We develop all of our websites on the WordPress platform using the Genesis Theme Framework. Then we integrate vetted 3rd party plugins and customized functionality. The result is beautiful, mobile-friendly websites that are secure, flexible and built to grow with you, whether you have a new business or a 7 or 8 figure enterprise.
We always recommend using fast and reliable web hosting services from independent hosting companies – like inMotion Hosting (if you’re just getting started) or WPEngine (for higher traffic, established sites) – for the best results for your site.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that 74.6 million websites depend on. At the core, WordPress is a blogging platform and content management system. Anyone can create a free hosted version on WordPress.com, but there is much more to it than that. Businesses and brands typically develop on the self-hosted WordPress.org (you pay for your own hosting and custom domain) for complete independence and ownership of their site.
Since its release in 2003, 29,000 plugins have been developed and even more themes and 3rd party integrations have been created, to extend the functionality and capabilities of the platform. WordPress is most popular with businesses, bloggers and e-commerce shops because of it ease of use, flexibility and ability to scale gracefully.
Both at Cultivar Designs and during previous professional lifetimes, we have worked with WordPress websites hosted under many different providers. Choosing the right hosting company is not always an easy task and usually requires considering many options as well as plans for future growth. Based on our experience, we have vetted and highly recommend these two options for both starters and pros.
Just starting out?
We recommend inMotion Hosting because it is an independent US based company who has stellar service, support and performance.
They have award winning support and they are one of the top rated hosting services in 2016. Their shared business hosting provides free site/domain transfers to get off your old costly plans while providing unlimited space for you to build your dreams upon.
Is your business growing steadily or expecting some serious press?
WPEngine is the perfect pick for professionals where speed and reliability are essential, or if your website has high traffic volume. WPEngine is hands down the best solution for hosting WordPress sites for medium to large businesses or for those whose traffic is steadily growing or are expecting significant press or traffic surges. Your website will fly when you’re working on the same platform that major players like Yelp and Asana are using.
Designing your site’s look and feel starts with your theme. It takes a lot of time and energy to make websites look great, and that’s why it’s important to invest in a theme that will last. Not only are themes all very different from each other in layout and design, but also in quality of code and functionality. This is why we recommend proven and popular paid themes for both starters and professionals over free themes, minimizing risk and maximizing support.
Genesis Theme Framework by StudioPress
Genesis Theme Framework is the ultimate choice for developing your WordPress design upon. It allows you to start with a foundation that is search engine optimized, responsive, up-to-date with HTML5 and secure. We create Genesis child themes custom for our clients, or start one of their many wonderful themes to choose from. We love this theme because it allows us to create extremely customized and personalized branded sites without all the bulk that many other themes contain. Many of the our sites require little to no maintenance when it comes to theme updates because the Genesis core framework takes care of all of the work, so you can focus on design.
PopupAlly Pro: We highly recommend all of our clients to have an opt-in to go with their websites, and PopupAlly Pro is the best plugin to deliver polite popups that you can customize.
Visual Composer Page Builder: Dynamic drag and drop page builder that will help you to create any layout you can imagine fast and easy – no programming knowledge required! The editor allows you to create rows and columns that allow you to drag and drop your page elements any way you see fit, and adjust look best in other devices. Comes with 40+ pre-defined elements and over 200+ addons available to purchase to extend the functionality of your website.
Envato: CodeCanyon.net When we do purchase specialty plugins, we use the Envato Studio’s Code Canyon plugin market. It’s easy to vette plugins by amount of purchases, average ratings and by reading customer comments and reviews. We do not recommend everything in the market, but there are a few treasures we couldn’t live without.