Resources

When you’re building an online business there are so many tools you’ll eventually want to use.  So we have compiled a list of tools and services that we are comfortable recommending.  You won’t need everything on this list, but chances are you’ll discover something helpful to you.

Disclosure:  Assume that OutsourceFactor is an affiliate for these services.  Therefore, many of the links below are affiliate links which means we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.  Anything we have included below is something that we have experience with, and recommend on that basis.  You should never buy anything that you don’t really need.

Website Creation

WordPress has become one of the most popular ways to build a content-rich website.  It was a blogging engine to start, but now it’s suitable for sales oriented sites, and pretty much anything you can imagine.  Wordpress installs on your web host (see below), is completely free, and can be highly customized using a programmer, or by buying an off-the-shelf “theme”.  For example this site uses OptimizePress, a theme designed for marketing.

OptimizePress is a beautiful off-the-shelf theme that you install on top of WordPress.  It costs $97 as of this writing and is well worth the price.  All of the nicely styled bullet lists, buttons, content boxes and page templates are included.  The creator, James Dyson, has done a fabulous job designing this theme.

Thesis Theme is another HUGELY popular WordPress theme created by WordPress guru Chris Pearson. We’ve used (and still use) this on many other websites.  It is less of a marketing-centric theme but instead a tightly-coded framework for wordpress.  It’s very easy to find programmers who know how to work with it, so creating a Thesis-driven website that is highly customized is still quite cheap.

Weebly is a really great online tool to build websites for free.  We have played around with it and over the years it has gone from being “good” to “incredibly good”.  You can design your own site and point your own domain name at the site so nobody will even know you designed it with Weebly.  De-branding it requires a pro package for a few dollars per month ($4 last time I checked).  Very cheap.  Very good for beginners.  Advanced users will prefer to “own” their own code.

Website Hosting

Bluehost is a low cost host that we’ve used for years.  They provide good support, and they do a good job of making daily backups of your account.  They are a great starting point for people who are new to hosting a website, and can probably accommodate you for the first few years of your business growth.

Webfaction is another low-cost hosting platform based out of the UK.  We’ve been testing them out for many months and find their support to be phenomenal.  Unlike many cPanel hosts (including Bluehost), it’s easy to test the configuration of a website before launching it on your domain.  They provide full SSH capabilities and support modern programming languages such as Django.  If you are somewhat technical and want a low-cost host, they are a fantastic way to go.

List Building and Email Marketing

Aweber is the gold standard when it comes to buying an autoresponder service.  They’ve got everything you need to sign-up forms for your mailing list, and then to send out pre-scheduled followup emails or regular broadcast emails.  Aweber support is absolutely outstanding. If you are planning to sign up for their service consider doing it via our affiliate link because we’ve put together an incredible Aweber bonus to train you on the skills you need to be a winning email marketer.

Digital Product Delivery and Shopping Cart Solutions

There are so many options available we couldn’t possibly cover them all here.  Also keep in mind we’ve published a detailed tutorial on delivering digital products that you should look at.

PayPal is well known and reliable.  Standard business accounts are free, and pro accounts give you access to virtual terminal (so you can take credit card payments via phone, or however you like) and a host of other services.  PayPal also integrates beautifully with many other solutions.

DL Guard is one of the best in the market to sell digital information products as a download.  It is best suited to single product sales rather than recurring membership sites in our opinion.  It installs on any web host, and we’ve used it flawlessly on both Bluehost and Webfaction.  If your host runs PHP (all of them do), you can run DL Guard.  The support from Sam Stephens, its creator, is absolutely top notch.  The product dashboard is famously easy to use.  This is a fantastic product.

e-Junkie is another product delivery option for digital sales.  I have purchased using this platform but never hosted a product on it myself (never needed to).  It is extremely low-cost, reliable and trusted.

Website Protection and Security

Sucuri is the best in the business.  You can pay a very reasonable yearly fee to have your sites monitored and cleaned FAST in the event of a malware infection.  If you run WordPress you are bound to see a malware infection eventually.  Sucuri are the experts.  They offer a free malware scanning tool on their website and I recommend this tool to everyone.

Video Creation and Video Marketing

YouTube is the obvious first place to go in terms of marketing.  Your videos need to be on YouTube.  Put your URL in the description and include a call to action in your videos.

Easy Video Player is a super easy way to play videos on your website.  You can upload videos to your own web host, or store them on Amazon S3 (very cheap).  Easy Video Player then allows you to customize how the video player will look, what controls will show up, and even lets you overlay buttons and other calls to action (including email signup forms) right inside of your video!  Delayed events, text overlays, etc.  It’s all there.  You can install this on any web host, and it has no monthly fee.  You buy it up front, and you own the license to use it on your domain.

Website Optimization

Visual Website Optimizer is an incredible A/B split testing tool.  You paste one little snippet of code onto your website (takes 2 minutes, instructions are dead simple), and then you can create experiments with a GUI editor.  Want to test out a new headline?  How about a new graphic?  How about moving your buy button to a new place on the page?  All of this can be tested without any coding knowledge.  If you can type and drag & drop, you can use Visual Website Optimizer.  Support is absolutely stellar.  I’ve never waited over an hour to get an email reply on a question.

Webinars

Evergreen Business Systems is how we do automated webinars.  It’s economical (one-time fee), works very well and has all of the key features we care about.  Create your webinar one time (the setup is really simple once you record your video), and let it run on autopilot.  It’s a great product.  See it in action by watching the demo webinar we created.

GoToWebinar is the industry standard for live webinars.  We do not use this however we’ve been on the other end of it many times, as a webinar attendee.  It seems to work very well, although it is expensive.

AnyMeeting is a free way to host live webinars.  We’ve used this before with great results.

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