It takes a lot of resources to run a small business. Here is a collection of resources we use or a client has used over the years.
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We have a lot of experience with many, many different hosting companies. The following companies are our go-tos when recommending WordPress hosting to clients.
They represent varying price points from low to high.
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Stock photos are great for websites, blog posts, presentations, and newsletters.
www.123RF.com - 123RF is has reasonable plans using on-demand credits or subscriptions. This is who we use for paid stock photos.
Free Stock Images
In recent years, high quality free stock photo websites have become more common. This is a list of some of the best ones. Double check the licenses before using photos, but most of these offer royalty-free, no-attribution photos.
Gravity Forms - In short, Gravity Forms is the bomb. This plugin is worth the price just for the amount of time it saves you in setting up simple forms on your site. However, it does SO MUCH MORE!
You can connect a Gravity Form directly to payment processors such as PayPal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout. So for example, if you want to set up a registration form for an event, with Gravity Forms, you can set up the form using a simple user-friendly interface, and using a Gravity Forms plugin, accept payments within 15 minutes. I could gush on about it for a while, but you might just have to trust us when we tell you how great it is.
Wishlist Member - For membership websites built on WordPress.
WPMember - Also for membership websites.
Pop Up Maker - For custom pop-up functionality
WP Rocket - For caching and speed improvements.
We work almost exclusively with WordPress to build websites. That being said, we've built custom WordPress themes from the ground up, converted existing designs to WordPress themes and modified many, many different types of free and premium WordPress themes. Here is a collection of our favorites:
Premium WordPress Themes
StudioPress - When it comes to premium WordPress themes, we recommend StudioPress Themes above all others. The themes are built on the wonderful Genesis platform which makes control of layout and Search Engine Optimization simple among other less visible things. See WPStudioWorks for our portfolio of StudioPress theme customizations.
Mai Themes - Mai Themes produced many of the most popular third-party StudioPress themes. It's the same great themes on the Genesis platform, just offered directly though Mai Themes.
Google Fonts - Google has many nice fonts that you can use on your site for free! It's a great way to add that tailored look to your website.
fonts.com - Can't find a font you like at Google fonts? Fonts.com has thousands of fonts for a small monthly subscription. Browse their huge selection to find that font to make a great impression with your website!
Constant Contact - We’ve been working with Constant Contact for years now. We recommend Constant Contact for email marketing for all of our clients who will be creating and editing emails themselves --- they have an easy-to-use product with great support from live people (although they have extensive online documentation as well!). Their product offering keeps getting better and better with the addition of Surveys, Events, Social Marketing and more.
Active Campaign - Active Campaign has very robust auto-responder workflows and has the ability to create emails that look as if they are regular emails (just text, left-aligned) which works really well for certain types of campaigns where the communication needs to look very personal such as for authors and professional coaches.
Sucuri - Use Sucuri to monitor your website for hacks and malware. Get Malware Cleanup (No page limit), Website Integrity Monitoring, Email & Twitter Alerting, Manual Website Scanning, Blacklist Removal all for one yearly fee. Read more about how one customer used Sucuri to close a security hole in her hosting infrastructure.
GoWP - We live and work in Atlanta where GoWP is based and have personally met the guys who work and run GoWP, and they are awesome! They are available by chat and phone to answer questions if you want to figure something out on your own and just need a few questions answered.
ManageWP - Keeping your WordPress and plugins up-to-date is an important part of preventing hacks and keeping your site secure from hackers. Before upgrading anything, you need to have a recent backup in case something goes wrong, so that the site can be recovered.
Use ManageWP to perform one-click backups of your site (about $1.50/month for 1 site) . With the professional plan, you can schedule automated backups of your website (about $4.50/month for 1 site) so you can set it and forget it. When you need to restore to an earlier version of your website, ManageWP allows you to do that with a few clicks.
GoWP - The GoWP service plans include backups.