WordPress development takes time and, as in any business, time is money. Fortunately, there are a lot of planning and automation tools available to help streamline the process. In this article, we’ll look at how to speed up your WordPress development process to make your time more effective and your business more profitable and get your designs into your clients’ hands much faster.
Asana is a work-management platform for teams that lets you visualize the work. Set work in stages, schedule on the calendar, chart the timing, share files, create rules, monitor the status, manage the workload, and lots more. You can use templates to create the type of work environment to suit your needs. Asana integrates with over 100 apps and it’s one of the most powerful project management tools available. It has free and premium plans available. It’s great for setting up team processes.
For more information about team processes and why they’re important, listen to the podcast Why You Need To Create A Process For Everything You Do.
2. WP Layouts
WP Layouts integrates with WordPress and allows you to store layouts from Gutenberg, Divi, Beaver Builder, and Elementor in the cloud. You’ll have easy access to all of your layouts from any WordPress website. This makes it easy to import your designs with a single click. Create layouts on any website, save them to the cloud, and use them on any other website. View them as thumbnails so you’ll know exactly what you want to import. They retain their images and code. It also stores code snippets and you will soon have access to child themes. It comes with 20 free layouts and you’ll be able to purchase premium layouts directly from the library. WP Layouts is currently in beta for free.
LastPass is a free password manager for Chrome. Once you’ve stored your passwords you’ll always have easy access to them. It includes a built-in password generator that creates long, randomized passwords to protect your accounts from hackers. Friends or family can access your account in case of emergencies. It allows for safe information and password sharing. It also stores notes and information such as memberships, Wi-Fi passwords, Insurance cards, etc., and it will fill in fields for online shopping. Prices range from free for a single user to $4 per month for 6 users.
Sketch is macOS digital design toolkit for designers that was built for streamlining your workflow and working with teams. It’s great for prototyping and includes vector editing, pixel precision, non-destructive editing, collaboration, code exporting, 100s of plugins, and more. Add data to your designs, create specs and guidelines, convert wireframes into UI elements, create workflow diagrams from your designs, create GIFs, create mockups from screenshots, and more. The personal license starts at $99.
Zeplin is a space where teams can connect and share files to collaborate on projects. Handoff code, style guides, specs, assets, and more. Code snippets, specs, and assets are generated automatically from designs. It has lots of plugins to integrate with apps such as Sketch, Photoshop, and other design tools so designs can be imported easily. Team members can access the designs and files, and everyone can get notifications of changes. This is an excellent tool for creating a design repository. Prices range from free to $129 per month.
6. Google Drive
Google Drive was designed to be a safe place to store your files from any device. Files include text, photos, recordings, designs, etc. The first 15GB is free. You can access the files from a computer, tablet, or phone so they’re always at your fingertips. Files and folders are sharable, so you can invite team members to view or edit them. It’s available as a personal version or a business version. The business version integrates with Microsoft Office and other tools. Prices range from free to $8 per month per user plus $1 per 25GB.
7. Divi Snippets
8. Good Hosting
Good hosting saves time because features are easy to find and use, and you won’t have to deal with down-time and waste time by solving problems with your web server. Managed hosting handles many of the maintenance tasks for you such as automatic updates and backups. They’re optimized for fast site-loading and security. For more information about good hosting, see the article How To Choose The Best Hosting Service for Divi and WordPress at Divi Space.
9. WP Squish
WP Squish is a free plugin for WordPress that performs image compression and management. You define the file size and image resolution limits and the plugin automatically formats the images to those parameters as the images are uploaded. Each of the image sizes can have its own defined compression level. You have full control over the quality of compression levels. This saves a lot of time by you not having to resize photos before uploading them. It also speeds up your website because of the smaller file sizes that are stored and served to the browsers, which in turn uses less storage space and fewer server resources.
