The WordPress Handbook – 60+ Resources For First Time WordPress Users

Share this post:

WordPress is become very popular over the past couple years and today it powers more then 20% of sites on the Internet; no other content management system comes close to its widespread usage. It’s so robust that you can easily create just any type of website without spending much money.

There are still a lot of people who don’t much about WordPress. So I thought, it might a good idea to assemble my favorite WordPress resources into a WordPress Handbook list that has everything all in one place for folks who are new in the WordPress land.

WordPress Blogs

The land of WordPress is filled with a ton of WordPress blogs and constantly growing that it’s hard to stay on top of it. The following blogs are are filled with a good amount of useful tutorials & resources that will help you to stay up-to-date with WordPress.

  1. WP Beginner – Syed Balkhi runs the most popular unofficial tutorials blog for WordPress, where he provides tutorials, free videos and deals. Apart from running the beginner blog, Syed also speaks at various WordCamps.
  2. TorqueMag – A great resource site to keep your mind updated with daily WordPress news. Run by the same guys who created WPEngine Hosting.
  3. WP Smashing Magazine – The blog doesn’t get update often but when it does the blog is filled with a great mix of tutorials & themes.
  4. WPMU – James Farmer run this popular multi-authors blog filled with advice on themes and plugins.
  5. CodePoet – An Automattic Contraption! Code Poet is a great resource for anyone building sites with WordPress.
  6. Tom Mcfarlin – This is a blog where Tom shares tutorials, tips & other useful resources.
  7. WP Hub – The blog recently come to light when Michael acquired WP Mods & merged it with already established WordPress resource, WP Hub.
  8. DigWP – The blog runs by two awesome guys – Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr. They have some excellent tutorials on improving your WordPress blog.
  9. WP Mayor – Another great WordPress blog with a lot of amazing content by Jean Gelena.
  10. WP Lift – WP Lift is brainchild of Oliver Dale. The blog includes tutorials, theme roundups, plugin guides and general news. With the recent redesign, the site looks like a useful resource.
  11. WP Explorer – One of the oldest WordPress blog with tons of freebies – themes, plugins & other useful stuff. The blog is owned and managed by AJ Clarke.
  12. WPSnipp – A collection of lot of useful snippets to help beginner & advance WordPress users.
  13. Yoast – Joost de Valk has a number of fantastic plugins & tutorials available on his blog.
  14. Justin Tadlock – Justin has some great and detailed tutorials on WordPress.
  15. Blondish.net – Blondish.net is run by Nile Flores, where she shares her knowledge on various topics such as plugin development, general tutorials, tips and blogging.
  16. WPEngine Blog – WPEngine runs an informative blog, where Austin Gunter shares his knowledge on optimizing websites and general opinions on WordPress.
  17. Jupiter Jims Marketing – Jim’s blog will help anyone who wants to build and market a WordPress site plus he has a ton of awesome tutorials on WordPress and the Thesis theme.
  18. BobWP – “Learn WordPress online with bobwp”… A fantastic blog full of WordPress tutorials, tips and videos.
  19. ManageWP Blog – Tips and how-to posts on effectively running and managing your WordPress blog.
  20. Paulund – Paul has a great collection of useful code snippets and WordPress tutorials.
  21. Chris Lema – Chris Lema writes a ton of useful stuff about WordPress.
  22. WPCustoms – Gerald has some interesting WordPress snippets for beginner and advance users.
  23. WP Kube – 2 years old blog managed by some random guy ;)!

WordPress Information

Useful Information to help you learn more about WordPress.

  1. WordPress Codex – The  online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation.
  2. Make.WordPress –  This site is the home for official resources to help people develop for WordPress.
  3. WP 101 – The most affordable and fastest way to learn how to use WordPress!
  4. The 100 WordPress Related Blogs – A collection of 100 WordPress related blogs you need in your life.
  5. EasyWPGuide – An online & free downloadable manual for the how to do things with WordPress.
  6. iThemes Tutorials – iThemes has an amazing collection of useful WordPress tutorials. (thanks Walt for sharing ;))

WordPress Books

These following WordPress books will give you detailed information on WordPress fundamentals and learn from the experts.

