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6 Best Low-Code Development Platforms in 2021


Do you want to build your own phone app, but don’t have a ton of coding experience? That’s okay. By utilizing a low-code development platform, you can build your very own phone app with minimal to no-code development experience. And the results will still look great and be functional.

Today, I will share some of the best low-code development platforms in 2021.

What is A Low-Code Development Platform?

A low-code development platform allows users to create applications and processes with little to no coding. Instead of traditional coding, these platforms utilize visual elements to help users build the apps they want.

Phone apps have almost become a necessity for many businesses in the last couple of years, thus small and large businesses need to adapt to the times. However, in the past, unless you had coding expertise, you had to hire a developer to create it, which was quite expensive.

Today, app creation software has become affordable for even the smallest business as a result of these platforms. And if you are more tech-savvy, you will immediately understand that these platforms not only have features for beginners, but tools for more advanced users to take advantage of.

It is also important to mention that not all low-code development platforms focus on mobile apps. Many will focus on automating everyday business operations.

The Best Low-Code Development Platforms

1. Microsoft Power Apps

Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps software is powerful, affordable, and easy to use. In fact, anyone that is comfortable with Microsoft Excel will find this tool somewhat familiar. And it is sporting one of the best user interfaces in the industry.

You might even already have access to this tool because it is included in select Microsoft 365 plans.

You can build an app without code reasonably easily. The tool provides a variety of templates and examples to help you learn the basics. In some cases, you can even use these as a starting point if your final goal is similar to the template.

And as a seasoned developer, there are plenty of more complex options available.

However, the true strength of this development software is the UI. It has by far one of the cleanest and easiest interfaces to use.

Many other tools often have very busy pages that can be outright confusing or make navigation a chore. Microsoft Power Apps is an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike.

Benefits of Microsoft Power Apps

  • View how your app will look on a mobile device to get button placements right
  • Integration options are available and plentiful
  • The App Checker function helps troubleshoot problems

Price of Microsoft Power Apps

  • Per App plans begin at $10 per user per month
  • Per User plans begin at $40 per user per month
  • Power Apps is also available in select Microsoft 365 subscriptions

2. Appian

Appian

Appian has been around since 1999, and over the years, its experience in the low-code development industry really shows. This platform is easy to use and provides services for both beginners and experts alike.

And you can even build an app using the free tool. That said, it is extremely limited compared to the other plans.

One of the strongest aspects of Appian is its collaboration tools. Entire development teams can work on individual parts of the app simultaneously, which makes it the perfect choice for dedicated app creation teams, although this may be more useful to larger corporations.

However, fear not, you can build an app by yourself. Not only do you not need to write code but even the amount of data silos has been greatly reduced.

The UI is also worth mentioning because it is very sleek and you can even use a single workflow to handle AI, data, and existing systems.

Benefits of Appian

  • The Appian Quick Apps feature truly allows you to build apps without a line of code
  • Task management helps you keep track of group progress
  • Complex logic tools are available for developers with the proper knowledge

Price of Appian

  • A free plan is available
  • Appian does not make its pricing publicly available. You must contact them for a quote concerning other plans.

3. Kissflow

Kissflow

For small businesses that are not interested in any tech-savvy features and want true no-code app development tools, look no further than Kissflow. Unlike others on this list that require minimal coding, this one really requires no code.

And if you don’t believe me, you can try it out by using the free trial.

As a true no-code development platform, you won’t have to deal with a single debugging error. As a result, the app you make will always work in accordance with the logic you use. That said, it is still possible to make logical errors that do not generate the desired results.

The drag-and-drop interface allows you to edit fields, tasks, and logic at any time. You are never limited in how you approach development, and that means you will never have to limit the appearance of your app as a result of code limitations.

Benefits of Kissflow

  • It is by far the easiest low-code development platform on the market
  • Making changes to the app is simple and can be done at anytime
  • Dynamic reporting options are available to help you keep track of important metrics

Price of Kissflow

  • Starter plans begin at $390 per month for 20 users
  • Professional plans begin at $690 per month for 60 users
  • Enterprise plans begin at $1500 per month for 100 users

4. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator

Zoho has quite the repertoire of development tools, and the Zoho Creator is their low-code development platform. And unlike many of the other choices in this industry, it is affordable for small businesses to utilize.

