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.
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.
- 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.
- TorqueMag – A great resource site to keep your mind updated with daily WordPress news. Run by the same guys who created WPEngine Hosting.
- 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.
- WPMU – James Farmer run this popular multi-authors blog filled with advice on themes and plugins.
- CodePoet – An Automattic Contraption! Code Poet is a great resource for anyone building sites with WordPress.
- Tom Mcfarlin – This is a blog where Tom shares tutorials, tips & other useful resources.
- WP Hub – The blog recently come to light when Michael acquired WP Mods & merged it with already established WordPress resource, WP Hub.
- DigWP – The blog runs by two awesome guys – Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr. They have some excellent tutorials on improving your WordPress blog.
- WP Mayor – Another great WordPress blog with a lot of amazing content by Jean Gelena.
- 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.
- 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.
- WPSnipp – A collection of lot of useful snippets to help beginner & advance WordPress users.
- Yoast – Joost de Valk has a number of fantastic plugins & tutorials available on his blog.
- Justin Tadlock – Justin has some great and detailed tutorials on WordPress.
- 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.
- WPEngine Blog – WPEngine runs an informative blog, where Austin Gunter shares his knowledge on optimizing websites and general opinions on WordPress.
- 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.
- BobWP – “Learn WordPress online with bobwp”… A fantastic blog full of WordPress tutorials, tips and videos.
- ManageWP Blog – Tips and how-to posts on effectively running and managing your WordPress blog.
- Paulund – Paul has a great collection of useful code snippets and WordPress tutorials.
- Chris Lema – Chris Lema writes a ton of useful stuff about WordPress.
- WPCustoms – Gerald has some interesting WordPress snippets for beginner and advance users.
- WP Kube – 2 years old blog managed by some random guy ;)!
Useful Information to help you learn more about WordPress.
- WordPress Codex – The online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation.
- Make.WordPress – This site is the home for official resources to help people develop for WordPress.
- WP 101 – The most affordable and fastest way to learn how to use WordPress!
- The 100 WordPress Related Blogs – A collection of 100 WordPress related blogs you need in your life.
- EasyWPGuide – An online & free downloadable manual for the how to do things with WordPress.
- iThemes Tutorials – iThemes has an amazing collection of useful WordPress tutorials. (thanks Walt for sharing ;))
These following WordPress books will give you detailed information on WordPress fundamentals and learn from the experts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- WPCandy Late Night – Started by Ryan Imel of WPCandy, they have some great stuff.
- PleaseAdvise.Fm – An occasional WordPress podcast by Mike McAlister, Jake Caputo and Chris Molitor.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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:
- Genesis WordPress Theme Framework By StudioPress
- 50+ Best Responsive Genesis Child Themes for WordPress
- The WP Chick – Kim Doyal has a lot of tutorials that span most areas newbies might need help with, from installing WordPress to using Genesis theme.
- WP Smith – WPSmith features numerous quality content / tutorials that focus on Genesis.
- WM Web Design – Genesis child theme reviews & useful resources.
- GenesisAwesome – Free Genesis child themes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Standard Theme – As the name suggests, it really is one of the most standard WordPress theme. The theme is also available for WordPress.com!
- CreativeMarket – A fantastic premium theme marketplace with 100% GPL license.
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.
- 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.
AkismetGASP – 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Subscribe to comments – Subscribe to Comments allows commentators to e-mail notifications for subsequent comments made on a blog post.
- 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.
- W3 Total Cache – This plugin does a very good job of improving the speed of your WordPress site.
- 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.
- SoliloquyWP – The plugin is packed with many incredible features that allows you to add a solid slider to your website.
- 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.
The following managed web hosts specialize in WordPress development and provide extensive support & are exclusive only to WordPress-powered sites.
- 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.
- MediaTemple – Another great managed hosting for WordPress businesses and agencies with price $29 / month.
- Page.ly – Page.ly is a well known managed WordPress hosting provider and pricing starts at $24 / month.
- WebSynthesis – Owned by the CopyBlogger Media, the same guys who created Genesis Theme. The price starts at $27 / month.
- 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.
- ManageWP – Manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard and save a lot of your time. A great service with fantastic support.
- Sucuri – Premium security service that helps you keep your WordPress site secure from malwares & virus.
- VaultPress – An online protection & backup service by automattic. Their plans start at $15 / month.
- MaxCDN – CDN service that gives you the most powerful control panel at a very affordable price.
- PostStat.us – Post Status is a place to get the most interesting content available in the community in a very short amount of time.
- 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.