  1. Pro WordPress Design & Development – The book is packed with real-world examples for load balancing and multiusers, this esteemed resource replaces some of the more basic material with more advanced content.
  2. Pro WordPress Plugin Development – This comprehensive & professional development book shows you how plugins work, reviews the tools and APIs available in WordPress, and demonstrates how to extend the functionality of WordPress with plugins.
  3. WordPress for Dummies – This guide is written by Lisa Sabin-wilson and covers all the features and improvements in the most up-to-date version of WordPress.
  4. WordPress All in one for Dummies - Eight mini-books provide you with expanded coverage of the most important topics to the WordPress community, such as WordPress basics, theme designs, plug-in development, social media integration, SEO, customization, and running multiple sites.
  5. Digging Into WordPress – DigWP book is for beginners and intermediate users who want to learn it all and get the most out of WordPress. The book is available in both PDF and print version and is used by dozens of colleges and thousands of WP users.

WordPress Podcasts

Listening to some of the fantastic and finest WordPress Podcasts will not only give you the latest information and news, but will also help you in improve your site.

  1. Hello Dolly – Hello Dolly podcast started by the same guys who created some awesome products such as 8Bit, WPDaily StandardTheme, Team Science and soon to be launched Eve.io. Hello Dolly is one of the finest WordPress podcast available today. A few weeks ago, I even did a short interview with one of their co-founders – John Saddington.
  2. WPCandy Late Night – Started by Ryan Imel of WPCandy, they have some great stuff.
  3. PleaseAdvise.Fm –  An occasional WordPress podcast by Mike McAlister, Jake Caputo and Chris Molitor.
  4. DradCast – A couple of prior military geeks, a few adult beverages, and all things WordPress discussed. Although not limited to WordPress alone, the DradCast is a weekly video podcast that primarily concentrates on the latest news around WordPress. Started by two successful entrepreneurs – Brad Williams & Dre Armeda.
  5. Your Website Engineer (suggested by Ileane) – Dustin’s podcast is home to several WordPress tips and tutorials and he has more than 117 podcasts in his collection.

Popular Themes

There are a ton of WordPress theme shops, which makes it really hard to choose a quality theme. The following are the most popular and well established premium theme providers:

  1. StudioPress – Most of their themes are built on the fantastic theme framework – Genesis, the same framework that I am using here on WP Kube. They have a great collection of free & premium WordPress themes. Genesis is the framework that is used by hundreds of thousands of site owners. Here are few great resources for Genesis users:
  2. DIYThemes – Another great theme framework that I previously used to build sites on. Thesis is still a great theme framework and has ton of resources available. Useful resources for thesis – ThesisTut, Kolakube, ThesisAwesome and Themedy.
  3. Elegant Themes – If you’ve have been following me for a while now, than you know how much I love ElegantThemes. They have some of the best designs & well coded WordPress themes. For just $39.95 you get access to more then 77 application, magazine, ecommerce themes.
  4. ThemeForest – isn’t the place where I usually go for themes but they do have some great quality themes. One of my favorite theme is Lightly.
  5. ThemesKingdom – A premium theme shop where you can find awesome themes that are simple to use and customizable to fit your needs. They follows a somewhat similar model to ElegantThemes.
  6. WooThemes – What started with 3 people team has now become a international team of designers, developers and support ninjas catering for a passionate community of hundreds of thousands of users.
  7. Standard Theme – As the name suggests, it really is one of the most standard WordPress theme. The theme is also available for WordPress.com!
  8. CreativeMarket – A fantastic premium theme marketplace with 100% GPL license.

Essential Plugins

Following are the essential plugins that every WordPress blog needs to have. These plugins will not only going to help you improve your WordPress website, but also help you in getting more engagement and traffic.

