From site design to social media and everything in between, managing your web presence is integral in today’s market. There are several reasons why you need a strong online presence: it reinforces your brand, boosts your marketing efforts, and most importantly, helps you connect with your customers.
But where do you start? After all, there are thousands of tools out there that claim they help with web management. So we’ve put our fingers on the keyboard and nose to the grindstone — gross, right? — to research the best web management tools for your small business. Here’s what we found.
Website Management/Design Tools
When it comes to web design you’ve got several options. Of course, you can always hire a professional team from a trusted firm to tackle your web design, but experts don’t come cheap. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective method, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are several programs that are easy to navigate, have beautiful templates, and provide easy click-to-edit functionality to make creating a beautiful website easy — even if you don’t know how to code or aren’t a professional designer. Here are some of the best.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. Around a quarter of all websites are built on WordPress. Its popularity is well earned. It combines ease of use with enough flexibility and functionality that organizations of all sizes can bend it to their needs.
you’ll be pleased with the number of features.
Most web hosting plans will come with access to the provider’s control panel, commonly shortened to cPanel. The cPanel is an intuitive website management tool that provides important functionality, such as:
- Managing your website files
- Creating and managing email addresses at your domain name
- Setting up redirects
- Managing website backups
- Creating website databases
- Installing basic security features
What your cPanel looks like and how it works will vary based on the web hosting provider you choose, but it’s an important tool across the board for managing your website.
If you want e-commerce capabilities, we’d recommend building your website with WordPress — the flexibility and scalability are ideal for online stores. But remember: WordPress doesn’t come with an e-commerce solution out of the box. You’ll have to add that functionality, either via a plugin or an additional platform, to create a digital shopping cart.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, making it one of the most widely used eCommerce software options, with over 74 million downloads. It’s owned by the same company as WordPress, so you can count on consistent compatibility. And it makes setting up an eCommerce store intuitive via a set-up wizard that walks you through each of the steps.
Shopify is a subscription-based, e-commerce platform that makes it easy for beginners to build and customize an online store in very little time. It also provides a “guru” service to guide you through the creation and management of your e-commerce site.
Magento is another popular open-source eCommerce software. It provides the most important functionality you need for an eCommerce website, including:
- A shopping cart
- Check-out functionality
- The option to let customers create accounts
- Guest check-out options
- Ability to create product pages and automate inventory tracking for each
- Integration with the most popular payment-processing options
Even a small business can have a large social media presence. The social tools below will allow you to expand your web presence all in one integrated interface. Be in several places at once? It’s every small business owner’s dream!
6. HootSuite :
HootSuite is a similar tool that allows you to control all your social media management in one dashboard.
HootSuite’s free plan allows management of three accounts and scheduling of up to thirty posts. Paid plans allow you to add more social profiles, schedule more updates at a time, and also let you manage some of your paid social advertising within the product.
Buffer supports up to 25 social accounts, allowing you to post across all your platforms from one interface. Here are some of Buffer’s other top features.
It’s not enough to build your website and forget it; you’ve got to be strategic about getting your brand out into the world — and in front of the eyes of your potential customers — as much as possible.
8. HubSpot :
HubSpot’s marketing software helps you connect all your marketing efforts to each other and better track your success as a result. The company offers a free version of the software that provides lead capture forms, email marketing, and analytics that provide insights into the customer’s journey.
Online File Management
Our last category of web management tools that can make your life easier as a small business owner is online file management programs.
9. Google Drive
Google Drive is a free set of tools provided by Google, and also comes included as a part of the G Suite product. Within Google Drive you can create and share a number of types of files, including documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can define who’s allowed access to each file you create, and whether they can simply view or also edit them.
Dropbox is a cloud storage solution that allows you to keep all your files in a central location that’s accessible from any device. As with Google Drive, you can share those files with others and enable comments to allow for collaboration. There’s a free version of Dropbox for individuals that allows up to a set amount of storage space, and a paid version for businesses that offers more storage and more features for collaborating.
Obviously, there are several tools out there to help you effectively manage your online presence. But you don’t have to overwhelm yourself by investing in every option on the market! you can simplify the work involved in maintaining a great website, making sure your customers can find it, and tracking your progress over time.