And that’s why it is one of the most popular options with over 7 million users around the world.

It is important to point out that you will have to do a minimal amount of coding to achieve your desired result, however, the process itself is intuitive. You can automate the most common business operations using business logic.

One of the best parts is the plethora of templates Zoho creator offers users. These are the excellent starting point to automate the most common operations like logistics, order management, inventory management, distributor management, and so much more.

Benefits of Zoho Creator

  • All business information is available to users through a mobile app
  • Compatible with other Zoho products
  • The auto-translation feature is built-in, which is great for global teams

Price of Zoho Creator

  • Basic plans begin at $10 per month per user
  • Premium plans begin at $25 per month per user
  • Ultimate plans begin at $40 per month per user

5. Salesforce

Salesforce

Salesforce is another major player in business software development and they also have a low-code solution. Similar to Zoho Creator, this tool focuses on automating everyday business operations with minimal code input.

Every application you build can automatically scale as more users are added, thus you can never outgrow Salesforce.

Without a doubt, Salesforce offers the most features out of any low-code development platform. Some of them include automation across multiple connected systems, protection for sensitive information, a drag-and-drop interface, embed individual components to increase functionality, and much more.

And fear not, every application can be converted to a mobile application. Thus, you can easily monitor your business on the go.

As a Salesforce product, it is compatible with other products like their CRM software. Therefore, it’s the perfect choice for existing customers.

Benefits of Salesforce

  • The best mobile and tablet design interface
  • Trails act as guided tutorials o help users learn how to get the most out of the platform
  • Encrypt sensitive data

Price of Salesforce

  • Platform Starter plans begin at $25 per month per user
  • Platform Plus plans begin at $100 per month per user

6. Visual Lansa

Lansa

Closing out our list for the best low-code development platforms is none other than Visual Lansa. It specializes in building web-based applications in a low-code environment and the entire process has been streamlined from start to finish.

And they offer the best free trial in the industry, which lasts for 90 days!

One of the most useful features within Lansa is its integrations. On top of being able to integrate with just about anything via API keys, it can also integrate with legacy systems that lack API functionality. This is a very big limitation on other low-code platforms, but not Lansa.

Visual Lansa is great for teams, in fact, it was built for teams. Multiple users can work on different components simultaneously. The plans are affordable and you can create an unlimited number of web and desktop apps.

Benefits of Visual Lansa

  • Define all of your business rules in location and they can be applied to every project
  • Create the entire application with the IDE
  • The interface is sleek

Price of Visual Lansa

  • Entry Level plans begin at $16.66 per user per month
  • Mid-tier plans begin at $13.34 per user per month
  • Enterprise plans begin at $8.34 per user per month

Why Mobile Apps Matter

Everyone has a smartphone in 2021, thus ensuring that your business can reach mobile users is a no-brainer.

One of the main advantages is an app’s ability to build loyal customers and improve brand recognition. The average mobile user operates 30 different apps each month, and just seeing your app on a regular basis will keep customers thinking about you.

And when customers think about a business, it leads to sales.

It’s also no secret that mobile apps now make up the majority of internet traffic. Thus, ensuring that customers have a great experience on their mobile devices is essential.

And in many instances, mobile apps operate far better than website alternatives. In fact, many websites will try to get you to download their app when browsing on a mobile device.

There are a lot of benefits to mobile apps, and with the app-making software on this list, you can create your own without much trouble.

Thoroughly Test Your App

While there are many advantages of a mobile app, there is one important caveat; your mobile app must actually perform well.

A bad mobile app can really hurt your business, and that’s because bad word of mouth travels faster than good. If you have a bad or clunky mobile app, many users will not bother to try it again. Instead, you’ve essentially lost a customer.

That said, it’s very hard to put together a great mobile app on your first try. Most successful mobile apps today have undergone several transformations over the years. However, in 2021, the standards have gotten too high for apps.

Thus, you need to ensure that your app works well before it launches.

Which low-code development platform did you use?



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12 Best Plugins for Photographers in WordPress for 2021


As a photographer, you want to find a platform that helps you showcase your work in a way that is unique, yet easy to handle. WordPress is perfect for this, which is why so many photographers use it to bill their websites. However, it can be a hassle to try and sift through all the available plugins for photographers that are available.