10. Cross-Browser Testing Tool
Cross-browser testing is crucial, but it can take a lot of time. The best way to speed up the process is to use a cross-browser testing tool. We like Cross Browser Testing from SmartBear. It makes it easy to test in over 2050 real desktop and mobile browsers in the cloud. Run Manual, Visual, and Selenium tests with multiple browsers and OS configurations. You have access to the browser console and debugging tools that you can use behind a firewall or proxy. Record and track the logs for performance improvements, record video and take snapshots, document bugs and exceptions, and validate real-world scenarios. Automate your tests or run them manually. Prices range from $29 to $100 per month.
Loom improves communication by creating sharable videos, making it easy to collaborate with your colleagues or communicate with your customers. Record from your camera, your screen, or both. Record from the full desktop or the current tab. Include audio or not. You won’t have to upload the video anywhere. Your team automatically has access to it. It has end-to-end encryption to keep the videos private. It integrates with Slack and has inline video sharing. Get notifications from your team. It’s GDPR compliant. It’s free for one user or $8 per month per user for a pro account. Team and enterprise pricing is also available.
12. Code Editor
A well-designed code editor works with the major frameworks and programming languages and streamlines the coding process. They include developer tools that assist in coding, mark the syntax, identify errors, debug code, format code, and lots more. A good code editor, such as PhpStorm, can synchronize with remote servers, make it easy to rename variables, make your code easy to navigate, and can verify your code. Other excellent code editors include Sublime and Brackets. PhpStorm starts at $199 per user for the first year. Prices reduce per year of use.
GitLab is a DevOps platform with a full suite of tools that help you design and build your apps. Categories include manage, plan, create, verify, package, secure, release, configure, monitor, and defend. Each category has 1-6 tools with lots more on the roadmap and new features added every month. This is an excellent suite of tools to manage the project, design, develop, and deploy your apps, automate your workflow, collaborate with your team, add roadmaps, test, allow guest users, manage your portfolio, and lots more. Prices range from free to $99 per user per month.
14. Bookmark Useful Web Pages
Bookmarking useful web pages is one of my favorite methods of organizing information that I find online. Bookmarking them ensures that I can find them again, and when I want to find information, I have access to articles that I’ve already found and identified as helpful. I like to organize bookmarks according to topic. I also break it down into as many topics as I can in a way that makes the most sense and makes the web pages easier to find. It’s also helpful that your bookmarks are available between browsers and devices if you’re logged in and using the same browser.
15. Starter Child Theme
16. Pre-Made Child Themes
Rather than building the child theme yourself, use a pre-made child theme like those found in the Aspen Grove Studios shop. These child themes are professionally designed and coded to provide the features you need for both specific websites and all-purpose designs. They’re available for purchase individually, or you can save even more by joining a membership plan and get access to child themes, layouts, plugins, and courses.
17. Use Pre-Made Layouts
Pre-made layouts have pages with elements already in place to provide a framework that you can customize and build upon. Some even include CSS and images. Mix and match the elements, recolor, delete the parts you don’t want, combine elements from multiple layouts, and lots more. Elegant Themes has lots of pre-made layout packs and wireframe kits to help you get started. You can also find a free layouts bundle in the Aspen Grove Studios shop and free and premium layouts in other marketplaces across the web.
Zoom is an online conference app that makes it easy to hold online meetings with your team. Meet using video or audio with up to 1000 participants and 10,000 viewers. It includes video and web conferencing features, security, user management, and more. Easily record your meetings for replay. Plans range from free to $19.99 per month per host with a minimum of 50 hosts.
19. Business Expert Course
The Divi Business Expert Course from WP Gears is filled with tips and templates to help you run your Divi business as smoothly as possible. The course is designed for both new and experienced WordPress and Divi users and includes everything you need to know to start and operate your own 6-figure home-based Divi business. It includes 2 Divi child themes, a web design proposal template, a legal contract, client cheat sheet, project management templates, and more.
These 19 tools are great resources for speeding up your WordPress development process. Doing all the work by hand can be a time-consuming process, and that lowers your profits and makes your clients wait longer for their websites. Using tools such as these is smart for business and productivity.
What are your favorite tools to speed up your WordPress development process? Let us know in the comments.