  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is a must have plugin for WordPress websites. Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using this great plugin.
  2. Akismet GASP – The best anti-spam plugin that helps to fight a ton of spam comments. A lot of people in the comments recommended “GASP” to be the best anti spam plugin for WordPress. I think there are few reasons why Aksimet isn’t a great plugin because it catches a lot of spam comments and if you’re running a non-personal or business blog than you have to pay $5 / month.
  3. Backup Buddy – Want to wake one day seeing all your creative and hard work is gone? If your answer is no, then I have a great solution for you – Backup Buddy plugin, a powerful backup plugin for WordPress. It’s the same one that I uses for all my sites and recommend to everyone.
  4. Contact Form 7 – This is a great plugin for setting up a contact form without any efforts. It takes less then a minute to set up everything. If you’re looking for more then a contact form, than I would advice you to go with Gravity Forms.
  5. Sharebar – Add floating social media buttons to your WordPress site. It doesn’t much options unlike Digg Digg. Sharebar would only add the floating social media buttons.
  6. Subscribe to comments – Subscribe to Comments allows commentators to e-mail notifications for subsequent comments made on a blog post.
  7. nRelate Related Content – A plugin to showcase related posts at the bottom of every blog post. One of the best WordPress plugin in its class.
  8. W3 Total Cache – This plugin does a very good job of improving the speed of your WordPress site.
  9. Pretty link lite – I have tried a lot of premium affiliate management plugins including Ninja Affiliate, Pretty Link & Thirsty Affiliates and there is no better plugin than Pretty link lite as it doesn’t cost anything. If you have money then I would suggest you to either go with Ninja Affiliate or Thirsty Affiliates.
  10. SoliloquyWP – The plugin is packed with many incredible features that allows you to add a solid slider to your website.
  11. OptinMonster – The most complete list building plugin for WordPress. It adds a popup box that appear when users are browsing your website, and can get you more subscribers, if used correctly. The plugin is pretty expensive, but if you don’t want to spend money, here’s a great new free popup plugin.

WordPress Hosting

The following managed web hosts specialize in WordPress development and provide extensive support & are exclusive only to WordPress-powered sites.

  1. WP Engine – The Hassle free Managed web hosting for WordPress sites, the price starts at $29 / month and scales up to $249 for much larger blogs. If you want to learn more about WPEngine, check out this in-depth review.
  2. MediaTemple – Another great managed hosting for WordPress businesses and agencies with price $29 / month.
  3. Page.ly – Page.ly is a well known managed WordPress hosting provider and pricing starts at $24 / month.
  4. WebSynthesis – Owned by the CopyBlogger Media, the same guys who created Genesis Theme. The price starts at $27 / month.
  5. WordPress VIP -  The VIP hosting is used by big companies and pricing starts at $3,750 /month.

WordPress Tools & Services

The following tools and services will help you manage, monitor and improve your WordPress site or blog effectively with out spending much money.

  1. ManageWP – Manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard and save a lot of your time. A great service with fantastic support.
  2. Sucuri – Premium security service that helps you keep your WordPress site secure from malwares & virus.
  3. VaultPress – An online protection & backup service by automattic. Their plans start at $15 / month.
  4. MaxCDN – CDN service that gives you the most powerful control panel at a very affordable price.
  5. PostStat.us – Post Status is a place to get the most interesting content available in the community in a very short amount of time.
  6. WPMail.me – A free WordPress Newsletter, once a week, with a round-up of WordPress news and articles.

Do you know of any other great WordPress resource that I missed? Please let me know in the comments below.

About the Author: Devesh Sharma is a WordPress fanatic and loves experimenting with WordPress themes & plugins. Get more from Devesh on  and Twitter.
78 comments… add one
    • Nile says

      Jean Baptiste Jung doesn’t do much updating to his sites anymore… but he does also own WPRecipes.com and that is strictly WordPress.

  1. Ileane says

    Hi Devesh,

    Nice resource list. There’s an awesome podcast called Your Website Engineer by Dustin Hartzler. You might want to add that one to the list. He’s got tons of tutorials.

    • Devesh says

      Hi Ileane,

      Just added “Your Website Engineer” podcast in the list. Thanks for letting me know about him.

  2. Ana Hoffman says

    Nicely done, Dev – I love having a resource post like this at my fingertips whenever a WP question arises.

