Software and Services I Recommend
This page contains affiliate links to products or services I use myself. I'll receive a commission if you sign up from my links. The price will be the same for you or possibly discounted at times.
Ecwid is ecommerce software. I've used this myself since 2014 on my Sonrise Stable Books website. Prior to finding Ecwid, I went through a dozen other ecommerce systems, but always ran into problems. When you have a website that sells things, you definitely don't want your ecommerce software to give you headaches or not function properly!
I can honestly say Ecwid is the easiest system I've used in terms of setting it up, adding products, incorporating it into a website, and using the day-to-day operations involved in processing orders. In case you're wondering, Ecwid stands for "Ecommerce Widget."
You can get started with Ecwid's free plan which allows you to have up to 10 products. Ecwid Ecommerce Link
I've used both MooSend Email Marketing Service and SendInBlue (below). Neither is as well known as some of the big name providers such as MailChimp, but they offer most of the same features—at lower prices.
MooSend's visual email editor is easier to use than SendInBlue's, otherwise the two services are very comparable.
You can sign up for a free MooSend account to test it out.
SendInBlue Email Marketing is similar to the better known (and more expensive) MailChimp. I used to use Mailchimp when they offered a generous free plan. After their terms changed, I searched for an alternative and found SendinBlue. I've been using this for over a year now and have been happy with the service and its reasonable pricing.
If you don't send frequent emails, SendInBlue provides an economical email credits option you can use rather than a monthly plan.
You can sign up for a free SendInBlue plan initially to test it out.
I highly recommend the JotForm form-building service. I have to confess building web forms isn't something I find entertaining.
It's such a relief that JotForm makes it so simple. In addition to an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop form builder, your submissions are emailed to you as well as being stored for viewing in your JotForm admin panel. JotForm is an extremely helpful and reliable service. I just checked my account, and I've been using JotForm since 2009. The form on my Contact page was created in JotForm.
They offer a free plan which provides 100 form submissions per month. On the free plan, the JotForm logo and link are displayed at the bottom of your forms. If that doesn't bother you, the free plan is a good way to get started with JotForm. With a paid monthly plan, the JotForm logo can be removed from your forms. JotForm affiliate link.
Screencast-o-Matic screen recording software is what I use to record my video courses. The program seems to be a well-kept secret. I'm rather compulsive about finding the best software to make my work as easy as possible. The big names in screencasting software are Camtasia for Windows and Screenflow for the Mac. I own and have used both.
In my opinion, for reliability and ease of use, Screencast-o-Matic beats both of them. I've never had skipped audio or video with SOM as I used to experience continually with Camtasia! Screencast-o-Matic has all the features I need, and the workflow is fast and intuitive.
And, to top it off, SOM is even cheaper! Receive 20% off on a subscription when you use my SOM affiliate link.
I've been using FastMail since 2016.
I have several email addresses for my different businesses, but I run them all through my FastMail account. I have it set up so they all come in to a single inbox, but they retain the address so I can reply and email from any of those addresses.
FastMail is easy to set up. You can view your email online or through a phone or tablet app. I use their Standard plan which is $5/month and provides 25GB of storage. Their professional plan ($9/mo) provides more storage and group emails so you can collaborate on email with others. Receive a 10% discount at FastMail.
Save money with PureTalk cell phone service, recommended by Dave Ramsey. I'm using the $20/month plan which includes unlimited talk and texting and 1GB of data. I use wifi for data at home, so the data amount isn't a big deal to me.
You can use any unlocked GSM cell phone by purchasing their $3 SIM card. That's what I did. The service uses AT&T as the carrier. Signal strength and call quality have been great for me.
This is a no-contract service, so you're not locked in and can cancel at anytime. No data overage fees. They don't turn off your data when you reach the limit; it just slows down.