If you’re looking to build a new website or rebrand an existing one but don’t know where to start, this page is for you. I’ve set up this resources page to help you find the top tools I use and recommend, whether it is understanding how to start your website or figuring out how to make your company run more smoothly.
My aim is to share my knowledge and be transparent.
Tools to Get Your Website Started
Bluehost is my go-to hosting provider. Each registration comes with a free yearlong domain name registration, great security and fantastic support (the 24/7 live chat has been invaluable to me as a website designer). They offer hosting packages from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. Hosting starts from $3.95/month.
You’ll need Content Management System (CMS) to build a site. WordPress.org is a great free, powerful and flexible platform which has a large database of free and paid plugins to improve your site. It is by far my preferred CMS to work with especially because of the flexibility for design. You can download this through most hosting providers. (Not to get confused with WordPress.com)
ThemeForest has just under 40K themes for WordPress, pre-designed to keep your costs low and timeframes short. Most are fully responsive, retina-ready and flexible to suit your website needs; whether you want a blog-or magazine-style website. They come with live demos showcasing the various features so you can test it out before you buy it.
Sumo is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website’s traffic. The tools are easy to install and work on any website giving you the ability to add popups and make your website easily shareable by customers. You can upgrade to a premium account to link signup forms to your CRM (Mailchimp, Active Campaign etc) and to make use of smart popups.
Every website starts with a domain – that’s where Namecheap comes in. It is the leading ICANN-accredited domain name registrar and hosting provider with more than 7 million domains under management, coming at great affordable prices. But first check that your hosting provider doesn’t already include a free domain name.
Tools to Improve Your Look & Attract Customers
You can’t just grab any image from Google and use it, you need to make sure you’re licensed to use it correctly. Shutterstock is a great place to find high quality photographs and illustrations. You’ll have to pay for your image but there are millions to choose from so you’ll no doubt find what you’re looking for.
Tools to Improve Your Company’s Workflow
Your email list is one of your most important assets. ActiveCampaign is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform I’ve been using which is a great paid option for beginners. It give you signup-form customisation, automation/funnel setup, allows you to keep track of your customers and my favourite – easy email design flexibility.
It may be a bit scary to begin with but Asana will soon be your best friend. Its a free online platform that allows you to organise tasks, to-do lists and capture conversations with coworkers. It was built by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz so expect intuitive features like tagging coworkers with @name. Ticking tasks off once completed can get addictive!
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bluehost & Shutterstock, and I get a small commission when you click their links and purchase a plan. That’s how I maintain this website. It doesn’t cost you anything. In fact, I guarantee that you will get the best prices when you use my links.