If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, here’s a list of services & software that will upgrade your website, life, or career.
If you make a purchase using some of the links below (and at no additional cost to you) I will earn a small commission. I only recommend tools I have experience with and recommend to others because they are useful. Only make purchases that you feel will serve you or your business.
Hosting & Domains
- A Small Orange – Shared hosts are notorious for being low quality, have over crowded servers, bad service, and unreliable uptime. A Small Orange is a player in this space that does not fit that description. They good at what they do, offer very competitive pricing for personal/small business needs, and they have renewable energy environmental program. Sweet.
- WP Engine – If you have a WordPress website and you’re getting more than 5,000 visitors to your site each month, it may be time for an upgrade. WP Engine is a premium managed host specifically for WordPress. They’re great for running large sites with lots of visitors, while keeping your site fast and secure. Upgrade when you have more traffic and need extra beefy security, speed, and server performance.
- Google Domains – Need to register a new domain name? Go here. It’s easy to use, well-priced, and less annoying than other registrars.
- WordPress – I use WordPress for 100% of the websites I create. This is a software to be installed on a web host like A Small Orange (not the same as WordPress.com’s blogging site platform).
- ThemeForest – Once you have a WordPress site you need a theme. This is a huge catalog of many different premium designs to choose from.
- Elegant Themes – This is another great resource for premium WordPress themes. It’s a membership fee instead of single purchase. Highly recommended if you plan on needing multiple themes for different sites.
Email Marketing & Automation / CRM
- ActiveCampaign is a fairly new but extremely robust email marketing platform, that also has some automation and CRM features. Basic plan is perfect for the small business on a budget, with features and plans that give you room to grow as your needs evolve. I use this for my email marketing — I love love love it.
- PicMonkey – A good website could use some images. This is a super easy to use image creation tool with lots of great features for free.
- Canva – This is another free tool (though if you use any of their stock images, you pay for that) that’s super powerful. Great for designing social media headers, postcards, business cards, and other documents. You can easily create a great lookign flyer without any previous graphic design experience or know-how.
Social Media Management
- HootSuite – Schedule and automatically publish 100’s of messages, manage and post to multiple social profiles. Great analytics too. Free option available, pro account gives you many more features.
- Google Analytics – This is a great free tool from Google to track your website visitor behavior and much more.
- DropBox – If I need to share a file for someone to view or download, I use this. I just drop files in the folder on my computer and it syncs to the cloud. Also great for backing up files or sharing folders with clients or team members for collaboration.
- Evernote – This is my digital brain. It’s an amazing tool to capture and track just about anything. It’s free!
- Trello – A great visual project management tool. I use it daily. And it’s free, so that’s extra awesome.
- Focus @ Will – This is a pretty incredible tool that plays certain types of music that are scientifically proven to help you focus and be more productive while you work. I use this every single day. The page on their site with all the science is totally worth a read.