There are a variety of themes, page builders, plugins and widgets on WordPress.org that will help you build your own website. WordPress is an open source platform which means there is a whole plethora of tools available for website builders to use. There are a range of free plugins, themes and page builder right through to paid pro versions.
I have my own suite that I use for all my website builds as a standard, and then will add other plugins only as required. Most of my suite are the free version, with the exception of the page builder I use. It needs to be pretty good for me to pay for it, so the paid versions I recommend is generally for a good reason.
WordPress can be quite resource heavy on the hosting server, so it is always best practice to try and keep the number of plugins you have installed to a minimum. The reason for this, is the heavier your website, the slower it will be to load.
It is also best practice to remove any plugins or themes you aren’t using. Unused themes and plugins can become a security hazard for your website, and add additional bloat that can be avoided. Of course, if it is a plugin that is only used occasionally, you are able to keep it deactivated and just activate it as you need it.
My standard suite for Little Biz websites include;
- Lightweight theme
- Page Builder
- Mailing list integration
- Website security
- Back-up creator / restorer
- Anti-spam (honeypot)
When selecting themes / plugins / page builders, look for;
- A high number of user downloads
- A good number of user reviews
- Recent update history for that plugin
- That the plugin is compatible with your existing plugin suite / WP Version
- Check the user reviews, and look at how many 1’s & 2’s and if they have the same issues repeating over recent reviews (remember some issues for older reviews have probably been addressed in updates since those plugins)
- Remember, there is a very small portion of people who do leave reviews for plugins and themes, so the reviews may not be wholly reflective of the plugin/theme performance.
And, the most important thing – keep your website back end up to date. Run back-ups, run plugin updates, run theme updates and run your WP version updates.
AND – ALWAYS RUN A BACK-UP!!