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9 Best Multipurpose Themes to Use in WordPress for 2021


It may shock you, but multipurpose themes are some of the very best-selling WordPress themes out there today. Why? Well, mainly because most people can build any type of website using one. This type of WordPress template gives developers a lot of freedom to create.

While WordPress themes in general offer a lot for users, the very best multipurpose themes for WordPress offer even more customization and styling options. This, as well as many extra built-in features, are why they are such a popular choice for developers today.

So, how do you go about finding these top WordPress themes? Well, I am going to give you a list of the best multipurpose themes available. This should be a good starting point for you to explore and see what all is offered.

What is a Multipurpose WordPress Theme?

A multipurpose theme is a WordPress template that gives you a wide selection of features and tools, enabling you to build any type of website you want.

While there are also tons of niche themes out there, a multipurpose theme will allow you to create something in a niche, while at the same time having the freedom to add different things around the site.

Perhaps one of the most attractive things about multipurpose themes is the built-in page builders and the extra tools and features that are included. For example, you may purchase a multipurpose theme, and within that theme, it may include a popular page builder.

I might also have tons of extra functionality like eCommerce, real estate, and other built-in tools.

Not only does this allow you to create on a higher level, but it keeps you from having to go purchase or find another third-party plugin or tool to help you accomplish something on a website.

Best Multipurpose WordPress Themes

1. Divi

Divi multipurpose themes


The king of multipurpose themes, and the most popular one, is Divi. This should not come as a shock to anyone, and even those first starting out with WordPress have probably heard the name mentioned before.

The Divi theme is packed full of pre-built layouts that can help you build any type of website imaginable. There is a page style and layout for any project, and it also included its famous point-and-click page builder tools that are arguably the most popular around.

If you want something that includes drag and drop functionality and gives you all the tools imaginable to easily build any type of WordPress website you want, then Divi is probably going to be a theme you want to look at.

With one of the most intuitive interfaces around and pre-built layouts, you will be hard-pressed to find a better multipurpose them.

Other Features

  • Over 20 pre-built content layouts
  • Divi Leads salt-testing tool
  • Countless customization options
  • Import and export layouts seamlessly
  • Shape dividers
  • Layout library
  • Bulk editing

2. Avada

Avada

If you are familiar with ThemeForest, then you are probably familiar with the Avada multipurpose theme. They say it is their all-time best-selling theme on the entire platform. For good reason, as the theme is universal and continually updated with tons of features, tools, and improvements. 

The reviews and accounts of users buying and building on this theme are fantastic. Some of the most recent upgrades include a page builder upgrade, advanced controls for mobile-friendly sites, and tons of new built-in demos and pre-built page styles.

The Avada website demos cover a number of niches, so chances are you might be able to use a pre-built style to build your new site. If not, then you still gain access to all the features and advanced controls offered.

Other Features

  • Over 22 website demos
  • Huge selection of page templates and layouts
  • Includes the custom-built Fusion Builder drag and drop page editor
  • Create shareable custom layouts
  • Detailed and expansive the options
  • Massive control panel that is intuitive

3. X Theme

X-Theme

X Theme provides a ton of custom-built and third-party plugins and tools that make the theme easy to use for any type of website project. There are demos, advanced customizations, plugins, and lead generation tools all built into the theme.

If that wasn’t enough, the dashboard is very easy to handle and intuitive. Other tools like a page builder, sliders, galleries, and color and style customizations allow you to build and design any type of site functionality you want without going to a third party.

Other Features 

  • Bespoke Cornerstone front-end page builder
  • Tons of website demos
  • Powerful suite of tools and extensions
  • Detailed settings that are highly customizable
  • Full eCommerce support

4. Total

Total multipurpose themes


Many multipurpose themes describe themselves to be everything you need right out of the box, before failing to be even close to that. That is why it is important to find one that is exactly that, and this is what you get with Total.

With over 40 demo templates that cover an array of niches, there is a good chance you may not have to do much customizing at all unless you want to. The theme comes bundled with a lot of great tools including the popular Visual Composer plugin.

So, while there are not a lot of multipurpose themes (outside of this list) that deliver on what they say they will deliver on, the Total theme is a nice change of pace and definitely worth a look.

Other Features

  • Advanced theme customizer
  • Slider revolution
  • WooCommerce support
  • Tons of theme demos
  • Import and export options
  • Header and footer customizations
  • Translations ready
  • Tons of premium plugins included

5. Kalium

Kalium

Another one of the best multipurpose themes out there is Kalium. It is a very unique theme that offers a lot of design options that can be used to create a website in any niche.

Beginners love multipurpose themes because they don’t have to deal with code. Kalium takes it a step further and allows you to easily build professionally coded websites that are dynamic, user-friendly, and mobile-ready.

If you are someone who enjoys a more minimalist look as well that gives off an elegant vibe, then Kalium is probably a theme you want to take a close look at. It is also flexible, lightweight, and highly responsive. Really, you can’t go wrong here.

Other Features

  • Bundled premium plugins
  • Ninja Forms
  • Layer Slider
  • Advanced Custom Fields
  • Portfolio options
  • Tons for theme demos
  • WP Bakery page builder included
  • Elegant and minimalist style

6. Enfold

Enfold

Enfold makes our list because it is elegant, easy to use, and very intuitive. Yes, that describes almost every layout on this list, but it can’t be overstated. The theme includes several demos, as well as landing pages, creative portfolios, online commerce, and blogging options.

New site demos are added on a  regular basis as well, so something fresh is always available for use. One thing that is very attractive about the Enfold multipurpose theme is that you can easily customize demo content and use the built-in global settings to apply it.

Other Features

  • Slider tools and demo slideshows
  • Extensive form builder tool
  • Advanced admin panel
  • Tons of video tutorials with voice over
  • Full support for eCommerce

7. Bridge

Bridge multipurpose themes


Bridge comes with more complete website demos than any other multipurpose site you will find (as of this article). With over 200 full website demos, you really can use the Bridge theme for anything.

And in case you missed that, I’m not talking about 200 homepage demos. I’m talking about full site demos with inner page templates included.

The demos vary, but most of them fall in the area of business, portfolio, blogging, and eCommerce. Bridge is an excellent choice for developers as well, as you will have access to so many demos that you may never have to buy another theme again.

Other Features

  • Comprehensive and intuitive admin panel
  • Detailed theme customization settings
  • Unlimited header and menu options
  • Shortcodes
  • Tons of feature-rich plugins

8. Uncode

Uncode

With extensive typography options, a highly customizable layout, and other cutting-edge features, look no further than Uncode for all your multipurpose theme needs.

When you first look at this theme, it looks a lot like all the other themes on this list. However, the developers of Uncode have planted a nice surprise for people choosing to use their product.

Where they succeed is their extensive branding options. They provide a ton of fonts courtesy of Google Fonts, Typekit, Fontdeck, and Find Squirrel. The theme also includes functionality that allows you to display an SVG file for your logo.

This means it will look clean and sharp on any device.

With the adaptive image function included in the theme, as well as the custom layouts included and the Visual Composer page builder built-in, Uncode is a multipurpose theme that can give you all the tools you need to build amazing websites.

Other Features

  • Layer slider
  • Featured plugins
  • iLightbox
  • Tons of documentation
  • Unlimited header, footer, and navigation options
  • Plenty of pre-built demos
  • Extensive functionality

9. Stockholm

Stockholm multipurpose themes


Rounding out this list of the best multipurpose themes for WordPress is the Stockholm theme. It is a brilliant theme that incorporates a ton of features, providing you tools to build any type of niche site you want.

There are over 20 full website demos included, so that should give you plenty to work with in regards to building websites. The site is designed to look minimal as well, and that gives it a clean, smooth, fresh, professional look right from the start. 

The theme is packaged with all sorts of goodies as well. These will allow you to design and create just about anything. Give Stockholm a look.

Other Features

  • Visual Composer
  • Google Fonts
  • 20 theme demos
  • 140 overall style demos
  • WP Bakery
  • Elementor
  • Font Awesome
  • Elegant Icons

Reasons to Consider Using a Multipurpose Theme

Basically, these popular themes can best be summed up in one word: flexibility. That being said, there is a lot more to it than that. There is a reason that multipurpose themes are some of the best themes for WordPress.

Here are some other reasons to consider.

Access to More Features and Tools

We touched on this above a little. However, more often than not, multipurpose themes will give you access to more built-in features and tools than a regular or niche theme would.

Some good examples of this include forms, buttons, eCommerce, pricing tables, team members, and other such functions.

Page Builders

Not every, but most multipurpose themes, will give you access to a high-quality page builder. These can be used to design a full site without ever having to touch or learn any type of code.

There are several excellent page builders out there like Elementor. However, a lot of these themes include it as part of the price or have added a page builder of their own.

Reusing a Single Theme for Multiple Projects 

This might not be important to everyone, but for many developers, the ability to use a single theme for multiple projects is a very attractive feature. Instead of trying to find the perfect theme for each different project, you can use the same theme as your base and build and design it from the ground up differently every time.

This can be useful for many reasons. For one thing, a developer can get really good at building on a certain theme and then start to develop really great sites. Perhaps, though, the main reason would be saving money.

One theme purchase means being able to use that theme over and over.

Better Overall Support and Documentation

The best theme for WordPress will often provide really good support and documentation. However, more often than not, it will be hard to beat the type of support and documentation you will receive when purchasing one of the best multipurpose themes for WordPress. 

Of course, this varies. But when you have a ton of great ratings, five stars, and a lot of purchases, people tend to understand that support is probably key to all this.

There is also the understanding that the more niche a theme is, the smaller its user base will be. Oftentimes, this can lead to a longer wait for support and less documentation.

With a multipurpose theme, you become a part of a large community and can get help in forums, from the developer, or from the extensive documentation that is provided.

