Perhaps the most inspiring website on the planet Awwwards names a website of the day, every day. From those winners they give out a developer award, for achievements in web development in addition to design, and once a month they name a 'Site of the Month'. They describe their awards as the awards that recognize the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world.
In addition to the thousands of amazing websites you can find on Awwwards (both as winners and nominees), their blog is updated regularly with articles that highlight different areas of design and design concept. For instance you can find a list of the best websites that utilize video backgrounds, or wood texture, etc... You can also find interviews with some of the great designers and developers from around the world, and articles that are absolutely pertinent to building a successful WordPress website.
Give Awwwards a visit today, find ideas that you can utilize in your project, and get inspired to build something great!
Obox has been one of our favorite theme authors on Themeforest for years. Their collection of themes rivals any that you will find, we love their sense of style and can recommend them as writing great code and developing WordPress themes that are the right combination of speed and power.
Their theme collection includes everything from one page themes, to business templates to blogging and eCommerce themes. Our favorites include The Writer, Foundation, Retail Therapy and Handmade Two... Check out their entire collection and find one that fits your needs best.
WooCommerce is our plugin of choice when it comes to using WordPress as an eCommerce platform. The reason? The Woo team do an unbelievable job of keeping the plugin updated, optimized and secured. New themes and extensions to the cart are released seemingly every hour and it's the most user-friendly of the WordPress eCommerce solutions.
If you are working with a WordPress theme that isn't prebuilt for WooCommerce integration can be slightly tricky, but WooCommerce provides a phenomenal guide to quickly adding WooCommerce integration to your theme. If that still sounds like a pain, check out Themeforest and WooCommerce themes that are WooCommerce ready.
Once you have WooCommerce installed, setting up products is as easy as working with most other custom post types. Simply set a featured image, description price, variations and publish. The plugin is ready to work with PayPal out of the box, and you can integrate dozens of other merchants by purchasing the corresponding extension or plugin from Themeforest or WooThemes. For more tips and tricks, and a complete guide to working with WooCommerce, stay tuned to our tutorials page for upcoming guides and articles.
Media Temple Premium WordPress Hosting
Media Temple has been amongst the web industries leading hosting providers for over a decade. They are unique because they specifically target web professionals. Designer and developers have rave about (mt) Grid Shared Hosting and it's speed and reliability with WordPress, as well as their fast and knowledgable support staff. However, this month Media Temple rolled out a whole new service aimed solely at WordPress, designed to compete with WPEngine and Pagely. They call it Premium WordPress hosting, and it's phenomenal.
The design of the service is similar to other WordPress dedicated hosts. You get a WordPress installation on a fully WordPress optimized server, that leverages the hell out of cacheing to offer incredibly fast loading and reliability. Media Temple's claim to fame has always been that their servers disperse server load so that your site never goes down, regardless of the peak in traffic. So the idea that, no matter how many visitors you have online, you can expect the same amazing performance out of your website is fairly revolutionary. And, oh yeah, unlike the other guys, (mt) gives you three installations on three domains with their basic $29/mo plan. Give them a try today, you won't be sorry...
Media Temple Premium Hosting
When we have a client that is looking for an affordable shared hosting solution our go to provider is always A Small Orange. Their pricing is comparable to the most affordable names in the industry, but their performance is closer to the higher priced hosting providers out there. A lot of our clients will start out with a basic 'Tiny' plan and upgrade as needed. Our favorite ASO features are it's scalability, unbeatable customer support, and easy to use control panel.
A Small Orange also offers a variety of other great products including Business, Reseller, Cloud VPS, and Dedicated hosting solutions. Many independent hosting reviews have named A Small Orange the best choice for small business hosting. One of those reviewers, Review Signal, utilized reviews and tweets from thousands of customers of dozens of different hosting companies to name the 'People's Choice' for best hosting provider. A Small Orange won the award for every service that they offer. Clearly their customers are passionate about their services and support.
