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Tools

Our Tools Philosophy

We love free, open source, inexpensive and freemium tools. We're always on the lookout for them, use them ourselves, and frequently recommend them to clients.

Web Content Management Systems

You need to keep your content fresh, and web communication is best done by you and your staff. Content Management Systems (CMSes) make updating content and creating new pages easier for people without technical skills or having to code.

Open Source Content Management Systems

Open source content management systems are free to use and install. Each is created and maintained by a worldwide community of developers.

Upsides

  • Inexpensive to get started; no licensing fees
  • Tons (tons!) of free and inexpensive add-ons
  • Typically make it relatively easy for nontechnical users to add and edit content
  • Robust, active developer and support community

Downsides

  • Open source is a popular target for hackers, so frequent security updates are required, so weigh the cost of implementing security updates against the free licensing.
  • With each upgrade, there's a risk of incompatible third-party plug-ins and extensions.
  • The code can become "bloated" and performance can suffer.
  • No centralized CMS vendor to hold responsible or get support from.

Popular Open Source Content Management Systems We Support

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Dot Net Nuke (DNN) or Evoq

Proprietary Content Management Systems

Upsides

  • A paid CMS vendor to hold accountable for quality
  • Typically not as much of a target for hackers

Downsides

  • Licensing or purchase expense (up front or ongoing or both)
  • More limited developer community
  • Typically steeper learning curve, and you're less likely to find people who already know the CMS

The main ones

  • Adobe SiteCatalyst and CQ5
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Ensemble
  • Weebly, GoDaddy, etc.
  • OSCommerce and other proprietary systems

E-Commerce Systems

  • Magento
  • PCI Loaded
  • ZenCart

Social Media Management

Importance of one dashboard, ability to delegate and keep records.
  • HootSuite
  • TweetDeck
  • Buffer
  • Google Wildfire

Inbound Marketing Platforms

Concept – Lead tracking and nurturing.
  • HubSpot
  • InfusionSoft

Email Platforms

Let them get you past the spam filters. Templates. Segments. Track deliverability, opens, reads, provide a web version. Comply with CAN-SPAM legislation.
  • Mailchimp
  • Constant Contact
  • CampaignMonitor
  • Emma, Maildog Papers et al

Customer Relationship Managers

Not just customers – everyone important to your ecosystem. When you need more than the email platform alone.

  • SalesForce
  • SugarCRM
  • 37Signals HighRise