Resources We Love
Our top picks and software recommendations for getting business done.
Our most recommended tools to help you succeed in doing business online
Welcome to the Sumner Digital recourses section. This page is a curated list of software and resources we recommend for building your business and online presence. We have personally used all of the tools included on this page.
An important disclosure before we continue: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means we earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. The commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful not because of the small commission we make. We always recommend only purchasing products that will help you meet your business goals.
The Top Tools for Your Website
Our most recommended tools for your business website. These are the same products we use daily and recommend to our clients.
Our #1 Pick for Web Hosting
Our website is hosted at WP Engine, and we’re happy to endorse them based on our hands-on use of their system. It’s our #1 pick for business WordPress websites. Speed and uptime are critical to keeping viewers on your pages, and WP Engine delivers. Not only that, it’s easy to migrate to WP Engine, and their support is fantastic. We highly recommend WP Engine for hosting your business WordPress website.
Our #1 Pick for Web Security
The last thing anyone wants is for their website to get hacked. That is why we don’t build WordPress websites without Sucuri to protect them. Sucuri’s firewall protects your site and scans for malware. We take it a step further even and use Sucuri’s remote, daily backup of our websites. It’s the best solution we’ve encountered to clean infected sites and then protect them.
Our #1 Pick for Email Automation
Drip has quickly become our favorite email service provider. This must-have tool allows you to communicate with your audience and develop deeper relationships with your target market. Drip is our pick for getting email done; its clean interface is a refreshing workspace. Workflows, tagging and broadcast emails are a breeze. Plus, you can start simple and work into sophisticated sales funnels.
Our #1 Pick for WordPress Themes – Divi
Elegant Themes tops our list for their Divi WordPress theme, and it’s no wonder with the flexibility and features Divi offers. Our recommendation is to go all in with a lifetime license – and we don’t say that about many tech offers. In addition to Divi, you get access to all their themes, plugins, updates and support. You know it’s a favorite when we say it’s the only theme we’ve installed on WordPress sites since 2015.
Our #1 Pick for Landing Pages
When it comes to creating sales funnels and landing pages, we rely on ClickFunnels. This no-nonsense software allows you to quickly, and easily build out solutions for growing leads and making sales. ClickFunnels allows you to build simple funnels for collecting email address or selling a product/service to complex funnels for robust lead-nurturing. Oh, and did we mention it can handle membership sites as well?
Business Tools and Organization
Our favorite picks for day-to-day communication and organization.
Our #1 Pick for Email & Productivity
No, we’re not talking about a free Gmail address. G Suite is a full-blown email solution for businesses of all sizes. Use your custom domain name and have a robust email system you control. No more calling your webmaster to add a new email address, you can add it and set permissions in your Admin portal. Plus, you and your employees have full access to all the G Suite tools for creating and sharing data within your organization.
Our #1 Pick for Project Organization
We use Trello for organizing so much of our business. If you’re a visual person, you’ll love Trello for the ability to see your workflow across your boards. We’ve used heavier project management tools like Basecamp and Asana and refreshed by the powerful-simplicity of Trello. Not only that, Trello is easy to integrate with Gmail and Zapier to create some pretty cool automations for staying organized. Take it on the go with apps for iOS and Andriod, and bonus you can do a ton with the free version… so there’s no fear of giving it a try!
Our #1 Pick for File Sharing & Storage
Our team uses Dropbox to stay organized. For us, its the key to a good workflow and our sanity. Dropbox is where we store and systematize files. We love that we have access to files across all our devices, and have a second back-up of our data. We also use Dropbox to give clients, and vendors access to files they may need while working with us. The ability to control access level and automatically turn access off is excellent peace-of-mind.
Top Tools for Beginners
This is the list we wish we’d had when we were starting out! Getting a new business started can be overwhelming and expensive. We’ve been there, done that. So we wanted to put together a list that gets you started without breaking the bank, and sets you up for success.
Bluehost is great for small sites and blogs – we recommend paying extra for the WordPress hosting plans. It’s easy to get a new site up and running with their one-click automatic WordPress installation. Also, they provide great customer service.
Divi from Elegant themes is still hands-down our best pick regardless of where you are in business. If you’re just starting out you may want to go with the annual plan your first year and upgrade to the lifetime plan.
No doubt about it, you want to have a professional email address that matches your domain. For $5 per email address per month, G Suite is a bargain. Plus you have powerful tools for writing, spreadsheets and storage all integrated.
Constant Contact has been making it easy for small business to contact their leads since they started in business. Their solution will let you create lists easily, automate emails, plus use powerful tools like surveys and polls all in one easy-to-use platform.
ClickFunnels may be the way to go if you don’t need a full-fledged website from the get-go. If you’re validating a business idea, or have a few products to sell ClickFunnels can gather email address, take payments and more with this powerhouse.
Tired of resetting passwords, or worse using the same password for everything? Then it’s time to get a password manager. LastPass will allow you to securely share sensitive information and you can keep track of it all (even on the free plan).
Trello is great for organizing your business – even your meal plan. Getting started, you have a lot to keep track of, you can easily stay organized today, next week, next quarter with Trello. We love the Trello extension for Gmail to create new cards right from our inboxes!
If you’re not using Google Drive for file storage, use Dropbox. It’s a great solution for having quick access to your files across all your devices. If you need to share files with clients or vendors, it is easy to do in Dropbox. Plus, you can use it free up to 2GB of data.
If you need images for your website, emails, social media, ebooks and flyers check out Canva. It too has a free version that allows you to make graphics for your business. Start free and even create a library of graphics ready for your team to use.
These are some of our favorite books for business and marketing.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”