Scalability

Last, but certainly not least, you should consider that scaling a site will be much easier if a high-end multipurpose theme is used. This has a lot to do with the built-in tools provided.

While you also need scalability on the web host side of things, built-in portfolios, theme options, eCommerce, blogs, and forums are all tools that will help you more easily scale a website.

Conclusion

Truth be told, the type of WordPress template or theme you use will be based a lot on personal preference, as well as what type of site you are building. That being said, these are both excellent reasons to use a multipurpose theme for WordPress.

With the functionality, built-in tools at your disposal, and features that are available only in these types of themes, you will be able to build any type of niche website you want using one type of theme.

Take a look at the WordPress multipurpose themes listed above. See what all they offer, and see if you can get a free demo to use. All of them are excellent choices and you really can’t go wrong when using them.

Good luck with your search and enjoy!





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6 Best Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) Solutions in 2021


When disaster strikes, who ya gonna call? Hopefully, you give your Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) a call. These solutions specialize in minimizing the impact of any disaster on your business.

In the past, these services have been for larger companies, but in today’s modern world, even small to midsize businesses need help with recovering from data loss.

Thus, I will share with you some of the best disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS, solutions on the market.

What is A Disaster Recovery Service?

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) allows businesses to backup data and IT infrastructure in the cloud. Thus, when a disaster strikes, such as a hard drive failure, data corruption, files getting captured by ransomware, or any other event that could result in data loss, these files can be restored in an instant.

After all, in many cases, every second your website or business system is down, is money lost.

However, the definition of DRaaS has become murky over the years. Today, most disaster recovery solutions are simply backup services that offer a few extra features and can scale up to your business’s needs.

Of course, the most important part of these services is actually how you recover.

In most cases, many services offer one-click recovery options for simple backups. More complex plans will allow you to recover individual elements at any time. Nonetheless, the fancier the service, the higher the price.

Thus, you should only pay for what you need.

The Best Disaster Recovery Service of 2021

1. Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft Azure

Without a doubt, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery is one of the best recovery services for websites. Microsoft’s Azure servers are some of the best in the world, and having your data stored on them means you can rest easy every night.

And the service is surprisingly cheap for the tools and support you receive.

One of the key features you should take into consideration is that it supports backing up data not only on its top-of-the-line Azure servers, but can also store them on your own. While this might not mean much to a small business, mid and large businesses will rejoice.

Simple backup recovery services are easy to implement. However, for more complex disaster recovery services, it’s not so simple. In fact, you’re probably going to need an IT background to get full use out of all of the services included.

If your know what you’re doing, you can recover within an hour.

Benefits of Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

  • Supports both physical and virtual machines
  • Perfect for businesses with a global presence and for those that only operate locally
  • No on-site equipment necessary

Price of Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

  • For Azure Site Recovery to customer-owned sites, the service starts at $16 per month per instance
  • For Azure Site Recovery to Azure, the service starts at $25 per month per instance

2. Acronis

Acronis

Not all businesses have the same needs, and Acronis understands this. You can pick and choose the plan elements you need by selecting which add-ons are right for your business. Thus, you end up with a plan that can perfectly fit your business.

That said, this service was intended for large and mid-sized businesses. Picking out a lot of add-ons can cost thousands of dollars.

The plans are typically yearly, and the features really depend on the add-ons you choose. For instance, the Disaster Recovery Add-on allows you to instantly access critical workloads in the event of a disaster. This includes 150 GB of cloud storage and 750 running hours.

There are also options for small businesses like the Acronis small business backup add-on. This is a standard backup for simple data and file protection. Therefore, regardless of what kind of business or size, Acronis has a solution for you.

Benefits of Acronis

  • You can also use Acronis for cybersecurity and endpoint management
  • 24-hour support is available to customers worldwide
  • Integrates with over 50 popular business tools like Microsoft 365

Price of Acronis

  • Acronis allows you to customize your plan by selecting add-ons to your account. Each add-on has its own price tag.

3. Carbonite

Carbonite

If you’re looking for a backup solution for your small business, Carbonite is an excellent choice when disaster strikes. In most cases, a small business’s data protection is simple, and as a result, they really only need a backup of their data.

And it lets you recover data in just a few clicks.

One of the biggest strengths of Carbonite is how easy it is to recover. In most cases, if a hard drive failed, the average small business owner may go into a slight panic. However, with Carbonite, you can restore your data in just a few clicks.

You can even restore individual files by exploring your backups. It is perfect for small businesses that need to store important files that may contain customer information. If you lose it, odds say you will never be able to get it back from that customer.

Benefits of Carbonite

  • All of the files are stored in the cloud and can be accessed 24/7
  • Works with both virtual machines and even virtual servers
  • Easily restore files if your business has been affected by ransomware

Price of Carbonite

  • Basic computer backup starts at $25 per month per computer
  • Advanced endpoint protection starts at $34 per month per computer

4. Quorum

Quorum

If something goes wrong, do you want to press one button to restore your data? If so, then look no further than Quorum. It’s a comprehensive disaster recovery service that helps businesses of any size recover from a disaster.

It provides simple solutions for small businesses and complex solutions for larger ones.

Quorum can help you instantly recover from a disaster with the cloud backup actually being one of the last resorts.

It requires customers to have onsite equipment to clone data instantly from the server. If the original device fails, you can actually use the clone to keep working without interruption.

And the data is encrypted, thus you never have to worry about ransomware taking over your backups. If for some reason you do need the cloud-backup, it’s super simple. In fact, it only takes one click to restore your files.

Benefits of Quorum

  • The service can scale to businesses of any size
  • Adding additional hardware to the on-site premise is as simple as starting the setup wizard
  • Sandbox environment allows you to test new patches and updates before implementing them

Price of Quorum

  • Quorum does not make its pricing public. Thus, you must contact them for a quote.

5. IBM DRaaS

IBM DRaaS

It should come as no surprise that IBM has its own DRaaS hybrid platform recovery solution for businesses. This solution not only helps you recover from a disaster, but it also helps you prevent it from happening in the first place.

This is done by monitoring the health of your devices and catching problems before they cause you trouble.

The solution is very powerful and can actually begin recovery efforts automatically. This can significantly help reduce the number of IT staff you need because the monitoring and recovery is automated.

That said, this is an advanced option for mid-sized businesses and above. It requires on-premise equipment that can quickly raise the price. However, the added security for your data is definitely worth the expense. And with IBM consulting, you can easily identify your needs.

Benefits of IBM DRaaS

  • Get RPO and RTO reports in minutes
  • Support is always available and you can even get consulting advice
  • Backups are easy and cloud-based

Price of IBM DRaaS

  • IBM does not make its pricing public. Instead, you must contact them for a quote.

6. Zerto Virtual Replication

Zerto

Last on this list is Zerto. It’s dedicated to large companies that have a dedicated IT team to manage all of the features and tools they offer customers. The services and plans are customizable, which means that this solution will work for any business.

Just keep in mind, that while less technically-savvy users can use the service, it can get complicated.

That said, it’s dedicated to larger companies that have staff dedicated to IT, so it shouldn’t be considered a negative. The interface is actually rather simple and sports a tab-based UI that is easy to navigate.

However, it will not always tell you when a mistake was made during setup.

Thus, it has a bit of a learning curve. Backups, migration, and disaster recovery is top of the line and can improve the speed of recovery by 75%. Setup time will vary because the equipment used is unique, but it should only take a few hours for the initial setup.

Benefits of Zerto Virtual Replication

  • Failover testing only requires 3 steps
  • Allows you to continue working even during planned disturbances
  • View an infrastructure health report that is available 24/7 with the latest information

Price of Zerto Virtual Replication

  • The pricing for these services is not publicly available. You must contact them to receive a quote.

When Should I Buy A Disaster Recovery Service?

Day zero.

Every business regardless of the type uses data stored online in one form or another. This can include the most basic things like spreadsheets that contain customer information, too far more complex systems like IT infrastructure.

In either case, you should have a backup in place. And if you don’t believe these are important, think about the impact of losing your data would have.

For instance, let’s just imagine the most basic data on a spreadsheet. If you lost this spreadsheet that contained all of your customer’s information, you would need to collect it all again. However, what if the phone number and emails were stored there too?

It’s all gone and you’re at square one. And just imagine how that phone call would go. Explaining that you lost all of their information is going to destroy your credibility as a trustworthy business. They probably won’t even give the information back.

Thus, you need to have a disaster recovery service right from the get-go.

Protect Your Data and Business Service Today

Things can go wrong at any moment, and the only way to protect your business is to have an up-to-date backup in place. This will minimize the impact of these disasters on your business and drastically improve the time it takes to recover.

Having a backup in place is good business.

Make sure that you also find a plan that offers the services you need and nothing extra. Many plans will include all kinds of features that can drastically raise the cost. Be on the lookout while hunting for a good plan. This also includes the amount of space you have access to.

It may sound great to have a terabyte of backup space available, but if you don’t even use 100 gigabytes, you are probably overpaying.

Which disaster recovery service do you use?





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6 Best Marketing Automation Software in 2021


If you want to effectively fuel marketing campaigns of all sorts for your business, then it is probably a good idea to look into automation tools. Don’t worry, you won’t be the first to look into marketing automation software. Over 51% of marketers are investing in this type of software to help drive traffic and make connections.

There is a lot of upsides that good automation tools can provide. You will be able to personalize content based on insights, produce better social media posts and marketing emails, and boost conversions. 

It really doesn’t matter what size your business is. If you are interested in all of the above and more, then it is time to explore some of the different marketing automation tools that are out there today.

Before we jump into our list, let’s talk a little about what is exactly marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing automation software is a tool that automates actions and tasks that are related to marketing. This type of tool can streamline marketing workflows and help measure the overall success of campaigns that are related to marketing and the strategies that go with them. 

