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Small Business Owners

Resources

Many clients ask for recommendations for a range of services from website hosting to e-mail marketing.  Below is a list of service providers who we use for our websites as well as when setting up websites for our clients.

Website Hosting

WP Academy

WP Academy

WP Academy provides excellent hosting services. We host both our websites, “The Transformational Journey” and “The Doors of Transformation.”  We prefer WP Academy because they specialize in hosting and supporting WP websites.  WP Academy hosting prices are very reasonable and their support services are responsive and comprehensive.  When you host with WP Academy, you receive the following:

1. Ticket support for all your hosting issues, with 24 hour (next business day) turnaround and a pager number in case of emergency. If necessary they will sign-on to your site and attempt to fix the problem. No other low-cost hosting company supports WordPress plugin or theme issues –this puts WP Academy in the range of managed WordPress hosting, that usually costs $30/mth and up per domain.

2. Disaster recovery services for WordPress including hacked sites, PHP & database errors etc. They will install and license a free copy of  Backup Buddy Software on up to 5 of your sites to ensure proper backup, either under your hosting or theirs.  This is the web’s premiere WordPress backup solution.  A good backup, stored off-site, is essential for disaster recovery and protection from hackers, and in this way you don’t take any chances.  Your license will be valid so long as you maintain an active support contract.  They request you open either an Amazon Web Services or DropBox account for storing the backup, but this should either be free or very inexpensive.

3. They will perform a Security / Vulnerability Assessment of your sites, at your request every 6 months. This includes updating your WordPress and all plugins, and checking for major known vulnerabilities such as incorrect directory permissions, etc.  We can also update your theme if desired. 

To learn more, go to: WP Academy

WordPress Templates

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes provide a wide range of WordPress themes from responsive themes suitable for smaller screens, (i.e. tablets and phones) to themes suitable for multimedia, video and photo presentations,  to business and some eCommerce templates.  All the Elegant Themes templates can be used as blogs as well as Content Management Systems or websites that are both beautiful and functional. Elegant Theme templates are also compatible with most WP plugins.

Elegant Themes are designed to come out of the box functional and beautiful.  There is minimal need for customization. The layout and set up of a website with Elegant Themes is logical and easy to understand.  The technical support at Elegant Themes is comprehensive and the support staff will provide you with solutions to your questions or problems almost always within a 24 hour window.

If you are looking for a WP template that you can upload and begin using right away, Elegant Themes is a great choice.  To learn more, go to:  Elegant Themes

Website Membership Plugins

WishList

Wish List

If you are looking to set up a membership program or website, WishList is an excellent plugin.  It provides you with a comprehensive strategy for designing, promoting, selling and management memberships on your site.

The software is initially a bit challenging to learn but once you “get” the concept, you can quickly set up and create your membership offerings and payment gateways.  To learn more, please go to: WishList

E-Mail

Mail Chimp

Mail ChimpMail Chimp provides online e-mail marketing services to manage contacts, send emails and track results. It is great for small businesses just starting out and that have small mailing lists.

Mail Chimp offers a Forever Free plan in which you can send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.  The free service does not include features like Social Share or the use of autoresponders to send individualized e-mails.

Mail Chimp has also integrated its software with numerous other web solutions including many WordPress plugins.  We currently use Mail Chimp to manage our e-mails for our e-magazine, The Doors of Transformation.

To learn more, go to:  Mail Chimp

Stock Photography Images

The Transformational Journey uses a number of stock photography websites to secure images for our sites and client sites. One of them is Fotolia. Fotolia is a stock photography community, and Fotolia’s members buy and sell images for use in all their design projects including websites, advertisements, and presentations. Fotolia offers low-priced royalty free images using the credit (1 credit = $1.4) or subscription system. A member can buy credits or a subscription plan and download images at affordable prices.

Fotolia

To learn more, go to: Fotolia
Please Note

The Transformational Journey may receive an affiliate sales commission on the sale of the above recommended products. While a commission may be earned, we only recommend products that we use ourselves and that we believe are an excellent resource for small business owners.

Thank you for your support in purchasing these products through our affiliate links.