I only partner with businesses that I recommend. Below are businesses that I recommend to my clients because I believe and/or experience them to be of the highest quality or the perfect cost to benefit ratio for what they offer.
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Hotjar. Top of hte line webpage analytics and feedback. Heatmaps, scrollmaps, user-activity recording, and lots more.
Note that they do not host email accounts, so unlike most other hosting platforms, you will need to handle that separately. Just ask them and they can give you suggestions.
A2 Hosting. I began hosting with A2 hosting in 2016 after Hostgator’s services tanked. I chose A2 because their prices were still fairly reasonable and yet their servers maintain some of the fastest website load times in their price range. Plus they answer the phone and provide good technical support. Having been with them for about a year, I still recommend them. Great service. And now they have Managed WordPress hosting plans.
Hostgator. I was a customer of Hostgator for about 9 years. I no longer recommend HostGator. The quality of their support has gone down dramatically to the point of being useless. You have been warned.
SiteGround. Like WP Engine, SiteGround specializes in WordPress hosting and is known for WordPress based speed optimization and advanced security. SiteGround however also offers lower cost “shared” hosting options that WP Engine does not. I do not have personal experience with SiteGround hosting but feel comfortable recommending them based on their reputation and specialization with WordPress.
North Bay Web Hosting. This is my hosting company. I created it as an mid-point bewtween shared hosting services like SiteGround and WP Engine. You get a faster hosting experience with North Bay Web Hosting than SiteGround for a little more cost, but much less cost than WP Engine for those who do not want to put down $29/month.
2Checkout. Another top payment gateway that is well known for its international support. I have one client who uses them.
Moolah. I switched to Moolah in May 2015 from another merchant services provider I had used for years. Moolah has great rates and no extra fees. They integrate with Authorize.net and they even pick up the monthly fees that one would normally pay as an Authorize.net account holder. I wrote a post about it as offering the best online merchant services rates.
WordPress Tools & Themes
Astra is a new theme I am using in 2018. I really like it and apparently so do thousands of others as it is one of the most popular themes in the WordPress directory and has a 5 star rating from 228 people as of this writing. It is especially good if you are looking for a solid, fast, well built theme to use with a page builder like Beaver Builder or Elementor.
Elementor. The Astra WordPress theme combined with the Elementor page builder has become my new toolset of choice to build client websites. These tools are built to run fast websites and provide the best front-end page builder interfaces todays modern websites.
Divi Theme. This is a wonderful theme with a powerful page builder and tons of customization options. I have used this as the foundation for many of the websites I have built for clients. You can get a Divi child theme via that link.
Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms is, from my experience and review, by far the best WordPress based form creation and management tool there is. Easy to use, very flexible and intuitive and very extensive given their integration with dozens of other services, (ie. payment processors, email capture accounts, etc). I have used them for many years.
Beaver Builder. An affordably priced and well built WordPress page builder plugin. Works with any theme, and they have some as well.
WP101. Learn WordPress the easy way. Video tutorials for beginners.
WP Curve. Unlimited WordPress small fixes with same day turnaround and 24 / 7 live access from $79.
Sales & Marketing Automation
Infusionsoft is certainly the best in marketing automation. They are more expensive than Drip and ActiveCampaign, and more complex, but if you want the best, they have it.
Powerful WordPress Email List Building
Freshbooks. I have been using Freshbooks for about 7 years to create and send invoices to my clients. Clients can pay me by check or click a link in the invoice to pay by credit card if I allow that option. I can see if and when my clients open my invoice emails and when they pay. I can track my time via a convenient app on my computer which sends that time to my Freshbooks account allowing me to easily create an invoice for all time logged since the last invoice. Freshbooks staff answer the phone right away with support if you need it. Great service! Click this link for a free 30 day free trial and another FREE MONTH if you join a paid plan. Happy accounting!
Zoom has the best video conferencing. Easy and powerful. They have a free plan with a limit of 40 minutes per meeting so you can test it out and use it for free. Paid plans start at $14.99/month which is a great cost if you use it much at all. I use it to train, troubleshoot problems with clients, screenshare, and hold group meetings for better group collaboration. You can easily record meetings for review later. Learn More.
WordPress Consultant Business Training
You can opt in here for a free video series which provides value right out of the gate (as does all of the training I have taken from them) and gives you a taste of what you will get with their full program; or you can visit this page for a prospectus on the program.