The best marketing automation software will provide you with a central, easy-to-manage database that will have all your interactions and information right in one place. In turn, this helps create timely, efficient, and conversion-boosting marketing campaigns across several different types of platforms.

Marketing automation tools will give you access to a number of different instruments and features. You will be able to optimize email strategies, leverage social media, access CRM tools, and much more.

That being said, there are some things to consider when choosing if an automation tool belongs in the marketing automation category. These include:

  • Ability to automate two or more of the following: email, social media, SMS, digital ads
  • Provide advanced marketing capabilities like A/B testing
  • Provide a central marketing database
  • Allow marketing campaign targets
  • Ability to contact targets across multiple channels
  • Generate styled forms and landing pages
  • Provide solid analytic tools

These, along with other marketing strategy tools, can help you build a more complete marketing strategy for your business.

Best Marketing Automation Software

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot marketing automation software

HubSpot, or the HubSpot Marketing Hub, is one of the most well-known marketing platforms around. Why? They offer a slew of tools that are both free and paid. While some of their paid tools are more on the expensive side of things, there is no arguing the features and results they get.

The marketing hub that is provided by HubSpot is one of the most intuitive around. It provides users with a straightforward, easy-to-use solution for their small business. 

The platform offers 24/7 customer support and you can expect full personal onboarding, training, consultation, and tech support. They also offer a ton of ongoing training and other educational opportunities that are both free and paid.

All in all, you are going to have a hard time finding a better marketing automation platform than HubSpot.

Features

  • Easily publish attractive, strong content
  • Build solid CTAs
  • Strong search authority and SEO integrations
  • Ad tracking and management
  • Create trackable interactions
  • Social media management
  • Video hosting and filing
  • Live chat

2. Marketo

Marketo

Another one of the best marketing automation software platforms around is Marketo. They are also one of the best known as well. While the platform may seem a little dated to some, they still offer all the functionality that newer platforms do and more, and they do it at a very reasonable price.

They are very similar to ActiveCampaign, which we will talk about below. This platform provides pre-built dashboards for you to get around, and their analytics reporting is superior to just about any other you will find.

If you are looking for a really good platform that promotes alignment of marketing with sales campaigns, then give Marketo a long look and see if it has what your business needs.

Features

  • Ad targeting
  • Engagement data for prospects
  • Account discovery
  • Predictive audiences
  • CRM integration
  • Channel content and engagement performance
  • Mobile engagement
  • Data security and privacy
  • Drive leads and matches buyer experience 

3. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign marketing automation software

I told you we would talk about ActiveCampaign, and here we go. This platform is perfect and usually preferred by smaller businesses. The platform for marketing and campaigns is about as easy to use and intuitive as you will find.

The platform offers quite a bit of pre-built engagement tools that offer users the ability to save a lot of time. Some of the more popular pre-built tools include workflows, training, support, and social media options. 

If you have someone running your marketing department that is more visual, then ActiveCampaign is a good choice in this area as well. It includes a built-in segmentation feature that will help you deliver targeted content to all the right clients.

Features

  • Site tracking and visitor tracking tools
  • Event tracking
  • Monitor apps, memberships, and portal interactions
  • Built-in automation goals and drop-off patterns
  • Automation map for connections
  • Find top-performing channels easily
  • Test all customized content for automation control
  • Fast setup
  • Intuitive interface
  • Visually appealing
  • Very affordable

4. MailChimp

MailChimp

Making our list next is MailChimp. You may know them for their email marketing solution. However, at this point in time, the platform offers so much more, including some excellent automation tools that can help your business in the marketing department.

The platform boasts award-winning software, pre-built management tools and templates, a long list of directory experts to help you with whatever you need, and over 250 third-party app integrations.

If that wasn’t enough, MailChimp also offers one of the best free marketing automation software platforms around. The free service gives you access to a lot of functionality. That being said, you will end up paying for all of the higher-end features and tools.

Features

  • MailChimp customer journeys
  • Deliver on-brand messaging
  • Transactional email
  • Behavior automation
  • Date-based automation
  • Track anniversaries and other important client dates
  • RSS to email
  • Up-to-date content with post sharing
  • Pre-built templates
  • Retarget purchases and loyal customer functionality 

5. SharpSpring

SharpSpring marketing automation software

Another pretty recognizable marketing and automation solution is SharpSpring. It is most desirable for clients that want a complete sales and marketing solution for their business. Many choose to separate the two, but if you don’t, then SharpSpring is a platform you want to take a look at.

The platform is packed with a ton of great features and automation that you can take advantage of. Tools like cart abandonment, data and third-party integration, dynamic landing pages, and multi-device capacity are all solid pieces of a puzzle you will have access to if you choose to go with this marketing system.

SharpSpring is a little bit higher priced than some of the other entries on this list. When you combine the tools provided with the sales and marketing duo integration, though, then the price becomes a little more understandable.

Features

  • Visual automation
  • Intuitive builder that maps customer journeys
  • Lead nurturing
  • Drip campaigns
  • Responsive messaging from behavior data
  • Customer metrics for sales teams to use
  • Generate accurate behavior segments
  • Buyer personas and custom templates
  • Direct updates via email and SMS 
  • Customized workflows and lead filters

6. AutoPilot

AutoPilto

Rounding out this list of the best marketing automation software is a platform called AutoPilot. Simply put, they offer a simplified, easy-to-use platform that is intuitive for users and runs well with other integrations and programs. 

The ease of use and the affordability of the platform make it very attractive for all types and sizes of businesses. You won’t need to spend thousands on employee training either, as the system is very straightforward and requires minimal instruction. 

Perhaps the only downside of AutoPilot is capacity. While it is feature-rich and simple to understand, bigger companies may want to look at something above on this list, as scalability may be limited.

Features

  • Visual workflows
  • Drag and drop templates or build from scratch
  • Email marketing based on time, behavior, and interest
  • Integrates with Slack, Trello, Facebook, Google Typeform, and more
  • Native CRM integration
  • Monitor all performance and customer data

What to Look For When Comparing Marketing Automation Platforms

There are a few things you want to look for and be wary of when you are going through the process of choosing a marketing automation platform. Yes, a lot of your final decisions will be based on personal preference and overall business needs. 

The most important thing here is to take your time and do your research. That being said, here are some things to consider.

Overall Cost

Most of the best marketing automation software is priced fairly. This is because a lot of them are based on a sliding scale that allows you to pay for only what you use.

That being said, there is usually an extra cost involved with certain add-ons and training. However, over time, if you stick with a plan, then you can definitely keep pricing fair and affordable.

Platform Usability

Since marketing automation and all that it comes with is both complex and important, the usability of the platform should be at the top of your list when you are making a decision.

Basically, you want the platform to be powerful yet intuitive and easy to use and understand. Not only will this make using it easier, but it will also save you money on employee training in the long run.

Third-Party Integrations

This is arguably the most important thing to look at when making a choice. How will the marketing automation software you choose integrate or allow integrations with other third-party apps and platforms you use to run your business?

If the right integrations are not available, then it is probably going to be a deal-breaker right from the start.

Other aspects of the software you want to make sure are not deal-breakers for purchase include things like:

  • CRM and Sales Capabilities
  • Email Capabilities
  • Content Capabilities
  • eCommerce Capabilities
  • Social Media Capabilities
  • Training and Setup

Why Should You Use Marketing Automation Tools?

Bottom line? Using marketing automation software will allow you to focus on the creative solution process instead of focusing on the heavy lifting of marketing and automation. Most of the best platforms will also help you reduce overall costs by quite a bit.

Because lead marketing, emails, social media, and other content marketing strategies are all put on auto-pilot, manual labor (both in hours and in cost) will go way down. 

Both lead management and prioritization can be handled in a more effective manner allowing for a better ROI. Perhaps the best part of marketing automation tools is that they can help hold your entire marketing team responsible. 

It does this by tracking overall employee performance with concrete data points. This, in turn, allows you to adjust and put together the best business strategies possible.

Other key issues that are solved by using marketing automation platforms include:

  • Ability to create more targeted content
  • Create well-informed content
  • Provide a message direction based on real-world customer data
  • Customize messaging across a certain customer base
  • Less manual entry
  • Reduce staffing and labor costs

So again, make sure you do your homework. All of the above are crucial points of business and should be handled as such. When you automate your marketing efforts properly, it leads to more sales and conversions in the long run.

Conclusion 

If you want to maximize your budget, streamline marketing content on multiple social platforms, track employee productivity, and create actionable content that drives sales, then you definitely want to take a look at some of the best marketing automation software available today.

The ones on the list above are all solid choices and they will all provide you with all the tools necessary to be successful. Take a look at them, try them out, and see which one works best for your business. 

Every business is a little different. However, the list above should have a little something for every business, whatever the need may be.

Before you know it, your business will be driving high-quality marketing campaigns that are hitting your niche audience perfectly. Good luck with your search!





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Avoiding Issues and Steps if There Is Trouble


There is no such thing as too much security for any website. In this webinar, Marco Berrocal goes over the vital elements of keeping your website safe and secure. And most of these elements are very easy to implement immediately.

WordPress Security and What You Can Do

In a previous WordPress security video, Marco went over much of how to keep your site protected from hacks and malware. However, no system is absolute. And even the most secure systems may get attacked.

Today, he’ll go over the steps necessary to get your site back up and running as quickly as possible.

Always Have a Backup

Never underestimate the value of a good backup. It can help you in the event of hacks, malware, or even if you just made a mistake in coding. Instead of downtime, a backup will get your site back up and ready for traffic in no time.

In this video, Marco goes over several backup plugins that work exceptionally well and how to recover from a disaster.

Put the Site in Maintenance Mode

Maintenance Mode is quite valuable for WordPress. It lets users know that you’re working on a problem and lets Google know your site is still live. Otherwise, Google may think the pages are defunct and you could lose SEO value.

