Sterner
Stuff

A digital product agency


WordPress experts and custom software consultants

Choose Yer Adventure

Our Bread and Butter:

WordPress Hosting, Customization
and Management

From Eugene-based small businesses to nationwide, enterprise-level operations, we're helping teams and storefronts make WordPress work for them

WordPress can meet your business's needs, but not every agency is equipped to run and manage WordPress reliably and at scale. That's where Sterner Stuff comes in.

Whether you're migrating to WordPress for the first time or tuning up a massive existing install, Sterner Stuff can help you plan, execute, and maintain for long term success.

Start with the basics

Reliable WordPress Hosting

Your website is useless if it's down, broken, slow, or appears untrustworthy. Sterner Stuff's WordPress clients get started on the right foot with robust, dedicated hosting plus monthly support to keep business moving. Here's how we address each of those concerns:

WordPress Isn't Slow Around Here

  • Dedicated VPS can scale to your needs
  • Full-page cache skips WordPress, PHP and your database
  • Redis caching speeds up everything the full cache misses
  • Sites are audited for plugin and theme performance
  • Improved caching by routing DNS through Cloudflare
  • SSL certs (https) always included for better performance and security

Downtime Can Be Avoided

  • Uptime monitoring means we know before you do if your site does go down
  • Bad updates get caught before they go live
  • Backups can be restored to fresh hardware in less than 10 minutes
  • More robust failover setups available upon request

Responsible Updates

  • Applying updates monthly stays ahead of code rot more likely to break and keeps you safe from hackers
  • Updates are reviewed by hand before launch each month
  • Sites are audited for abandoned plugins and themes, ensuring maintained compatibility
  • Personalized, proactive recommendations
  • Permanent staging QA available upon request

Worry-Free Managed WordPress Hosting

starting at $112 per month
  • Dedicated VPS hosting
  • Direct account manager access for technical and non-technical support
  • WordPress tuned for performance
  • No contract

WordPress for Publishers

Meet Fluctuations in Traffic

Increase uptime and cut costs all at once. Auto-scaling WordPress isn't unique to your publication. Let Sterner Stuff advise and execute on a migration to one of our enterprise WordPress hosting partners. The next time you get a big scoop, your website won't break a sweat.

Diversify Monetization with Gutenberg

Extend WordPress's block editor with custom widgets, giving your authors the power to execute on unique, context-specific monetization efforts with your financial partners.

Performance Audits

Fast sites mean happy users. Happy users stay longer and are more likely to interact with your advertisers. This higher revenue per user is great for monetization, because everyone knows new users are more expensive than existing users. Let Sterner Stuff tune your site and bump your bottom line.

WordPress for eCommerce

WooCommerce Experts

There are lots of options out there for WordPress eCommerce, but we stand by industry-standard WooCommerce and its reliable stable of extensions. We're here to configure and customize WooCommerce plugins and themes for your online business.

Caching for eCommerce

Caching isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, and that's doubly true for eCommerce websites. By looking at caching options across your entire stack, we can ensure your website performs under pressure. Fast websites sell better, so ensure yours is as fast as possible.

Seamless Shipping

Brands often underestimate the complications of shipping for eCommerce, from configuring rates, to talking to their shippers to getting labels in a timely fashion. Sterner Stuff can advise on both logistical and technical aspects of ensuring every delivery goes out on time and without losing your shirt on shipping.

Integration and Automation

When your eCommerce sales take off, the last thing you need is to start bringing on an army of employees to handle fulfillment, accounting and logistics. Rather than pay new employees to do data entry, Sterner Stuff can help you ensure your logistics and accounting solutions talk to WooCommerce, automating as much as possible.

WordPress For Small Business Course

If the Worry-Free plan isn't right for you yet, we've made this guide for you. Take actionable steps to make your WordPress website more reliable.

Each lesson arrives in a convenient email, and you can reply to get a little hands-on assistance.

Learn more or just sign up for this free course.

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Custom, cloud-based software solutions

As your business scales, your problems become bigger and your needs become more specific. You start stretching off-the-shelf solutions to their limits. Are you looking at your budget wondering why you're using a "good enough" solution with a five-figure monthly licensing fee?

Or maybe you're the first in your field, offering brand new services that require a completely custom platform to deliver a first-class experiene to your customers.

Wherever you fall in the above, Sterner Stuff is here to help. With custom-built, web-based software, we can ensure your business is ready to meet all the challenges ahead with solutions that work exactly the way you need them.

Cloud-Based

Our solutions are all built on the web, which means you never have to worry about hardware, office space, or specialized devices. The tools we recommend and build are accessible from any device, anywhere there's an internet connection.

Automation

If your business requires more staff to scale, are you really scaling? We don't think so.

Automate away as much of your workflow and services as possible to keep payroll affordable while still growing your business.

Business Intelligence

Where there's an API, there's a way. We'll help you pull information from every segment of your operations and put it under one roof. Dashboards and databases ensure you're making efficient and informed decisions.

Our Tools of Choice

Laravel

The PHP framework that makes the world go 'round. We specialize in building and maintaining designed-to-spec Laravel applications. Laravel allows us to tweak and scale your application to meet any requirement.

Vue

A Javascript framework that can go big and small. Vue powers applications that respond to user input in the blink of an eye, and we can sprinkle it in only where needed, rather than committing to the expense of building a full single-page application.

Sterner Stuff Design is a joy to work with. Ethan is professional, incredibly expedient, and a great dev on top of all that! Over the course of a month, he helped develop several modules, troubleshoot bugs, and even muck around in the weeds with really small details to make the site more efficient and standards-compliant. Can't recommend Sterner Stuff Design enough!

Brent Barkley

The Blog

Migrate from WP User Avatar to JJJ’s WP User Avatars

By Ethan Clevenger | July 12, 2021

WP User Avatar, now commandeered by ProfilePress, is significantly more bloated than it once was. There are a variety of alternatives to turn to if you want to replace it, but I’ve chosen (and recommend) WP User Avatars, maintained by WordPress core contributor John James Jacoby. The migration here is pretty simple. WP User Avatar…

Configure wkhtmltopdf for Laravel Snappy on Homestead, Sail, Forge

By Ethan Clevenger | June 29, 2021

If you’re generating PDFs from HTML in the Laravel world, you’re likely using something like Snappy, wrapped conveniently in a service provider by barryvdh/laravel-snappy. Snappy depends on the wkhtmltopdf binary to function. Per the documentation, this binary is conveniently available via Composer: But that package hasn’t been updated in 4+ years, meaning the binary is…

Keep MySQL Databases During Laravel Homestead Upgrade

By Ethan Clevenger | May 18, 2021

This question has been documented about a million places around the internet with a variety of convoluted answers. How can we upgrade Laravel Homestead without losing our MySQL databases? Instead of writing your own mysqldump commands, or copying and pasting one from an internet stranger, there’s actually functionality for this built right into Homestead. If…