My Favorite WordPress Tools

Hey there ?

If you’re reading this page then I’m guessing you’ve tried some of my themes or read some blog posts here, but if not then let me introduce myself:

Ben Sibley

My name is Ben and I’m the founder here at Compete Themes. I made my first website with WordPress in 2010 and later started this theme shop in 2014. Over the years, I’ve learned WordPress in-and-out both as a user and a developer, and I’ve helped thousands of people with their websites too.

I get a lot of requests from my customers for plugin recommendations, so I thought I’d put together a new page with all of my favorite products.

These are the WordPress products I use and can wholeheartedly recommend for you too.


My plugins

Independent Analytics – Independent Analytics is a brand new plugin I helped develop that lets you easily track your site’s views and find out where your traffic is coming from. It’s deeply integrated with WordPress, 100% GDPR compliant, and won’t slow down your site (and it’s free).

Strive Content Calendar – is a premium editorial calendar plugin I developed and use daily to plan and publish content here at Compete Themes. It includes a visual calendar for planning your posts, editorial statuses, checklists, post revisions, and a “pipeline” view of all your drafts. If you’re an avid content creator, check it out!


Plugins & Tools I Love

These are plugins and tools that I use for Compete Themes and other WordPress sites I maintain.

Kinsta – Kinsta’s hosting is incredibly fast and the user dashboard is fantastic. Better still, their live chat support is genuinely helpful and their response time is very quick.

WP Rocket – WP Rocket will add high-performance caching to your site making it faster the moment you activate it. There’s a huge amount of additional performance optimization tools included as well.

ConvertKit – I finally found an email marketing service I love in ConvertKit. Send newsletters, broadcasts, pre-written sequences with flexible segmenting and automation tools.

SEMRush – I use SEMRush every single day to track keyword rankings, analyze backlinks, and complete in-depth keyword research. It’s the best SEO tool on the market IMO.

Optimole – Optimole is one of my new favorites. Your site will start loading faster the moment you install it thanks to the advanced image optimizations included.

Cloudflare – Cloudflare will speed up your site right away with its global CDN. Also, DNS changes propagate instantly making site admin tasks so much faster and easier than the traditional way.

WPForms – WPForms is so flexible and easy to use. The form builder is great and options like conditional logic allow for more complex forms.

MailOptin – every website should build an email list and MailOptin is my favorite plugin for adding optin forms to WordPress.

Easy Digital Downloads – if you need a way to sell digital products on your site, your best option is the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. With all the extensions available, you can do pretty much whatever you want with your eCommerce store.

Additional recommendations

Here are a few more products I use (or previously used) and find myself routinely recommending to customers.

Bluehost – I used Bluehost to host my first website and they’re a great choice for new WP users.

Elementor – Elementor is the best page builder plugin. If you’re willing to take the time to learn it, you’ll be amazed at how much control it gives you over your site’s design.

WordPress SEO – WordPress SEO is the first plugin I install on new sites. It’s essential for optimizing your site to rank well in Google.

Widget Options – want to display a widget on your site, but only on certain pages? That’s exactly what the Widget Options plugin is for. It will change the way you use widgets.

Relevanssi – if you want to improve the search results on your site then try Relevanssi. I use it on this site to serve more relevant search results than WordPress can provide on its own.

Schema – structured data can help your site look better in the search engines and get more traffic. The Schema plugin is simple, free, and works great.