A Small Orange
Pippins Plugins - Game Changing Plugins
Pippin Williamson has been one of the leading authors at CodeCanyon for years. Several of his plugins are amongst the best selling CodeCanyon items of all time. The code in his plugins is clean and updated regularly to ensure that it's fast and secure. Every plugin in his collection identifies a common issue or problem with WordPress, and fixes it. Pippin is one of the biggest contributors to the WordPress community, and a quick view of his powerful plugins gives you a clear idea of why. Some of our personal favorites include: Restrict Content Pro, Sugar Calendar, front end registration, and full screen background images.
Visit Pippins Plugins
Mike Mcalister has been amongst our favorite WordPress authors for years, we've followed his work on Themeforest and Okay Themes, and are now happy to write about his latest project Array. Mike write's exceptionally clean code, designs minimal, blog oriented themes, that put content first. While a lot of his themes are based around blogging, we have used them on several client projects. Our checklist for choosing a theme doesn't including 5,000 fonts, 10 sliders, 20 post types and a bunch of bloated extras we will never use. We are looking for a blank canvas that we can mold into whatever our client is looking for. Array offers Mike's themes for sale either individually or as a membership for $199/year. Check out his collection today!
Most designers are fully aware of what a great resource Subtle Patterns is. It's without a doubt the industries go-to-resource for royalty free tile-able background textures. For novice users, these images are perfect for sections of your theme that allow you to upload a background that you can set to repeat. Subtle patterns has a lot of great features, like sortable textures, a search feature, thumbnail and list views, and a preview feature that instantly set's the site's background to that texture. Use the link below to pay them a visit and find your new background.
Visit Subtle Patterns
Today’s freebie is a fantastic contribution from UK based designer Joel Siddall. 200 vector-based micro icons. And they’re pixel perfect. Add these to your toolbox. Do it.
Today’s freebie, a set of flat style iPhone mockups, is a sweet contribution from designer Josh Laincz. The pack includes both the iPhone 4 and 5 in a fully layered and scalable format. Nice.
The guys over at Premium Pixels led by Orman Clark are amazing and gracious, we found these icons by Jan Dvořák on their website. We have used this resource several times as it's one of our favorite flat icon packs out there. Like everything they do, these icons are pixel perfect, and ready for use on your next project. The package contains 24 icons and can be used on your next project
We took the time to pull together several snippets of quotes from WP Engine reviews written by some of the biggest names in the WordPress industry. Below you will find list along with a link to the original source.
“My site loads ridiculously fast, my page views are up, and my business
is seeing the results. I rest easy at night with the level of support.
My only regret: that I didn’t move to WP Engine sooner.”
“I was hosting somewhere else when all my clients’ sites were hacked. After days of cleanup, the sites were hacked once again. There was no apology given… not even a simple credit to my account, which would have helped to recoup some of the expense of those lost days. During that painful ordeal, WP Engine reached out to me. They offered stable, secure hosting that would accommodate all my clients. I’m on a first-name basis with many of their people, and I can confidently recommend their hosting service to my own members.
I have the peace of mind that comes from having an entire team on my side. These days, if something goes awry with a clients’ site, I simply open a ticket, and the excellent support team at WP Engine handles it… usually within minutes.”
Shawn Hesketh WP101.com
“After hosting several high traffic WordPress sites it’s a relief to come
to WP Engine. At SoundCloud we were looking for a hassle free provider
to set up our blogs at, which we found in these guys. Swift replies, but also
very open to feedback and eager to improve. Almost like unicorns!”
Roel van der Ven, SoundCloud.com
“I knew from the start that the #1 single most important decision would be the hosting provider. There’s loads of options out there and my business partner and I tested several of the key players in the market. Ultimately we went with WP Engine…while not the cheapest option out there, they offer the most impressive list of features. Add to that the quick responses we get from WP Engine’s support team and you’ve got a solid win.”
Mason James, WPMU.org
Today, I am running 100% of this site on WP Engine’s WordPress hosting…and I love it. I seriously can’t rave about these guys enough. If you are in the market for the absolute best WordPress hosting available, then you need to take a look at these guys.
They simply offer the best WordPress hosting I know of.
Mike Johnston CMSCritic.com