I had a custom one based upon bootstrap starter for a long time. Recently moved to Astra and loving it. Lots of little options to tweak to your liking but looks good out of the box
Stripe works really well and you can input the charges on the backend, both one time and recurring. It connects to other e-commerce options as well in case you want them to check out on the front end of your site. Checkout Stripe Payments Plugin for WordPress – WPPayForm
if you just want to add the code you can use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin that way you won’t lose the code if you change themes. If you want to control everything you can use Ads Pro Plugin – Multi-Purpose WordPress Advertising Manager
You need an image optimization plugin if anonymous users are uploading images. I never used an image optimization plugin because I optimize it before uploading here at tinypng.com (lossless compression ) I have tested a lot of plugins and found two the best ones are Imagify and Shortpixel. I can’t say which one is better but I use Imagify because it has very good support and interface.
I use a modal that comes with the builder Beaver page builder plugin. I’d also suggest you install wordfence if you haven’t got it to protect the site. You may also want to look into cloudflare to add an extra level of security.
I recommend Facebook comments. Spam and inappropriate comments reduced 99.99% and social shares are up 9000%, traffic is up 1000%. Can’t lie with numbers.
Algolia search is really excellent, but it’s an off-site index and the plugin that connects to it requires extending (in your theme, like wc) to present products properly (eg. Price, stars, button).
Woocommerce is very nearly the only ecommerce plugin these days! There have been lots of shop plugins, but Woocommerce is the one the most people have devoted the most time and attention to. Even developers who were working on other ones stopped and started adding to the woocommerce group of extensions, so it’s robust and flexible and, like WordPress itself, it can be made to do just about anything you need it to do.
Use Apache2 with php-fpm or Nginx server. Then use a cache plugin w3 total cache is the best. Optimize images and use a lightweight theme. And if you want more load speed use a good CDN.
I think the biggest mistake I see is not making your photos web-ready. Most photo programs allow you to export them to still look good, but a much smaller file size. Also keeping the pixels down in size. You really don’t need to go over 1080.
In my experience, the fewer plugins the better. WP Fastest Cache has helped with browser caching though.
Best is a matter of opinion. If you want to use WordPress for your message board you can, but make sure it’s for the right reasons. Many people just use a WordPress plugin because it’s the easy thing to do. If you are running a membership site, using WordPress for the membership area, and want only members to have access to the forum then using a WordPress plugin for the forum is your best to secure it from being crawled by bots and accessed by non-members. However, if you’re using WordPress for a non-membership site and allowing people to use the message board free than a plugin isn’t a good idea. Use a third-party message board application like phpBB or Xenforo.
Wordfence does a pretty good job scanning your site for possible malware. also check from a fresh device and public IP that has never logged into the site before. I’ve seen a big trend recently on WordPress sites like that where the infection code does a really good job of hiding because it identifies whether or not you are the site admin by looking at visiting trends from cookies and IP logs and then only does the behavior in question to new visitors and only to those once or twice. If you don’t have a fresh device, make sure you at least try clearing cache, cookies, etc and maybe use your cellular connection on your phone unless you think you might have used that in the past when working on the site.
If these galleries aren’t going to change much, you could create a grid of single images with GenerateBlocks and set the margin to something you’re happy with. If you set the single image block to link to ‘media file’ and add the plugin below, it’s very slick. I tried this with the 0 margin grid, stacked to two columns on mobile. Takes a little more work to set up than using the Gallery block, or a gallery plugin, but the end result is better.
FooGallery has more bells and whistles, but for something simple GT3 is worth a look.
TutorLMS free LMS plugin and work smoothly but it depends on your requirements and budget. There are many options available out there, but I think it’s Tutor LMS(easy-to-use and powerful).
FacetWp works very well but is not compatible with AnyElementor Pro.
You can try Elements Kit plugin to create a header/footer, if you want to add an extra plugin to create a custom header.. Otherwise you can create it via elementor pro easily.
You can build literally whatever you want with Elementor Pro, even really weird menús with pop up builder too.
You’ll need some basic knowledge of code tho.
I suggest you watch some YouTube videos, some people make really cool stuff that then you learn and give you knowledge on how to make your own designs.
Elementor or Beaver builder?
Elementor is for newbies and for people who have no idea how to make websites. If you’ve been in web design for a while, you don’t code in that piece of garbage. I recommend Oxygen or even beaver builder.
Undoubtedly Dokan Multivendor Marketplace Plugin
Use any theme, but don’t use any builder, if in future you want to change the theme, you can not easily do that. AskWP prefer Astra Theme.
Cloudways is good. They have a staging feature also so you can work on dummy WP installations on the same server and their dashboard and everything is very easy to use.
The theme is not important for investment and loan websites. Design and functionality are. You can choose from both free and premium Astra Theme and it doesn’t matter that much which is the theme. It matters the content. The theme can be only for style but you style it by your liking usually.
WordPress.org is the best for blogging. There are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The WordPress.com is more an all in one platform but you cannot use all of the available plugins on it. WordPress.org is the open-source software that will take a little more technical knowledge to set up but leaves you with much more room for expansion and plugins to use. See more at WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
CloudWays is fantastic. Slight learning curve but they have excellent documentation, migration plugin that is amazing, great support, great price, super-fast, choice of servers, great interface, many options.