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The best tools to build powerful websites.

There are thousands of apps and plugins out there, but only a small fraction of them are actually worth your time. Here are the tools I’ve personally tested or use on a day-to-day basis.
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🔥 Editor’s Note

Welcome to the NewPulse Labs resource section! I’ve curated all the tools & software I recommend to build and grow online businesses.

To get an important disclaimer out of the way: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. This commission comes at absolutely no cost to you.

That being said, please know that these are tools I’d fully recommend with or without an affiliate link. I’ve tested or used each and every tool extensively, for both client and personal projects.

If you’d rather not use my link, you can always Google the product name as well.

Need a personal recommendation? Feel free to reach out!


Don’t waste your time with $4/mth hosting providers. Getting a good host is 100% worth it – especially considering it’s the foundation of both your agency & clients’ business. Your sites will be faster, more reliable, and more secure.
Best for Agencies


If you want to take your hosting to the next level, GridPane is the way to go. It’s what I use to host most of my websites now. You pick your server and they add their highly performant stack on top. It’s most cost-effective if you manage multiple websites, and want to be more involved in optimizing your servers.

Try GridPane
For Freelancers & Small Businesses might be the fastest managed WordPress host I’ve ever tested. The front-end of your site loads in a split second, but even just seeing how fast it is to navigate around the WP admin made me re-think my setup. I’d highly recommend for those who want blazing-fast hosting without the fuss of tinkering with servers.


Building Your Website

As a web designer, you’ll spend thousands of hours inside your site builder of choice. It might be the most important decision you make.
Best Page Builder

Bricks Builder

Bricks Builder is the best WordPress page builder for building high-end, custom websites. It packs a ton of power and has a silky smooth UI. It also has a quickly growing community – meaning new tutorials & resources are being created daily.

Try Bricks Builder

Relume Library

Relume Library has become my starting point for any new custom website build. The AI sitemap and wireframe builder saves countless hours during the planning phase, and their free Figma kit featuring common layouts makes it easy to piece your site together. You can check out my full review of the Relume AI Site Builder here.

Try Relume Library

Breakdance Builder

Breakdance is a traditional page builder that focuses more on ease-of-use. While still very powerful, it tucks away advanced controls in favor of a simpler UI. And unlike many other beginner-friendly page builders, it still has performance and flexibility at its core. Breakdance is a great site builder if you’re looking to build pages quickly. You can check out my full review on Breakdance Builder here.

Try Breakdance Builder

Sales Funnels

The most valuable websites are optimized to generate leads and drive conversions. These tools can provide a major ROI boost to almost any website.
Best for WordPress


This is a brand new e-commerce platform for WordPress that I’m really excited about. It’s headless, meaning it doesn’t add any bloat to your website (unlike WooComemrce). Currently it’s best suited for digital products and one-off sales. You can read my full review of SureCart here.

Try SureCart
Best for General Use


ThriveCart is a great option if you want a checkout system that doesn’t rely on WordPress or WooCommerce. It also comes with upsells, downsells, order bumps, custom checkout forms, and subscriptions, but has a bit less flexibility when it comes to styling. It can currently be purchased for a one-time fee, making the decision virtually a no-brainer.

Try ThriveCart
Best for WooCommerce


CartFlows is a great way to create beautiful e-commerce funnels on WordPress. It ties into WooCommerce, allowing you to create custom product pages, checkouts, and thank you pages. It also let’s you easily create upsells, downsells, order bumps, and custom checkout forms. If you’re using WooCommerce, you should get CartFlows.

Try CartFlows


Convertful is a very good popup and opt-in form builder. While most page builders have popups and forms built-in, Convertful’s magic sauce is in allowing you to deeply integrate with your email marketing CRM. This lets you show opt-ins based on lists, tags, etc, and create highly targeted calls-to-action.

Try Convertful

Essential Plugins

You’ll find these plugins installed on most of my WordPress websites.
Most Recommended

WS Form

WS Form is the most powerful form builder I’ve ever used. It has features that simply aren’t available elsewhere, making it almost as much of an app builder as it is a form builder. Their support is also really helpful and responsive. This one is easy to recommend.

Read my full WS Form review here. There’s also a coupon code to get 20% off at checkout.

Try WS Form

WP Rocket

Server-level caching is where it’s at these days, but WP Rocket has introduced a bunch of speed optimization features that make it essential for any website. Including CSS/JS minification, delay JS execution, video lazy-loading, link preloading, CDN integration and more. It works really well with all the hosts I mentioned above.

Try WP Rocket


WPCodeBox is one of those plugins I install on every site. It allows you to create PHP, JavaScript, CSS snippets etc, but also gives you the ability to store them in the cloud and easily reuse across different sites. WPCodeBox is far and away the best code snippet manager for WordPress.

