must have tools, apps, sites and systems to build your business
the best systems for online entepreneurs
Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase.
the best website & ecommerce systems
For web hosting: Siteground
For website hosting, I recommend Siteground. Why? Because they have the BEST customer service. Fast, friendly and very knowledgeable (which is rare in the online industry). Their prices are super low and my website has never been down. The only disadvantage of Siteground is that their system back end is a bit complicated for beginners. But, their customer service will always help and they are happy to fix things for you, and that is an absolute life saver.
Nerdy as it may seem, I really like Siteground. They are an example of what great customer service means and how you can grow your business through word of mouth.
For buying your domain names, I also recommend Siteground? Why? Because it is easiest and best to host your domain with the same company where you host your website. If you have 2 different companies then they can blame each other when there is a technical issue, when you use just 1, you can just contact them and they will fix it. And Siteground will fix it!
Website system (CMS): WordPress
For creating a website, I recommend WordPress. It is free (comes with your hosting), it is SUPER flexible and it can basically do anything. It has a bit of a learning curve though. If you are super non-techy, then I’d consider Squarespace or Wix, or outsourcing your website building to a wordpress specialist. But if you are willing to spend a day learning wordpress, then you will be good to go and you can create a fabulous website (see also the next topic).
Best WordPress Theme: Divi
I’ve tried quite a few WordPress themes (free and paid) in the past and the Divi theme is a clear winner. Flexible, easy to learn and great design options. You can read more about why I love Divi in this post.
The Divi theme costs $89 per year, or a one-off investment of $249. Not cheap, but definitely worth the money, because it saves you so much time in creating a great looking site. You can purchase Divi here.
The EASIEST ecommerce platform: Shopify
If you are looking for an ecommerce platform that is:
- User friendly and easy to implement (up and running in a few hours!!)
- Mobile friendly and responsive
- Follows the latest trends in e-commerce
- Integrates with your social channels (sell your products on Facebook & Instagram!)
then Shopify is your friend. The smallest package is $29 per month and you can sign up here.
Most flexible ecommerce platform: Woocommerce
If you want to launch a web store:
- that is linked to a website with a blog
- that is super flexible
- that is FREE
then Woo Commerce is the easiest solution. An installation of Woo Commerce is free is you use Siteground with WordPress. It does have a bit of a learning curve and you need to know WordPress in order to use Woocommerce, but once you get the hang of it, you can build basically ANYTHING in Woocommerce!
- My first recommendation for online payments is Stripe. They are here for small business owners, their system is easy to use and super easy to set up and their fees are reasonable
- If you need/ want a second system (for example for users who don’t have credit card) then I recommend Paypal. Their customer service is not as good as Stripe’s though and I’ve heard quite a few stories about Paypal holding funds for months, so Stripe is my first choice.
Best email marketing system: ActiveCampaign
For list building, I’ve tried MailChimp, Kajabi, ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is a clear winner. What I like most about ActiveCampaign, is that it gives a lot of detail about your list members. It also has CRM capabilities, you can for example “score” your leads to identify which people on your list are most likely to buy. You can create detailed automations and choose from various layouts for your emails.
ActiveCampaign offers a free trial, after that period, you pay a fee depending on the number of people on your list and the functionalities you use. You can request your free trial here.