Helping publishers grow and thrive.

We create high-performance custom WordPress websites for market leading web publishers.

Two phones showing client websites

Mobile Google logo

Mobile-first design

Mobile isn’t just a consideration anymore; it’s the primary way people use the web. Worldwide mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop. Google has made mobile-first indexing the default for all new domains. For many publisher sites, we’re seeing 80% of traffic coming from mobile—and when we see data like that, we go mobile-first.

With mobile-first design, we start on mobile to ensure the experience is great and from there, we use responsive design to expand layouts with progressive enhancement as browser sizes and capabilities increase.

Mobile mockups of Best Life Rates

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Optimized for Page Speed

Page Speed is a major ranking factor in the Google algorithm. They understand that when users have a slow experience—especially on mobile—they’re much less likely to find what they’re looking for. Google recommends site owners pay attention to performance metrics to improve user experience.

We help publishers by building custom WordPress themes with the exact features and functionality they need. We follow development best practices to build lean, high performance sites without the superfluous bloat of commercial themes.

Desktop and mobile mockup of The Recipe Critic

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Designed for Accessibility

Accessibility isn’t a feature you can tack on the end of the project – it must be considered throughout the entire design and development process. We strive to build websites that are usable by all people without the need for adaptation or specialized tools.

During design, we adhere to WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines for type, color, and contrast. During development, we follow WCAG best practices to deliver websites that are perceivable, operable, understandable, and interpretable.

Testing contrast ratios for accessibility

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Built for Gutenberg

As early technology adopters, we began developing custom blocks for the new Gutenberg WordPress editor before it was officially released. Every site we’ve launched since has been designed from the ground up to take advantage of the block editor.

Gutenberg allows publishers to drag-and-drop blocks to create visually sophisticated content, but the available core blocks are fairly basic. With Cultivate VIP, we design additional custom blocks that address the specific content creation needs of our clients.

Gutenberg block editor

Our Secret Ingredient

Our Cultivate Pro plugin is a game changer. It expands the default WordPress archives with block-based Category Landing Pages. Instead of a simple reverse-chronological listing of posts, Category Landing Pages include our custom-designed blocks to create visually sophisticated archives with a variety of post listings to highlight popular content.

Category Landing Pages provide additional SEO opportunities, expand content discoverability, and improve the user experience. The continuously updated plugin ensures the custom blocks are current with our latest improvements.

Category landing page on Jessica Gavin

About CultivateWP

We help publishers grow and thrive by providing the tools, knowledge, and services they need to improve performance, increase traffic, and enhance the user experience of their websites.

Cultivate VIP

Cultivate VIP is our premium service designed to help you plan, implement, and launch your website. Over time, we’ll help you extend, enhance, and optimize it for growth.

Cultivate Pro

Cultivate Pro packages our custom-developed core technology that powers 20 of the top 100 food blogs in a continuously updated WordPress plugin.

Our Team

CultivateWP was co-founded by long term partners Bill Erickson and Duane Smith. Today, our team features many talented and respected designers and developers.


Our Clients

  • MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art
  • Nice Kicks
  • The University of Cambridge
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas A&M University
  • Bergamo Montessori Schools
  • Cash Money Life
  • Best Life Rates
  • Dog Food Advisor
  • Calc Workshop
  • Brentwood Associates
  • Study Finds
  • Dr Jockers
  • PostOS
  • MasterVoices
  • ROCO – River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
  • Boutique Japan
  • SolutionsIQ
  • North American Thrombosis Forum
  • State Bar of Texas Family Law Section
  • Connatser Family Law
  • Pritzker Law
  • Bellaire Probate
  • The Sundheim Group
  • The Kerouac Project
  • DIY Natural
  • CARAS
  • Dating Divas
  • Simply Recipes
  • WP Recipe Maker
  • The Recipe Critic
  • Dinner then Dessert
  • Lil Luna
  • Skinny Ms
  • Minimalist Baker
  • Spend with Pennies
  • Two Peas and Their Pod
  • Jessica Gavin
  • The Recipe Rebel
  • The Kitchen Magpie
  • Grown and Flown
  • Pinch of Yum
  • Half Baked Harvest
  • Plain Chicken
  • Shugary Sweets
  • Chocolate Covered Katie
  • Crazy for Crust
  • Dassana’s Veg Recipes
  • Add a Pinch
  • Mint Arrow
  • Barefeet in the Kitchen
  • Taste by Trish
  • Well Plated
  • Katie Workman / The Mom 100
  • Her Packing List
  • Practically Functional

Let’s Talk

Looking for a trustworthy website partner to help with your project? We’d love to hear about it. Let's start a conversation.
I knew what to expect every step of the way, deadlines were always met and the project launched on time. I have received nothing but praise from my readers for a site that is easy to use, easy to navigate and most of all, it’s fast!Holly Nilsson Spend with Pennies
The final product is a website that looks great, is easy to use, loads quickly, and put us in a position to almost immediately scale website traffic by over 900%. I couldn't be happier!Ian Hunter NexRep
Working with Bill was a wonderful experience. My website loads fast, looks professional, and I am so happy with the final results. He is hands-down the best developer I've ever worked with, and I would absolutely recommend him to others.Katie Higgins Chocolate Covered Katie
From start to finish, this project was fantastic. Bill is a consummate professional. Every deadline was met ahead of time and he delivered a website that was better than I imagined. He engineered solutions to requests I had and made them better than I dreamed. I highly recommend his team for any and all website needs.Mary Younkin Barefeet in the Kitchen

Latest Updates

Our Process

Successful web projects depend on deep collaboration between design and development. And that’s exactly what we do.

How can I make my website accessible?

Whenever I’m building a website for a client these days, one of the top questions I get asked is “How do I make my site accessible?” While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a number of simple rules to follow so that your content is accessible to as large of your audience as possible. …

Import saved content to Slickstream

While Slickstream is primarily used to drive engagement through search, it also includes a content favoriting system.. If you are using the Favorites plugin to allow registered users to save their favorite recipes and posts, you may consider migrating this data to Slickstream. You can then remove those users from your WordPress installation and improve…

Mobile First and Responsive Design: What’s the difference?

Making sure your website works great on a mobile device is a given in 2020. All “mobile” sites are not created equal though, and simply because your site displays properly on a phone does not mean you’re giving the best possible experience to your users. Two of the common terms you’ll hear thrown around when…