It takes a lot of resources to run a small business and we thought we’d share those that have worked for us. Here is a collection of resources we personally have used or a client has used over the years.
We partner with many of these companies, so in full disclosure, some of these links are affiliate links, which means we receive a little bit of compensation for referring you to them. However, if the link is on this page, rest assured that we have personally used the service ourselves or for a client and are offering our honest assessment of the service.
Constant Contact – We’ve been working with Constant Contact for years now. We recommend Constant Contact for email marketing for all of our clients— 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.
Stock photos are great for websites, blog posts, presentations, and newsletters.
www.123RF.com– 123RF is definitely less expensive than iStockphoto (given…it doesn’t have the same selection) and is growing. We usually look here first, and then at iStockPhoto if we can’t find the right image.
www.istockphoto.com – Tried and true stock photos. We have used them for stock photos for years. They have many exclusive images, just beware that the prices can vary greatly from level to level.
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, or….. they will just do things for you if they fall into the 30 minutes or less category.
We really can’t recommend them highly enough. Website support is all they do, so they are always available.
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.
Use our special affiliate link to receive a 10% lifetime discount at ManageWP.
GoWP – The GoWP service plans include backups.
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 (read:Paid) 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.
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.
Social Media Management
HootSuite – An awesome social media dashboard that lets you manage it all in one place, scheduling posts ahead of time. The basic functionality is free.
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!
We have a lot of experience with many, many different hosting companies, and after much careful consideration, we whole-heartedly recommend the following…
- Our white label Godaddy Hosting – We have worked with this hosting for so long, we know the product like the back of our hand. It’s inexpensive, solid hosting and as resellers, we will help you get set up and navigate common issues.
- When you have the budget to spend a little bit more, BlueHost is a fantastic choice as well.
Online Stores / ECommerce