Since I am back and posting to this site again, I thought it was a priority to get this page updated, since the products we are using now has changed. These are products that we personally use and recommend.
|Genesis Theme - We absolutely love the Genesis theme framework by StudioPress. We use it on all of our sites now. What we love about it is the clean look of all their themes and the fact that the team working on Genesis aim to keep it lightweight and free of clutter in the back end. Amongst other things, this helps the site load quickly.
We purchased the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package which as the name suggests gives us access to all of their themes including any new ones that come along. However, you can just purchase individual StudioPress Themes if you prefer.
|Stablehost - We had a lot of trouble with this particular blog when it came to hosting both with Bluehost and Hostgator. So we were looking for something that was ...well stable...and this hosting company fit the bill. It wasn't until we took the site over to Stablehost that things finally sorted itself out. We haven't had any problems since.
Support has been pretty quick, although to be quite honest, we haven't had to submit a support ticket to them all that often.
One of my favourite things about Stablehost is the unlimited bandwidth. There's nothing worse than when one of your posts goes viral and the site crashes because of all the traffic.
|Genesis Extender Plugin - If you are using the Genesis then this plugin comes in mighty handy if you want to customize things a bit. Really not for the beginner but if you are confident with your Wordpress site then this is a must have.
This plugin basically allows you to customise your Genesis theme. Personally we use it to create new widget areas for our websites. For example, we often want to place a widget area right under our header. This plugin will allow us to easily do that.
One of the coolest things that it can do, is create static homepages. This creates content areas in columns and areas of your choosing. So you can basically design your own homepage.
Plus you can also create conditionals. For example, if you have a widget area that you created but you only want it to appear on specific pages, you can do that.
There is so much more that we haven't even touched on but you can read more here