6 Business Tools You Need To Make Your Website Rock
August 25, 2017
There are so many tools, platforms and services out there to help you build your website that it is hard to know which ones will actually save you time, money and stress. I am going to take out all of the guesswork and give you a peek behind the curtain. I use these following 6 business tools to make the website creation process easier and more effective. Get one or all and get ready to make your site rock.
This is definitely not the only website creation platform out there. Many people use Squarespace or WordPress and are happy with their choice, but Wix is the platform I found success on. Wix offers five plans, and the middle one, the Unlimited Plan, is the one I use. It costs $12.50 per month with an annual plan.
By creating my company’s website on Wix, I reduced costs associated to web design by 80%. It is beginner friendly due to its drag-and-drop editor, affordability and ease of use. Wix has a number of templates that you can select based on your industry and personalize to suit your needs. The best part is that everything is customizable so you can update your website anytime, anywhere. Wix even handles hosting for you. No matter how much experience you have with creating websites, the result will look as good as if a professional had done it.
Purchase a domain: GoDaddy
I am the kind of person who likes to keep her eggs in different baskets. Even though Wix offers a free domain for the first year with an annual plan, it is easy to purchase a domain somewhere else and add it to Wix. For me, that ‘somewhere else’ is GoDaddy, though you can use Namecheap or Bluehost instead. I chose GoDaddy since its platform is easy to navigate and its customer support is great.
One thing I enjoy is that it offers its domains for a low price that does not include other add-on features, such as an e-mail provider and privacy options. This way, pricing is transparent and you only pay for what you need. I have already purchased three domains with GoDaddy, and will continue using their services in the years to come.
Schedule e-mails in advance: MailChimp or ConvertKit
To be completely honest, I use MailChimp in one of my businesses and ConvertKit in another. Why not the same? MailChimp is great for those who are just starting out since the first 2000 subscribers are free. The newsletters are customizable with a drag-and-drop editor, and so I use this e-mail marketing provider to send a weekly broadcast with promotions or blog posts.
ConvertKit, on the other hand, charges you $29 / month for the first 1000 subscribers, but it is great for sending out automated e-mail sequences, as well as for other automation capabilities, and for tagging subscribers. I use ConvertKit for my online business Yes To Tech, and even launched the free five-day e-mail course ‘Create Your Own Website’ with it.
Which one is best for you? It depends on your budget and needs. If you have the money, I’d go with ConvertKit since it is scalable down the road. If you start off with MailChimp, I doubt you will still be using it in five years to come.
Design graphics: Canva
Canva is great for all different kinds of graphics you need to create, from workbooks to social media posts. Use it to make graphics that look professional, without using or having to learn complicated software like Photoshop and Illustrator. Canva as a whole is free, and if you decide to go with a premium template or image, you only pay $1 for each.
The pre-set design you choose is perfectly sized to fit your needs (for instance, a Pinterest graphic is exactly 735px x 1102px), and you can choose from a number of pre-made templates made by professional designers. The fonts, layout and colors all match, but you can easily customize the chosen template with your preferred text, icons, backgrounds, as well as with myriad other features.
Edit images: Pixlr Editor
This is a free Photoshop alternative, and includes most of the functionalities that the paid version offers, from paint tools to image design, right from your browser. Out of all the tools in this list, Pixlr is the least beginner-friendly, but there are a number of YouTube tutorials that explain how to use it. I use it for simple purposes, such as to resize images or to save them in .png format to make the background transparent.
You can create an account with Pixlr, but it is not necessary; you can literally just jump in and start creating. I recommend opening an account if you want to save the images you create in .psd format, to be able to edit them again in the future.
Coding for beginners: Dash – General Assembly
With Wix, you do not need to know how to code, but it is important to know the basics so you can edit HTML or CSS if the need arises. For instance, knowing HTML will help you embed a MailChimp e-mail opt-in form on your website, and be able to customize it so it blends in with the look and feel of your website as a whole.
Dash is a free online course that teaches you step-by-step how to code by completing fun and entertaining projects in your own browser. All the tech jargon that scares beginners off is removed. In the end, you will be able to create a blog or website from scratch with pure code, but going through the first steps is enough to gain the knowledge you need.
You now have all the resources to create a professional-looking, all-star website yourself with ease.