes. If you’re looking for a great theme that will make you look professional right off the bat, do take a look at what Elegant Themes have to offer.
  • ElmaStudio – A theme shop selling very clean themes of a minimal flavor. Expect beautiful type and lots of white space for a calming effect on your visitors. I love this theme shop because they keep things simple and stick to their style rather than try to create themes that will be liked by everyone and used for anything.
  • Tesla Themes – Tesla Themes comes from Moldova and they’re a great bunch of guys, I’ve also interviewed them on my podcast The themes are clean and professional, and cover a variety of categories/niches. People can also opt to buy a membership to gain access to all themes instead of buying a single theme.
  • AppThemes – A store that focuses on themes that offer niche functionality. For example you can find themes that let you create fully functional job board, classifieds site, or business directory websites. Some of these themes are very feature intensive and it shows in the price tag. They also offer a membership that includes access to all of their themes.

Page Builders



Take a look at our list of best WordPress plugins, you will find all the plugins that we use on a regular basis.

Favourite Books

  • Pro WordPress Design and Development – If you’re quite new to WordPress and want to quickly learn a lot more about WordPress, this is your ticket. An amazing book, now in its second edition.
  • Pro WordPress Plugin Development – Have you harboured a desire to create WordPress plugins, but always thought it must be such a difficult endeavour? Not anymore, go and get yourself a copy of this book and we guarantee you’ll be creating plugins within a week.

Best WordPress Agencies

Here’s a list of our favourite WordPress agencies.

Security & Hack Removal

  • Sucuri – You can use Sucuri to monitor your websites all year round, and make sure that they never get infected by any malware. Alternatively, if you’ve already been hacked, subscribe to the Sucuri service and they will clean your site from any infection and get you up and running again in no time.

Multiple Site Management

  • ManageWP – When you more than a handful of WordPress installations to take care of, the management process can quickly become a headache. ManageWP is the solution to this problem, you get one dashboard from which you manage all your WordPress sites. Not only that but you also get automatic backups, migration tools, rank tracking, quick core and plugin updates, uptime monitoring, and more.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • SEO Powersuite – This is a suite of 4 tools, and we constantly have one or more of these tools open on a daily basis. Our favourites are Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass, both of which are absolutely essential for us to do keyword research and competition analysis.


Codeable are our top choice whenever someone asks us for WordPress website customizations. The same applies for theme and plugin customizations. We consider Codeable our partners and good friends that do a lot of good in the WordPress community.

Using Codeable, you can expect an estimate on your project just minutes after you submit your proposal, and sometimes even quicker than that! Codeable has 75% repeat customers, which goes to show how satisfied people are with their services.

So take the mayor’s word, and for any WordPress customizations you need, try Codeable!

Use the form below to contact them directly: