How to disable Gutenberg – How to fix Website after WordPress 5.0 Update

How to disable Gutenberg – How to fix Website after WordPress 5.0 Update

WordPress 5.0 “broke” our sites. But not really…

As part of our WordPress maintenance programs, we handle updating WordPress & plugins constantly for our clients.

Yes, after WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg was installed, we did find editing pages and posts rather challenging. The platform is amazing if you are launching a brand new website or blog. However, for those of us who have fully developed or fully cooked websites using an existing designed theme complete with plugins, widgets and more…. you found yourself Gutted. 🙂 LOL!

But have no fear.

One plugin. Fixes. It all.

We installed Disable Gutenberg.


Jeff Starr, thank you!! YOU ROCK!!

This plugin disables the new Gutenberg Editor (aka Block Editor) and replaces it with the Classic Editor. You can disable Gutenberg completely, or selectively disable for posts, pages, roles, post types, and theme templates. Plus you can hide the Gutenberg nag, menu item, and more!


How to install ‘Disable Gutenberg’

STEP 1: Go to Plugins and hit ADD NEW

STEP 2: Type in Disable Gutenberg in far right corner!

STEP 3: Navigate to the first choice !!! Like below! and hit INSTALL NOW!

STEP 4: Be patient and know you are so close to solution.

STEP 5: Hit ACTIVATE as soon as it appears!

STEP 6: Once you see the Plugin Activated … go back to your page or post and hit Refresh and you’ll see you are in business!

STEP 7: Get coffee, breath and know you’ve been saved by Jeff Starr and the WordPress open source community.

That’s it.


Feel free to read rest of page is if you are interested to know more.


The all-in-one, COMPLETE solution for handling Gutenberg.
Hide ALL traces of Gutenberg and replace with the Classic Editor.
Restores the original Edit Post screen (TinyMCE, meta boxes, et al).

The Disable Gutenberg plugin restores the classic (original) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen. So you can continue using plugins and theme functions that extend the Classic Editor. Supports awesome features like Meta Boxes, Quicktags, Custom Fields, and everything else the Classic Editor can do.

Does not “expire” in 2022! 🙂

Easy to Use

Just activate and done! The default plugin settings are configured to hide all traces of the Gutenberg Block Editor, and fully restore the original Classic Editor. Further options for customizing when/where Gutenberg is enabled are available in the plugin settings.


  • Disable Gutenberg completely (all post types)
  • Disable Gutenberg for any post type
  • Disable Gutenberg for any user role
  • Disable Gutenberg for any theme template
  • Disable Gutenberg for any post/page IDs
  • Disable Gutenberg admin notice (nag)
  • Option to hide the plugin menu item
  • Option to hide the Gutenberg plugin menu item (settings link)
  • Adds “Classic Editor” link to each post on the Posts screen
  • Adds item to the WP sidebar menu: “Add New (Classic)”
  • NEW! Option to enable Custom Fields Meta Box for ACF
  • NEW! Choose which editor to use for each post
  • NEW! Whitelist any post title, slug, or ID

Works same way as Classic Editor plugin, but can do a LOT more!
Lightweight and super fast, built with the WP API 🙂

Fully configurable, enable or disable Gutenberg and restore the Classic Editor wherever is necessary.

Automatically replaces Gutenberg with the Classic Editor.


  • Super simple
  • Clean, secure code
  • Built with the WordPress API
  • Lightweight, fast and flexible
  • Regularly updated and “future proof”
  • Works great with other WordPress plugins
  • Plugin options configurable via settings screen
  • Focused on flexibility, performance, and security
  • One-click restore plugin default options
  • Translation ready

Disable Gutenberg is developed by Jeff Starr, 13-year WordPress developer, book author, and support guru.

Super light & fast plugin, super easy on server resources!


Gutenberg is a useful editor but sometimes you want to disable it for specific posts, pages, user roles, post types, or theme templates. Disable Gutenberg enables you to disable Gutenberg and replace it with the Classic Editor wherever you want. For example, lots of WordPress users already enjoy robust page-building functionality via one of the many great plugins like Composer or Elementor. So many options, no need to feel “locked in” to using Gutenberg!

The Disable Gutenberg plugin is targeted at everyone who is not ready for the major changes brought by Gutenberg. Install Disable Gutenberg NOW to be ready for when Gutenberg is finally merged into core and released to the public (likely in WP 5.0). That way, your users and clients will experience the same awesome UX as before 😉


This plugin does not collect any user data. So it does not do anything to make your site less compliant with GDPR. I have done my best to ensure that this plugin is 100% GDPR compliant, but I’m not a lawyer so can’t guarantee anything. To determine if your site is GDPR compliant, please consult an attorney.

Great article:
Want to develop in Gutenberg?

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Get the new Google My Business app

Get the new Google My Business app

With the new Google My Business app, it’s easier than ever to manage your Business Profile and connect with your customers in new ways.

Every day, millions of people search on Google for businesses like yours. Make your Business Profile stand out and turn those searches into your customers with the Google My Business app.

– Respond to reviews, message with your customers, and see your followers in the Customers tab.
– Make edits to your Business Profile and see those changes on Google in real time.
– Upload photos, create enticing offers and share what makes your business unique.
– See in one glance how and how much your customers interact with your Business Profile right from the app’s Home tab.
– Get real-time notifications to know when a customer connects with your business on Google. Focus on what you love and rest easy knowing that Google My Business is on the clock helping you get more customers.
– Manage multiple locations from one dashboard, and invite others to manage your listing.

Click below to download the app:
Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store



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How to Write a Google, Yelp, Facebook and Linkedin Review

How to Write a Google, Yelp, Facebook and Linkedin Review

The below examples are for a recent client, but can be applied to ANY client or vendor.

Share the love. Give meaningful positive feedback. Especially when hardworking people work well for you!

Be fair, be respectful, be courteous and be friendly; treat others as you want to be treated.

Don’t use as a “teaching” opportunity when negative things happen. Handle constructive or negative feedback directly; you look more professional and so does the recipient! And when in doubt, write that negative review in a Word document as a blank email draft (without a name/email!).


The below link is a quick URL to write a Facebook Review for BROEKMAN communications.

STEP ONE: CLICK HERE to instantaneously get to our Facebook Fanpage Review section!
Note, you will need to be logged into your personal Facebook account to do so!

STEP TWO: Click on the number of stars to activate a pop-up review box!

STEP THREE: Type in your review where it says “Tell People What you think about”
and hit the blue button marked DONE to post!


The key to writing a Google Review is navigating successfully to the Google profile for our business, Restaurant Realty Company.

STEP ONE: CLICK HERE on this link to get to our Map page!

or Google “Broekman Communications” and you’ll see our profile on the sidebar.


STEP THREE: Add the appropriate amount of stars based on your experience, and type in a brief note about our collaboration using the space marked “Describe your experience”.

STEP FOUR: If you want to include a picture of a property involved, we certainly appreciate that.

STEP FIVE: Then hit POST to publish it to our Google Profile.


The below link is a quick starting point to write a YELP Review for BROEKMAN communications.

STEP ONE: CLICK HERE to instantaneously get to our YELP page!

STEP TWO: You will need to have a Yelp account in order to Write a Review.
You can create one first by clicking here to Sign up or to Log In.



STEP FOUR: Add the appropriate amount of stars based on your experience, and type in a brief note about our collaboration using the “Your Review” space.

STEP FIVE: You can vote on images other users have posted in association
(helpful vs not helpful to visually describe us).

STEP SIX: Then hit POST REVIEW to publish it!!!
Yes feel free to SHARE on Facebook – please!


The below link is a quick URL to write a LinkedIn Recommendation for Restaurant Realty Company.

STEP ONE: CLICK HERE to instantaneously get to our Linkedin Profile “Give a Recommendation” section! Note, you will need to be logged into your LinkedIn
account to do so!

STEP TWO: Type in the name to search for and Choose “Steve Zimmerman” (or the name of the broker you’re collaborating with)

STEP THREE: Choose the Type of Relationship. We default to “You Worked with X but at different companies” to promote collaboration, but you can indicate “You were a client of Steve’s (or insert broker name)”

STEP FOUR: Indicate your positions. It gives you the ability to leave yours blank but to choose the broker’s title under Restaurant Realty.

STEP FIVE: Write a Recommendation.

STEP SIX: You can include a private message that will be sent directly to Steve/Broker direct privately!

STEP SEVEN: Hit SEND and it gets published on their profile.

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How to Create a Hashtag

How to Create a Hashtag

Why do you need a Hashtag?

Hashtags enable businesses to help consumers find them through social media.

Often times, people will search a hashtag on Google or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. Using them enables folks to remember you by your brand or promote a call to action.

The goal is to help users find you through tracking a popular topic or trending “hashtag” OR to search based on your brand name, product or service offering.

Registered Hashtags and ones that are “tagged” on news items, articles, posts, social media status updates – are trackable and traceable.

Whether it’s to support a promotion or a campaign, hashtags provide companies with the ability to organize and direct conversations and engagements with consumer audiences.

I’ll make this real simple.

Go to the TWUBS website by clicking here:

Once you enter a hashtag you are interesting in obtaining, TWUBS will do a quick search to see if anyone claimed it already.

Search for your hashtag.

If it’s taken, you’ll get a red alert “Sorry! Hashtag is already registered.” notification.

If not, you’ll get a GREEN alert letting you know that your desired hashtag is available.

Then you’ll begin describing the hashtag for type of event, organization type and topic (yes, you can type in and create your own topic if missing from the pre-approved suggested topics).

Upload your title, description and a headshot/profile badge image, and you’re set!

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Key to Successful Communication and Collaboration

Key to Successful Communication and Collaboration

Stumbled on this Linkedin Article written back on

When I was at Universal Studios Television, I worked closely with our internal “creative” department producers, website developers and marketing agencies to develop breakout websites, flash sites, internet games, promotions sites and all the “fin-de-siècle” (turn of the century) circa ’99 / ’00 online gadgets.

