Resources & tips for my clients
Below are my favorite tools, applications and service providers that I rely on to run my business online. I’ve compiled them all in one place so you can benefit from the research and due diligence I’ve done over the years. I strive to do business with only the best while also getting a great value, and proudly endorse all of these products and services below. Yes, I do get a commission when you sign up through me. Think of it this way: while it doesn’t cost you a cent more, I get a little love back for the time and effort it took to compile my preferred providers for you. EnJOY!
1. Domain Registrar
Ok, first you need a great domain registrar. I’ve chosen Namecheap. Namecheap offers the affordable rates for .com domain registrations with privacy protection included, which is very important. To claim your territory on the web, it’s common to own dozens if not hundreds of domain names. That’s why you want to choose a domain registrar that is low cost and high integrity so you can purchase, sell and transfer domain names safely and easily.
Next you need a world-class host. I’ve chosen Bluehost. Bluehost was founded in 1996 and is still a leader in the hosting industry. Not only do they provide great web hosting at affordable rates. They constantly upgrade their super fast and secure servers making them a state-of-the-art host. In addition, they use proprietary server software making them less prone to getting hacked. They also have 24h technical support which I personally found to be very helpful.
3. Website Templates
It can be extremely confusing and overwhelming to find the right WordPress theme for your online presence. If I add it all together, I’m sure I’ve spent months over the years researching, comparing and test driving various different themes and templates. What’s worse, the research never ends! Here are my latest and favorite themes:
Themify.me. Themify.me offers some nifty single page themes that are relatively easy to customize. I think you’ll really like their themes.
Dante by Themeforest. Dante is one of my favorite WordPress themes that I recommend for the ones who want to make a big (visual) splash, but not for anyone else. It’s definitely not for online business beginners. You need to have website content and design abilities in order to handle its complexity, otherwise it can be quite daunting and costly to try to adopt it to your needs.
Enfold by Themeforest. While I personally wouldn’t use it for my main website, the Enfold theme is great for a program or event website.
4. Print & Web Fonts
Fonts are much more effective, timeless and powerful in your branding and positioning than people commonly realize. That’s why I urge my clients to invest into high-end brand fonts way before investing into any logo art and graphics. I believe every company should have their own brand fonts for exclusive use online and in print. Plus, it makes designing new sub brands a snap!
I’ve been using MyFonts.com since years. MyFonts.com lets you test-drive countless logo fonts virtually on the fly. You’ll quickly get educated and opinionated on the look and feel for your business, which is a good thing. Be sure to purchase a font package that includes desktop fonts and web fonts. Once you’ve installed the web fonts on the server that hosts your site (it’s as easy as installing software), you can display your entire website content in your own brand fonts. This simple step is the single most cost-effective way to boost your look and feel online.
5. Stock Images
I use 123rf.com for my stock photo needs. I like them because they carry a wide selection of spiritually inspired images, their prices are great and their customer service is responsive.
6. Merchant Provider
I’ve chosen Direct Pay as my merchant provider. I compared a number of merchant providers, and even started the application process with 3 of them to be certain that I was getting the best deal. Now you get to benefit from my due diligence. When you sign up through me and choose the flexible rate plan you get the following highly discounted rates (as of spring 2013):
Special Discount Rate for standard credit cards: 2.20%
Per transaction fee: .25
Monthly fee: $21
7. Online Scheduler
I rely on TimeTrade for all my scheduling needs. It integrates with both Outlook and Google Calendar and lets me know immediately when someone has made an appointment. The time slot is then blocked automatically, and my clients and I receive convenient reminders.
I hope these tips and resources serve you well, and will make it easier for you to run your online business.
Be brave, bold and beautiful,
The Wizard Of Soul Purpose Branding