And the last thing you want is for visitors, both human and search engine bot, to experience the site after a hack or malware infection. In fact, Google will remove your pages indefinitely until it doesn’t detect the issue.

Locate the Hack or File in WordPress

In this video, Marco shows some of the best ways to find hacks, malicious files, and other exploits on your website. Some of the best tools are free, but it’s probably worthwhile to consider paying for premium services.

It really depends on how severe the problem is for you and your visitors.

Contact Your Webhost

It’s your responsibility to make sure your web host knows there is a problem. In many instances, they may even have a solution.

At any rate, getting the host involved can help them protect other users while making sure your issue is isolated. Then, you can relax a bit knowing that the chances of a re-infection are much lower.

This is because some malware can quickly jump from one site to another on the same host server. So, if you clean it today, the same malware could easily come back.

Restoring Your Files After Fixes

Once you’ve cleaned and repaired the website, you may have to restore data. This isn’t nearly as tough as you might imagine, especially since a lot of tools are automated today.

Marco will show you how to easily do this and get your site back online.

Reset Your Passwords

Although you may have cleaned and fixed the problem, there’s no telling if a hacker or bot has your login credentials. To prevent the issue from happening again, it’s always best to change your passwords.

Use something incredibly complex and store them safely in something like a password manager app. This way, you can create something heavily difficult without worrying about trying to remember it.

Good Security is Never an Absolute

The online world is constantly in motion and ever-changing. You can implement the best possible practices for security and still become a victim. All you can do is limit your exposure and know how to recover when things go wrong.

Luckily, Marco can help you keep things in check and prevent a malicious file from ultimately destroying your hard work.





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6 Best Time Tracking Software in 2021


Many business structures charge customers by the hour, which makes tracking the amount of time you spend critical to doing business. Customers want receipts with this information included, thus you are going to need time tracking software.

And like most of the software industry, there is a lot of competition to choose from. Therefore, I have assembled a list of the best time tracking software in 2021.

What is Time Tracking Software?

Time tracking software allows businesses to keep track of when their employees carry out specific tasks. This information can be vague and simply record the number of hours at work or be extremely detailed and include every task carried out in a specific amount of time.

The versatility of the software really depends on the needs of the business.

Most of these tools come with a time tracking app that allows employees to update their timesheets on the go and can even have punch-in/out functionality. Or, the app can simply show when an employee is scheduled to work.

And over the years, additional functionality has been integrated with traditional time tracking tools. For instance, some of these tools will allow you to calculate hourly wages, while others have integrated project management software into them.

Overall, most businesses have some form of time tracking software in their business, but the functionality can vary greatly.

The Best Time Tracking Software

1. Quickbooks Time

TSheets

QuickBooks Time (formerly known as TSheets) is an amazing piece of time tracking software that is strictly dedicated to time tracking. This software is browser-based, thus it can be accessed on any device and even has a dedicated mobile app, which many businesses require.

In addition, it fully integrates with QuickBooks and other Intuit products.

For many businesses, the mobile app is crucial for day-to-day activities, and Quickbook Time understands this. The mobile app can be used to not only allow employees to punch in and out on the go, but also track their position when they are on shift.

The biggest appeal of QuickBooks Time is the UI. It is, hands down, the best-looking time tracking software on the market and utilizes color-coding to make everything clear. It also alerts employees whenever new schedules go live or if a change was made.

Benefits of QuickBooks Time

  • See who’s working or on shift at a glance
  • Set it up to generate payroll reports and export them in multiple formats
  • View the number of hours employees are working in real-time

Price of Quickbooks Time

  • The Premium plan starts at $20 per month plus $8 per user
  • The Elite plan starts at $40 per month plus $10 per user

2. Toggl Track

Toggl Track

Believe it or not, there are amazing free time tracking software available, and Toggl Track is one of them. While there are paid packages available for those that want a more robust option, the free plan includes everything you would expect from a time tracking app.

Thus, it is the perfect option for start-ups looking to save a few bucks.

One of the biggest appeals of Toggl Track is its integration capabilities. With it, you can connect with over 100 of the most popular business tools on the market. Some include names like Asana, Slack, WordPress, Gmail, Zoho, Google Docs, Zendesk, and many more.

Toggl Track really excels at web-based work. For instance, with the Google Chrome extension, you can begin a clock the moment you open the browser. It even has a feature that will remind you to take a break at scheduled intervals to increase your efficiency.

Benefits of Toggl Track

  • Allows you to set required fields to ensure all of the information is entered
  • Send out an email notification to employees who have not submitted their times
  • The mobile app is can keep you connected on the go.

Price of Toggl Track

  • The Free plan supports up to 5 users
  • Starter plans begin at $9 per month per user
  • Premium plans start at $18 per month per user
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

3. Hubstaff

Hubstaff

When it comes to small to midsize businesses, Hubstaff is one of the most used time tracking solutions. It has a powerful time tracking toolset, it’s affordable, and offers additional functionality like HR and payroll support.

It is worth mentioning there is a free plan, but due to the limitations, it’s not enough for a small business.

One of the most important features of Hubstaff is the proof of work feature. Making sure your employees are getting work done is important, and has been a major concern during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Hubstaff allows employers to capture screenshots from an employee’s computer.

This ensures you can see exactly what employees are looking at during specific times and the event interval is customizable. As a result, employees are less likely to take a break and look at Facebook on the clock.

Thus, not only does this help you track time, it helps you ensure that the time is being spent productively.

Benefits of Hubstaff

  • The phone app supports geolocation to keep track of employees (on shift)
  • It’s easy to set up a teams schedule
  • Keep track of project spending and progress

Price of Hubstaff

  • Free plan available
  • Basic plans start at $7 per month per user (min 2 users)
  • Premium plans start at $10 per month per user (min 2 users)
  • Enterprise plans start at $20 per month per user (min 2 users)

4. Harvest

Harvest

If your looking for a better time tracking solution for small teams, look no further than Harvest. The tracking app was designed for collaborative projects and allows you to manage the time spent on a project, how funds are spent, estimated time remaining,  and share confidential reports in one location.

And all of this is available for an excellent price.

Speaking of price, if you are planning a solo project or simply work alone, a free plan is available. And it even offers the same functionality, but only supports one user. Regardless of the plan you choose, you can access Harvest on both a web-based app and mobile device.

If you are interested in also using Harvest for a regular team schedule, you will need to purchase Harvest Forecast. This will allow you to easily build staff schedules for your business and fully integrate them into the regular Harvest app.

The difference is that one is intended for project time tracking and the other for schedules.

Benefits of Harvest

  • The interface is simple and easy to use
  • Integrates with other apps like Slack and Asana
  • All schedules are color-coded

Price of Harvest

  • A free plan is available for 1 user
  • The Pro plan is $12 per month per seat

5. Time Doctor

Time Doctor

Another excellent choice to consider is Time Doctor. This software allows you to handle time tracking for both projects and business schedules. And it also provides multiple schedule view options, which can help you spot gaps in a schedule.

And most importantly, it makes sure that employees stay on track.

With many companies switching to remote positions for the first time, as a result of Covid-19, one of the biggest concerns is efficiency.  Time Doctor allows you to send notifications when the software detects a time-wasting website like YouTube or Facebook.

Thus, not only are you tracking time, but ensuring it’s time well-spent. It is worth mentioning that you must download either the desktop app or the Chrome extension to begin recording time.

The phone app also supports GPS tracking, but alternative platforms do this better.

Benefits of Time Doctor

  • The app allows you to create invoices
  • Setup is extremely quick with an estimated time of 10 minutes for admins and 3 min for employees
  • Prevents employees from overlapping time

Price of Time Doctor

  • Basic plans start at $7 per month
  • Standard plans start at $10 per month
  • Premium plans start at $20 per month

6. RescueTime

RescueTime

Closing out our list is RescueTime, which is equal parts time tracking software and work monitoring app. It’s simple, employees download the RescueTime app onto their device and it logs their computer activity when active.

However, it should be noted that this is more for individual use than business-wide.

It labels every website and program opened as either productive or very distracting. For instance, Facebook is listed as very distracting and it can even be set up to block websites that are considered as such.

And in the hands of a distracted business owner, the tool is worth examining.

However, keep in mind that some jobs may actually interact with social media websites as part of the job. Thus, you could get bad data if the websites are not business-centric. This tool also integrates with Google Calendar.

You can also schedule focus time while using the software.

Benefits of RescueTime

  • See a breakdown of productive time and distracted time
  • Send the reports to employers to receive payment for the time
  • Works in your computer’s background

Price of RescueTime

  • A limited version is available for free
  • Premium plans start at $12 per month or $78 per year

Your Time Tracking Solution Is Unique

Like most types of software, the best choice for your business is unique.

For example, the needs of a small retail store will be very different from a law office. Lawyers charge by the hour and need to document the time they spend researching and preparing a case. Whereas a retail store would simply need to record the number of hours employees work.

However, while the needs are different, they both need a time tracker that meets their demands.

Thus, before you begin looking at time-tracking solutions, you need to understand what your business requires. To find out, look at the structure of the business, the number of employees, any legal requirements you need to adhere to, and how your time is being spent.

Save Time with Time Tracking Software

Many new business owners try to avoid software whenever possible, and this is a huge mistake. Software is designed to save time and make everyday business easier. Yet, in an attempt to cut down on initial costs, it’s typically avoided.

It is entirely possible to create a timesheet using simple software like Excel, but that can eat up hours of time and requires manual input. This is time that could be better spent analyzing your business to discover new opportunities or solve existing problems.

Virtually, all businesses use time tracking software and the prices are quite low. Thus, there’s no excuse to not have one.

What is your favorite time tracker app? Has using a work time tracker saved you time?