I remember learning then the critical role of translating our marketing department’s campaign needs and communicating with creative types. My goal: Throw down your charm and create positive vibes with friendly communication to get people to want to work with you and encourage collaboration.


Being Friendly ALWAYS to establish a really nice rapport
Not because you’re going to ask them a favor down the line, but because it’s what your mother taught you, part of being a good person.

Being Open to all players on the team.
I treated everyone as if they were someone. Yesterday’s assistant is tomorrow’s manager. This mailroom / office runner can later be a future team member to develop the next Facebook. For me, making friends IS always fun. Getting into the six degrees of people you get exposed to interesting fact (i.e. the CFO is a total rockstar with gigs at Genghis Cohen, or the quiet subdued accountant is actually a successful published author, Or that assistant is the babysitter to Bruce Springsteen’s kids (all true stories), etc.).

Being Nice in the sandbox
We’re all part of the same team with common goals; make each other look good is primary; much like in professional sports, there is no I in Team (although yes you can cross the I to get the T, but it’s a perpendicular type relationship, a crossroads for you decide – to the left of the T is you solo and the right is the “eam”!

Being Human
Being compassionate towards other people; by being kind & compassionate you know that everyone has a bad day or has hidden personal issues they’re going thru.

Being Kind (even when you are right);
Asking open ended questions like “what do you think our next steps should be?” vs “what are you going to do to fix it?”

Being Assertive
Does not mean you aren’t firm, it means less aggressive with requests,
less emotionally charged, more cool, calm & collected.

Now after running my own marketing & PR agency for the past 15 years, I can see both sides of the relationship well (the client and the vendor). While I remember feeling constantly frustrated with agencies responsible for creative development and not understanding why my changes couldn’t be done within a few hours or that day. Why 30-60 day windows for website development? This stuff seems pretty simple and easy to implement right?

And of course there is the infamous “THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT” attitude that I once had (my mantra for four years in sales at Xerox in Century City). Well folks, when you are on the other side in the creative seat, turns out, it’s not always easy and fast.


1. Set the agenda.

To collaborate with creative types best you have to set the agenda and request structure that works for BOTH of you. Meeting live vs Skype vs conference call vs email only vs combo deal. Take a hit for the team if you know meeting face to face will reduce miscommunication and misunderstandings. Skype is great face to face interaction for introduction meetings, but not always for production obstacles. Do what you need to do. Push on thru. Set your sights on positive vibrations, building consensus, getting agreement on good mutually-beneficial solutions, and overcoming obstacles.

2. Agree on communication styles and preferences.

Do you prefer “development” emails or just the final ONE email summarizing all issues in page form? Phone only for brief discussions and email for lengthy content approvals? Everyone has a different communication style, but there is always a BRIDGE for common ground – Find the path!

3. Define the bottom line.

In my experience, some clients say “less is more” yet they want the transparency of knowing everything. ASK for what YOU WANT! (designers, respect that!!!)

4. Everything boils down to expectations.

Make sure that things are really clear… from the deliverables in your agreement however informal they may be, to the expectations behind progress payments…. actually expectations about what constitutes FINISHED PRODUCT is important, and what is “normally” included is understood differently. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Reiterate live meetings/conversations in the form of MINUTES from your NOTE TAKING and write it all in an email with “let me make sure we got it right” tone.

5. Mutual respect for production time.

It is mutual for both client & designer to teach the other about how to be respectful of production time and creative investment.

For Clients, not being familiar with technology, website development, creative lingo or not getting your heads around the content development is a challenge for designers. Clarify for understanding. Get second opinions on agreements. Ask questions. Don’t sit back and say you’re the expert. The process is an exploration. Getting it right, means having an open mind and that things can change along the way!

For designers, help your clients find clarity by walking them through a creative process. From Situation Assessment (collecting information about that, clarifying problems, identifying obstacles, clarifying strengths and weaknesses, defining opportunities, repositioning challenges, etc.) to Creative Brief. As the “professional” the client is looking for they rely on your expert opinion, your experienced eye, your vision. Respecting the creative process means that you are honoring the process – asserting and adhering to deadlines & timelines as GUIDE, not dictatorship. 🙂


– Design production timetable graphic. When in doubt, always produce a graphic with phases, days, months, benchmarks and deadlines
– Or Design an information flow chart graphic –
– At times, I opt to include a small budget for build a quick dummy staging website area so they choose pull down menus to understand visually what you are talking about (basic wordpress installation, basic wordpress theme, just create empty pages and launch a menu to help with the client’s need to see something live. Sometimes changes everything!)

6. The “Customer IS Always Right” if you agreed to the terms!

To Designers, think ahead based on your experience and project a budget that you think will be fair knowing the personality and the project demands. Try to find a happy medium between not undercharging and not overcharging. We all find ourselves in underbidding projects, but it’s not fair to blame the client unless they’ve significantly changed the scope of work, list of deliverables or expanded what they wanted. Be clear. Be upfront. Be NICE. Walk them through a “Change Order” discussion. Let them know if things feel like more that what was agreed!

To clients, I understand that not getting a finished product your 100% satisfaction is less than ideal. It will feel that you’ve “wasted all your money” or that you “got nothing” from this. Then the anger trickles in and you get frustrated. Before you go into “I’m not going to pay you” or “I want my money back” mode, take a step back. Review the original agreement. Review the production emails. Make sure that everything is lined up to what you agreed to or NOT, or what the designer promised, but did NOT deliver. Ask the designer to produce a timeline to meet the commitments they agreed to or to confirm their inability to complete so you can make an educated decision. Be fair, but you have to be firm. Good designers aren’t always the best communicators; they’re creative types. But don’t let them wiggle out of being PROFESSIONAL.

Designers, keep your head up. You can’t win them all and please everyone, but you can be a good communicator who acts professionally according to a code of honor & respect. Take on projects you feel are worthy of your time and that fit your abilities. Sure you want to test your limits and expand your toolbox, but do so carefully weighing good intentions and your ability (or best potential) to deliver.

More rants and thoughts coming soon!

Respectfully submitted,

Jeremy Broekman
Principal | Creative Director | Marketing Director
BROEKMAN communications
☎ (818) 212-9201

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Vaughan – Welcome to WordPress 4.7

Vaughan – Welcome to WordPress 4.7

Welcome to WordPress 4.7

Presenting Twenty Seventeen

A brand new default theme brings your site to life with immersive featured images and video headers.

Twenty Seventeen focuses on business sites and features a customizable front page with multiple sections. Personalize it with widgets, navigation, social menus, a logo, custom colors, and more. Our default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, on any device, and for a wide range of users.

Your Site, Your Way

WordPress 4.7 adds new features to the customizer to help take you through the initial setup of a theme, with non-destructive live previews of all your changes in one uninterrupted workflow.

Theme Starter Content

To help give you a solid base to build from, individual themes can provide starter content that appears when you go to customize your brand new site. This can range from placing a business information widget in the best location to providing a sample menu with social icon links to a static front page complete with beautiful images. Don’t worry – nothing new will appear on the live site until you’re ready to save and publish your initial theme setup.

Video Player

Edit Shortcuts

Video Player

Visible icons appear to show you which parts of your site can be customized while live previewing. Click on a shortcut and get straight to editing. Paired with starter content, getting started with customizing your site is faster than ever.

Video Headers

Video Player

Sometimes a big atmospheric video as a moving header image is just what you need to showcase your wares; go ahead and try it out with Twenty Seventeen. Need some video inspiration? Try searching for sites with video headers available for download and use.

Smoother Menu Building

Many menus for sites contain links to the pages of your site, but what happens when you don’t have any pages yet? Now you can add new pages while building menus instead of leaving the customizer and abandoning your changes. Once you’ve published your customizations, you’ll have new pages ready for you to fill with content.

Custom CSS

Sometimes you just need a few visual tweaks to make your site perfect. WordPress 4.7 allows you to add custom CSS and instantly see how your changes affect your site. The live preview allows you to work quickly without page refreshes slowing you down.

PDF Thumbnail Previews

Managing your document collection is easier with WordPress 4.7. Uploading PDFs will generate thumbnail images so you can more easily distinguish between all your documents.

Dashboard in your language

Just because your site is in one language doesn’t mean that everybody helping manage it prefers that language for their admin. Add more languages to your site and a user language option will show up in your user’s profiles.

Introducing REST API Content Endpoints

WordPress 4.7 comes with REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings.

Content endpoints provide machine-readable external access to your WordPress site with a clear, standards-driven interface, paving the way for new and innovative methods of interacting with sites through plugins, themes, apps, and beyond. Ready to get started with development? Check out the REST API reference.

Even More Developer Happiness 😊

Post Type Templates

By opening up the page template functionality to all post types, theme developers have even more flexibility with the WordPress template hierarchy.

More Theme API Goodies

WordPress 4.7 includes new functions, hooks, and behavior for theme developers.

Custom Bulk Actions

List tables, now with more than bulk edit and delete.


The code that lies beneath actions and filters has been overhauled and modernized, fixing bugs along the way.

Settings Registration API

register_setting() has been enhanced to include type, description, and REST API visibility.

Customize Changesets

Customize changesets make changes in the customizer persistent, like autosave drafts. They also make exciting new features like starter content possible.

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9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

Discovered amazing article written by Tom Ewer of wpmudev! Solid resources & tips here. READ BELOW!
Published on September 12, 2015


  • Can use as FREE image compression tool
  • Create central repository of all images for project
  • Quick editing tools for work on the road (vs using Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, etc.)
  • Using FREE downML – Download Media Library plugin and you’ll be able
    to download a zip file of your entire library!

