I’m back and this is part 2 of the 6 Tools I Use To Run My Business Smoothly. Last week I mentioned 3 AMAZING tools that I seriously cannot be without. They were HatchBuck, Zaxaa, and Contactually. Those tools help a lot with the management part of my business. These next tools actually help me with the work / development part.
For those that have been following me for a while, you pretty much know my situation. For those that don’t, I’ll tell you!
I work full time, and have a family of 3 (soon to be 4 in a month and a half). With my day time responsibilities and family, it’s imperative that I utilize my time efficiently.
I’d love to sit in front of my computer and try to “figure things out” but running the business and growing it, took away that luxury :).
In doing so, I discovered some amazing tools that allow me to get things done incredibly fast and efficient! Those tools are as follows:
1. The Genesis Framework
There are a ton of themes / frameworks that you can use. You’ve got Elegant Themes, Thesis, Theme Forest, WooThemes, and the list goes on. My choice is Genesis. Why? I’ve written a few posts about this but to be brief, I just think it’s the most flexible and well coded framework.
I’m not locked in to any “Options” page, all of the edits and customizations are done via css and a few functions if needed. The community is full of information, so if you ever get stuck, a quick Google search will probably answer all of your questions.
This is definitely my tool of choice when it comes to creating, editing, or working on websites.
2. Beaver Builder
This is something that I discovered recently and can’t do without. Beaver Builder is THE page builder that will blow your mind! I’ve tried a bunch and this is the one I’m sticking with.
Beaver Builder is incredibly easy to use through the front end of your website. You can layout practically anything (which I’ll show you in my new course). It’s also new, and when new things start out this awesome, they can only get…. awesomer (my new word).
Here are a few posts I wrote on Beaver Builder and I’ll also link my new course once it’s ready. This page builder is a must to any web designer’s arsenal.
3. Types and Views
This is actually 2 separate plugins and they’re a part of the Toolset. The Toolset consists of a bunch of different plugins including ACCESS, CREDS, VIEW, TYPES, LAYOUTS, and a few more, but I primarily use Types and Views. I’ll use CREDS on occasion but only if the project calls for it. Don’t like the other ones though.
In any case, Views is one of the most powerful plugins I’ve ever used, EVER! It takes control of the WordPress loop and replaces all of those complex PHP functions with shortcodes. That just leaves the HTML and CSS up to you!
You can literally create any type of page template or archive loop. If you can imagine it and can lay it out with CSS and HTML, you’re good to go.
Types is just a simple CPT and Custom Fields maker. You don’t have to use it, but since the two plugins are meant to work with each other, I prefer to use both.
I use Types and Views to run my courses, and on clients sites, I sometimes need to create complex loops, which would take me forever if I had to manually code the PHP. This shaves the time down a ton, allowing me to move forward and deliver amazing sites in less time.
These tools have seriously sped up my production without compromising the quality of my work and I don’t know what I’d do without them! They are an invaluable part of my business and I’m happy to share them with you!
There are some more plugins that I use, but they’re on a case by case basis. It’s the above mentioned plugins that I pretty much use on EVERYTHING, and I won’t go back! =D
Hope you enjoyed the mini series! If there are any tools that you can’t live without, I’d love to hear ’em.