Not to worry. In this article, I am going to showcase some of the best plugins for photographers that are out there today. Some are paid, some are free, but all will help you build a better website and showcase your work in a beautiful way.

What Types of Plugins Are the Best for Photographers?

The answer to this question will depend on the person you ask. Some photographers will want to focus on look only, while others may want to focus on selling and optimization.

The truth is, there are several must-have plugins that everyone should have on their website. When you think of photography plugins, you want to expand out from gallery and photo-related plugins and also include optimization for photos, SEO, eCommerce, social sharing, and other related plugin types that will make your photography website pop.

The list below includes all of the above types of plugins for photographers. The ones you personally choose will be up to you, but don’t miss out on a solid plugin because you can’t build a photo gallery with it.

Once you have a domain name and hosting plan in place, you can start developing your website and finding photography plugins.

Let’s take a look at some of the be plugins for photographers that are available today.

Best Plugins For Photographers

1. Modula

Modula plugins for photographers

Modula is a modern and responsive WordPress photography plugin that will allow you to create and design amazing photo galleries to showcase your images. It works with all the major page builders that WordPress offers including Elementor.

Once downloaded, you will be able to create mobile-friendly and responsive galleries, watermark images, white-label things, add slideshows, use shortcodes, and have full SEO control over your galleries.

Modula is arguably the very best gallery-related plugin out there. If you are a photographer building a website, this plugin should be one of the first ones you explore.

2. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

Another one of the best plugins for photographers is Envira Gallery. This is another WordPress image plugin that can help take your images to the next level by showcasing them in custom-built galleries that are mobile-friendly and SEO-ready.

The plugin includes a drag and drop builder, gallery templates, an eCommerce store that is WooCommerce ready, social media integration, and watermark protection. 

And that is just a start, the Envira plugin offers so much for photographers that it has remained one of the most downloaded and bought photo plugins around.

3. Soliloquy

Soliloquy plugins for photographers

Soliloquy is actually made by the same developers that make Envira. That being said, this one is not meant to be as extensive and feature-rich as Envira. What it is meant to be is a plugin that allows photographers to create amazing slideshows galleries that they can display across multiple web pages.

Soliloquy even has a free version that is extensive and packed with features and functionality. You won’t find a better gallery and slideshow-related plugin for free on WordPress than this one.

4. WPVR

WPVR

Many photographers take pictures not only for art and personal gratification but for business. For example, a Real Estate photographer has to capture professional images for clients and then post them in a way that drives traffic and creates interest. That is where WPVR comes in.

This plugin allows photographers to upload images to their site and then create 360-degree views and virtual tours. This is a plugin that will not only make your work stand out but will also help you get more work in your industry because of what you are able to do.

The plugin has tons of customizations built-in, and you can create just about any type of virtual tour with it.

5. Easy Watermark

Easy Watermark plugins for photographers

The name of this plugin pretty much says it all. Easy Watermark makes it extremely easy to add your desired watermark to all the images you upload. The plugin makes the process even easier after you set it up, as all images are watermarked automatically in the spot you choose when they are uploaded. This means you don’t need to add watermarks to each image separately.

That being said, you can add watermarks separately as well. This is beneficial for different photo styles and sizes, as you will be able to place the watermark where you want it.

There is full support for PNG, JPG, and GIF. Text color, size, rotation, and transparency can all be customized. This is a fantastic WordPress image plugin to have on your site if you are a photographer.

6. Smush

Smush plugins for photographers

As I stated above in the opening few sentences of this article, not all relevant plugins for photographers need to be related to galleries or watermarking. Remember, one of the most important things to do for images and SEO on a WordPress site is to optimize them properly. 

Smush is arguably the most popular image optimizer out there for WordPress. They do have a pro version of the plugin, but their free version is very powerful and will automatically optimize your images when they are uploaded into your WordPress media gallery.

this plugin works to compress images properly while at the same time allowing all the image resolution and beauty to remain. This improves your overall page speed and helps with image SEO.

7. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

You may already be aware of this plugin, as it is one of the most popular and effective WordPress plugins around. Yoast SEO is a name that anyone who needs help with WordPress SEO knows. It will also come in very handy for any photographer who wants to feature a heavy dose of high-quality images on their website.