9 Hidden Features in the WordPress Media Library Only Power Users Know

The WordPress media library can do a lot more than just store your media files. It is a powerful tool that covers all of your media management needs and more, and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about it.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can leverage your library to its full potential – discussing everything from image uploading to image compression and uploading limits to the effects of cropping.

I’ll also cover media management in WordPress and image editing using the library. Finally, I’ll present you with techniques on how you can organize and download your entire library without having to use an FTP client.

Let’s get cracking!

The WordPress Media Library.
The WordPress Media Library.

An Introduction to the Media Library

The WordPress Media Library is essentially a directory of every single media file that has been uploaded to your site (whether it is ultimately published or not).

Media files include images, videos, audio and even documents. Regardless of where you upload the media to your site, it will show up in the library from where you can view, edit and manage it.

You can also integrate various plugins with your library to kick it up a notch. It’s flexible, portable and customizable. Its advances in recent versions of WordPress have made it one of the most polished features in the world’s most popular content management system.

How to View and Search Your Media Library

You can access the library by clicking Media in the sidebar. You have two viewing options: grid (shown above) and list:

The media library list view.
The media library list view.

WordPress also enables you to filter and search for images by file type, date uploaded and keyword:

Media Library search and filter functionality

How to Change the Media Library Upload Limit

If you’ve ever attempted to upload large media files, you may have come across an error message along the following lines:

The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini

Fortunately, this problem can be solved relatively easily.

But before we proceed, it’s sensible to note that upload limits are there for a reason. Unless you’re uploading a video or audio file (most people will tend to host these on specialized external services), there should be no reason for your media files to exceed your upload limit. Files that take a long time to upload will take a long time to download (which will of course negatively affect the user experience), not to mention the strain put on your server.

Disclaimer aside, Jenni McKinnon wrote a comprehensive piece on increasing the media file upload limit. Check it out if you’re technically minded, but if not, a decent alternative is the free Increase Max Upload Filesize plugin.

How to Enable Image Compression for Uploaded Media Files

Image file size is important for a number of reasons, and fortunately, it is possible to compress images with little to no noticeable difference.

You can read my complete guide to image optimization, but for the purposes of this post, the key step you should take is to install WP Smush. (Oh, and don’t forget to check out the even better premium version, which leaves the competition in the dirt!)

Once installed, this plugin will simply do the job for you – no further work necessary.

How to Disable WordPress’ Default JPEG Compression

Awesome penguins

By default, WordPress compresses JPEG images to 90% of their original compression level. In case you’re wondering, the photo on the left shows the difference.

You’ll struggle to spot it, which is probably why the core developers saw fit to include this feature.

However, you can encounter problems when integrating additional compression solutions (such as WP Smush); your double-compressed photos can start looking pretty messy.

Fortunately, there is a way around the enforced compression. Just follow Raelene Wilson’s simple guide, or download the super simple Disable JPEG Compression plugin.

How to Prevent Duplicate Image Files

Whenever you upload an image file to WordPress, is likely to duplicate it into multiple sizes. This can be highly useful if you, for example, would like to display image thumbnails and link to larger versions. However, for most people, those extra image files represent nothing other than a waste of space.

And if you’re anything like me (read: anal-retentive), all of those redundant files will bug the hell out of you.

Let’s start by checking out the different image size that WordPress wants to create by navigating to Settings > Media:

Media settings

The solution to this issue is simple and as old as time itself. Well, actually Timothy Bowers handled it back in 2011. Seems like a long time ago, right?

Just change the width and high numbers to 0 and WordPress will stop producing those pesky extra image files.

While you’re at it, if you’ve got a huge archive of redundant images, use the free Image Cleanup plugin to eradicate them in just a few clicks:

Image Cleanup
2222 images! I’ve got some cleaning up to do…

How to Edit Images Within WordPress

My general advice would be that you edit your images before you upload them, but if you’re here I’m going to assume that you’re interested in editing image files within WordPress.

Well, you’re in luck, because for a content management system, WordPress offers pretty damn sophisticated image editing functionality. Just click the Edit button within the Media Library and you’ll be presented with a screen something like this:

Image editing screen

You’re able to rotate, flip, scale and crop any image in your Media Library, as well as add a caption, alt text, description, and change the filename. You can apply the changes to all sizes of the same image if you’d like by clicking the “All image sizes” radio button under Thumbnail Settings.

The rotate, flip and undo/redo tools are all self-explanatory, so let’s focus on cropping and resizing.

Cropping an Image

Using WordPress you can crop images in multiple ways. The simplest way is exactly how you do it on any other image editing tool: Drag the selection box to choose how you’d like the image to be cropped.

The other way involves one extra step but ensures that the aspect ratio of the image stays intact. Enter the values for your preferred aspect ratio, press the shift key and adjust the selection box.

The third way to crop an image using WordPress’ inbuilt tool is by manually entering the dimensions of the selection box. The dimensions must be entered in pixels. If your pixel estimation game is strong, you can use this last method to crop images.

Does all of the above leave you a little confused? Don’t worry – WordPress has really handy tooltips to help you along the way. Whenever you’re at a loss, just hit one of the blue question marks for more information:

Editing tool tips

Scaling an Image

Scaling images in WordPress is a lot simpler than cropping and resizing them manually. All you have to do is enter either a new width or height (the other will adjust to keep the ratio correct) and click Scale. Yes, it really is that simple.

The only downside of scaling is that you can only scale down. Scaling up would ruin the pixel density. If you accidently scale your image down to a miniscule size then instead of re-uploading it, press the Undo button and have a go at it again.

How to Download Your WordPress Media Library

Have you ever felt the need to download your entire media library? It may be because you have an excellent collection that you want to have backed up on your system or simply because you need the media files for distribution.

With a bit of googling you’ll find some techniques involving FTP clients. But for WordPress development dummies (don’t worry – I’m one of them) we have an easier way to download the entire Media Library. Just download the free downML – Download Media Library plugin and you’ll be able to download a zip file of your entire library!

Note that, depending upon the size of your Media Library, using this plugin could lead to a timeout. You may need to discuss how to best utilize this plugin with your hosting provider.

Do you use the Media Library on a regular basis? In your opinion, what are some other must-knows about media management? Let us know in the comments below.

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Happy name – domains, social media handles & more!

Happy name – domains, social media handles & more!

I’m always looking for tools to help my start-up clients and entrepreneurs. I’m certainly not new to doing domain searches and looking up social media handles (i.e. going to Facebook to see if the new desired company name already exists as a Company Facebook fanpage or if someone grabbed the custom URL – recently was introduced to, and am QUITE HAPPY about.
Screenshot 2016-04-13 20.06.41 makes searching easy. It checks for

  • Domain availability (versus
  • Toll Free number matching name
  • Facebook “social handle” / name availability
  • Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest “handle” availability
  • One can even do a free US Trademark search

Very impressive Jamison Hill. Very impressive indeed.
Questions? Contact Jamison at


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Guide to Backing up Google Apps, Mail, Drive, Calendars and Contact

Guide to Backing up Google Apps, Mail, Drive, Calendars and Contact

Prevent loss of data after a hacker or purely to calm your only paranoid nerves.

While the Google Drive desktop app does do some backup, Google Drive itself is vulnerable to data loss just like the next organization.

If you are a Google Apps user like me, you also probably wondered (or not) – how do I back that up every once in a while? Surely I’m protected right? RIGHT?!?!?

Well, there are some awesome tools.

Google Drive backup tools and software

tools takeout

Google Takeout

Google’s in-house tool for creating one-off exports of your data in different Google services, Google takeout is a serviceable means of creating a manual, one-time Gmail backup. Google takeout creates a .zip file of all your Gmail messages in the MBOX data format, which you can then manually re-import to your Gmail account if any data is lost.

Backupify Logo

Backupify for Google Apps

Whereas Google Takeout, Backupify Snapshot and Backupify Migrator are all viable choices for one-time Gmail backup or Gmail migration tasks, enterprise-grade Gmail business continuity and Gmail disaster recovery plans require automatic, recurring Gmail backup and restore solutions. That’s where Backupify for Google Apps comes in.

Backupify for Google Apps backs up all your Gmail accounts (along with Google Drives, Google Calendar, Google Contacts and Google Sites) up to three times per day, and allows one-click recovery of Gmail messages. These Gmail backups occur automatically, without oversight, every day — freeing administrators from the tasks of creating regular manual Gmail backups, and ensuring that all Gmail data is backed up and available for recovery at all times.

Backupify for Google Apps is the best Gmail backup solution money can buy.

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How to Update your DNS on WP Engine via cname or A Record


The final step of the migration process is to direct traffic to the WP Engine website. In other words, when people go to your domain name, we want them to see the website hosted on WP Engine. This will require updating your domain’s DNS zone file record with your WP Engine IP address. By the end of this step, when people to go your website using the domain name, they will be directed to your newly migrated website.

Before continuing we’d like to make you aware that there are two methods in configuring your DNS:

  • A Record

We highly recommend all of our customers utilize a CNAME when configuring DNS as this provides flexibility in the event that your site needs to be migrated. Unlike an A Record that utilizes an IP Address, a CNAME will never change even if your site moves to a different server.


If you’ve used the hosts file trick to view your website on WP Engine, you can proceed to the next step. If you’re still using the temporary URL (ex: [sitename] then you will need to update the URL to your live domain.

  • Update WordPress URL


If you already know where your DNS is hosted, you may skip this part and proceed to the next step. If you’re not sure who hosts your DNS record, you may do a WHOIS record lookup. Go to pureWhois, type in your domain name, and click on ‘Search.’ On the next page you will see a long record. Towards the bottom of a page, locate a section called “Name Servers.” The Name Servers are usually named after the company where you have the DNS record hosted. So for example, if one of the Name Servers is called ‘COCO.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM’ then that means the DNS record is hosted with CloudFlare.

