I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page to share with you some of the tools that I use and recommend. I’ll add to it from time to time and it will only contain companies that I personally use or would recommend to clients. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I have experience with most, if not all of these companies and would not recommend them if I didn’t believe they could help make a positive impact in your business organization.
Website Hosting Tools
Siteground: I personally use Siteground for all of my websites adn recommend it for most of my clients. It is easy to use and my experiences with customer service have always been pleasant. I would highly recommend Bluehost whether you are hosting 1 site or a dozen. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price!
Genesis framework by Studiopress: I can’t say enough fabulous things about this framework. From my very first interaction with them 5 years ago, I have been in love. The cistomer service is first rate and they have a passionate group of users. There is so much built into the themes to help your site with SEO and page ranking and the designs are easily customizable. Their themes are modern and they are improving and updating all the time. Genesis is the framework that MDS Web Designs is built on and 95% of the WordPress sites that I build are also on Genesis, using a theme from Studiopress or another approved designer.
Website Protection Plugins and Services
Sucuri: Website protection 24/7. Keep your site protected from malware and if you do have a problem – they will remove it for you. Not just for WordPress!
WordFence (free of Premium):
Updraft Plus (free or Premium):
Shopping Cart and E-Commerce Solutions:
ecwid: The easiest E-Commerce I have ever worked with. It is a 3rd party application that integrates seamlessly with your WordPress or Joomla website. Free up to a certain number of products, the entire transaction is handled for you. There aren’t any sales reports available, but it integrates nicely with Google Analytics. For a simple shopping cart with loads of customization, I highly recommend it.
WooCommerce: This is probably the mosts talked about in the WordPress world. It is a great solution, but definitely takes a bit more setup than ecwid. If you need a robust store with any type of special features, WooCommerce is the way to go.
Stripe: My absolute favorite. More and more applications are beginning to work with Stripe and there are several plug-ins that can integrate the payment processor to YOUR website so your customer doesn’t have to visit another site to make payment. I use this as my online payment provider and strongly recommend it over Paypal.
Paypal: They grandfather of online payment provider for the small business. It’s easy to set up your account and most people are familiar with it. It is still a bit clunky, design-wise, but it does what you expect it to.
Square: Face to face credit transactions couldn’t be simpler. This neat little device plugs into any mobile device to process your transaction. You can set up products and categories on the website to make the transactions even easier.
Images and Photos for use on your website
Stencil: I prefer Stencil over Canva
Email Marketing Providers
Mail Chimp Essentials
My Back Office:
Tools I use to run my business
Xero Accounting Software: I LOVE this software. I have worked with so many others, but Xero makes accounting simple and easy to understand.
ActiveCollab Project Management:
LastPass: The easiest password management system ever. LastPass frees up so much personal memory and makes
Dubsado: I’ll admit – I resisted signing up for Dubsado for a very long time. There were so many recommendations for Dubsado in my facebook groups, I thought it was a bit of a cult and these people had just been brainwashed. There was no way that one tool could do as much as everyone seemed to think it could. But then I signed up and I was sold. Once I got up and running, I was able to replace 4 other tools (and monthly subscriptions) [TSheets, YouCanBook.Me, SignNow, Rerun Payments] and it made my client intake and management system so much easier to keep track of.
Zoom Video Conferencing:
Loom Video Recorder:
Other Personal Faves
NeuYear Wall Calendar: