Tools & Resources
Updated January 4th, 2019.
What’s the difference between www.Wordpress.com and www.WordPress.org and which one should I use?
WordPress.com is an open source software that will host your site for you for free. You can choose from a certain number of templates and even buy your own domain name. However, because this service is free, it does have it’s limitations.
WordPress.org requires that you self host your site, which allows you to adjust your hosting plan to adapt to your website needs.
For example, if you have a drastic increase in site traffic, you can increase the amount of storage or the type of server (Shared, VPS, Dedicated) needed to make sure your site is running smoothly and efficiently as possible.
While there is some debate on which one to use, Collaborative Creations Website Services focuses on using www.WordPress.org as this option allows maximum flexibility and customization. Thousands of plugins, which are pieces of software containing a group of functions can be added to WordPress which can then extend your website’s functionality.
Domains and Hosting
While it is ultimately up to the client to choose what hosting plan or domain service they would like, there are a few hosting companies Collaborative Creations would recommend.
This domain service has some of the best prices around. They are fast and friendly and are very easy to use.
This is a local option that has great customer service. It is located right here in Colorado Springs. Springs Hosting offers daily site backup options and will update your plugins for you.
This is not a local business. However, very cost effective hosting plans are available. This company also has excellent customer service. Siteground offers one free site migration per account and a free SSL certificate! This is an affiliate link which means I may earn a small comission if you click through and make a purchase. With that being said, I love SiteGround. I even use it myself!
This company is slightly more expensive, but offers top of the line hosting. It is geared more towards high traffic sites and for those that manage several websites.
Collaborative Creations Website Services has also heard a couple great things about FlyWheel. We would also like to mention GoDaddy as this is a popular choice for clients. Even though, GoDaddy can be cheaper than a lot of other hosting companies, the customer service and reliability are not as good as the other options we mentioned.
Akismet- This popular plugin has millions of users and protects your website from spam.
All-In-One Migration- This plugin can backup and migrate your site within minutes.
Elementor- Another drag and drop page builder that doesn't use shortcodes. It offers a great free version in the WordPress plugin repository.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights- This plugin allows you to see how many visitors come to your site.
iThemes Security- over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site.
JotForm- A simple easy to use, drag and drop contact form builder.
MemberPress- A flexible & powerful premium membership plugin that can restrict pages & provide a member paywall for specific content.
Ninja Forms- Form builder with lot's of features.
No Page Comment- This allows you to have more control over your comments and trackback settings.
Shortpixel- Plugin that compresses and optimizes your photos.
Updraft Plus- Backups your site and entire database for free. You can even send to your Google drive account. This is incredibly useful!
Visual Composer- This is either a "You love it or hate it" plugin that allows it's user's to design and edit content through a drop and drag system.
Pros- Easy to use, content elements can really extend site functionality with just a click of a button.
Cons- Visual Composer uses a lot of shortcodes that can slow down your site and might affect how your site behaves if it is completely removed.
WooCommerce- Selling something online? This e-commerce platform can help your online business grow.
Wordfence- Another security alternative. I have used iThemes and Wordfence and both work well.
WP Smush- Reduces image file sizes to increase site speed and improve performance.
WP Super Cache- Caching plugin that can also improve your speed.
Yoast SEO- This is one of our favorites because it's so incredibly useful. It's straightforward and easy to use "stoplight" system critiques each page on readability and proper search engine optimization.
Beaver Builder- A very flexible drop and drag builder.
GIMP- Open source photo editing software.
HotJar- HotJar uses heatmaps to better understand how users interact with your site..
Mailchimp- Email marketing service. You can create campaigns and integrate with several other apps and services.
StudioPress (Genesis Framework)- A popular and well-respected framework that is known for its security and lightweight themes.
Themeforest- Thousands of templates and themes allow for limitless options.