Please note that there are host providers that own the nameservers, such as BlueHost, and because of this you will need to setup your nameservers elsewhere. Your current host can help you determine how to move your nameservers.


Once you’ve identified where you domain’s DNS record is hosted, the next step is to log into your Domain Manager to change the DNS zone file record. Below are the links to the common DNS hosting companies with their instructions on how to access the Domain Manager:


You will only need to perform one of these. WP Engine recommends only utilizing the CNAME as described at the top of this article, as this makes your site more flexible in the event it needs to be migrated.

Update The CNAME

Once logged into your Domain Manager, select CNAME for your Record Type (also called Zone Function) instead of A Record. Once changed, input your WP Engine CNAME, which is going to be You can learn more about finding your CNAME here. Save the record and allow a few hours for the DNS propagation period to take place.

Update The A Record

First, you’ll need to find the IP address that is associated with your WP Engine account. To locate the WP Engine IP, you can follow the steps in this document: “How to Find Your IP Address?” Additionally, you can simply ping [yourinstall] If you don’t know how to ping a domain, you can use this website to find your IP: Site24x7. Just type in the [yourinstall] address, enter the access code, and click on the button ‘Find IP.’Lastly, you can find the IP address associated with an account by logging in to your User Portal, clicking on the account that you need the IP for, and looking at the Overview Page:User Portal IP

The ‘A’ record controls what IP address your website traffic goes to. All other records will stay the same. Locate the ‘A’ record instances of your current IP address and replace it with your WP Engine IP. Save the changes, and now we have to wait. On average, it takes 2-4 hours for the DNS record change to take into effect, but technically speaking it may take as long as 24 hours total. This is a result of the IP change having to propagate to servers across the world, and unfortunately cannot be expedited.

Once you’ve configured your DNS, you may use the Launch Phase within the Migration Checklist to verify that your DNS has been pointed to us; which you may find in your User Portal.

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Creating an ADA-compliant website

Creating an ADA-compliant website

"Special thanks to Nicole Nash, Web Designer at TechRepublic for a putting together a SOLID good summary and checklist!!! Reposting this amazing content as a resource for clients who are interested and are prioritizing. "

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses and nonprofit services providers make accessibility accommodations to enable the disabled public to access the same services as clients who are not disabled. This includes electronic media and web sites. While the ADA applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, even smaller businesses can benefit from ensuring that their websites are ADA compliant. Doing so opens your company up to more potential clients and limits liability. Web developers should include ADA compliant features in the original site and application plans.

This is particularly important when working for a government agency or government contractor, as these organizations must follow web accessibility guidelines under Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Although ADA and Section 508 compliance are different, the published checklist for Section 508 compliance offers insight into ways to make websites accessible for people with disabilities, and thereby work toward ADA compliance.

To check your website for accessibility, use the accessibility checklist published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications):

  • Every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an alt tag
  • Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions
  • The alt descriptions describe the purpose of the objects
  • If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination
  • Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= “”)
  • Add captions to videos
  • Add audio descriptions
  • Create text transcript
  • Create a link to the video rather than embedding it into web pages
  • Add a link to the media player download
  • Add an additional link to the text transcript
  • The page should provide alternative links to the Image Map
  • The <area> tags must contain an alt attribute
  • Data tables have the column and row headers appropriately identified (using the <th> tag)
  • Tables used strictly for layout purposes do NOT have header rows or columns
  • Table cells are associated with the appropriate headers (e.g. with the id, headers, scope and/or axis HTML attributes)
  • Make sure the page does not contain repeatedly flashing images
  • Check to make sure the page does not contain a strobe effect
  • A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded
  • All Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided
  • When form controls are text input fields use the LABEL element
  • When text is not available use the title attribute
  • Include any special instructions within field labels
  • Make sure that form fields are in a logical tab order
  • Include a ‘Skip Navigation’ button to help those using text readers

(Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

If the site meets all these criteria, it is likely accessible to people with disabilities. The best test is to obtain feedback on the site’s ease of use from people who are blind, deaf, and have mobility disabilities, then address their feedback with site improvements.

When collecting feedback, ask users what type of adaptive technologies they use. This will allow you to cater your website to your particular clientele, and will help you appoint resources toward the best compliance options. Navigating the Internet is particularly challenging for people with limited or no vision. Many blind people use specialized web browsers and software that works with standard web browsers, like Internet Explorer, that have features that enable users to maximize their Internet use and experience. This screen reading software reads the HTML code for websites, and gives the user a verbal translation of what is on screen.

Web developers need to keep this in mind when creating websites. The best screen readers use naturalized voices and alter tone and inflection based on HTML tags, so choose layout elements carefully. It is also important to keep in mind that navigation is significantly slower when using a screen reader than it is for sighted people. Sighted people don’t have to wait for the reader to get to the link we want- we spot links quickly and are able to navigate to our sought items, often without having to do any reading at all. Minimizing graphics also helps shorten reading times and speed navigation for disabled users.

Don’t wait for user feedback to discover the gaps in your website’s accessibility. Conducting your own trial run will tell you where the site has too many graphics, and where HTML tags don’t convey information accurately. It’s wise to do trial runs with as many of the most popular screen readers available:

Development tools and tutorials exist to help web designers meet compliance standards and go beyond to offer disabled users an enjoyable experience (and keep them coming back). Check out the following for more information:

Then make your job easier with these web accessibility development tools:

You probably won’t have to check your site with all of the available evaluation tools out there, but it is a good idea to do so for the most common web browsers. Just as accessibility software makes it easier for people with disabilities to navigate the Internet, these tools make it easier for developers to ensure accessibility from the start. When you think you’ve mastered it, go back through the Section 508 compliance checklist to ensure you’ve met every goal.

Read More » and – Getty Images and – Getty Images

We use both AND iSTOCKPHOTO.COM for your Stock Photo needs is $299 for a one-month subscription.
StockPhoto is $399 for a one-month subscription.
You definitely have access to a “greater variety” on iStockPhoto, but BOTH usually meet average needs.
Some of our clients have to move to a per image license basis as more and more libraries are managed OUTSIDE programs. – Been using them since March 2006!

We’ve had a great experience with for the past 2-3 years.

Click below to our Affiliate Program. All our commissions roll back to providing awesome amazing websites and graphics for customers like you!

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How to transfer domain from to

How to transfer domain from to


For those that need help with transferring their website domain from to GoDaddy, here’s the link to a how-to page on…. conveniently copied here for your convenience.

Before you can transfer your domain name registered with to us, you need to prepare your domain name so it will successfully complete the transfer process. You must make sure of the following before you begin:

  • The domain name has been registered at for at least 60 days.
  • The domain name contact information has not been changed within 60 days.

Once you ensure that the domain is eligible for transfer, you must follow the basic steps for preparing a domain for transfer before you can begin the process with us:

Step in the Process Reason
Disable privacy settings
  • If your domain has Private Registration, a service that hides your personal information from the public, you will not be able to confirm your admin email address in the Whois database. Contact your current registrar to disable the private registration.
Confirm administrative contact info
  • As part of the transfer process, GoDaddy emails the Administrative Contact at the address listed in the Whois database. This email contains the Transaction ID, Security Code, and instructions that are used to approve the transfer.
Unlock domain
  • By default, most domains are locked to prevent unauthorized transfers. Before a transfer is requested, the lock must be removed and the status verified as “Off.”
Obtain authorization code
  • Get an authorization code (also known as an EPP code or transfer key) from your current registrar.

Disable privacy settings

  1. As with most registries, you will need to contact directly for assistance removing privacy.

Confirm administrative contact information

  1. Log on to your account at
  2. Click the domain you want to transfer.
  3. Under the My Account section, click Contact Information.
  4. Under the Administrative Contact section, click Edit.
  5. Update the contact information, click Continue, and then click Continue again to confirm Whois changes.

NOTE: Changes to contact information may take up to 24 hours to take effect.

Unlock domain

NOTE: If your domain is already unlocked, skip ahead to the Obtain Authorization Code section.

  1. Click the domain you want to unlock.
  2. From the Enable/Disable Domain Lock section, click Disable Domain Lock.
  3. Click Continue, then click Continue again on the confirmation page.

Obtain Authorization Code

NOTE: Some domain name extensions, primarily country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs), do not require an authorization code.

  1. Click the domain you need an authorization code for.
  2. Click Obtain Auth Info Code at the bottom of the page and click Continue Transfer.
  3. You will receive a warning message. Select the acknowledge box and click Continue Transfer again.
  4. Fill out the mandatory fields, then click Request Authorization Code. Your authorization code request will be verified.

NOTE: Your code will be sent to your email address within 4 – 5 days.

Once you’ve completed these basic steps at, you’ll need to shift your attention over to GoDaddy to complete the process by purchasing a domain name transfer and authorizing the transfer to us.

Purchase Domain Name Transfer

You must purchase a domain name transfer from our website. We send an email message to the domain name’s administrative contact after you purchase the transfer. The email contains the transfer IDs (transaction ID and security code) you’ll need to authorize the transfer in to your account with us.

NOTE: If the extension you want to transfer is not listed, you cannot transfer the domain name to us.

When you purchase the transfer, select one of the following nameserver options:

  • Keep the existing nameservers — If you have a hosted website for your domain name (with us or another company), select this option to ensure that your site does not go down during the transfer.
  • Change … to park nameservers — If you have an email account with us for the domain name, are using our Off-site DNS, or if you’ve created a Premium DNS transfer template prior to the transfer, select this option. For more information, see Managing Domain Names with Off-site DNS and

Authorize Domain Name Transfer to Us

  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. Next to Domains, click Manage.
  3. From the Domains menu, select Transfers.
  4. Click Authorize transfer.
  5. Click Add now.
  6. In the Transaction ID and Security Code fields, enter the transfer IDs we sent to the administrative contact’s (admin) email address, and then click Add.

