I’m teaching WordPress this semester to a group of emerging web professionals. They have a lot of questions about themes and plugins to start with. Here are some themes and plugins we have identified as “good” to try.
- Sela by Automattic. Download Sela for your self-hosted WordPress site. This site uses a child theme of Sela that I modified.
- Gateway is lovely, I used it in the housekeeping demo. Download Gateway for your self-hosted WordPress site.
- Hemingway Rewritten I’ve used on a client site. Download Hemingway Rewritten for your self-hosted WordPress site.
- I have a client running Virtue. I’ve had no trouble working with it.
- I like Storefront for WooCommerce sites
- SKT Full Width has a nice background image slideshow.
- I’ve also used Edin for business sites.
- iThemes Security
- Jetpack for Custom CSS, tiled galleries, social media integration
- Yoast SEO for boosting and configuring SEO
- Duplicator by Life in the Grid for backups and imports into ServerPress
- The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe
- Google Analytics by Yoast
- Some good slideshow plugins include: Photo Gallery, NextGen Slider, Meta Slider
- Add a button for a Call to Action: Buttons Shortcode and Widget
- Create a Child theme with Child Theme Configurator
- Install the Google Fonts Library with Styleguide
- Add a Newsletter Signup via the blog subscription widget in Jetpack or copy and paste your HTML signup form from MailChimp into a Text widget or page.
- Generate a Style Tile from an existing site with Stylify.me. What is a Style Tile you ask?
- When selecting themes and plugins, check WordPress.com, if they use it you know its been peer reviewed by a developer for stability and security. Then check number of users and 4-5 star reviews – there is strength in numbers. Lastly, check how often the developer updates the plugin – you want the code to be compatible with other tools on your site.
What other themes, plugins and tips do you have to offer newbies?