Resources & Recommendations
Our clients often ask us for recommendations on various resources, so we thought it might be useful to start a list. We will try to add to the list as we experience new options, but this isn't meant to be a review page, we aren't selling anything, and we don't get paid by anyone to list their product here.
Basically, we like things that are simple, bulletproof, flexible, secure, and easy to use. Here's the stuff we've used, tested, and recommend.
Got questions? Anything else you'd like to see? Get in touch!
Managed WordPress Hosting
WP Engine is the first, largest, and in our opinion, the best provider of managed hosting for WordPress. Credit union websites demand reliability, security, and speed at reasonable cost, and we've found that WP Engine delivers on all counts. From our perspective, WP Engine makes managing dozens of websites quick and straightforward, and their support has been superb.
Domain Name Registration, DNS
We've used and highly recommended name.com for several years. Prices are reasonable, their domain name registration management and DNS management tools are the clearest, cleanest, and easiest we've seen, and their support (rarely needed) is excellent. They're US-based, which we've found is very important for ensuring top-notch support, reliability, and speed.
We've also found that Name.com's DNS services are far more reliable than the "bigger" names you've heard of, plus they don't spam you endlessly.
DNS and DNS Optimization
WP Engine recommends using Cloudflare for DNS management, and we can second that recommendation. Sure, using your domain name registrar for DNS works fine, but Cloudflare adds another level of speed optimization, reliability, and security. Best of all, Cloudflare's basic level is free for one domain, and offers very useful speed optimization and security features.
Cheap, Simple Hosting
Sometimes you just need inexpensive hosting without all the bells and whistles to try things out, store and transmit files, and so on, and you don't need advanced monitoring and security. And if you're developing code, it's best to do that somewhere besides your main hosting.
We've used Dreamhost for many years for these sort of web-based odds and ends. They're US-based, independent, employee-owned, and on the very rare occasions we've needed it, their support is excellent.
We monitor all our client's websites in several ways with Nodeping. It's simple, inexpensive, and there are tons of options for many types of checkups and alerts. (And don't worry; if we built your website, we're already monitoring it in multiple ways, including Nodeping.)
We usually recommend either Cognito or Formstack for our clients who need the ability to build and manage secure online forms. This blog article has more details: How to add secure forms to your credit union website
Both give you a wide array of tools for easily creating forms and collecting and managing data, along with plenty of integrations to work smoothly with email marketing. They're US-based and offer high standards of security and data control.
Financial Calculators for your Website
We explained the options in more detail in this blog article: How to Add Financial Calculators to Your Credit Union Website
And, of course, we can program custom calculators if you need something specialized.
Website Image Editing & Optimization
Away from your work machine? Don't feel like firing up Photoshop? Don't have Photoshop? We use these amazingly capable free online image editors pretty regularly for quick tweaks to website images.
Forgot to optimize when you exported an image? Tinypng does just one thing, and it does it extremely well (not to mention it's fast and free); it optimizes the file size of your image without making it look any different.
Email and Productivity
We've run our business with Google Workspace for years (until recently, this was called Gsuite). It started with Gmail, and over time they've added a complete suite of amazing productivity tools and apps.
Gmail has the planet's best spam filtering and stellar email security, and we use Google Meet, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other apps all the time to collaborate and create.