My Go To For Website Customisations
- WordPress (Free one-click install with certain hosting packages) – I LOVE WordPress. It’s no secret. It is highly adaptive; there are endless themes you can add to give your website any look your little heart desires, and there are plugins galore. And when it is the platform of choice for over 10% of the world’s websites alone, why wouldn’t you jump on the WordPress train.
- ThemeForest – Our first choice for theme selection, there is a broad range of themes available, and each one has been checked by Envato before being ranked.
- Elegant Themes – Another preferred theme library of ours and home of the most popular WordPress theme Divi. I am a big fan of Divi over here at FoxyVA HQ, and you will see Divi pop up quite regularly on various directory websites. Once you get to know it, you will love how easy it can be to build beautiful pages with each one different to the next.
My Go To For Image Libraries
- Adobe Images -We love Adobe Images and you will quite often find one of their gorgeous stock photos feature on our websites in the prominent main slider position. The colour and quality is well worth the monthly membership fee.
- Stocksy – Another great resource library where you can use the images for personal use or commercial use (double check the license just to be sure). Again, this is a paid service, but the quality is there.
- Pexels – An excellent free library where you can pick any image, download it for free and use it where ever you need. We tend to use the free libraries for blog images and content fillers on websites.
- Pixabay – My personal favorite of the free libraries and the one I tend to gravitate to first when looking for a stock photo. I find the quality is not bad for being free and you can use them anywhere.
- Shutterstock – One of the most popular royalty free image libraries with the largest range and arguably some of the best quality photos. But you do pay a premium for this service, so make sure your blog is worthy of such royalty.
My Go To For Hosting
- VentraIP – This is my preferred hosting provider and one I use and recommend for all our clients. Their hosting rates are very competitive, and their online support and service are great.
- Crazy Domains – I recommend Crazy Domains for all subsequent domain purchases. Based right here in Australia, Crazy Domains are also very competitive in price and their easy to navigate control panel makes it easy to point domains to the VentraIP hosting account. I always recommend our clients purchase their .com.au domains through Crazy Domains.
My Go TO For Email / Marketing
- Post Planner – I like Post Planner, with some Clients Facebook pages, Post Planner allows me to post and set individual posts on repeat.
- Mailchimp – Mailchimp is probably the most popular newsletter campaign service with it’s free service for mailing lists under 2000 subscribers. This generous limit makes Mailchimp the go-to marketing platform for many small businesses. Their templates are easy to use, and a drag and drop system makes it is very user-friendly. Just be wary when using your Gmail or Hotmail accounts, Mailchimp prefers your newsletters be sent from your domain hosted e-mail address for spamming reasons.
- Gleam – If you run competitions as part of your business to increase exposure or to celebrate an event, then you need to try Gleam. Not only does it help to keep all your entrants neatly in the one spot, but you will also have the option to retain the e-mail addresses of the people who have entered your competition. So, your promotion all of a sudden serves two purposes, self-promotion as well as building your mailing list so you can re-target those people again. And as it is a term and condition of entering your competition or giveaway, it is a genuine way to build your e-mail lists.
My Go To For Plugins > WordPress
- Yoast SEO – This has to be one of the best-kept secrets. If you are wanting your posts to rank in Google and be geared for SEO, then this is the plugin you need. It is basically a dummies guide to SEO. It used traffic lights to tell you if you are on the right track or not. Green for good, red for bad and yellow for almost there. Follow the suggestions and the less red lights you have, the better your post will be for SEO.
- Bloom – I use Bloom on all clients websites. To some newsletter popups can be annoying, but, stats show they are also a very effective way of building your subscriber list by collecting e-mails. Make them catchy and give the customer something they just can’t refuse. Everyone loves a freebie or discount after all!
- Updraft Plus – What is the point of spending endless hours on your website to only lose it in a 10-second system failure! I can’t even imagine how upsetting that would be. I install and use Updraft Plus on my client’s websites and schedule daily site backups to Dropbox. That way, if the worst should happen, the most you will have lost is a day’s work. Updraft is a free plugin for WordPress and can be set up in a matter of minutes.
- Product Vendors – A few of our websites have been built on the Marketplace Model where vendors list their wares on your site and you as the site owner collects a commission for each sale. Akin to Etsy and Amazon. In order to set this up, you need a plugin that will allow for split payments and vendor logins. We have tried a couple and found Product Vendors to be the most rounded plugin with plenty of features and can be purchased for a one of payment of approx. $99.
My Go To For Graphics Art / Marketplaces
- Canva – I love Canva. Another awesome free tool for creating professional graphics, flyers, newsletters and other designs. There are many templates to choose from, and it is super simple to use once you get the hang of it. You can even use it to start your first eBook collection or printable downloads.
- Pic Monkey – It is easy to use, and you can create professional looking graphics in just a few minutes. It allows you to touch up or edit existing photos or create a new graphic on a blank canvas. You can access most of their features for free or upgrade to their Royalty package, but to be honest, I have never needed to upgrade.
- Creative Market – If you are looking for an image, background feature for your website or even a pre-made logo that won’t cost the earth, then Creative Market is the place to go. We use Creative Market to source new fonts for logos and websites, and with commercial licenses available, you can be sure you won’t get into any copyright trouble.
- Etsy – Another marketplace we use for inspiration and even the odd supplier. It doesn’t seem to matter what you are looking for; you will probably find it on Etsy!
My Go To For Admin
- Google Drive – It helps keep me on top of files, websites, and everything in between. With having Julie up to hours away from FoxyVA HQ, we don’t have access to each other’s personal desk space, so our desks are in Drive. We keep the content for each business website in its designated folder and then share the folder with the people who need access to it and then share it with the client once the project is ready to hand over. You can access it on your desktop or mobile device, and it seamlessly integrates and automatically updates, so no worries if you accidentally forget to hit save!
- Grammarly – If you haven’t yet heard of Grammarly, have we got a new time-saving tool for you! How many minutes or hours do you spend sitting there proof-reading your work only to miss simple grammatical errors? Well, what if I was to tell you that Grammarly does it all for you! Yep, it will fix your grammar, add punctuation marks and even offer you better words to replace your existing ones. If you are writing blogs and eBooks, you might want to consider adding this to your repertoire. And it is free!