    I have one problem with it though: Akismet? I wouldn’t come anywhere close to this plugin. Why not GASP?

    If you need my reasoning, check out this post: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/die-akismet-die/

    I’ll be very upset if this comment ends up in spam. :)

    • Ti Roberts says

      I just read your post on Akismet and I’ve had this very same problem, Ana. Wouldn’t touch it again with a 10 foot pole.

  3. Nizam Khan says

    Wow! Awesome and much useful WP resources and tools. This will be a much helpful guide for WP users, especially for newbies. However the WP hosting you mentioned are specific? What about Hostgator and Bluehost? Thanks for sharing and tweeted :)

    • Devesh says

      Hi Nizam,

      The hosting I mentioned are specifically targeted to WordPress users. All the hosts I have listed are Managed WordPress hosting, that means if something goes wrong with your WordPress installation, your host is going to fix it.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

      • Nizam Khan says

        Okay! Now I get it. Great that they fix issues when something goes wrong with installation. Thanks for replying :)

  4. Jupiter Jim says

    Devesh,

    Great List!!! I had to share it on my Facebook Fan Page! I like Fast Secure Contact Form and WP Supercache and GASP better myself. BackupBuddy is the best!

    It would be an honor for me if you felt my site was worthy of getting on your list: http://jupiterjimsmarketingteam.com/

    Ok, thanks so much for this great blog post and website!

    Take Care,

    Jupiter Jim

  5. Gera says

    Hi Dev,

    Really a very good summary of all WordPress related. I’ll need to read carefully on this weekend!

    Respect to W3TC, I needed to uninstall due to problems it had lately several times.

    As Ana said before, GASP for me is vital to kill automatic spam, instead of Akismet.

    Excellent work and weekend ahead too :)

    Gera

  6. Ti Roberts says

    Fantastic list you’ve put together here, Dev; job well done!

    Aside from Askiment (would never use it again or recommend it), this is definitely a great resource and I’m glad you’ve made this available to us to refer to and our readers as well. :)

    Ti

    • Devesh says

      Hi Roberts,

      Glad to hear that.

      Thanks so much for including this in your weekly roundup. Much appreciated.

  7. Carla says

    Awesome! I will definately bookmark and come back often. As a WP newbie this is a treasure trove!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Robyn M Fritz says

    Wow, thanks for these great resources. I am not a techie but realized 4-5 years ago that I needed to learn a system so I could have websites for my business, and the ability to quickly and securely update them. After much stumbling around I settled on WordPress and a wonderful WordPress coach and trainer, Bob Dunn of BobWP http://www.bobwp.com/. He not only set up sites and taught me how to use WordPress (all site errors continue to be my own) but his patience and his free stuff really added to the value. He has wonderful, easy to understand tutorials (many free), and hosts in-person and online seminars, all of which I’ve attended. I know WordPress is like, maybe, religion for a lot of people, but for me it’s a necessary tool to run my business, and I need to do that efficiently and well. I heartily suggest you add him to your list! Robyn M Fritz, Alchemy West in Seattle

    • Dee says

      I agree, it’s the first place I send all my new WP clients and trainees. Really accessible easy to use guide!

  9. Eugene says

    Devesh,
    I happen to be an Italian living in London fairly good in English but if I think at my compatriots back at home they struggle because very few good articles get translated into Italian. Would you mind if I translate and publish this post onto my WP site for the benefit of fellow Italians? I will clearly mention where I got it from and who wrote it.
    Regards,
    Eugene

    • Devesh says

      Hi Eugene,

      Yes, feel free to use the content in anyway you want, but please make sure to link back to original source.

      • Eugene says

        If for some reasons you now speak Italian OR indeed know any Italians who are not familiar with English, here’s the link to the translation of your article:
        Thanks again for the opportunity, and since I’m around I’m gonna push my luck and ask you if I could also translate: ‘The Ultimate Guide for Choosing A WordPress Theme’.
        Regards,
        Eugene

  10. Kim Doyal says

    AWESOME list Dev!
    You continue to put out truly great content.
    And of course, thanks for including me under StudioPress! ;-) Much appreciated!
    Kim

    • Devesh says

      Hey Kim,

      Thanks so much for the awesome support, I really appreciate that :).