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6 Best Membership Management Software for 2021


By default, websites are open to everyone, but some might want to be more exclusive and limit access to members. Clubs, organizations, or even a local golf course may need this. To do this, you are going to need membership management software and there is no shortage to choose from.

Thus, I have constructed a list of the best membership management software in 2021.

What is Membership Management Software?

Membership management software provides the functionality to manage and support an association’s member list. This includes storing member information, collect payments and donations, granting access to private storefronts, generate polls and surveys for members, and much more.

In the past, all of the important information would be stored in a large spreadsheet. It was a nightmare for large organizations.

However, today, most membership management systems are cloud-based and extremely easy to use for both large and small organizations alike. And they provide both developers and members far more options when it comes to interacting with a website.

For instance, many of these tools allow you to set up custom UIs for certain members. This is particularly useful for organizations that may have very large donors, as it is a great reward.

It also helps the members feel like they belong to something bigger.

Here are some of the best membership tracking software to use in 2021:

The Best Membership Management Software

1. Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot is one of the best membership solutions on the market. It’s easy to use, automates simple tasks, sets up quick registrations, looks professional, and much more.  And it’s extremely affordable with a wide variety of plans to choose one.

Each one offers the same features, but the number of members is different. And there’s even a free plan available for up to 50 members!

Wild Apricot truly is the one-stop shop for any membership website. The management software allows you to simplify member acquisition, automate membership renewals, set up administrator privileges to the necessary staff, promote events and special offers to members, and so much more.

It even includes a full website builder. The website builder utilizes a drag-and-drop interface and allows you to pick from 50 themes that can easily be customized with your brand’s name and logo.

Thus, not only can it help you manage your memberships, it can help you get started.

Benefits of Wild Apricot

  • Send out emails and newsletters that are custom branded
  • Create specific groups and send out custom messages and notifications to them
  • View all event attendees from your mobile device

Price of Wild Apricot

  • A free plan is available for up to 50 members
  • Personal plans start at  $40 per month for 100 members
  • Community plans start at $90 per month for 500 members

2. Zen Planner

Zen Planner

Zen Planner is focused on providing fitness websites with the tools they need to manage their members. And it does an excellent job at providing a unique lineup of tools for gym, yoga, and martial art websites that keep members engaged.

Just keep in mind that many of the tools will not be useful if you do not run a fitness business.

One of the best parts about this software is that it knows how to keep members happy. And happy members don’t quit! It does this by providing key information like skill and belt training and progress alongside many other specific, but customizable options.

All of this is fully automated by the software and members can view the information from both a desktop or their mobile device. And you can also expect more common features like automatic billing and a great selection of reporting tools.

Benefits of Zen Planner

  • You are not charged for inactive members and can change your plan to meet your needs
  • Individual apps for both staff and members are available
  • Marketing tools are available to help you reach out to new customers

Price of Zen Planner

Each plan is based on the number of members you have. Here is the breakdown:

  • 0-50 members cost $117 per month
  • 51-100 members cost $1157 per month
  • 101-150 members cost $197 per month
  • 251+ members cost $227 per month

3. Glue Up

Glue Up

Glue Up is a terrific choice for any website looking for powerful membership management software. It provides a robust list of features to help you manage, engage, and grow your membership list, and they are all easy to use.

And it even provides a mobile app for both your staff and members.

This tool allows users to manage renewals automatically, create event pages, run as many events for members as they want, handle all membership emails and newsletters, allow one-on-one communications between members, and so much more.

Arguably the best part of this software is the mobile app. You can do just about everything the desktop client offers and more. For instance, you can scan tickets on your phone, which is an excellent tool for employees to take advantage of.

Dedicated hardware could cost you quite a bit, but everyone has a smartphone.

Benefits of Glue Up

  • Integrates seamlessly with your social media accounts
  • Create custom registration forms for each event
  • Send out automatic reminders to customers about billing

Price of Glue Up

  • Glue up does not make its pricing public. Instead, you will have to contact them for a quote.

4. GrowthZone

GrowthZone

If you’re looking for powerful membership directory software, look no further than GrowthZone. It has every feature a members-only site needs and most importantly, it’s easy enough for anyone to use.

And even the analytical tools are easy to read because they provide multiple options to view the same data.

Its powerful toolset includes a database directory to view all member information, mobile apps for both members and staff, event creator with integration options for Zoom,  allows you to process both one-time and reoccurring payments, and send out emails.

But, this is only a small glimpse of what is possible.

One of the best parts of GrowthZone is the excellent support you receive. You can contact the support team via live chat, email, or call them on the phone 5 days a week. This level of support really stands out when compared to other membership management software and can help beginners out immensely.

Benefits of GrowthZone

  • Group members and contacts into lists for different messaging options
  • Use the phone app to scan business card for contact details
  • Eliminate duplicate data in the directory automatically

Price of GrowthZone

  • Essential plan starts at $149 per month
  • Premier plan starts at $299 per month
  • Pro plan starts at $449 per month
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

5. MemberSpace

MemberSpace

MemberSpace is another excellent option to choose if you want to add a members-only section to your website. It allows you to customize the appearance of these sections for members and determine the price you will charge to join.

And regardless of the plan you choose, you can have an unlimited number of members.

It supports 12 different CMSs including the most popular, WordPress.  You can seamlessly transfer between any of the supported platforms. On top of this, there are a host of other features like adding forums to your website or sending out emails to members only.

It is important to highlight the one downside of MemberSpace, which is the transaction fee. It starts at a 4% fee on top of the Stripe transaction fee. However, the transaction fee is lower as you get more expensive plans.

The most expensive plan, which is still quite reasonable, has a transaction fee of 0.5%, which is much better.

Benefits of MemberSpace

  • Great customer support via email
  • All of the membership management happens on your website
  • Migrating from one CMs to another is a free service

Price of MemberSpace

  • Just Starting plan begins at $25 per month
  • Growing Business plan starts at $50 per month
  • Thriving Business plan starts at $100 per month
  • Unlimited Business plan starts at $200 per month

6. NationBuilder

NationBuilder

While NationBuilder is more about finding new members than managing them, it still offers tools for both. And in some cases, growing your membership list may be more important than managing, especially for new businesses.

And with the free trial, you can give it a try without spending a penny.

Since the focus of this tool is to grow your membership list, you can expect to find a toolset that complements this goal. For instance, you can use dynamic data to personalize the emails you send out.

And you can filter and group individuals that may respond better to different messages with the segmentation feature.

You can also create event pages in minutes by using the pre-built templates. In some cases, all you will need to do is personalize it and change a few values before it’s ready to go. And the mobile app ensures that you can interact with members on the go.

Benefits of NationBuilder

  • Set up different permissions for volunteers and staff members
  • All data can be viewed in real-time
  • Create fundraiser pages and collect donations and membership fees

Price of NationBuilder

  • Starter plan begins at $29 per month
  • Pro plan starts at $139 per month
  • Enterprise options are available upon request

When Do I Need Membership Management Software?

So the big question for most is when should they purchase membership software?

It truly depends on the size and type of organization you plan to start. For instance, if you were running a golf course membership, members would expect a great user experience, after all, golf isn’t cheap.

Even if you are just starting out, having the right feel is critical for growth.

On the flip side, if you were opening a local gym, members probably wouldn’t expect anything super fancy. Thus, it really depends when you feel storing member information on a spreadsheet becomes too much of an inconvenience for the business.

That said, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and extra work by adopting a piece of software early.

Most of these will include a feature to collect payments, membership dues, and even donations from members. Thus, it can help you stay on top of finances and avoid going down a long list to make phone calls about overdue payments.

Make Members Feel Special

The most important part of any organization with members is making them feel special. Adding personal touches to their login, placing their name on a members page, inviting them to member-only events, and other activities are crucial to a membership site.

And if you don’t manage to make them feel that their membership is justified, then you probably just lost a member.

What membership management software do you use?





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9 Best Online Learning Platforms for Business


There are a lot of great online training platforms available today that will allow you to more easily train your employees. These are especially helpful if you need to organize seminars, lectures, online courses, or workshops. Online learning for business has never been more popular.

In years past, you may have had to pay a huge amount of money to a third party in order for them to properly train employees on certain matters. However, with the emergence of online business training platforms, there is now a way for you to do all of this in-house.

Yes, you might have to put some work into getting all the material and information together, but once it is done, it will save your business a lot of money on employee training.

Today, we are going to go over some of the best online learning platforms for business. These will allow you to better train your employees on company matters and also save you a lot of money over time.

See, one of the main successes of modern organizations is measured by how fast their employees can attain new skills and learn new information quickly. While there are dozens and dozens of online course platforms, I am going to break it down to some of the best out there. 

What is an Online Learning Platform?

Also know as eLearning platforms, online learning platforms are information systems that schools, universities, and corporations use for teaching and training. This concept has been around a while, and over the past few years, it has become extremely popular in the business world as well.

There are actually a few different types of online learning platforms. All incorporate the same concept of making it easier to train and teach, but all of them may be used for slightly different situations. They include:

  • CMS (content management system)
  • LMS (learning management system)
  • CSCLS (computer-supported collaborative learning system)
  • KM (knowledge management)

These are all different types of virtual communities filled with students, tutors, and professors. To get more specific, today we want to focus on the company side of things and explore online learning for business.

For that reason, we will view the platforms below in the LMS category, simply because even though they are modeled for businesses, they are still relevant learning management systems.

Let’s take a dive into some of the best online learning platforms for businesses that are available today.

Best Online Learning Platforms for Business

1. iSpring Learn LMS

iSpring learn LMS online learning business

iSpring Learn is a cloud-based LMS that is very easy to use, yet full of functionality. It will allow you to easily create and deliver training programs for your employees fast and efficiently. 

The system covers an array of training needs. Some of the main focus includes new-hire onboarding and the ability to build complete, complex, step-by-step programs that will help provide ongoing training for employees.