    NOTE: If you did not receive transfer IDs, click Resend Transfer IDs.

  7. Do one of the following:
    • Select the Basic tab, and then enter the Authorization Code from the current registrar (if applicable) in the field next to your domain name.
    • Select the Bulk tab, and then enter one domain name and its authorization code per line. Separate each domain name from its authorization code with a comma, space, or tab.
  8. Select I authorize the transfer…, and then click Finish.
  9. Click OK.

NOTE: For most domain name extensions, a transfer between registrars takes five to seven days from the time you authorize it. The process and time required for transfer completion can vary for certain extensions, such as country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs). For more information, see About ccTLDs (Country-Code Domain Names), and then click the Help article for your extension.

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Paypal – DPRP is Disabled.

Paypal – DPRP is Disabled.

Let’s start from the beginning.
DPRP stands for DirectPayment Recurring Payments. It’s a module that enables you to have multiple payments, subscriptions and recurring payments with your shopping cart forms when using PayPal API integrated. For instance, we use PayPal with our favorite 3rd party form company, JotForm ( Been using them for YEARS, if not just about a decade soon!

Despite the fact that it’s a feature that should be enabled automatically when you signed up for PayPal’s legacy “Website Payments Pro” (PayPal 3.0) OR when you signed up for a new “Payments Pro” account (PayPal 2.0)
(why is the newer one 2.0 and the older one 3.0 is BEYOND me)…. 

You MUST enable this feature. Calling into customer support was a crazy amount of loops with some very informed amazingly helpful sales and customer support reps and OTHERS were trying to read the internal information/FAQs board and couldn’t find the answer. Was a frustrating experience to say the least.


Paid Memberships Pro
Big shout out to Paid Memberships Pro for their 2012 post!

Log into your PayPal account

Follow this link to a legacy page you’ll never find in search or posted online or on PayPal.
It’s an old link from 2012 or so to add the Recurring Payments feature onto your account.

This page will have you go through a checkout form to add Recurring payments to your account.

Screenshot of the SIGN UP page – what you’ll see when you click the above link!!!!!

SCREENSHOT of what you’ll see AFTER you agree. This will effectively remove the DPRP is Disabled
message and enable you to get started in accepting RECURRING PAYMENTS. Worked within minutes.



Picture 12


You’ll have a chance to download the full write-up of PayPal Policies by clicking here



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Google Apps for Work – yes, we love!

Google Apps for Work – yes, we love!

We’ve had solid good experience with Google Apps.

We’ve been using Google Apps for BROEKMAN communications since they launched, and it’s really helped
our team work faster and more efficiently. We think you’ll also benefit from trying it out for your business.
* Fast email. Searchable. Archivable. Uses Gmail interface but is customizable.
* Fast on all devices (iphones, ipads, etc.) if you set-up email as IMAP not POP mail!
* Integrates with all their products

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that includes Gmail for professional email,
Drive for online storage, Hangouts for video meetings, Calendar for scheduling and Docs
for editing files. We get things done using any device we choose.

If you’re interested, check out this link:
I can also send you a coupon that saves you $10 per user for the first year, so just let me know and I’ll provide details.

With Google Apps, I focus less on IT and more on what I love to do. I hope you can benefit as well.
Feel free to get in touch with any questions.

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.

Millions of organizations around the world count on Google Apps for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

Watch a video or find out more here.

Here are some highlights:

Business email for your domain

Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.

Access from any location or device

Check email, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

Enterprise-level management tools

Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you if you switch solutions.

Start free trial

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Custom book printing

Custom book printing

Have a client in need of publishing a book? Choosing the self-publishing route? Or are you more in need of printing a hardcover high-end quality yearbook like catalog book? Either way, we can help.

Let us help you design and manage the layout of your deliverable. We’ve handled dozens of the following types of jobs:

  • Client Portfolio
  • Real Estate portfolio
  • Annual Report
  • Project Report
  • Investor Relations Presentation
  • Listing Presentation
  • Corporate Presentation
  • Powerpoint
  • Lifestyle/Concierge presentation
  • Timeshare presentation
  • Donor Relations presentation
  • Building Fund presentation
  • Angel Investor Presentation for Start-up
  • Start-up Presentation
  • Internship project
  • Film funding presentation
  • Franchise presentation
  • City Planning presentation
  • Entitlement presentation
  • City Council Town Hall presentation
  • Elected Candidate presentation
  • End of Year Report


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Dropbox adds commenting feature – a better way to get feedback!

Dropbox adds commenting feature – a better way to get feedback!

We know working with multiple people can be difficult. With conversations scattered across email threads and chat windows, feedback can get lost and it can take forever to get everyone on the same page.

That process just got much simpler. Now you can post comments to files on the Dropbox website — so conversations stay organized in one place, and you can gather feedback in just one step.


To bring someone into the loop, just type “@” followed by their name or email address. They’ll get an email notification with both your comment and a link to go right to the file.

To try it out, go to, click on one of your files, and add a comment on the right. To learn more about this feature, visit our help center.

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WordPress Site Hacked – What do I Do?

WordPress Site Hacked – What do I Do?

Yes, it happens.

For starters, you don’t cry and you certainly don’t ignore it. Don’t get angry (well, it’s actually a source to channel some great Spartan workouts, but that’s another discussion). You can do this. We’re either going to RECOVER ourselves or we’re going to hire someone to do it. The more you know what’s involved the less overwhelming it will be (on the other side of FEAR is knowledge). 🙂

If you are here for PREVENTION, click HERE:


Go here: to see a video Google created that explains everything!

  • How and why sites are hacked
  • Process to recover a site and remove the user-facing warning label
  • Time-to-recovery depends on extent of damage and technical skill of administrator
  • Two options:
    • Do it yourself
    • Get help from specialists


Do you have skills and are doing yourself? Follow the below. Otherwise, do get yourself a good professional recommendation from your network. We’re happy to help walk you through the steps for a nominal fee.


1. Contact Hosting Company to determine shared server is secure with infection or if its just you who is toast. If yes, request change server. If you have money, go to shared virtual server which attracts more serious clients. If you have even more money, get a dedicated server!

2. Log into Google Webmaster Tools launched (specialists know how to do) – will be using tools to review and fix search

3. Assess the Damage and Identify the Vulnerability.

  • Compare WordPress code to the original source (hidden malware pops out as a big ugly difference)
  • Compare theme code to the original source
  • Remove any malware found

4. Clean and Maintain your site

  • Update WordPress to the latest version. Doing this ensures that there are no security loopholes, which I’m sure there was!
  • Remove unused themes from WP
  • Update WP Theme, create child theme to protect existing customization
  • Update all plugins and remove any unused ones
  • Install Sucuri Malware protection plugin which monitors that no files are changed, prevents hackers from accessing certain files & hides them, etc.
  • Remove any open contact forms where URL injections could have taken place and use 3rd party secure tools like JotForm
  • Review MySQL database and determine what cleansing needs to take place.
  • Determine if we can safely add .htaccess code to disable PHP execution in subdirectories

5. Request a Review at Google Webmaster Tools!

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WordPress Maintenance and Security


For over 10 years, we’ve been developing, managing, updating and moderating WordPress-based websites. One thing we’ve learned along the way, similar to ANY website and ANY content management system, keeping the foundation integrity solid requires minimal, but constant digital TLC = aka love, care and maintenance (like any relationship!).

In today’s digital age where security and data integrity are critical to ALL (from the one wo(man) show to the Fortune 100), we all desire to NOT be hacked, to NOT have downtime, to MAINTAIN our website integrity, to ENSURE security… to give you and your staff peace of mind!!!

Here’s a quick and dirty list of things we do as part of our one-off or monthly retainers!


  1. Website Backups
    • Back-up core files using BackUpBuddy or BackUpWPPro that make your website work!
      (can also backup WordPress natively via FTP as well as backup the MySQL database via your
      hosting account’s cPanel or PhpMyAdmin)
    • File/database backups – auto performed once per weekly (min)
    • Backups stored offsite (Amazon S3)
    • Restore from backup once every 3-4 months to ensure backups valid;
      this ensures that if/WHEN the site gets hacked, we’ll get up and running FAST!
  2. Software Updates
    • Apply available security patches / updates
    • Update & Maintain content management system updates
      i.e. Upgrade WordPress to the latest version
    • Upgrade all plugins to their latest version to maintain stability
    • Backup existing custom WP theme
    • Ensure that the site is not vulnerable
    • Remove any unneeded website extensions
    • Remove any inactive website administrators
  3. Check for Broken Links
    • Run link checker to crawl site and look for broker links that frustrate users
      and reduce search engine rankings
    • Check for 404 (Page not found) errors and fix link or set up redirect
    • Update broken links, broken images, etc.
  4. Site Speed
  5. Search Engine Optimization
    • Check Google Webmaster Tools for any crawl errors.
    • Identify structural issues with site that may affect how search engines view our site (i.e. missing titles, duplicate content – (PAID service – – Search > Crawl Diagnostics report)
    • Identify new referrers that are sending traffic to your site.
      (In Google Analytics go to Acquisition > All Referrals)
    • Make recommendations to freshen content on website
  6. Analytics

    • Create a Google Analytics dashboard to highlight the most important metrics for your site.
    • Look for trends (good or bad) in your key metrics.
  7. Spam
    • Incorporation of DISABLE comments ensures that we’ve closed up ANY loop holes in the site by preventing comments or other potentially spam-like content!
  8. Functionality
    • Test any important functionality (i.e. working contact/signup forms, donation forms, etc.) to make sure everything is secure and working properly 🙂
    • Test website across all internet browsers and multiple devices and provide feedback
  9. Administrative / Operation Management IT Tools
    • Domain, Hosting and Dedicated IP address management – remind you when things are due to expire to ensure smooth operation . Want to learn more about DNS, CLICK HERE
    • Update your copyright date in your footer and update other date references
    • Ensure any dated content is up-to-date



Tech tools for any start-up

Tech tools for any start-up

Fantastic list of tools compiled by GrowthNerd!! 🙂 Seriously Good stuff!!! Couldn’t have compiled a better list!


