Tools – What you need to get started!

So, we all need a helping hand when it comes to starting in the world of online money making, so I have compiled a little list of sites, tools and themes that will help you on your merry way. The stuff that I have recommended below are things that I have used in the past, or currently use now, from hosting all the way too tools that just provide a bit of help.

For courses that I recommend, check out the reviews list, or have a search in the courses section.

For themes, have a look at the review section or the Themes and Plugins section - Note I will post a link below to a great site where you can grab themes, but I will go into more detail on specific themes and plugins if I have found them really useful.

Hosting & Domains

 Domain Names

123 Reg

I have used 123 Reg since the first time I ever bought a domain back in 2008. The user interface is easy and fairly friendly to use, and they do have a variety of extra tools and services that you can utilise such as website builders, email account set up and SSL certificate buying.  

All in all their costs for URLS/Domains are comparative to any of the other major sites and their support team are friendly. They do also do some great offers on domains from time to time such as 1 year for £1.99 or similar!

Hosting

When I first started out, I needed cheap, but effective domain hosting. As such, I went for BlueHost, mainly because I had seen so many good reviews about their packages and their up time. They offer packages starting from £2.95  / $3.95 per month - Which is really cheap. I used to use them for blog sites, and for small starter DropShipping sites (when I used to run them on WordPress), before they became bigger! I would recommend them for your starter websites!

Themes

ThemeForest - Market Place

This website was my saviour for a very long time, especially when I first started out creating websites for local companies, or even just trying to build my own websites.  They offer premium themes for WordPress from as little as $13, which is a bargain if you can find a theme that suits your needs. 

They also provide themes for eCommerce sites such as WooCommerce, BigCart and even Shopify . So they really do offer a huge variety of themes for you to choose from.

Shopify Theme - Ecom Turbo

So, if you haven't read my review of Ecom Turbo, do so here.  This theme is great for e-commerce sites that you are running on Shopify, especially ones that are geared towards the Drop Shipping / Facebook advertisement methods. 

The theme offers multiple inbuilt plugins such as countdown timers, social proof displays and the number of visitors plugins, saving you a ton of money each month (all those alone used to cost me $40 - $90 p/month depending on what I was building). This one theme allows me greater flexibility and allows me to turn off aspects I don't need. I would definitely recommend having a watch of the video and checking it out if you are serious about Shopify!

Mailing List Builders & AutoResponders

Sumo - Email List Builder

So, you would have probably noticed a few pop-ups appearing here and there on the website. That plugin is Sumo. They actually offer a whole host of different plugins from Social Sharing Tools, to Live Chat tools, but the great one too start off with is their Mailing List Builder.

Allowing you to build up that crucial and vital mailing list by displaying eye-catching pop-ups that give your readers and viewers something in return for their email!

Aweber - 

Campaign Manager / Email Provider 

So, you captured emails, or you have got customers buying your items from your online store, great how do you let them know? You need a good, robust and powerful campaign manager and email service. 

In steps Aweber, an email service provider that allows you to store, sort and use your email lists, including sending automated email campaigns, abandon cart campaigns, split testing of lists and more. The best bit is that they offer a drag and drop HTML email builder!

So you can easily make awesome looking emails for your customers! You also get a 30day free trial!

Tax & Payment Gateways 

Tax Time - TaxJar

We all have to do them, and you may as well make as easy as possible. As such, I quickly found that TaxJar (read the review) was going to be the most useful one for me. 

TaxJar has a great plugin for Shopify stores so if you are starting out with Shopify (either Drop Shipping or selling online) then I highly recommend this one! They also do plugins via Stripe, Woocommerce & Amazon - So win win! It starts at $19 a month, but considering my first ever fine for miscalculating my tax was £300 - I think to get it right the first time is worth it...