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Resources

In the course of our online design career, and particularly with WordPress, we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to tools that make running your business a joy rather than an exercise in tearing your hair out. We’re constantly discovering and testing, and conferring with the experts to determine which plug-ins, shopping carts, membership programs, etc. are the best options for our clients.

Here’s a list of just a few of the tools we love:

  • Thesis Theme for WordPress – An one-stop theme solution for most online business owners.  It’s flexible, easy to manage and getting better all the time.
  • Digital Access Pass – Without a doubt the most comprehensive, flexible membership program for WordPress you’ll find for the price.
  • Sucuri – Hands down the most affordable, fastest and easiest to use malware monitoring and ‘repair’ service out there.
  • Riva Slider – My favorite image slider for WordPress.  It’s incredibly flexible and looks amazing.
  • Gravity Forms – If you need more than just a basic contact form (like maybe you want to create forms to gather client information), this is your best bet.
  • Aweber – A robust email marketing solution with solid analytics capabilities.  What does that mean?  You can see how effective your campaigns are!  And it’s used by a lot of the pros.
  • Mailchimp – A simpler, fun-to-use email campaign solution with attitude.  I don’t recommend if you’re building a business and require serious analytics of your mailing lists, but for many people, Mailchimp works just fine.
  • AudioAcrobat – There are lots of choices out there for hosting your audio and video files, podcasts and more.  Audio Acrobat gives you a place to keep them all in one place.  And they’re adding new features all the time.
  • Surveymonkey – Does what it says – surveys!
  • Basecamp – I couldn’t run my business without Basecamp.  It’s like having an extra brain!  Allows me to keep track of tasks and to-do lists, and my clients to keep track of everything in one  place.
  • befunky.com – A free online photo editor that does almost all the things Photoshop can (except without the skill requirement – or the cost).  I use this to do some effects for online photos and love its simplicity.  After the demise of Picnik, this was my go-to for referring to clients who didn’t want to spend the money or time on more complex photo editors.