Tried & True
All the products, services and resources listed below I endorse. If you need website product or service evaluations specific to your organizational requirements, let’s set up a consultation.
reading and listening lists
I generally spend about 2-3 hours per day reading articles, listening to podcasts, and reading select books and enewsletters. These shape my thinking, context, and framing of issues and solution possibilities which I try to share or incorporate into my advice.
Books: My growing list of books on Amazon I’ve either read or want to read. Many of these books have been mentioned as important to read by other independent experts whose business opinion I value.
Enewsletters: Bob Lalasz’s Science + Story. Philip Morgan’s Indie Experts. David Baker’s Perspectives, Liston Witherill’s Sales Insights, Josh Earl’s Email Marketing, Johnathan Stark’s Value Pricing Daily, and Kyle Bowen’s Superhelpful for Museums.
Content Management System (CMS)
I’ve been designing and developing client websites with WordPress since 2004. I’ve used extremely expensive proprietary content management systems and other open-source systems like Drupal and Joomala. There just isn’t another open-source content management platform with the same customization flexibility, community support, track record for success, and expansion capability as WordPress on the market today. Unless your business website has extremely robust ecommerce, video, image, audio, or data requirements, I’ll likely recommend WordPress as your website CMS.
Website Hosting Providers & Packages
Page Builders & Themes
Within the WordPress ecosystem, there are two key components to building and maintaining your business website: a WordPress page builder and a theme. WordPress offers its own free, built-in editor and layout system called Gutenberg. It’s difficult to use and limited in capability. That’s why I recommend a page-builder called Elementor. They have a free version of Elementor, but the Elementor Pro is where it’s at for business websites. And the perfect, fast, lightweight theme is Astra Pro. With Elementor Pro’s visual design interface and Astra Pro’s tightly integrated theme options, you can build and maintain just about any non-ecommerce website you can imagine.
WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508 Legislation on Web Accessibility: I’ve written about the importance of web accessibility for your website and looked at a bunch of WordPress website accessibility solutions. I’ve settled on AccessiBe as my solution and am recommending it to other sevice-based organizations for their WordPress website. I’m also an AccessiBe partner and can assist you with implementation.
Cookie Consent: I’m using Cookiebot for my cookie consent. Cookiebot enables you to monitor and document any kind of tracking on your website, display the relevant information to your website visitors and automatically obtain and log all user consents.
Other Technical Stuff in Use
Email Marketing Service: I’ve been using Moosend for a number of years. In 2022 they dropped their free account but I kept with them for a year. In 2023, I have moved over to a free Convertkit account. Let’s see how that goes.
Desktop Workstation: I ditched big brand workstations (Dell, HP) a few years ago and have not regretted the move one bit. My current desktop is a custom built workstation from Puget Systems. These guys really know how to work with graphic artists and videographers to optimize for Adobe applications and a specific workflow. Their technical support is unparalleled.
Owners and marketing directors of service-based organizations need to understand website accessibility