Business Software and Tools
Best Web Agency Tools
We rely on a few key tools and resources to help us build websites. Here's a quick rundown of software and tools that we use on a regular basis.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you purchase through our links. Our recommendations are based on real-life experience and we recommend only products we use and trust.
Website Design and Development Tools
Building a website used to be a cumbersome and complicated process that required a team of coders and developers working for weeks (if not months) to get everything just right. However, thanks to the proliferation of site-building tools, those days are long gone. Now, anyone with a basic understanding of computers can create a professional-looking website in a matter of hours.
Our web agency is constantly on the lookout for new tools and resources to help us build better websites for our clients. We all know that building a website can be a daunting task. There are so many things to think about, from the initial design to the finished product. We use only the best tools and resources available. Here’s a list of our current recommendations.
Best Website Builders
WordPress for Most Small Business Websites
If you’re running a small business, you need to be able to rely on your website to bring in new customers and help grow your bottom line. So what’s the best website builder for small businesses? WordPress is our website platform of choice. WordPress is user-friendly and extendable with plugins, making it perfect for businesses of all sizes. As of June 2023, WordPress is used by over 64% of websites that use a content management system.
Elementor is our preferred page builder, and it works well with Hello, a lightweight theme.
Kadence theme for WordPress is a great choice for any website owner looking to create a professional and modern-looking website. With its easy-to-use page builder, responsive design, and rich customization options, Kadence makes it easy to create stunning websites quickly. The theme offers a variety of features like custom layouts, custom backgrounds, multiple header styles, and full-width image blocks that can be used to create beautiful pages.
GeneratePress is another good choice for WordPress users who want to create an attractive and professional website with minimal effort. With its lightweight and fast loading times, GeneratePress helps websites load quickly while still retaining the highest level of style and design. They have both a free and premium version available.
Generate Blocks is a lightweight page builder plugin that can help WordPress users create stunning websites quickly and easily. With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and customizable blocks, Generate Blocks makes it simple to craft sophisticated layouts without the need for coding knowledge or experience.
Kadence Blocks combines a powerful page builder with custom blocks that are designed to help you create stunning homepage layouts, dynamic posts and pages, and eye-catching product portfolios. Its intuitive drag-and-drop design interface makes it easy to create web pages.
Elementor Page Builder
This powerful tool allows us to create beautiful websites quickly and easily. With its drag-and-drop interface, we can create custom pages without coding anything.
If you’re looking to set up an online store, there’s no shortage of options available. If you’re using WordPress, check out Woocommerce or SureCart.
It comes to finding the right provider for creating an online store; we recommend Shopify. Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that offers everything you need to get started, including a customizable store design, secure payment processing, and robust shipping tools. In addition, Shopify makes it easy to manage your inventory and track your sales. They currently account for about 6% of websites.
Our Favorite WordPress Plugins
If you want to add some extra features to your WordPress site, you’ll want to check out our recommended plugins. With hundreds of plugins, it can be difficult to know where to start. Our top picks are:
This WordPress plugin helps us create custom forms and surveys that are easy to use and look great.
WP Social Ninja
Social plugins like WP Social Ninja help us to integrate social media feeds and reviews into our clients’ websites. This is a great way to add fresh content and keep visitors engaged.
This massive resource is a treasure trove of website elements, including templates, graphics, fonts, and more. We can easily find everything we need to build a professional website.
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Web Hosting Companies
We’ve been hearing great things about rocket.net from other agencies. We are currently testing the rocket.net agency plan on a few test sites. So far, we are impressed with their speed, security, support, and ease of migration. I plan to post more details after we have tested Rocket.net on more sites.
Flywheel is the agency hosting platform of WPEngine and is our preferred hosting provider. They offer fast, reliable, and secure hosting services. Plus, their customer support is top-notch. Anytime we have an issue with a website, one of their experts is available to chat within a minute or two. We only want the best website hosting services to make sure our client’s websites are always up and running smoothly.
They offer excellent uptime and helpful customer support. They offer a free Global CDN, automated backups, and automated SSL on every plan. Use this link to get 2 months of free hosting with WP Engine.
Website Content Creation
Open AI & Chat GPT-4
GPT-4 from OpenAI is a revolutionary language model that can generate human-like text. It excels at three unique aspects, making it more advanced than its predecessors: creativity, visual input, and longer context capabilities. Read our blog post about how GPT-4 is revolutionizing digital marketing.
Are you struggling to create content that resonates with your audience? Are you finding it hard to come up with new ideas or simply don’t have the time to write? If so, you may want to consider using an AI content writing tool like Jasper. We all suffer from writer’s block sometimes. But AI tools can help you generate high-quality content quickly and easily, freeing up your time to focus on other tasks. You should always have a human guide and edit your content, but Jasper can help you come up with ideas when you’re stuck.
Another favorite tool is WordTune editor because it can give you variations of each sentence when you want to word something differently but are not sure exactly how you want to say it.
SEO Content Writing
If you’ve ever tried to find something online, you’ve experienced the power of search engine optimization firsthand. That’s because when you type a few keywords into a search engine like Google or Bing, the results are ranked using a complex algorithm that takes into account dozens of factors. One of those factors is the quality of the content on a website. Surfer SEO is a tool that helps you write search-optimized content.