Why use it:  Advertising allows businesses to quickly validate whether or not something will work over the long term. Advertising can be used as a testing platform as well as a growth mechanic. The two platforms below provides easy access into a global market and is highly cost effective if used correctly. I’ve used both of them to validate ideas, generate leads (lots of them) and drive eyeballs to my content.

googleadwordsGoogle Adwords (paid): There are roughly 11 billion searches on Google per month. That’s a helluva lot of people hungry for information.  Google’s Adwords program offers you the ability to tap into that opportunity. You can write and publish ads that display on the search results. The ads are triggered based on a keyword a user has typed in – a keyword that you loaded into the system. You only pay when someone clicks on the ad. The system in reality is a lot more complex than that, but you get the idea. People who are searching for something are a lot more receptive to advertising messaging as opposed to someone just being served a banner. You’re not pushing advertising onto them. They’re searching for it. You’re pulling them in.

facebookadsFacebook Ads (paid): Facebook ads work very well for me. They are great for lead generation when you have a proper lead generation page. You can be super targeted with your ads – really zone into your customer profile. If your business already has a Facebook Business Page, you can run specific ads to help you grow it’s fanbase.


Why use it:  You’ve worked really hard to build your business, get it online, create great content and share it with the world. Then suddenly someone steals it or someone badmouths your brand.

plagiumPlagium (free & paid): Don’t let people rip off your content. If you suspect that someone might be plagiarizing your content, simply copy and paste it into Plagium OR click the “Submit URL” tab and run the page address. It will show you exactly who has copied your content.

googlealertsGoogle Alerts (free): A very handy alerts tool. Simply add your brand name and save your alert. Google will deliver the alerts to your Google account email address. This is a great tool to keep track of bloggers or other publishers talking about your brand.

tweetalarmTweetAlarm (free): Like they say on their website. It’s like Google Alerts for Twitter. Things can spread like wildfire on Twitter, and quick. With TweetAlarm you simply set the keywords or hashtags you would like to monitor (specific to your business off course) and set the alert frequency. TweetAlarm will make sure to not include tweets coming from your own account. Pretty nifty!

hyperalertsHyperAlerts (free & paid): What about Facebook! Thank heavens for HyperAlerts. Works pretty much the same as TweetAlarm. Simply add your business fan page to the HyperAlerts monitoring list and set your notification interval.


Why use it:  If you need to store data and have access to it from anywhere at any time, then cloud storage is the answer. It’s effective and cost effective. Top cloud storage players aggressively work around the clock to provide more for less. The below cloud storage services are what I use.

googledriveGoogle Drive (free 15gb): I’m a huge fan of Google Drive. I’ve got the apps installed on all my mobile and desktop devices. What I like most is that I can edit documents. Why would you use this? Well, if you travel a lot then then you can take your files with you anywhere. As long as you have a web connection. You get 15gb of free space and you can increase the size for a small fee.

onedriveOneDrive (free 7gb): Microsoft only gives you 7GB of free space. While it lacks in space it makes up elsewhere. It supports all major mobile devices – Android, iOS, Windows Phone and believe it or not…wait for it…Blackberry. Most impressive feature is the ability to collaborate across operating systems – it works with Windows and Mac. It lacks when it comes to integration with other 3rd party tools due to limited access to its API.

dropbox_001Dropbox (free 2gb): A household name by now for sure. The Dropbox desktop app is available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux. For mobile it’s available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Regardless of how big Microsoft and Google is, Dropbox is the only service that currently natively supports Linux. It also used to be the only cloud storage service to support Blackberry. That’s until March 2014 when OneDrive announced their app for BB.


Why use it:  Search engine giants like Google get millions of searches per day. They collect all of that data. You can validate your product ideas by looking at how strong the current demand is for the topics or interests around the product. You can also use it to gauge whether or not it’s worth spending money on advertising.

googlekeywordplannerAdwords Keyword Tool (free): Let’s say you have a computer repair business in Los Angeles and would like to know how many people are interested in that type of service. If you’ve signed up to the Google Adwords program, you get access to it’s keyword planner. The keyword planner has recently been updated to include trend data.

consumerbarometerConsumer Barometer (free):  This tool provides deep insights into how people in 39 countries  actually go about researching and purchasing different products and service throughout all channels – both online AND offline! The tool doesn’t spit out silly stuff either. Data and insights were collected via surveys and the sample size in each country had to be at least 2,500 people. Some more advanced countries had bigger sample sizes as can be expected. Oh and the data is updated every year. This is an incredible tool for any business owner or marketer who needs to understand where and how to position it’s marketing communication throughout the respective channels. An amazing piece of work.

statsgrokseGrok (free): Wikipedia is the biggest content hub on the web. It ranks number 1 for almost any keyword out there. Guess what, the stats on how many times each of those pages gets viewed are open to the public. A guys named Domas Mituzas put together a system to gather the access statistics from Wikipedia. Thanks dude! All you need to do is Google the keyword (don’t go too narrow) and take the name of the article and put it in Grok.




Why use it:  If you subscribe to the newsletter publications of thought leaders, wouldn’t it benefit your business to get in contact with those leaders, at some point? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to know which social networks they use? Off course all these things will be pretty damn cool to have. And now you can. Check out my favorite two tools below:

rapportiveRapportive (free): Imagine being able to see all the social media profiles information of your Gmail contacts? Sounds pretty rad right? That’s because it is. Rapportive is impressive, and you’ll notice it the very first time you use it. Simply install Rapportive to your Gmail. Open up a recent email sent to you and voila – suddenly all their information is available in the right sidebar. Where they work, their social media info and even a list of most recent emails exchanged between the two of you.

xobniXobni (free): Rapportive only works for Gmail. Xobni works for everything (includes Outlook), but at a price. There’s been some changes to the company recently. They’ve been acquired by Yahoo!. We might see Xobni getting a revamp and it’s features being bolstered.


Why use it: One of the most important steps before and during growth stages of a business is to VALIDATE your ideas, concepts or products. Without validation from real people, you risk building a business around something that doesn’t really solve a problem or there being a need for.

gutcheckGutCheck (paid): GutCheck allows you to do one-on-one interviews via video chat features – qualitative research! For businesses trying to validate anything, qualitative feedback is the best thing out there. Oh and they’re not expensive either. Way to go guys!

surveymonkeySurveyMonkey (free & paid): With SurveyMonkey you can build an online survey. The survey can be shared via link or embedded it on your website or Facebook page. Their free account allows you to ask 10 questions with 100 responses max per month.  One would use the self-service tool if you have an existing audience you can tap into. But what if you don’t? SurveyMonkey also have a global survey panel (50 countries) which you can tap into. Supply them with your targeting criteria, geo-location preference and how many responses you want, and they’ll spit out a quote for you. Pricing varies depending on your brief.


Why use it: I never went to design school. I don’t have the skills to design great websites or landing pages. I also like to boostrap by not spending thousands on design agencies. Luckily I found these two websites.

99designs99Designs (paid): It’s a competition marketplace where designers compete for prize money. The prize money is basically your ‘budget’. They compete against a design brief that you create. What’s great is that you get to see several designs before you pick your winner.

fiverrFiverr (paid): Pay $5 dollars and get someone to design you a logo, or maybe a book cover? Try Fiverr. I’ve used it for small jobs. Don’t expect world-class work for $5 though.


Why use it: Building an email subscriber list is without question the most important thing for growing your business. Email is king. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Email still dominates the world. It’s our primary form of contact. However, an email subscriber list is only good if you keep in contact with them. Doing it manually will kill you. That’s why services like the below exist – to make it easy. The three listed below I have personally used.

getresponseGetresponse (paid): Probably the leader in the market right now.  GetResponse gives you everything – signup forms, beautiful landing pages, email template creation, spam tests, top notch delivery rates, a friggin mobile app and a whole lot more.  I use their service and I love it. Best damn purchase I ever made.

campaignmonitorCampaign Monitor (paid): Also one of the best out there. Pricey though. Some of my clients use this and I’ve had an opportunity to play around with the backend on many occasions. Very easy to use! They also have great integration capability. Lightning fast support.

mailchimpMailchimp (free & paid): A first-in-class for sure. A bit on the pricey side once you go over the free plan. Did I say free? Yes, they have a free plan! You get your first 2000 subscribers for free! If you are starting a business and need to keep costs down, then go with their free account. It’s the perfect place to start in my opinion.

aweberAweber (paid): Confession! I have never used Aweber before. There are tons of people who use it and love it, especially marketers – die hard fans. Aweber, being so popular and all, probably has the most app integration capability amongst all the email solutions.


Why use it: Having stunning visuals for your website, blog and product content is key. If you’re trying to differentiate yourself from your competition, this is where you can get the edge quickly – by making sure you have stunning visuals across your marketing touch points. Below are the 3 services I use regularly.

istockiStockphoto (paid): I use iStockphoto most of the time. It’s got a massive database of quality stock photography with thousands being exclusive to iStockphoto. You can grab a

dreamstimeDreamstime (paid): Sometimes if an image is too pricey on iStockphoto, I find it on Dreamstime.

photopinPhotoPin (free): A search engine for finding creative common photos. If you don’t want to splash out money on images, this is a great site to start with. When you do a search for images you’ll notice the first 2 rows on the results page are actually sponsored results. That’s because PhotoPin is an affiliate for Shutterstock – another stock photo supplier.

dotspinDotSpin (free & paid): Instagrammers also known as “Igers” have an eye for beautiful scenery. They take pretty pictures and share it with the world. Then someone came up with the idea of DotSpin. A place where Igers can sell their photos and the author doesn’t have to share who took it. Neat thing is, if you’re prepared to give the author credit you can use the pics free of charge.


