I’m not a developer and I have no development skills.
Lucky for me, we live in a world where even the most technologically challenged can build complex websites with almost no programming experience.
All of my websites & software-based projects run on publicly available plug & play software. The most important are free & open-sourced/GPL, with add-ons being low-cost pay monthly web apps.
Below you can find a list of the software, plugins & web applications I use to run online businesses.
WPX Hosting – Fast WordPress Hosting
As I use WordPress to power my websites, I need a fast WordPress hosting service. WPXHosting is just that, and they charge less than $4/month per WordPress install.
WPX also uses a custom setup of W3Cache plugin tailored specifically for their servers, which notably improved the load time of my websites.
Hivelocity – Dedicated Services
Hivelocity has been the backbone of my websites for many years, helping me to serve millions of downloads without incurring the hefty bandwidth costs.
A single dedicated server from Hivelocity operates as the “download server” for all my websites, keeping large downloadable files separate from my WordPress installations.
WordPress – Open Source CMS
WordPress currently powers around 26% of all websites. It’s an incredibly robust & versatile CMS/website builder, which integrates seamlessly with almost any internet service or tool.
Initially created as a blogging tool, WordPress can now be used for building almost any type of website.
Easy Digital Downloads – Free, Open Source Digital Ecommerce Software
EasyDigitalDownloads is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress which makes selling digital downloads easy.
The basic version of EasyDigitalDownloads is completely free, with a plethora of premium add-ons available to extend the functionality of your shop.
Restrict Content Pro – Membership Software
Ristrict Content Pro is a WordPress plugin that enables you to create fully fledge membership websites by restricting access to specific parts of your website to only those with an active membership.
I use Restrict Content Pro to ensure premium files on DesignerCandies can only be downloaded by those with an active membership.
MailChimp – Email Marketing Platform
MailChimp is a powerful email marketing tool, which integrates seamlessly with Easy Digital Downloads. I use MailChimp to send weekly notifications of new downloads available on my websites, as well as keeping new subscribers engaged with autoresponder sequences.
OptinMonster – Email/Lead Generation Software
As I don’t run any paid advertising, email marketing is my primary re-marketing channel. As so, the more email addresses I can capture, the more leads I can push through my funnel.
I use OptinMonster’s MonsterLinks to email-gate all my free templates & grow my email lists.
Jilt – Cart Abandonment Follow-Ups
I use Jilt to follow up with customers who leave items in their cart without finishing their purchase.
Amazingly BrandPacks has a very low cart abandonment rate as most people who place items into their cart complete the transaction. However some do leave things behind, and Jilt helps follow up with them to finish off the process.
Download Monitor – Download Tracking
I use Download Monitor to track how many downloads my free files receive so I know what type of content my users enjoy.
I also use Download Monitor’s Loading Page extension to increase pageviews, decrease my bounce rate & present visitors with related premium downloads.
Slack – Team Chat/Collaboration
We use Slack as our team chat tool for its ability to integrate with other online tools. Throughout the day, business notifcations (sales, support requests, new DropBox files etc) are posted to a Slack channel keeping everyone in the loop. As a remote team, I think this transparency is very important.
UpWork – Find Freelancers Online
I am have Platinum tier client on UpWork, having spent $60,000+ hiring freelancers for odd jobs like development work & graphic design. My girlfriend is also a fulltime freelancer on UpWork.
All-in-all, it’s a fantastic marketplace for finding talented individuals to outsource your work to.