Important note regarding using AI tools for SEO content: You should only use these tools as a guide and make sure you write content for humans to read rather than bots. Google’s new “Helpful Content Update” targets sites creating content for search engines, so sites with content written only for SEO may lose ranking. Focus on people first when writing content for your website.
We have a detailed post about some of the best AI Writing tools available.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about search engine optimization (SEO). But if you’ve ever tried to find something online, you know how important it is. Search engines use algorithms to index and rank web pages, and if your content doesn’t match what people are searching for, it’s likely that your page will never be seen.
When it comes to tracking local search ranking on Google and Bing, BrightLocal is the name of the game. We use BrightLocal to help our clients get the visibility they need to succeed. BrightLocal provides detailed reports that show how your ranking is improving over time. Plus, they offer citation builder campaigns and reputation management. So if you’re looking to get ahead in the local search rankings, BrightLocal is the way to go.
For more local SEO tips, see our complete guide to Local SEO Software.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of any web agency’s toolkit. And when it comes to SEO tools, RankMath is one of the best. RankMath helps our agency to get our clients’ websites to rank higher on search engine results pages. And that means more traffic and more business for our clients. But SEO is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant attention. When using AI tools such as Rank Math, remember to focus on people first when writing your content so that your site won’t be affected by the helpful content update that Google will be rolling out soon.
Keyword Research Tools
With SEMRush’s keyword research capabilities, we help improve our clients’ search ranking by finding high-impact keywords and phrases, along with search volume data and competition levels. This information enables us to develop targeted content strategies and improve their search engine rankings.
Keywords are the heart of SEO. Without proper keywords, your website will never be found by people searching for the products or services you offer. But with the right keywords, you can rank high in the search engines and attract a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website. Of course, finding the right keywords is essential to success.
This handy Chrome extension provides instant keyword ideas and related search terms as you browse the web. Just enter a seed keyword and see a list of relevant keywords and phrases, along with their monthly search volume.
Graphic Design Apps
You can read about some other AI image generators available here.
ConvertKit is a great tool for managing your newsletter subscribers and turn them into loyal customers. With ConvertKit, you can easily segment your list and send targeted emails based on their interests. Plus, ConvertKit integrates with all the major email providers, so you can be sure your messages will always reach your subscribers. ConvertKit also offers a wide range of landing page templates that you can use to grow your list even further.
If you want to start a podcast, you can’t go wrong with BuzzSprout. They offer everything you need to get up and running, including a WordPress plugin that automatically publishes new episodes to your blog. And if you’re not a fan of WordPress, don’t worry – they also have a standalone app that’s just as easy to use.
Video creation software
We love creating videos for our clients. And we’ve found that the best way to do that is to use the right tools for the job. That’s why we’re big fans of Loom and Pictory.
Descript is a powerful video editor that revolutionizes the editing process by automatically transcribing your recordings and allowing you to edit them like a document. With its intuitive interface, you can easily arrange visuals like you would on a slide, making video editing faster and more efficient. By combining cutting-edge transcription technology with a user-friendly platform, Descript streamlines the creative process, enabling users to edit and perfect their content effortlessly.
There’s nothing quite like seeing something for yourself. That’s why, when it comes to explaining how to edit websites, we often find that a video is worth a thousand words. With Loom, recording a screencast is quick and easy, so we can show our clients exactly how to make the changes they need without having to rely on lengthy written instructions. Plus, the videos can be easily shared via email or social media, making it convenient for our clients to reference them at their leisure. In short, Loom has become an invaluable tool in our business, and we’re grateful for all that it helps us accomplish on a daily basis.
Pictory is ideal for creating short, engaging social media videos. With its drag-and-drop interface, it’s easy to add images and text to your video. And the built-in templates make it simple to create stylish videos that will grab attention on social media. We use Pictory to create videos from blog content to post to websites, YouTube, and social media.
FlexClip video editor is one of the favorites on this list. It’s easy to use and includes 3500+ templates to get started, so even layman video creators can feel confident creating their first video. You can also create videos from scratch. The drag-and-drop video editor lets you highlight text and drag it onto video frames, then add images and video from its extensive library. Once we have finished editing our video, we can export it directly to YouTube, among other options.
Accounting and Payroll
There are many accounting and invoicing solutions on the market, but we’ve found that FreshBooks is the best fit for our needs. Not only is it easy to create and send invoices, but it also helps us track receive and track payments and keep up with our income and expenses. The software is user-friendly and has a wide range of features such as online invoices, making it ideal for small businesses like ours. They also have a neat feature for adding online payments to websites.
We use Gusto for our payroll software. Gusto makes it easy to pay our team and stay compliant with tax laws. It offers direct deposit and generates paystubs and tax forms. We’ve been using Gusto for over a year now and we haven’t had any issues. Overall, we’re really happy with Gusto and would recommend it to any small business looking for a good payroll solution.
Business Telephone and Text Messaging
OpenPhone is the business telephone solution we use at our web agency. It’s great because we can forward our calls to our cell phones and see that it’s a business call before answering. We can also set business hours and do not disturb if we’re in a meeting. It’s great for voicemail, and business texts.
These are just a few of the tools and resources we use at Roe Digital. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any of our recommendations.