WordPress is an amazing platform used worldwide by individuals and companies large and small. Due to it's popularity there are countless ways to get what you want done in countless forms. From themes, to frameworks, to plugins, it's a dizzying array of options available to use on your website site.
I've spent several years sifting through the options. Moving from one theme or plugin to another until I find the ones I like best. Even now I'm finding alternatives to ones I've used for a long time.
My goal with this article is to go over my current toolbox which includes the theme I use, plugins, frameworks, languages, etc. I aim to keep this article updated as much as possible as I find new options.
Last Updated - 6/16/2018
At the moment BeTheme is my go to WordPress theme. First introduced by the Muffin Group in March of 2014 Be has gone through countless updates and improvements and is now one of the top selling theme on Envato Market. The reason for their success is simple, the Be team, located in Sydney Australia, really values user input and honing their product to the point that they release an update every single Friday! Check out their Change Log.
Be comes with a great easy to navigate user interface, the Theme Options allow you to customize almost every part of your website. There are 20 different header options, multiple responsive layouts, footer layouts, sidebar options, and the included Muffin page builder make page layouts easy. There are options to set a size, line height, weight, spacing for practically every element be it h1, h5, sub menus, title, etc.
What really stands out for me is the ability to easily create new sidebars, the simple to navigate and customize template files, and a dedicated option tabs for CSS and JQuery input. The included premium plugins like Layer Slider are just icing on the cake.
There are tonnes of other great features that only using this theme can really portray. Screen shots from some of the options pages are below.
This is a more recent addition to my tool box. The Beaver Page Builder is truly one of a kind, there are similar plugins but none can hold a candle to the interface, features, and extensibility that BB offers.
BB is true front end editor to the point that it only operates on the front end and unlike other page builder what is built in the editor is truly what it will look like when you publish. This is due to the fact that BB generates the code as you build so there's no discrepancy between the editor and the actual page. The way that BB builds the code also means that in the unlikely event that the plugin breaks or you until the plugin, the pages will stay perfectly intact and not revert to a screen full of shortcodes.
What stands out for me is the incredible control you have over elements such as column width. Most plugins have fixed predefined column width such as (half | half) or (quarter | half | quarter) but with BB you can generate a two column row but you can also make the width of the column literally anything, be it 27% or 53.7% just by dragging the edge of the column. I also love the array of options available with every elements that get updated as you change them live.
There is so much more to talk about this plugin but I would recommend just going to their demo and start playing around with it! Screen shots of some of my favorite aspects below.