All in all, you will be pretty hard-pressed to find a better online learning platform for business. Aside from all the above, iSpring also provides an excellent reporting engine, perfect user experience, and a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

Features

  • Learning tracks that make it easy to build
  • Built-in authoring tool
  • Create adaptive eLearning courses right from your browser
  • Integration with the iSpring toolkit
  • Advanced reporting system
  • Integrates easily with Zoom
  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Gamification
  • Amazing technical support

2. TalentLMS

TalentLMS

If you are looking for an intuitive system that is cost-effective, then look no further than TalentLMS. The system gives you everything you need to train employees properly and also features eCommerce and Zapier integration.

This online learning platform will give you all the basic tools necessary to create presentations, videos, packages, and just about any other type of content imaginable. TalentLMS is also very good when it comes to social learning, as they will help both your learners and trainers stay in touch very easily.

Features

  • Built-in tools for creating simple courses, quizzes, and surveys
  • Switch between user-roles quickly and easily
  • Integration with webinar services
  • Individual URLs available
  • Custom designs
  • Custom reports and scheduling
  • Multiple integrations with web services like Zapier

3. MindFlash

MindFlash online learning business

MindFlash is another one of the very best online learning platforms for business out there today. The platform allows you to customize all of your course content, putting you in total control of the entire thing.

From creating PowerPoint presentations to videos and documents, the system is loaded with functionality and provides the ability to easily track the performance of all trainees.

One of the more eye-opening features that MindFlash provides is the ability for scalability when you need it. With three tiers of use, you can move all the way up to the pro level and scale out if needed. The social integration features are also very good and the system comes with a free trial.

Features

  • Train not only employees but also external stakeholders like contractors
  • 2-week free trial available
  • Excellent customer support
  • Adheres to SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) standards
  • Course creation
  • Online learning management
  • Reports galore
  • Intuitive dashboards for everyone

4. Docebo

Docebo

If you have a need for both formal and informal learning, then Docebo is probably an online learning platform for business that you will want to look into. The platform will allow you to easily upload all sorts of different content types including SCORM and xAPI courses.

It also and has a simple built-in content editor. This allows for HTML page creation from both text and media. The Docebo system comes complete with a powerful AI, which analyzes all content that is upload and tags it with keywords.

Last, but not least, Docebo provides freedom to create what you want, but unlike some other platforms, it also gives you access to ready-made courses that have already been created by professional course developers.

Features

  • Advanced content management
  • Built-in quiz editor
  • Create and share learner-generated content
  • Localize user portals to over 40 language choices
  • Ready-to-go courses
  • Custom reports
  • Over 30 available integrations

5. SAP Litmos

SAP Litmos online learning business

Another cloud-based online learning platform that employees and trainers can access through desktop or mobile is SAP Litmos. It has over 1-million users and has built this type of a following because it provides a built-in dashboard that is simple, easy-to-use, and very powerful.

The platform also offers a 2-week free trial. This way, you can get to know the setup, the system, and figure out how it all works and operates before you make a final decision. Finally, you will also be able to monitor all sales activity by connecting it to Salesforce.

Features

  • Intuitive design
  • Free trial
  • eCommerce option
  • Track all sales 
  • Fast onboarding
  • Robust analytics
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Universal accessibility
  • Engagement and adoption

6. Adobe Captivate Prime

Adobe Captivate Prime

With advanced social learning capabilities, skill management, and extensive reporting, look no further than Adobe Captivate Prime when searching for an online learning platform for business.

The Adobe LMS stands out because it allows admins to create and manage external groups. This means that the process of training someone outside the company, like a partner, is easy to handle.

Where Adobe Captivate is different than the other platforms on this list is in the authoring section. The platform does not actually provide any authoring features to create content. To do this, you will need to add another authoring tool.

However, what they do is provide you with a full library of shelf courses that you can purchase and use to train employees.

Features 

  • Robust reporting engine with scheduled reports
  • Extensive social learning features
  • System is built to increase learner engagement
  • Manage external learners only
  • Create multiple versions of content in different languages
  • Tons of third-party integrations

7. CourseMill

CourseMill online learning business

Finding a place on our list is CourseMill. They allow you to create unlimited courses and provide advanced tracking and reporting to go along with that. You will be able to access beautiful visual charts that track everything imaginable.

Easily notify your employees or other learners about upcoming courses, trainings, and other important updates right from the intuitive system. The notifications that are sent out take the form of emails and will have course and training links built right in.

Features

  • Fully-functioning notification system
  • Instant messaging feature
  • Automate all enrollment and employee training
  • Self-paced eLearning experiences
  • Manage compliance
  • Sell eCommerce courses
  • Formal and informal learning
  • Dashboard creation and customization

8. eFront

eFront

One of the newer opine business platforms for learning out there is eFront. It makes our list because it offers a ton of tools and features and it offers scalability, customization, efficiency, and reliability. It is fully user-intuitive and is also packed with Gamification features.

As far as content goes, the eFront platform adheres to all industry standards and provides you the ability to customize and design all sorts of courses and materials. From ethics in the workplace to business management training and more, this platform has you covered. Give it a look.

Features

  • Private cloud hosting
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Content friendly
  • Assessments engine 
  • Surveys engine
  • SCORM and TinCan
  • Assignments
  • Re-usable content
  • Full courses marketplace

9. Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS online learning business

Rounding out this list of the best online learning platforms for business is Absorb LMS. It is an intelligent, multi-purpose online learning platform that is both easy to scale and fully configurable. The system is available as both a hosted option or an on-premise alternative.

Absorb makes it very easy to create and distribute training courses and they also have a ton of automation features built-in. Optimize all your content in over 20 languages and make employee training easier than ever with this platform.

Features

  • Assembly tools for everything
  • Ability to embed YouTube videos
  • Hosted solution or on-premise solution
  • Very powerful AI
  • Learner engagement
  • Smart administration
  • eCommerce
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Mobile app
  • SCORM compliance
  • Content libraries
  • eSignatures
  • Tons of integrations

How to Choose an Online Learning Business Platform 

Since there are so many virtual training programs out there, it can be difficult to figure out how to choose one. You need it to fit your business needs, probably be fairly priced, and give you all the tools you need to get what you want.

There are basically three other things to consider when choosing an eLearning platform to train your employees. Yes, personal preference and needs are a big part of it, but don’t forget about the following.

Academic or Corporate

Both of these types of platforms will allow you to automate a lot of different training processes. You will also be able to provide access to learning materials online, so employees will be able to access those when needed.

That being said, there are some major differences between the two. Things like organizational structures, scheduling units, and tracking and assessment systems will be laid out and act differently depending on the platform.

Make sure you have a hold of the right one for your business.

Industry Specific and Use Cases

There are probably going to be a lot of instances where you need the online learning business platform you choose to be very industry-specific. With that, you will need some use cases in place as well.

A good example of this is the health industry. If your business is tied to healthcare, then you want a learning platform that can be integrated with a hospital management system, HIPAA, and ACCME web services.

Of course, this is just an example, but you see how this can be a major factor in the final decision made.

Use cases are another aspect to consider. Will the online learning business platform you choose be able to handle everything you need? For example, is employee onboarding or peer-to-peer management training vital?

Features and Tools 

Make sure the platform you choose has the specific tools and functionality you need. Perhaps create a list of things that are a “must-have” for your business and setup. Use that list and compare it to what you see from the platforms above.

If you can match up everything you need to a specific platform, then you are good to go.

Conclusion

Virtual training platforms are all the rage right now. If your business is looking into something like this, then you can’t really go wrong with any of the online learning for business platforms that are listed above.

Sure, the one you choose will be based a lot on personal preference and specific business needs. However, the list above is filled with solid candidates and this should give you a starting point at the very least.

Try some of them out, demo them, see with one works best for your specific needs. Before you know it you will be training your employees quicker, easier, and cheaper.





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7 Best eCommerce Fulfillment Services for 2021


Continuing to grow at an unrelenting pace over the last few years, eCommerce has all signs point to it for getting stronger. If you run an online store, then you want to make sure you have an excellent eCommerce fulfillment service at your disposal.

This will make fulfilling orders and tracking those orders much easier for both you and your clients. In reality, eCommerce fulfillment has come a long way. In years past, you would need to manually fill all orders yourself and get them shipped out using a selection of different services based on needs.

Now, you can find an order fulfillment service and get them to do the work for you. This makes the entire process of ordering and shipping online smoother for all parties involved.

What is an eCommerce Fulfillment Service?

All successful eCommerce businesses have one singular thing in common: a top-of-the-line eCommerce fulfillment service taking care of their needs.

You might have the very best product on the market. Your product may be in-demand and as popular as ever. However, without eCommerce fulfillment, all your hard work and setup can go right down the drain.

Simply put, eCommerce fulfillment is the part of your online operation that delivers products to your customers. If this part of the process does no go smoothly, then it can really upset both you and your customers.

Fulfilling an order properly can be tough unless you have a process that gets it done right.

This is arguably the most important part of your business. You have an amazing website, your products are excellent, all your payment gateways are set up, but you are still fulfilling orders manually.

That is not a situation you want to be in, especially if you have a lot of orders coming through.

Today, I am going to introduce you to some of the best eCommerce fulfillment services that are available. Using one of these will help you create an excellent process for your online store.

Best eCommerce Fulfillment Services

1. ShipBob

ShipBob ecommerce fulfillment service

With warehouses located around the country and a direct-to-consumer shipping process, ShipBob comes in at the top of our list of the best eCommerce fulfillment services out there today. The service uses connected technology to power its network.

This helps your business improve transit times and reduces overall shipping costs. Both of these are aspects that you and your customers will be grateful for.

The system is pretty intuitive and easy to set up. Simply connect your online store, import all of your company products, and then send your inventory numbers to their network of fulfillment centers.

