You may share this document with anyone, anywhere, as long as the links and content are not changed.
As technologists with decades of experience, we typically review many different products before making a choice that is right for us to use here at Thriving Now. Below are some of the tools and services we recommend. (Please note that there are often several different options, and while the products listed below are ones we use, there may be better choices for you.)
WordPress – http://www.wordpress.org
This is an easy to use and mostly free way to quickly set up a blog and/or a website. You can sign up for a free WordPress blog at www.wordpress.com. All our sites now run on WordPress.
GoDaddy.com – http://www.godaddy.com
If you want to register a domain for your site, this is a good place to go. Prices are average for the industry (they often have sales as well) and their customer service has been exceptional.
Amazon S3 – http://aws.amazon.com/s3/
Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. We use it to deliver large files like audios and videos to customers, and for off-site archive storage for important projects. Price is reasonable. We use S3 Organizer in Firefox to access our S3 storage “buckets.”
Google Analytics – https://www.google.com/analytics
MaxCDN – http://www.maxcdn.com
Content Delivery Network that works automatically with the W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress. Allows visitors from around the world to load cached images, css style sheets, and more from a network of servers closer to their location. Also takes the load off our server, even for VERY high traffic days. Well worth the cost.
Skype – http://www.skype.com
Allows you to use your computer to make audio and video calls around the world for free. Also has some paid features. Offers the ability to remotely view another person’s screen (useful for collaborating).
NConnects – http://www.nconnects.com
This is a paid conference-call service which allows control of individual caller’s volume and participation. It also allows you to record and download calls. It’s what we use! Now allows callers to access the service directly from Skype without using SkypeOut.
We use their virtual office service to route incoming calls to office phone line AND cell phone(s). They offer human voicemail transcription, too. Pressing *7 on an incoming call also activates call recording, which you can easily use to download into a Dropbox folder to send a “public” (but unguessable) link to your clients so they can listen again.
Free Conference Call – http://www.freeconferencecall.com
This service allows you to host free conference calls up to 96 people. They also have a simple event version that hosts up 1000 people.
Customer Management & Shopping Cart
1ShoppingCart – http://www.1shoppingcart.com
On-line shopping cart and e-commerce. Includes email autoresponders and affiliate management as well. It’s what we use.
arpReach – http://www.arpReach.com
Email broadcast and autoresponder you install on your mail server. It’s what we use now for our email lists. Requires someone skilled in server and email management as part of your team.
Amember – http://www.amember.com/
Membership and subscription management system, integrates with systems like 1ShoppingCart and ExpressionEngine.
Paypal – http://www.paypal.com
On-line shopping cart and e-commerce. Convenient way to allow clients to send you payments. Easy to set up Buy Now buttons.
Elance – http://www.elance.com
On-line freelance support for outsourcing various parts of your business.
Other Useful Resources
Dropbox – http://www.dropbox.com
Integrates so nicely into Windows. We use it to easily send private recordings to clients, share spreadsheets and other project files, and sync content between computers.
Carbonite – http://www.carbonite.com
Auto Backup for Computer Files. If you do not have OFF-SITE backup of your key files, you are taking a risk of total loss. Use something like Carbonite, store files on Amazon S3, or some other off-site backup strategy.
Roboform – http://www.roboform.com
Program manages and stores your passwords and autofills on-line registration forms to save you time.
Big Stock Photo – http://www.bigstockphoto.com
Search and download photos for websites, advertizing, products, etc.
Camtasia – http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp
Video presentation creation and editing
Sony Sound Forge – http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/soundforgefamily.asp
Audio creation and editing. We use the Pro version which has an outstanding noise reduction filter. Many people choose the free program Audacity – http://audacity.sourceforge.net/