Why use it: When working in a team, sometimes the writing can’t get a message across like a visual. Screen capture tools allow you to do just that. Without them, my days would be half as productive as they are now. Imagine ‘editing’ on the other hand is a whole different thing. I like to edit images. I don’t have formal design training, but I have spent countless hours in my earlier years learning tips and tricks. Because of that I can make a lot of quick iterations for my website without paying a designer to do it for me. Having said that, if it’s a huge job I outsource it.

snagitTechsmith Snagit (free trial): If you’ve never heard of SnagIt before, your life is about to change. Taking screenshots, editing them and putting them into Powerpoint, Word or your website content management system is a massive headache. People who still use Microsoft Paint to do this don’t know what they’re missing. It even has built in video capture. If that’s not enough, it even comes with a free app called “Techsmith Fuse”. With Fuse you can push any image to your SnagIt desktop editor in a few seconds.  Free trial available.

jingTechsmith Jing (free): This is a lighter version of Snagit. It doesn’t come with an editor, but it has super fast screenshot and sharing features. Making a screenshot and copying the image to your clipboard is lightning fast. Still beats paint by a zillion miles.

picpickPicPick (free): It’s like a swiss army knife. It can do screenshots pretty well and has an editor almost similar to SnagIt. Neither it’s screenshot nor editing capability is as good as SnagIt, but it’s a pretty good free option.

photoshopAdobe Photoshop (free trial): This is the KING of image editing software. The majority of epic designs you see today were most probably made in Adobe Photoshop. There are tons of tutorials on the web on how to do crazy cool stuff with Photoshop, but be warned, Photoshop has a bit of a learning curve.

gimp1Gimp (free): An open source (meaning free) editing tool with many similar features to Photoshop. Has a steep learning curve, so you’ll have to Google many ‘how-to’s’ when trying to do something in Gimp.


Why use it: The goal with having a website or landing page is to have people who land on it, take action. Regardless of what the action is, you would want as much of it as you can get, aka your “conversion rate”. When I was doing affiliate marketing in 2003 I used to build loads of landing pages and drive Google Adwords traffic to them. I used to ‘split test’ the different pages. I had hundreds of pages on my server. Do you have any idea how much work and time it took to do split testing in the past? Today you won’t have that problem. I use the tool below to get the job done in minutes.

vwoVisual Website Optimizer (free trial):  Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) offers you the ability to run split tests on your landing pages. The genius thing about VWO is that the variations of your pages are not hosted on your website. It’s actually done inside VWO! It’s all done with fancy javascript manipulation. If you are going to do any form of paid advertising, you want to make sure that your landing page is optimal for conversions. Return on investment is what you’re after, right?

optimizelyOptimizely (free trial): I have no experience in Optimizely. What I can tell you is that it’s a direct competitor of Visual Website Optimizer. Optimizely also offers a product whereby you can run split tests on your web pages without actually making any code changes to the page itself. I created a trial account once and I’m disappointing that I didn’t take enough time to review the service. My agency only used Visual Website Optimizer and I’m well aware that Optimizely is a direct competitor. From what I have read elsewhere, users seem to feel that Optimizely is a little easier to use (less complicated). There are some reports that at some point the Optimizely script was sometimes problematic on commerce checkout forms, but this is likely resolved now.

clicktaleClicktale (free & paid): This is not a split testing tool. Clicktale is a high end onsite user experience analytics tool. It’s got really advanced click tracking, heat mapping, scroll mapping and form tracking tools that can tell you exactly where blockages or usability issues are on your page. A tool like Clicktale can identify problems easily. You can then test the potential solutions with tools like VWO or Optimizely!


CrazyEgg (free trial): CrazyEgg is also a user experience analytics tool, but in my opinion a little less advanced than Clicktale. For the beginner to novice user it’s perfect though. Also it’s far less expensive than Clicktale when it comes to recording and processing big chunks of data.

sessioncamSessionCam (free & premium option): Very different to all the above tools, but have some similar features.. Here you actually get recordings of how your visitors browsed your website. You read that right – you actually see how their mouse moves around the page. It’s got some flipping rad features like zooming in on form submissions. It can also show you how people used your site on a mobile phone. Some similar features include heat mapping, scroll mapping and aggregated reporting data. They’ve got a free account. Get it now!


Why use it: To build a big email subscriber list, the landing page and it’s forms need to look shit hot. Simple as that. You can’t screw around with crappy looking pages. You will just be pouring money and time down the drain. Get it right with the 2 tools I use:

leadpagesLeadpages (paid): To build your subscriber list you need an effective capturing tool. Email automation tools don’t have the best looking capture forms. In walks LeadPages. All the top publishers are using LeadPages. And now I have too. Leadpages have stunning lead generation pages available. It integrates with tools like GetResponse or Mailchimp with a few clicks. You can also build really good looking lead generation popovers. It’s all hosted on your site or can be hosted on Leadpages.

hybridconnectHybrid Connect (paid): This is a plugin for WordPress that I recently discovered. I’m very pleased with the purchase. Hybrid-connect is different to LeadPages. While LeadPages is superior when it comes to creating lead generation landing pages, Hybrid-connect excels at creating optin-forms & widgets. It’s super easy to set-up – if you’re on WordPress of course.


Why use it: Your browser bookmark bar is not a note taking tool. If you like researching ideas or pulling together information for a project, you need a proper tool to keep it all together in an organised manner. Evernote is perfect for this…

evernoteEvernote (free + paid): Evernote is a free app that allows you to collect information into a virtual notebook. It syncs across all devices – desktop and mobile. So you can make notes anywhere, any time. They also have a browser “web clipper” that allows you to note down web pages or parts of it. There are a ton of handy features.


Why use it: Agggh!! There is nothing so frustrating like forgetting your password. Most of us have learned not to use the same password on every site. Cause hackers, you know. I’m also forgetful. And I have too many email accounts. Life was tough until I discovered LastPass.

lastpassLastpass (free + paid): With LastPass you can save all different your login details. It also centralises all the information in your LastPass account. Don’t worry, the data is completely encrypted therefore not even LastPass knows what your details are. Only you know. LastPass has a browser plugin which makes filling in forms with your personal details as easy as clicking a button. This is a must have tool if you spend a lot of time online.


Why use it: If you’re not ranking well in the search engines for your chosen keywords, then you’re losing out on a lot of traffic. Having a high ranking for core terms also solidifies your brand with the viewer. You are immediately seen as an authority on the subject. No business can afford not to be on the search engines.

distilleduDistilledU (paid): The number 1 place to learn SEO.

seobookSEO book (free & paid): If you’re not hiring someone to do you SEO, then you have totackle it yourself. They also have a huge range of  free and paid SEO tools. Many of those free tools are the bread and butter of many good SEO practitioners.

mozlocalMoz local (paid): If you’ve ever done SEO to get local listings, you’ll know it takes a lot of time. Moz makes this easy with their Moz Local product.

buzzstreamBuzzstream SEO Tools (free & paid): Another great selection of free and paid SEO tools to speed up your optimization efforts.

opensiteexplorerOpen Site Explorer (free & paid): If you know SEO, you’ll know how important inbound links from other authority websites are to your SEO rankings. Open Site Explorer can give you a view of all the inbound links, how authoritative they are, what anchort text was used and lots more.

authoritylabsAuthorityLabs (free trial): Keeping track and monitoring the search engine rankings of your money keywords is important. What’s even better? Keeping tabs on your competition!


Why use it: Writing out a complex tutorial is a real pain. In 2006 I used Camtasia and Articulate E-learning suite to create a huge library of affiliate marketing training video tutorials for my students. With limited knowledge I was able to produce high quality videos with built in questionnaires which the students loved! Below are the top tools in the market today.

camtasiaCamtasia (free trial):  If you want to create professional looking screen recorded video tutorials, then Camtasia is what you need. I’ve used Camtasia for a long time and I can say that it’s easy to use and produces really good looking screen recordings.

articulateArticulate’s Storyline (free trial): Build interactive learning courses that are coupled with questionnaires. Overlay your course slides with your own audio and annotate with special character packs. This is the most intuitive and advanced e-learning authoring tool on the planet. Will set you back roughly $1,500, but it’s flipping awesome.

screenflowScreenflow (free trial): Screenflow is like Camtasia, but made for Mac users only. Many Mac users who have used Camtasia say that Screenflow has the edge. Definitely check this out if you’re on a Mac. I’ve never used it, but hear great things.


Why use it: Have you noticed how many pretty images with inspirational quotes are being shared on social media? I bet you have. Thing is, people love them. People engage with it. Myself and many other business owners realise this. I have been posting visual inspirational content to my audience and can see the difference in engagement immediately. The idea is to build engagement habits so that when you do post something like a link to an offer that they will be more receptive to your message.

shareasimageShareAsImage (free & paid):  The guys from ShareAsImage saw this and created a platform that allows you to do just that. Choose from beautiful images, or upload your own, overlay your text and export in a second . You can even add your logo. Really simple. Super intuitive.

canvaCanva (free & paid): If you need more features, Canva will do the trick. Canva offers you the ability to design on different size canvasses. You can upload your own images or choose from a massive library.

piktochartPiktochart (free & paid): If you think pretty pictures with quotes get shared a lot, think again. Infographics are king when it comes to shareable creative. I’ve never used Piktochart, but many of my blogger buddies use it and they swear by it. Give it a go and let me know how it goes!