The Yoast SEO plugin will make sure your images are properly optimized by helping you with the SEO side of image optimization. Need alt tags added or anything else? Yoast has you covered. Not only will it help you with your images, but it shows you how to build a fully relevant, search engine-ready website.

Give it a peak for all your SEO purposes and add it to your site as a must-have.

8. Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security plugin

There are a lot of really good security plugins for WordPress. However, Wordfence Security is one of the ones that go a step further and can help you protect the images on your site, as well as the rest of your website.

The plugin comes equipped with an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect your entire website. The plugin is constantly updated from the Threat Defense Feed and always has the newest security in place.

This includes the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses. If you want to protect your website and your images, then definitely give Wordfence a look.

9. Sunshine Photo Cart

Sunshine Photo Cart

Yes, we have mentioned a few good gallery plugins already. However, Sunshine Photo Cart has to make this list because of the specific photography niche it serves. If you are an event photographer, then Sunshine should be at the top of your plugin list.

This particular gallery plugin shines when it comes to event photo management and related galleries. Once installed, you will be able to create an unlimited number of photo galleries. You can also sort them by event and sort them by event, which makes it much easier for your customers to find what they are looking for.

Want to take it a step further with your galleries? Sunshine Photo Cart has a “private” feature that allows you to password-protect any gallery you want, leaving only the clients or specific people to view them.

Add in the watermark ability that prevents people from downloading photos and using them, and you get one of the best plugins for photographers out there.

10. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

Every WordPress website needs a solid caching system. It helps speed up your site, which in turn helps you rank higher in Google. This can also increase page speed load times. 

Furthermore, if you are a photographer that is dealing with a lot of images on a site, then W3 Total Cache is basically a must-have for you. Once installed, you will be able to increase site performance and reduce load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

This plugin has over 1 million verified downloads and is compatible with any theme and plugin out there. Look no further than this one if you are looking for a total caching solution on your photography website.

11. BirchPress Scheduler

BirchPress Scheduler plugins for photographers

Face it, photographers need a fast and easy way to book appointments and fill their work calendar up. This is exactly what BirchPress Scheduler can do. It is a smooth, cost-effective plugin that allows customers to book appointments online right from your website. This will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to take calls and schedule appointments yourself.

The scheduler is clean, smooth, professional, and mobile-friendly. Availability is based on the times and days that you add in and the rest is streamlined and hands-off. 

You can also sync your appointments to any of your calendars, as the plugin allows syncing to iCal and Google Calendar. Last but not least, the BirchPress plugin will also send out email notifications, reminders, and has the ability to accept payments online.

This is a must-have for all photographers trying to build their service and maintain scheduling.

12. Sprout Invoicing

Sprout Invoicing

Rounding out this list of the best plugin for photographers is Sprout Invoicing. Every photographer needs a smooth, clean, easy way to invoice clients and take payments without much hassle. While there are some other great invoicing plugins out there, Sprout is widely considered to be the best.

The plugin allows you to easily create and manage beautiful invoices in just minutes. No more wasting hours at a time trying to build your own invoices, send them, track them, and manage them. Sprout does all this and so much more for you.

A solid invoicing system should be a part of any photographer’s website and Sprout gives you all of that functionality and more right from the conforms of your WordPress admin dashboard.

Building a Photography Site

Plugins are actually one of the last steps to take when it comes to building a photography website. However, it is a vital part of the process because plugins will give you added value and features, built right into your website dashboard.

Remember, a lot goes into building a website, including hosting and a domain name. For that reason, you want to make sure all of the plugins you choose are relevant and helpful for the photography niche you are trying to pursue.

Conclusion

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available today (almost 60,000). Furthermore, hundreds and hundreds of them are related to photography. It can be a difficult process to sift through them all and find the best plugin for photographers.

All of the ones listed above are top-notch plugins that will give you a lot of functionality and the ability to showcase images the way you see fit. From gallery WordPress plugins to optimization and eCommerce plugins, the list has it all.

Go through some of these and pick your favorites. Once you get them up and running you can take advantage of all they have to offer. All of them extend functionality and allow a lot of creative freedom.



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12 Best Plugins for Photographers in WordPress for 2021


As a photographer, you want to find a platform that helps you showcase your work in a way that is unique, yet easy to handle. WordPress is perfect for this, which is why so many photographers use it to bill their websites. However, it can be a hassle to try and sift through all the available plugins for photographers that are available.

Not to worry. In this article, I am going to showcase some of the best plugins for photographers that are out there today. Some are paid, some are free, but all will help you build a better website and showcase your work in a beautiful way.

What Types of Plugins Are the Best for Photographers?

The answer to this question will depend on the person you ask. Some photographers will want to focus on look only, while others may want to focus on selling and optimization.

The truth is, there are several must-have plugins that everyone should have on their website. When you think of photography plugins, you want to expand out from gallery and photo-related plugins and also include optimization for photos, SEO, eCommerce, social sharing, and other related plugin types that will make your photography website pop.

The list below includes all of the above types of plugins for photographers. The ones you personally choose will be up to you, but don’t miss out on a solid plugin because you can’t build a photo gallery with it.

Once you have a domain name and hosting plan in place, you can start developing your website and finding photography plugins.

Let’s take a look at some of the be plugins for photographers that are available today.

Best Plugins For Photographers

1. Modula

Modula plugins for photographers

Modula is a modern and responsive WordPress photography plugin that will allow you to create and design amazing photo galleries to showcase your images. It works with all the major page builders that WordPress offers including Elementor.

Once downloaded, you will be able to create mobile-friendly and responsive galleries, watermark images, white-label things, add slideshows, use shortcodes, and have full SEO control over your galleries.

Modula is arguably the very best gallery-related plugin out there. If you are a photographer building a website, this plugin should be one of the first ones you explore.

2. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

Another one of the best plugins for photographers is Envira Gallery. This is another WordPress image plugin that can help take your images to the next level by showcasing them in custom-built galleries that are mobile-friendly and SEO-ready.

The plugin includes a drag and drop builder, gallery templates, an eCommerce store that is WooCommerce ready, social media integration, and watermark protection. 

And that is just a start, the Envira plugin offers so much for photographers that it has remained one of the most downloaded and bought photo plugins around.

3. Soliloquy

Soliloquy plugins for photographers

Soliloquy is actually made by the same developers that make Envira. That being said, this one is not meant to be as extensive and feature-rich as Envira. What it is meant to be is a plugin that allows photographers to create amazing slideshows galleries that they can display across multiple web pages.

Soliloquy even has a free version that is extensive and packed with features and functionality. You won’t find a better gallery and slideshow-related plugin for free on WordPress than this one.

4. WPVR

WPVR

Many photographers take pictures not only for art and personal gratification but for business. For example, a Real Estate photographer has to capture professional images for clients and then post them in a way that drives traffic and creates interest. That is where WPVR comes in.

This plugin allows photographers to upload images to their site and then create 360-degree views and virtual tours. This is a plugin that will not only make your work stand out but will also help you get more work in your industry because of what you are able to do.

The plugin has tons of customizations built-in, and you can create just about any type of virtual tour with it.

5. Easy Watermark

Easy Watermark plugins for photographers

The name of this plugin pretty much says it all. Easy Watermark makes it extremely easy to add your desired watermark to all the images you upload. The plugin makes the process even easier after you set it up, as all images are watermarked automatically in the spot you choose when they are uploaded. This means you don’t need to add watermarks to each image separately.

That being said, you can add watermarks separately as well. This is beneficial for different photo styles and sizes, as you will be able to place the watermark where you want it.

There is full support for PNG, JPG, and GIF. Text color, size, rotation, and transparency can all be customized. This is a fantastic WordPress image plugin to have on your site if you are a photographer.

6. Smush

Smush plugins for photographers

As I stated above in the opening few sentences of this article, not all relevant plugins for photographers need to be related to galleries or watermarking. Remember, one of the most important things to do for images and SEO on a WordPress site is to optimize them properly. 

Smush is arguably the most popular image optimizer out there for WordPress. They do have a pro version of the plugin, but their free version is very powerful and will automatically optimize your images when they are uploaded into your WordPress media gallery.

this plugin works to compress images properly while at the same time allowing all the image resolution and beauty to remain. This improves your overall page speed and helps with image SEO.

7. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

You may already be aware of this plugin, as it is one of the most popular and effective WordPress plugins around. Yoast SEO is a name that anyone who needs help with WordPress SEO knows. It will also come in very handy for any photographer who wants to feature a heavy dose of high-quality images on their website.

The Yoast SEO plugin will make sure your images are properly optimized by helping you with the SEO side of image optimization. Need alt tags added or anything else? Yoast has you covered. Not only will it help you with your images, but it shows you how to build a fully relevant, search engine-ready website.

Give it a peak for all your SEO purposes and add it to your site as a must-have.

8. Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security plugin

There are a lot of really good security plugins for WordPress. However, Wordfence Security is one of the ones that go a step further and can help you protect the images on your site, as well as the rest of your website.

The plugin comes equipped with an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect your entire website. The plugin is constantly updated from the Threat Defense Feed and always has the newest security in place.

This includes the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses. If you want to protect your website and your images, then definitely give Wordfence a look.

9. Sunshine Photo Cart

Sunshine Photo Cart

Yes, we have mentioned a few good gallery plugins already. However, Sunshine Photo Cart has to make this list because of the specific photography niche it serves. If you are an event photographer, then Sunshine should be at the top of your plugin list.

This particular gallery plugin shines when it comes to event photo management and related galleries. Once installed, you will be able to create an unlimited number of photo galleries. You can also sort them by event and sort them by event, which makes it much easier for your customers to find what they are looking for.

Want to take it a step further with your galleries? Sunshine Photo Cart has a “private” feature that allows you to password-protect any gallery you want, leaving only the clients or specific people to view them.

Add in the watermark ability that prevents people from downloading photos and using them, and you get one of the best plugins for photographers out there.

10. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

Every WordPress website needs a solid caching system. It helps speed up your site, which in turn helps you rank higher in Google. This can also increase page speed load times. 

Furthermore, if you are a photographer that is dealing with a lot of images on a site, then W3 Total Cache is basically a must-have for you. Once installed, you will be able to increase site performance and reduce load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

This plugin has over 1 million verified downloads and is compatible with any theme and plugin out there. Look no further than this one if you are looking for a total caching solution on your photography website.

11. BirchPress Scheduler

BirchPress Scheduler plugins for photographers

Face it, photographers need a fast and easy way to book appointments and fill their work calendar up. This is exactly what BirchPress Scheduler can do. It is a smooth, cost-effective plugin that allows customers to book appointments online right from your website. This will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to take calls and schedule appointments yourself.

The scheduler is clean, smooth, professional, and mobile-friendly. Availability is based on the times and days that you add in and the rest is streamlined and hands-off. 

You can also sync your appointments to any of your calendars, as the plugin allows syncing to iCal and Google Calendar. Last but not least, the BirchPress plugin will also send out email notifications, reminders, and has the ability to accept payments online.

This is a must-have for all photographers trying to build their service and maintain scheduling.

12. Sprout Invoicing

Sprout Invoicing

Rounding out this list of the best plugin for photographers is Sprout Invoicing. Every photographer needs a smooth, clean, easy way to invoice clients and take payments without much hassle. While there are some other great invoicing plugins out there, Sprout is widely considered to be the best.

The plugin allows you to easily create and manage beautiful invoices in just minutes. No more wasting hours at a time trying to build your own invoices, send them, track them, and manage them. Sprout does all this and so much more for you.

A solid invoicing system should be a part of any photographer’s website and Sprout gives you all of that functionality and more right from the conforms of your WordPress admin dashboard.

Building a Photography Site

Plugins are actually one of the last steps to take when it comes to building a photography website. However, it is a vital part of the process because plugins will give you added value and features, built right into your website dashboard.

Remember, a lot goes into building a website, including hosting and a domain name. For that reason, you want to make sure all of the plugins you choose are relevant and helpful for the photography niche you are trying to pursue.

Conclusion

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available today (almost 60,000). Furthermore, hundreds and hundreds of them are related to photography. It can be a difficult process to sift through them all and find the best plugin for photographers.

All of the ones listed above are top-notch plugins that will give you a lot of functionality and the ability to showcase images the way you see fit. From gallery WordPress plugins to optimization and eCommerce plugins, the list has it all.