ShipBob stores all your inventory safely and ships it to customers as soon as they place an order. With a high satisfaction rate and an excellent standard for customer service, ShipBob is definitely an eCommerce fulfillment service you will want to take a look at.

Features

  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Advanced filters
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Returns management
  • No pick and pack fees
  • Flat-rate receiving
  • Batch fulfillment
  • Efficient management

2. Rakuten Super Logistics

Rakuten Super Logistics

Rakuten Super Logistics is probably best suited for bigger enterprise companies. However, nothing stops you from checking it out and seeing if it suits your current setup as well. They offer shipping, packing, and marketing to all their customers. 

The marketing aspect is what sets them apart, as they are one of the only eCommerce fulfillment services that integrate actual marketing into the rest of the service.

While they do not have as many service centers as some of the other choices on this list, the 12 they do have across the nation allow them to offer business shipping as fast as one day.

They also cater to shipping locally and internationally. So if you ship to international customers, then Rakuten has you covered.

Features

  • Technology tools
  • 100% accuracy
  • 1-day order fulfillment
  • Personalized client support
  • Integrated marketing services
  • Specialty fulfillment centers
  • Kitting services
  • Subscription box services

3. FreightPros

FreightPros ecommerce fulfillment service

Another one of the best eCommerce fulfillment services out there today is FreightPros. They are perfectly suited for small businesses and provide very affordable prices and excellent customer service. 

The service provides users with a wide variety of tools that will allow for easy user management that includes the ability to manage shipments directly and be more of a part of the process when appropriate.

Again, FreightPros is perfect for a smaller business because they give you the freedom to process very small and very large orders. For example, they will ship a single item the same way they would ship bulk and large orders. 

The service provides a guarantee on how they track the shipment process as well. You will be more comfortable with the process because of the detailed tracking and updates provided from pickup to final delivery.

Features

  • Quickly catches delivery issues
  • Personalized messaging
  • Pricing suggestions
  • Handles the entire process on behalf of the client
  • Excellent customer service
  • Cost and value
  • Perfect for startups
  • Simple onboarding process
  • Intuitive management systems

4. Simpl

Simpl

Simpl has built its entire system based on maintaining the trust of online sellers and major online shopping services. The platform is very easy to use and provides customers with excellent logistics and order fulfillment solutions.

Whether you have a few items or a warehouse of inventory, the Simpl solutions have you covered.

Excellent when it comes to eCommerce businesses, Simpl will provide you with all the essential tools needed for the entire process. Manage inventory, orders, returns, and reports all at your fingertips in an intuitive dashboard that is easy to navigate and use.

If you are looking for a trusted solution that allows you to easily connect your stores, download details for your new products, and sync your existing ones, then the Simpl service is definitely one to look at.

Features

  • Automation rules
  • Powerful integrations
  • Real-time inventory processes
  • Robust order management
  • Integrations with Kickstarter, Groupon, Indiegogo
  • Easily manage SKUs
  • Track shipping, received, and returns
  • Connect to Shopify, Magento, eBay
  • Track all warehouse quantities

5. ShipMonk

ShipMonk ecommerce fulfillment service

Another order fulfillment platform that is designed and tailored toward eCommerce is ShipMonk. The platform is designed to make order fulfillment as stress-free as possible. They do this by offering an intuitive system based on four main modules that are used for managing inventory, orders, shipping, and warehousing.

The service also provides a fantastic order management portal. This portal gives you a way to be more hands-on and manage the overall customer experience that is provided by ShipMonk. They also provide shipping processes that are handled by all major carriers through partnerships they have with each one.

The system also integrates with Amazon, which as we know is a major player in basically everything. You can tie it in with Fulfillment by Amazon and take advantage of Amazon Prime seller status. 

Features

  • Inventory management
  • Shipping discounts
  • Subscription box fulfillment
  • Custom packing procedures
  • EDI compliance
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Crowdfunding fulfillment
  • Proactive exception handling
  • Shipping calculator
  • Automated SKU mapping and bundling
  • High-touch customer service
  • Special projects
  • Branded order tracking

6. WhiteBox

WhiteBox

Fulfillment features, shipping solutions, and storage fees, all wrapped up into a single solution. That is exactly what WhiteBox is. Not only does this platform cater to a smaller business, but when and if you need to scale, then you can do so very easily with WhiteBox and reach more customers on a global level.

This solution does two major things a little differently than the other solutions on this list. First off, they eliminate all unnecessary costs and try to eliminate excessive fees that other platforms may charge. However, they do charge an onboarding fee of roughly $3,000 (as of this writing) and 10% of total sales.

So, you can see, little-to-no fee, but more of an upfront cost. Either way, the solution provides all the tools you would expect from a top-notch eCommerce fulfillment service. Definitely take a look at WhiteBox if you are trying to cut fees while still accessing amazing tools.

Features

  • Forecasting and predictions
  • Quality control
  • Kitting
  • Stock maintenance
  • SEO-friendly product listings
  • Ability to market products
  • Improve listings with built-in tools
  • Solid customer support
  • No additional fees

7. Fulfillment by Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon ecommerce fulfillment service

Rounding out our list of the best eCommerce fulfillment services out there today is Fulfillment by Amazon. Also known as FBA, they give anyone the ability to easily sell products across the Amazon platform. 

This fulfillment service is best for businesses that sell smaller items, as fees are determined by size and weight. This service is also excellent if you sell across multiple channels.

Where Fulfillment by Amazon really excels is in the inventory area. Whether you sell few or thousands of products, you are able to gain access to Amazon’s logistical capabilities and a global network of warehouses.

This is perfect for taking care of the bulk of fulfillment work needed.

With fast processing, even faster delivery and shipping times, climate-controlled warehouses, reliable returns and refunds, and world-class customer service support, FBA may be exactly what you are looking for.

Features

  • Multi-channel selling ability
  • Shipping discounts
  • Excellent customer service
  • Top of the line return policy
  • Excellent customer experience
  • Huge warehouse network
  • Tons of productivity apps
  • Third-party integrations
  • Over 140 warehouses worldwide

What to Look For When Choosing an eCommerce Fulfillment Service

If you have a successful online store, then chances are you definitely want to have access to a fulfillment expert. That being said, you might be a little confused as to what to look for when it comes to making a decision on an eCommerce fulfillment service.

Of course, you have to account for personal preference as well as what your business needs. However, here are a few things to look for that all of the best eCommerce fulfillment services should have.

  • Solid Range of Services
  • Cost Transparency and Fair Pricing
  • Scalability
  • Start-up Friendly
  • An Easy Onboarding Process
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Proper Integration and Third-Party Services
  • Intuitive Management Dashboard

Again, you will definitely be drawn to one platform or another based on personal preference. However, the items above are things you want to have in place no matter what eCommerce fulfillment centers you use.

Fulfillment Services FAQs

So, now that you have a solid list of services to look at, you may still have a few questions that need to be answered. Here are some very common ones and the answers to them. These should help you make your way to a final decision.

What is 3rd-Party Fulfillment?

When we talk about a 3rd-party, what we are saying is that you are outsourcing that part of the production to someone else. In this instance, you want a 3rd-party fulfillment service to take care of filling and managing all final orders that come through.

What Does a Fulfillment Center Do?

This is usually an A-Z process for shipping and fulfilling orders. These fulfillment centers basically take care of everything for you. They store products in their facilities and manage all inventory, warehousing, and shipping. Not only does this mean that the “after-sale” process is taken care of, but it also gives store owners a place to easily store all their products.

How Does a Fulfillment Service Work?

The process is pretty simple really. When a customer places an order and pays, the chosen order fulfillment center receives all the necessary information to go through the process of fulfilling the order. Most all fulfillment companies go through the same process when they receive an order. The process includes:

  1. Receiving the Order
  2. Finding the Items
  3. Packing the Products
  4. Shipping the Order
  5. Notifying Customers of Order Status
Are Fulfillment Centers and Distribution Centers Different?

There are actually two main differences between the two. Distribution centers are focused more on the business aspect and less on the location of things. Fulfillment centers store all inventory and ship your products to customers everywhere, while distribution centers handle shipping and selling but don’t ship to retailers.

How Does a Fulfillment Service Make Money?

There are several fees involved with this process and each fulfillment center gets a part of all of these fees. Long-term storage fees are where the bulk of their money is made. That being said, they also make money on other fees like:

  • Setup Fees
  • Weight Fees
  • Packaging Fees
  • Returns and Processing
  • Account Management
  • Customer Support
  • Reporting
  • Technology

Additional one-time fees for other items may also help these centers make money. This could possibly include things like cancellations, SKU labeling, barcoding, credit card processing, marketing inserts, and assembling products.

Conclusion

Having a solid eCommerce fulfillment service will make the entire ordering and fulfillment process easier, faster, and more user-friendly for both yourself and your customers. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of situation here. The platform you chose will be based on business needs and personal preference.

Any of the eCommerce fulfillment services from the list above are a solid choice and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Give them all a look, do a little research, try them out if they have free trials, and see which one works best for you.

Before you know it, you will have found a setup that is perfect for your business. Good luck on your journey!





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GreenGeeks Announces the WordPress Repair Tool


With the web hosting industry changing faster than ever, GreenGeeks strives to provide quality tools and services for our customers to enjoy, which makes us proud to announce the launch of a new, all-in-one WordPress Repair tool.

Quickly Fix Common WordPress Issues

This revolutionary utility can fix more than 90% of the most common WordPress problems. Think of it like going to your mechanic for a multi-point vehicle inspection, but for your website.

Now, GreenGeeks can help repair your website to a functional state without even having to log in to your site.

This innovative process:

  • Secures your WordPress core files with clean, current versions
  • Provides software updates for your WordPress core, theme, and plugins
  • Optimizes your WordPress database
  • Resets your WordPress administrator passwords
  • Restores default configuration file and .htaccess values
  • And much, much more!