Why use it: Look if you’re like me, you don’t want to spend all your time on social media. Problem is, there are SO many places where my audience is. They’re scattered all over. In past I had to spend time on each platform separately. Thank heavens those days are over. Now there are tools that help schedule posts as well as display all the conversations in one hub.

hootsuiteHootsuite (free & paid): Hootsuite makes this really easy. In my opinion, Hootsuite is the best choice for any business starting out on social media or even aiming to increase outreach on the networks. It’s relatively simple to use and the free version has more than enough features for most.

Buffer App (free & paid)
: By far the easiest tool for scheduling your posts.

twitterfeedTwitterFeed (free): I’ve been using Twitter feed since 2008 and I don’t plan on stopping. TwitterFeed allows me to take the RSS feeds of my blog and other publications and feed them through to my social profiles. What ends up happening is that my social media profiles automatically share high quality content at certain intervals. This tool is huge time saver.


Why use it: Your competitors are trying just as hard, if not harder than you, to improve their position in the digital space. You cannot afford to fall behind. I’ve used spy tools for my clients to scope out their competitors and it helped me structure a strategy to beat the competition. A spy can’t be a spy without his/her tools. Gear up!

adbeatAdbeat (paid): Use AdBeat to gather intelligence on your competition’s Google and other display campaigns. Adbeat supports the most comprehensive list of ad networks out there. They can pretty much tap into any market globally. Powerful tool at a cost effective price might I add. Starts at $99 per month for Google only.

adgoorooAdGooroo (by quote): We’ve used this for many of our clients. It provides very rich intelligence on competitor paid and organic strategies, exposes weaknesses and highlights opportunities.  From the invoices I have seen gone out, I can say the pricing for AdGooroo isn’t cheap. I think at the time it was between $2,500 – $5,000 per month for two of our clients combined. Don’t take my word for it. Consider getting a quote from them.

socialadninjaSocialAdNinja (paid): They have a huge database of over 400,000 Facebook social PPC ads. You can get access to data segmented by gender, age, relationship status etc. or search by keyword. The whole goal of this service is to help you identify better opportunities in and around Facebook PPC ads. This is definitely the place for people who do a lot of Facebook advertising and who don’t want to waist money ‘testing’ on their own.


Why use it: I can write an entire book about team collaboration. Time and time again I witness how companies’ service levels deteriorate over time because teams grow bigger and communication problems arise. As a result, customers and clients are unhappy and the poor line managers or client service people have to eat it all. If only they knew how use team collaboration software!

konaKona (free & paid): For personal and small group collaboration. Kona is simple, intuitive, can manage different size teams, mobile integrated and it’s free. In 2013 a poll was ran on LifeHacker and Kona came out on top amonst user satisfaction.

asanaAsana (free & paid) : An enterprise-level team collaboration system, yet simple enough for individuals or small teams. Asana is used by some of the most popular startups around the world. When I first used it I was amazed at how quickly I was able to find my way around. It’s remarkably intuitive for such a robust system.  You can get a free account for up to 15 people. Any more and you pay.

liquidplannerLiquidPlanner (free trial): Powerful collaboration and project management system. I was most impressed by its Task Schedule Planner. It also has built in estimation for task completion dates. LiquidPlanner is the definite answer for when your projects are BIG and complex.

podioPodio (free & paid): It’s got it all and then some. Project management, team collaboration, workspaces etc. But the most impressive feature of Podio is that something called it’s App Builder. You can build your own team workflow (no tech skills needed). If you are sales manager with a team of 8 people, you can create workflow under which your team needs to operate. You can optimize the workflow too.

centraldesktopCentralDesktop (free & paid): This is the mac daddy. The big boss. If your organisation has the money, check out CentralDesktop. I got the guys from CentralDesktop to demo their product to us last year and I was blown away. It had everything you could ask for from a project management and team collaboration platform. It’s something special. Comes at a hefty price though.


Why use it: Recording the time you spend on tasks are very important. By comparing the time spent on something versus the benefit gained, you can optimize. This is why time tracking in organisations is a growing concern and necessity across the globe. Even more so for Entrepreneurs and work from home folks. But make sure you get the right tool for the job. Check out the 3 tools below.

klokKlok (free & paid): Klok is a pretty straight forward time tracking app. I find it very intuitive and easy to use. The reporting is also very useful.

timecampTimecamp (free & paid): Most time trackers use a manual stop-start. For most people that is perfect. For some it’s not. Some people who jump around between tasks every minute, need something that automates the process. Timecamp is perfect for those scenarios.

timetrackerCreativeWorx TimeTracker (paid): I have not used CreativeWorx TimeTracker but it seems like it’s going to make a big wave. It’s got automated tracking, but it shares similar features of Klok. Best of both worlds.


Why use it: Your paid and social marketing can only do so much. Once a customer lands on your website or landing page, you hope they convert. What if you could ask your website visitors to tell you exactly what they were expecting to get from your website?  Below are 2 tools my clients have used. They work extremely well for gathering data on visitor ‘intent’.

qualarooQualaroo (paid): If you want to improve the conversion rate on your website, start analyzing the ‘intent’ behind people’s visits. Qualaroo is a tool that allows you to understand what your visitors actually want and what’s stopping them from achieving it. This non-intrusive technology runs on your site in the form of a survey box. Many of the companies I have worked with love the data feedback.

iperceptionsiPerceptions (free & paid): Also an on-site customer experience survey tool. Their approach is different. With iPerceptions a user receives a popover when first visiting the site. The popover starts by asking you whether or not you would like to participate in a satisfaction survey when you are done browsing the site. If you choose YES, you will receive an exit survey. Response rates aren’t bad!


Why use it: As much as we all hate meetings, they are very necessary. Face-to-face meetings will always trump calls or email. There’s something else about talking to someone face-to-face. If you are working with people who are on the other side of the country or world, then why not get them on a video call?

hangoutsGoogle Hangouts (free): Use Google Hangouts to turn any conversation into a video call with up to 10 friends. You can share web cams or your can share your screen.  I love Hangouts because it’s easy to use, it’s built into a social network, it’s fast and coolest of all, it’s free.

skypeSkype (free & paid): Skype has been around for a while now, so chances are pretty good you are familiar with it. But did you know it has a group call feature? You can add up to 25 people to a group call.  One really nifty feature of Skype is that you can use your Skype credits to dial people into the call who don’t have Skype (from their mobile or landlines).


Why use it: Your website is an indispensable part of your marketing mix. It’s arguably the most important thing when it comes to your online assets. To grow your business it’s important to understand how your marketing efforts are paying off. Web analytics tools can give you insight into how you are doing. It can tell you where your visitors are coming from; how many of them visited your site; what they found most interesting; what they didn’t find interesting and much much more. Not having analytics installed on your website is a massive mistake. Get it!

googleanalyticsGoogle Analytics (free): By far the most well known, most widely used web analytics platform on the web. Google analytics is completely free. Over the years it has grown into a beast. If you know a bit about web analytics then give Google Analytics a try. For most people GA is a bit too complex. If that is the case, check out the next tool on this list.

clickyClicky (free & paid): I have recently installed Clicky on my website, alongside Google Analytics. Clicky really impressed me. It’s super simple, it collects really deep, insightful data and it’s also free. Well, if you get more than 1 million page impressions per day, then Clicky will start charging you.

kissmetricsKissMetrics (paid): A tool that isn’t entirely a web analytics tool. It’s more like customer  analytics. The data is incredibly in-depth. Kissmetrics can give you data around the lifetime value of your customer. They’ve given business owners the ability to see into the future – sounds kind of lame I know. Let me put it this way. Kissmetrics tracks the data of unique users, aka a person. If you buy from a business once (and you like the experience), chances are good you’re going to do that again.  Imagine you buy from a business 4 times a year. Their web analytics don’t know the journey YOU took. They only know, from looking at their sales records, that you purchased 4 times. Kissmetrics however can shine the light on your purchase behavior rather. That is the type of data that can help a business optimize it’s funnels to improve bottom-line. Powerful stuff.


Why use it: Without a website you don’t have a central presence online. It’s the one place on the web where your brand can stand on it’s own. It’s where your brand has a voice. Your website is an asset. Your business own it. I’ve seen businesses start their online presence with a Facebook profile. Look where that got them now. Facebook’s recent algorithm change had a huge impact on business pages. Businesses who didn’t build an audiece via their website or blog are now in big trouble.

wordpressWordPress (free): is built on WordPress. If you’re trying to get your business online, WordPress is the perfect CMS for the job. It’s robust, feature-rich, scaleable and it’s free. There are loads of premium WordPress themes available. Just Google “wordpress premium themes” and you’ll find a gazillion to browse through.

squarespaceSquareSpace (paid): If you don’t want to get into all the technical setup of your website, then check out SquareSpace. They make it really easy for a business to get a web presence. It won’t look crap either. They have some awesome templates, plus your website will be mobile responsive. It even comes with built-in e-commerce functionality, making it easy for you to sell your stuff online. You won’t have the same level of customization available to you like on WordPress, but heck…most people don’t need to go that far. I have to confess, I have not used it. I have watched an episode of Small Empires on The Verge about SquareSpace. They showed the ins and outs of what makes it good.


Why use it: If you’re like me, you probably hate the writing process. Constructing great content isn’t easy. I find myself doing lots of digging around the web to validate certain things. That means me having to open 20 chrome tabs and noting down things in notepad or word. That’s all in the past now thanks to these 2 writing tools.

scrivenerScrivener (free trial): It’s a complete writing studio. A writer’s dream. It makes the process of writing so much easier because it helps you organise your writing. It also has a ‘distraction free’ mode for writing. It’s fit for any type of writer, whether you are a blogger, journalist or even book writer. Scrivener is definitely one of my most used apps.

stylewriterStyleWriter (free trial): The one thing Scrivener cannot do is make you a better writer. You see, writing is an artform. The key to getting your message across to your audience is to write in plain English. People hate reading complicated words and phrases. StyleWriter helps to improve the readability of your writing and I must say, it’s probably the best software I’ve come across for doing this properly.



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