Go through some of these and pick your favorites. Once you get them up and running you can take advantage of all they have to offer. All of them extend functionality and allow a lot of creative freedom.



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6 Best Low-Code Development Platforms in 2021


Do you want to build your own phone app, but don’t have a ton of coding experience? That’s okay. By utilizing a low-code development platform, you can build your very own phone app with minimal to no-code development experience. And the results will still look great and be functional.

Today, I will share some of the best low-code development platforms in 2021.

What is A Low-Code Development Platform?

A low-code development platform allows users to create applications and processes with little to no coding. Instead of traditional coding, these platforms utilize visual elements to help users build the apps they want.

Phone apps have almost become a necessity for many businesses in the last couple of years, thus small and large businesses need to adapt to the times. However, in the past, unless you had coding expertise, you had to hire a developer to create it, which was quite expensive.

Today, app creation software has become affordable for even the smallest business as a result of these platforms. And if you are more tech-savvy, you will immediately understand that these platforms not only have features for beginners, but tools for more advanced users to take advantage of.

It is also important to mention that not all low-code development platforms focus on mobile apps. Many will focus on automating everyday business operations.

The Best Low-Code Development Platforms

1. Microsoft Power Apps

Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps software is powerful, affordable, and easy to use. In fact, anyone that is comfortable with Microsoft Excel will find this tool somewhat familiar. And it is sporting one of the best user interfaces in the industry.

You might even already have access to this tool because it is included in select Microsoft 365 plans.

You can build an app without code reasonably easily. The tool provides a variety of templates and examples to help you learn the basics. In some cases, you can even use these as a starting point if your final goal is similar to the template.

And as a seasoned developer, there are plenty of more complex options available.

However, the true strength of this development software is the UI. It has by far one of the cleanest and easiest interfaces to use.

Many other tools often have very busy pages that can be outright confusing or make navigation a chore. Microsoft Power Apps is an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike.

Benefits of Microsoft Power Apps

  • View how your app will look on a mobile device to get button placements right
  • Integration options are available and plentiful
  • The App Checker function helps troubleshoot problems

Price of Microsoft Power Apps

  • Per App plans begin at $10 per user per month
  • Per User plans begin at $40 per user per month
  • Power Apps is also available in select Microsoft 365 subscriptions

2. Appian

Appian

Appian has been around since 1999, and over the years, its experience in the low-code development industry really shows. This platform is easy to use and provides services for both beginners and experts alike.

And you can even build an app using the free tool. That said, it is extremely limited compared to the other plans.

One of the strongest aspects of Appian is its collaboration tools. Entire development teams can work on individual parts of the app simultaneously, which makes it the perfect choice for dedicated app creation teams, although this may be more useful to larger corporations.

However, fear not, you can build an app by yourself. Not only do you not need to write code but even the amount of data silos has been greatly reduced.

The UI is also worth mentioning because it is very sleek and you can even use a single workflow to handle AI, data, and existing systems.

Benefits of Appian

  • The Appian Quick Apps feature truly allows you to build apps without a line of code
  • Task management helps you keep track of group progress
  • Complex logic tools are available for developers with the proper knowledge

Price of Appian

  • A free plan is available
  • Appian does not make its pricing publicly available. You must contact them for a quote concerning other plans.

3. Kissflow

Kissflow

For small businesses that are not interested in any tech-savvy features and want true no-code app development tools, look no further than Kissflow. Unlike others on this list that require minimal coding, this one really requires no code.

And if you don’t believe me, you can try it out by using the free trial.

As a true no-code development platform, you won’t have to deal with a single debugging error. As a result, the app you make will always work in accordance with the logic you use. That said, it is still possible to make logical errors that do not generate the desired results.

The drag-and-drop interface allows you to edit fields, tasks, and logic at any time. You are never limited in how you approach development, and that means you will never have to limit the appearance of your app as a result of code limitations.

Benefits of Kissflow

  • It is by far the easiest low-code development platform on the market
  • Making changes to the app is simple and can be done at anytime
  • Dynamic reporting options are available to help you keep track of important metrics

Price of Kissflow

  • Starter plans begin at $390 per month for 20 users
  • Professional plans begin at $690 per month for 60 users
  • Enterprise plans begin at $1500 per month for 100 users

4. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator

Zoho has quite the repertoire of development tools, and the Zoho Creator is their low-code development platform. And unlike many of the other choices in this industry, it is affordable for small businesses to utilize.