In short, this new tool can be your lifeline when you need an additional hand with your WordPress website.

Available Soon in the GreenGeeks Dashboard

Could there be anything better than this you ask? Why, yes!

While this tool is currently only available for BETA testing this time, our hope is to one integrate this into the GreenGeeks Dashboard. This means that once available, customers can repair their WordPress website with the click of a button, without even having to call or open a Support ticket.

If you have a website you think needs an appointment with our WordPress Repair tool, open up a Support Ticket for more assistance.





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7 Best Writing Apps in 2021


The days of writing down stories on paper or using a typewriter are over. For the last two decades, writers have utilized writing apps to improve the content they create and make it easier to assemble large pieces of content. And in this time, a lot of writing software and apps have come into existence.

That’s why today, I am going to share the best writing apps to use in 2021.

What Are Writing Apps?

Writing apps are applications that allow users to create documents by using a word processor or provide helpful insights into your writing. The type of software a writer uses depends entirely on their trade.

After all, writing is a very broad term.

For instance, a screenwriter is not going to use the same tools as a novelist.

Of course, writing apps are not exclusively word processors. They can also include writing analyzers that help point out mistakes or make specific recommendations to your writing. In many cases, they can even be a combination of the two.

And in recent years, distraction-free writing tools have become very popular. Writing takes place on a computer, which means that you have access to the internet. Some of these tools can disable popular distraction websites like YouTube or Facebook to help you stay focused.

The Best Writing Apps for 2021

1. Final Draft

Final Draft

Have you ever wondered what kind of software screenwriters use in Hollywood? If so, you are not alone. And while there are quite a few to choose from, Final Draft has been the industry standard for decades.

In fact, Final Draft claims they are used by 95% of film and television productions.

So what makes Final Draft the industry standard in Hollywood? Its toolset is specifically made for screenwriters. It can keep track of individual character lines, traits, the scenes they appear in, and much more. Without these types of features, you would have to vigorously re-read the script and keep detailed notes.

It is also important to mention that it has been around so long at this point that its file type, .FDX (for versions 1 through 7) and .FDR (version 8 to current), are the only ones these companies accept.

Thus, even if you choose to write it on another piece of software, you are still going to need to convert it to the right file format.

Benefits of Final Draft

  • View the dialogue of individual characters in a few clicks
  • Easily export and share files to help you find the right buyer
  • It is available on mobile devices

Price of Final Draft

  • The Teacher/Student version is available for a one-time purchase of $129.99
  • Final Draft is available for a one-time purchase of $249.99

2. Scrivener

Scrivener

There is a lot of book writing software to choose from, but standing firmly at the top is Scrivener. This software was built by writers for writers, and it really shows. It has hundreds of options that are strictly for novelists.

Of course, the software can also be used for screenwriting and other trades.

Scrivener stands at the top due to its design philosophy. Most word processors on the market fail to make it easy to move large pieces or chapters of a novel around. This isn’t a problem in Scrivener.

It utilizes a drag and drop design that allows you to move any part of the novel.

One of the most useful tools, especially for long novels, is the analysis it offers. For instance, it can detect words that are being used too frequently. This can dramatically increase the quality of your work by using a broader vocabulary.

Benefits of Scrivener

  • Keep track of all of your research and notes while you are writing
  • Choose the exact size every piece of your novel will be
  • Create a corkboard to improve your planning

Price of Scrivener

  • Educational licenses of Scrivener are available for a one-time payment of $41
  • Standard licenses of Scrivener are available for a one-time payment of $49

3. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word

Let’s face it, everyone knew Microsoft Word would be on the list. It is the go-to word processor for over 1.2 billion people around the world. It could only achieve this popularity if the service was amazing, and news flash, it is.

And if you are a student, this software, along with the entire Microsoft Office Suite, is free.

The reason Microsoft Word continues to be the top writing program around the world can be attributed to many things. Yet, without a doubt, the biggest factor is the range of content you can create.

School reports, research papers, novels, scripts, resumes, and just about any other form of written content can be made in Word.

It accomplishes this by providing users with a huge library of pre-built templates and by utilizing a simple interface that anyone can learn. However, while Word is a jack of all trades, it will typically fail to get better results than writing apps designed for specific trades.

Benefits of Microsoft Word

  • Users can take advantages of thousands of tutorials and detailed guides from Microsoft
  • Converts PDF documents to Word documents in seconds
  • Virtually every business uses Microsoft word, so there are no compatibility issues

Price of Microsoft Word

  • Free for students
  • Available as a standalone product for a one-time purchase of $139.99
  • Included in the Microsoft 365 subscription for $6.99 per month

4. Google Docs

Google Docs

When it comes to free writing apps, none can match the functionality and practicality of Google Docs. In fact, it still has a place in the writing process if you utilize another piece of software due to its collaboration tools.

In truth, most dedicated writing apps were created for a sole writer. This can be a problem if you hire an editor.

Google Docs solves this problem entirely by allowing users to share documents at a moment’s notice without any limits on the file size. It is hands down the best writing app for any form of collaboration or partnership.

Another huge advantage is that Google Docs is cloud-based. Thus, if your hard drive fails, you have nothing to worry about with Google Docs. You get 15 GB of storage for free with Google Docs and more is available in the paid plans.

Benefits of Google Docs

  • Allow others to read your work without editing it
  • Access and edit your files on any device
  • Import and export a wide array of file formats

Price of Google Docs

  • Google Docs is available for free
  • It is also available within the Google Workspace subscription starting at $6 per month

5. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid

Even with the best writing software in hand, it’s useless if the quality of the content your produce isn’t great. Instead, you can enhance your writing by using the ProWritingAid tool. It helps writers avoid the common problems that all writers face.

And the better your writing skills appear to customers, the more money you’ll make.

Unlike other grammar checkers, ProWritingAid focuses on improving the flow of your writing. For instance, one of the biggest problems new writers fall into is the usage of past tense phrases. While there are cases in which you may intend to use one, the vast majority are often unintended, and this tool can track them.

Another big factor it focuses on is connecting your writing. The use of transition words and phrases is crucial when you are connecting ideas together. Without transitions, you might as well switch to bullet points.  The tool will offer helpful tips and insights to improve the flow of your writing.

Benefits of ProWritingAid

  • Replace weak verbs with strong verbs for a broader vocabulary
  • There are 20 different analysis tool to help improve your content
  • Get access to a thesaurus while writing

Price of ProWritingAid

  • Monthly subscriptions start at $20 per month
  • Yearly subscriptions start at $79 per year
  • A lifetime subscription is available for $399

6. Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly is a digital writing assistant that is compatible with some of the most popular applications and websites. It will display writing mistakes and recommendations to you in real-time, and it is constantly being updated to have the most up-to-date vocabulary.

It is available for Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and works on mobile devices.

Many know Grammarly for the wonderful and free Google Chrome extension. However, most are unaware that Grammarly has a dedicated writing app for Windows. You can type full documents from scratch or import documents for proofreading.

Grammarly is probably the best tool for bloggers and web developers. Its Google Chrome extension is compatible with the text editors of CMS. For instance, it is fully compatible with the Gutenberg editor of WordPress and many others.

In fact, some of the writers here at GreenGeeks use the Grammarly Chrome extension while writing our content.

Benefits of Grammarly

  • Vocabulary is updated regularly and faster than any other grammar/spell checker
  • Mistakes are easy to find thanks to the red underline
  • It can locate redundancy in sentences to improve the readability

Price of Grammarly

  • A free version is available
  • Premium plans start at $11.66 per month
  • Business plans start at $12.50 per month per member

7. Blog Idea Generator

Blog Idea Generator

Last but not least, the Hubspot Blog Idea Generator is a terrific tool for creating new ideas. Even the best blogger out there can hit a wall when it comes to content planning. However, with this tool, you can create weeks worth of ideas in minutes.

And this tool is completely free to use.

The tool is greatly successful because of its simplicity. Users simply need to enter a series of nouns into the text box, one at a time. Afterward, you simply click the button and the tool will generate 5 blog ideas based on your keywords. It’s that simple.

Yet, it is worth mentioning that these ideas can be very similar to one another. Notwithstanding, this is only a problem if you don’t sign up. Instead of the five free concepts, it will generate over 250 blog ideas using the same method.

Thus, you will get a great variety of ideas. Just keep in mind all of them may not be applicable to the topic.

Benefits of Blog Idea Generator

  • Build a full list of topic ideas in minutes
  • There is no limit on the number of uses
  • You can enter as many nouns as you want

Price of Blog Idea Generator

What Separates Writing Apps?

So the real question for many people is why can’t I just use Microsoft Word for everything?

It’s true that Word is a powerful word processor that should never be underestimated. Yet, it pales in comparison to writing apps and software that were designed specifically for certain groups. For instance, writing a play on Microsoft word versus  Scrivener is night and day.

Scrivener is used professionally to write scripts for movies, plays, and even video games. It has the tools and formatting options that these writers need to get the job done. Microsoft does not.

Yet, if your willing to spend a lot of time with formatting in a more generic word processor, it’s not impossible to get similar results. The real difference between these tools is the amount of time you need to spend and the convenience each one provides.

Find What Works For You

Everyone is different, and the writing app you use is no exception. Sometimes you may even prefer older versions of software to the new ones. Most famously, George R.R. Martin actually uses the WordStar 4.0 word processor from 1987, although maybe this explains his writing speed.

Either way, everyone has their preference.

If your write professionally, look at what others in your industry are using. Most of the world may only be aware of Microsoft Word, but it is often avoided by professional writers. It simply doesn’t offer the special functionality some writing professions require.

Thus, be sure to experiment and find what works for you.

Which writing apps do you use?





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