Throughout all of the sites I have worked on and developed, I have found myself coming back to a number of products and services over and over again. These products and services are those that I trust to use on my own sites as well as on my client’s sites.
Below are affiliate links to the products and services I use and recommend others use on their websites.
- WP Engine: If you are a developer, this is the best hosting service I have found. Free development sites for your client’s projects, staging sites and daily backups come standard with all plans.
- DreamHost: Their DreamPress plan is a nice managed hosting plan for WordPress sites, which is especially nice for clients who don’t need to worry about the technical details of managing a server on their own.
- Namecheap: Affordable domain name registration with all the bells and whistles.
- Genesis Framework: Most sites I build are built off of the Genesis Framework.
- MainWP: Provides you with a self-hosted dashboard where you can manage all of your WordPress sites. If you offer maintenance plans for your clients, this is the perfect way to save time managing backups, updates, etc.
- OnSiteWP: Need a managed maintenance solution? OnSiteWP provides managed WordPress maintenance services for businesses of all sizes.
- Desktop Server: Gives you a server that’s set up on your local computer in minutes. Add a new WordPress install with a few clicks of your mouse.
- Screencast-O-Matic: When recording tutorials or plugin demos where the viewer needs to see what’s happening on my screen, Screencast-O-Matic provides a great recording program.
- Easy Digital Downloads: Everything I sell is digital, so I don’t need the bloat of a shopping cart that offers shipping options, etc. EDD is specifically designed to sell the way I need to sell, and there are tons of add-ons to make your store run just the way you want it.
- Affiliate WP: If you are selling online it only makes sense that you would have some sort of affiliate program to reward your loyal customers for referring you to their friends, family, and colleagues. Affiliate WP is the best option I have found, and since it’s made by the same developers as Easy Digital Downloads I know it will always play nice with my e-commerce sites.
- WP Types & Views: Easily create custom post types, taxonomies, custom pages, and more in an easy to use interface. Great option for putting together a site quickly with minimal coding effort.
- Gravity Forms: This plugin is perfect for simple contact forms, as well as more advanced forms that need to accept payments, or integrate with other third party apps.
- OptinMonster: By far the highest converting email opt-in form I have seen yet. Exit Intent is the reason this opt-in form works so well.
- Post Promoter Pro: This plugin has saved me a ton of time with sharing my own content on social media. It will automatically post to your personal, or your brand’s Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts when a post is published, and schedule out tweets in the future to make your post even more visible. Plus, if you are tweeting to your brand’s Twitter account, you can have your personal account retweet the post automatically for increased visibility.
- WP101: Clients often times have a steep learning curve when they first start out with WordPress. Set them up with some high-quality tutorials instead of spending support time on simple tasks.
- Sidekick: An alternative to WP101, Sidekick incorporates interactive walkthroughs on your client’s site, which shows them exactly where to click for some of the more basic tasks.
Social Media & Email Marketing
- Hootsuite or Buffer: Both services help schedule posts out, and with easy to use apps and browser extensions you can quickly add a post you found online to your social calendar.
- Quuu: A quick way to grow your social media followers is to post content frequently. Quuu (pronounced like the letter Q) will automatically add posts to your Buffer queue with relevant hashtags and mentions.
- Quuu Promote: Do you have some kick ass content that you want to promote to thousands of people? Quuu Promote will do just that. Create a social media post for your content, and the users of Quuu will start sharing your post. Boom! Instant, targeted traffic.
- MailChimp: I haven’t found a reason not to use MailChimp yet. Set up RSS feed emails that send updates anytime there are new posts on your blog. Easily integrate with e-commerce plugins.
- WP-CRM System: If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep track of your clients, projects, and other business related tasks, check out WP-CRM System. It’s got everything you need!
- QuickBooks Self-Employed: If you’re a freelancer, or otherwise self-employed you absolutely need the Self-Employed version of QuickBooks in your life. It hooks up with your bank account and can automatically separate business expenses from personal if you don’t already have a separate business account. It can learn to categorize transactions for you so you don’t have to waste time doing it manually. Quarterly tax payments are super simple (other than actually paying them), and there’s an app that will track mileage for you.