Try WPCodeBox
Swiss Army Knife

Admin and Site Enhancements

ASE is a plugin that has found its way onto all my new site builds. It has a ton of little admin functions that you would normally need separate plugins for. I featured it on my newsletter here, but it’s replaced at least 5+ plugins on this site. It’s also great for cleaning up the WP backend, making any site feel a lot less cluttered.

Try Admin and Site Enhancements


There’s a handful of good backup plugins out there, but WPvivid is the one I’m rocking right now. I use it as an additional layer to my host’s backups, and have it auto-upload backups to the cloud. The UI isn’t the prettiest, but it packs a lot of features and has been reliable whenever I’ve had to use it. The lifetime pricing also makes it an attractive option.

Try WPvivid


SureMembers is a new membership plugin on the market that has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s lightweight and doesn’t add any unnecessary bloat to your site. It also integrates well with Gutenberg and most page builders. You can read my full review here.

Try SureMembers

Plausible Analytics

After Google Analytics gave everyone a reason to switch, Plausible Analytics has become my platform of choice. It’s not free, but is far more focused on being lightweight, easy to use, and protecting the privacy of your visitors.

Try Plausible Analytics


Optimizing the images on your website is super important for page speed and search rankings. ShortPixel is the best plugin I’ve tested in terms of reducing file size & ease-of-use, and I use it on all the sites I build. It’s also great for automatically converting your images to WebP format – reducing file sizes even further.

Try ShortPixel


I previously used Wordfence, but NinjaFirewall offers a better Web Application Firewall (WAF) at the free level. Its rules are updated every few hours as opposed to every 30 days, and it processes requests before they even reach your website. This allows it to block more attacks and use up less of your server resources.

Try NinjaFirewall

Email Marketing

If you or your clients run an online business, you need to be emailing your list. It’s a great way to nurture your leads and turn customers into raving fans.
Most Recommended


Its email editor could use a face-lift, but ActiveCampaign is one of the more powerful email marketing platforms out there. You’re able to build complex automations and it integrates with most other marketing tools. ActiveCampaign is my current choice for any business that isn’t an ecommerce store.

Try ActiveCampaign

Newsletter Glue

If you write a newsletter, you should definitely check out Newsletter Glue. It let’s you publish to WordPress AND your email service provider (like ActiveCampaign) at the same time. I’ve been using it for The Lab Report since the beginning of 2022, and it’s easily saved me 1-2 hours a week.

Read my full review here. You can also use the coupon code NEWPULSE10 to get 10% off at checkout.

Try Newsletter Glue


FluentCRM made a splash when it launched in late 2020. Most ESPs can get really expensive the more contacts you add. It still has a lot of catching up to do, but the beauty of FluentCRM is that it’s self-hosted – you pay one flat price whether you have 100 subscribers or 100k subscribers.

Try FluentCRM


These amazing design tools can drastically improve your workflow. Levelling up your designs doesn’t need to be difficult.
Best UI Kit

Untitled UI

Untitled UI is easily the best Figma UI kit I’ve used so far. If you’re building a website for a startup, SaaS, or tech company and need a design framework with a ton of different prebuilt layouts – it’s pretty much a no brainer.

You can read my full review here. Using our link will also get you 20% off at checkout 🙂.

Try Untitled UI
Best for Fancy Screenshots


Not only has BrandBird sped up my content creation process, it’s made it a lot more enjoyable. I love being able to take a simple screenshot and make it look amazing in 5 seconds flat. If you want nice visuals for your content or social media posts, it’s definitely worth trying out.

Read my full review here. You can also use the coupon code NEWPULSE20 to get 20% off at checkout.

Try BrandBird
Best Design Tool


Figma is to a web designer what a hammer is to a contractor. If you create want to create high-end pixel perfect web & app designs, you need Figma. All my site builds get designed in Figma first. Their free plan is generous and 100% usable.

Try Figma

Business Apps

These tools can quickly become essential for the day-to-day operation of your business.
Best Screen Recorder

Screen Studio

There are a thousand and one screen recorder apps, but Screen Studio changed that game. It’s buttery smooth to use, and it somehow makes every screen recording look high-production. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love a screen recorder this much.

Try Screen Studio

Testimonial is a really easy way to collect testimonials/reviews and embed them on your website. You can either ask your customers for a text or video testimonial directly, or automatically pull them from social media. The UI is well-thought out and enjoyable to use. You can read my full review of Testimonial here.

Try Testimonial


Notion is a beautiful productivity tool. It’s like a Google Docs + Trello + Excel + Evernote combined. It’s great to use as a daily journal, to-do list, habit tracker, goal planner, and a place to keep track of any thoughts that float across your mind. It works well for both personal use and business teams.

Try Notion
Best Accounting Platform


If you need an advanced accounting platform, Xero is the winner. It has the best multi-currency features of all the platforms I’ve tested, it directly integrates with a ton of bank accounts, and you’re able to use your own Stripe and PayPal accounts to accept payments on your invoices. For me, the time savings make it easily worth the price over Wave.

Try Xero