And that’s why it is one of the most popular options with over 7 million users around the world.

It is important to point out that you will have to do a minimal amount of coding to achieve your desired result, however, the process itself is intuitive. You can automate the most common business operations using business logic.

One of the best parts is the plethora of templates Zoho creator offers users. These are the excellent starting point to automate the most common operations like logistics, order management, inventory management, distributor management, and so much more.

Benefits of Zoho Creator

  • All business information is available to users through a mobile app
  • Compatible with other Zoho products
  • The auto-translation feature is built-in, which is great for global teams

Price of Zoho Creator

  • Basic plans begin at $10 per month per user
  • Premium plans begin at $25 per month per user
  • Ultimate plans begin at $40 per month per user

5. Salesforce

Salesforce

Salesforce is another major player in business software development and they also have a low-code solution. Similar to Zoho Creator, this tool focuses on automating everyday business operations with minimal code input.

Every application you build can automatically scale as more users are added, thus you can never outgrow Salesforce.

Without a doubt, Salesforce offers the most features out of any low-code development platform. Some of them include automation across multiple connected systems, protection for sensitive information, a drag-and-drop interface, embed individual components to increase functionality, and much more.

And fear not, every application can be converted to a mobile application. Thus, you can easily monitor your business on the go.

As a Salesforce product, it is compatible with other products like their CRM software. Therefore, it’s the perfect choice for existing customers.

Benefits of Salesforce

  • The best mobile and tablet design interface
  • Trails act as guided tutorials o help users learn how to get the most out of the platform
  • Encrypt sensitive data

Price of Salesforce

  • Platform Starter plans begin at $25 per month per user
  • Platform Plus plans begin at $100 per month per user

6. Visual Lansa

Lansa

Closing out our list for the best low-code development platforms is none other than Visual Lansa. It specializes in building web-based applications in a low-code environment and the entire process has been streamlined from start to finish.

And they offer the best free trial in the industry, which lasts for 90 days!

One of the most useful features within Lansa is its integrations. On top of being able to integrate with just about anything via API keys, it can also integrate with legacy systems that lack API functionality. This is a very big limitation on other low-code platforms, but not Lansa.

Visual Lansa is great for teams, in fact, it was built for teams. Multiple users can work on different components simultaneously. The plans are affordable and you can create an unlimited number of web and desktop apps.

Benefits of Visual Lansa

  • Define all of your business rules in location and they can be applied to every project
  • Create the entire application with the IDE
  • The interface is sleek

Price of Visual Lansa

  • Entry Level plans begin at $16.66 per user per month
  • Mid-tier plans begin at $13.34 per user per month
  • Enterprise plans begin at $8.34 per user per month

Why Mobile Apps Matter

Everyone has a smartphone in 2021, thus ensuring that your business can reach mobile users is a no-brainer.

One of the main advantages is an app’s ability to build loyal customers and improve brand recognition. The average mobile user operates 30 different apps each month, and just seeing your app on a regular basis will keep customers thinking about you.

And when customers think about a business, it leads to sales.

It’s also no secret that mobile apps now make up the majority of internet traffic. Thus, ensuring that customers have a great experience on their mobile devices is essential.

And in many instances, mobile apps operate far better than website alternatives. In fact, many websites will try to get you to download their app when browsing on a mobile device.

There are a lot of benefits to mobile apps, and with the app-making software on this list, you can create your own without much trouble.

Thoroughly Test Your App

While there are many advantages of a mobile app, there is one important caveat; your mobile app must actually perform well.

A bad mobile app can really hurt your business, and that’s because bad word of mouth travels faster than good. If you have a bad or clunky mobile app, many users will not bother to try it again. Instead, you’ve essentially lost a customer.

That said, it’s very hard to put together a great mobile app on your first try. Most successful mobile apps today have undergone several transformations over the years. However, in 2021, the standards have gotten too high for apps.

Thus, you need to ensure that your app works well before it launches.

Which low-code development platform did you use?



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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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