      Keep up the rocking work on your blog.

  11. Al Hidden Gloucestershire Copywriter says

    Great resource Devesh. Of all the WordPress resources that you know of, what would you say is the best one for getting the most out of a standard WordPress.com blog (one that isn’t hosted on a server using WordPress.org?) I’d be interested in your opinion.

  12. Walt Nelson says

    Devesh,

    What, no love for iThemes Builder? ;-)
    You like Backup Buddy – well, they are the same folks behind iThemes Builder. I highly recommend them both. In addition, they have some nice free tutorials at:

    http://ithemes.com/tutorials/

    Their forum and support are top notch, too.
    Just a happy customer.

    Thanks,
    Walt

    • Devesh says

      Hey Wait,

      To be honest with you, actually I forget to include that awesome resource. Anyways, I have already added that resource in the post and now I hope you would be showing some love for wpkube ;).

      Thanks for sharing the link, Walt. Have a great day.

  13. Nancy West Johnson says

    Kim Doyle sent me to your article. ;- ) Thanks for all your work putting together this super resource! I’m going to recommend it to all my beginning WP students.

    • Devesh says

      That’s awesome to hear! Kim really is a great person.

      Thanks for showing your support, Nancy. I really appreciate that and sorry for taking so long to reply.

  14. Frank says

    Great list of resources. I was aware of most of them but still found a few new ones listed here and it’s nice to have a list of WordPress resources all in one place.

  15. Keith Davis says

    Devesh what a star you are.
    A fabulous resouece and my inclusion is a great bonus for me.

    Appreciate the work that you have put in to produce the web’s #1 WordPress resource.

  16. Pratap says

    You have created an excellent list for wordpress users. I appreciate your information. I have noted some sites for my future reference from your blog post.

    • Devesh says

      Hey Pratap,

      That’s nice to hear, make sure to share the post when it’s up.

      Thanks for the nice comment.

  17. Christina Sarabun says

    Thanks, Devesh! That’s an awesome list of useful resources!

    I think CMS2CMS could make an addition to WordPress tools and services. It is an online tool that migrates websites from its current CMS to WordPress automatedly and very fast.

    http://www.cms2cms.com

    • Devesh says

      Hey Christina,

      My pleasure and so glad you liked the list.

      Definitely, cms2cms looks like a great service. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Latief says

    Thanks for your time get all the important resources for wp users, especially the beginners. I’ll check them one by one and this is an amazing list Devesh!

    • Devesh says

      Hey Latief,

      Glad to see you here, I hope things are going quite well with you :).

      Thanks for the nice words, chap.

  19. Hardiman Hutauruk says

    Thank you for This… Really a very good summary of all WordPress. I’m still beginner in WordPress and want to learn more…. Thank you for This…

  20. Zubin Kutar says

    Great Resources Dev, I’ve been using WP since the last three years and been struggling to get good WP related sites…

  21. Chris says

    Wow. Great resource list.

    I can only hope that posts such as my recent 110 WordPress Photography Themes to Impact, Inspire and Awe will find a home on a similar article of the future!

    Would love to know your thoughts!

  22. Puneet Sahalot says

    Hi Devesh,
    This is undoubtedly one of the best posts that I could recommend to my clients and WP beginners. Good job.
    You might also like to check out http://blogvault.net as this has become my favorite backup service. :)
    And yes, WP Engine always wins my vote for best hosting.

  23. vinodh says

    Hi,
    this is really a wp handbook. thank you for wpsnipp,genesis awesome and itheme tuts.
    regards
    vinodh

  24. sam says

    Thanks for the share. I too find WordPress SEO tool by Yoast to be the most effective tool for SEO and optimizing a wordpress website.

  25. Hidayat Mundana says

    Thank you
    This is very valuable information.
    some of the lists that you create a reference to me in developing my website.
    You have to add my referral list. Once again thank you

Leave a Reply