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Published on August 1st, 2011

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We all know that using the right tool for the right job can be the difference between getting something done smoothly or taking a painfully long time. The tools and services that you use are critical to maximizing a successful workflow and thus producing high-quality results in a short amount of time.

Sometimes you just have to use certain tools in order to perform the job. For example you wouldn’t try to cut a thick piece of i-beam steel without a torch. The torch is THE tool to use. You don’t shop around and see if there is something else, you just get a torch and make the cut. You could maybe try and use a hack saw but you might be there for days, maybe weeks and look quite silly and most likely not even make much progress.

The sad thing is that many people do the same thing in their online businesses. They will try to use a piece of software or service that is not designed to perform the task they are trying to achieve; yet to save a few bucks they will spend hours if not days wasting precious time only to end up buying the software they needed in the first place.

Use What The Pros Use or Hire One

If you’re getting ready to use a piece of software or a service, first find out what professionals use. For example, DO NOT just Google something like “Free video editing software” and download the first product you find or even the first 10. If so, you will be wasting countless hours playing with software that will not get the job done. Remember this is your business, not a hobby. So if you are not outsourcing the work then get the tools to make it happen.

How do I know this? I’ve done it myself and learned the hard way. I even tried to be cheap about the process and buy the first $50 video editing product that I thought could do the job. In the end, I just spent more time frustrated with software that just did not deliver the results I needed.

Using the right tools can make the difference between a graphic or a video that looks like it was done by a professional or by your neighbors second-grader. In fact, sometimes you need a service instead of software.

For example, if you have absolutely no graphic skills at all, then it may just be better to outsource this piece of work through a service like 99designs or oDesk. From small projects to large websites these services can get you looking professional.

Don’t Re-invent The Wheel

It’s important to note that in today’s e-commerce world a template for almost everything has already been made and can be relatively inexpensive. With just a little bit of learning you can purchase templates that get you to where you need to be and you really need NO artistic skills at all, just the ability to move items around and some basic knowledge of editing. The law of 80/20 plays very heavy in today’s template market place you just have to learn how to tap into it.

Its not just human resources that are outsourced, but its software and media from great services like Graphic River, Themeforest, iStock  and many others. These sites are great examples of resources that already get you 80-90% complete.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending a serious amount of time gathering a list of tools that I use personally and tools that I have seen work well in the online industry. So check out the finalized list here:


Tools to Rock your Online Business

Check back regularly with the tools page because this list will continue to grow…

What do you think?

14 thoughts on “50+ Tools to Enhance Your Online Business”

  1. Great post! I find a lot of these tools very ineteresting and of extreme value. I have been using Themeforest for quite a number of sites myself, heads up there! I have actually been looking for a good and solid Help & Support system for my business over at Reast Hosting and will definitely have a look at Hesk Help Desk you recommended! Thanks a mil!

    1. Hi Ruan,

      I currently use Hesk for my help system. For small ticket systems it’s really nice and easy to use. If you’re looking for a hosted solution you can use it’s owned by, so you know it’s going to be around for quite a while. You can also get a free account for one user which should work for smaller businesses. I would give it a try it’s free to start….

      Hope this helps!

  2. Can you maybe recommend a good and solid free WordPress web hosting theme where I can implement my own payment gateway to accept credit card payments Cory? I am also trying to decide between Presta Shop and Magento for another online shop of mine…

    1. Hey Ruan,

      I wouldn’t go with any free theme to be honest. Most good themes should only run around $30 buck and usually they offer nice enough features that they are worth paying for. The one I use you can find here and its awesome! For payment Gateways I would just use PayPal, until you’re making enough money that the transaction fee actually starts to cut into your profit.

      As far as Presta Shop vs Magento. I would probably go with Presta Shop at first. Magento is a massive very in depth application, it takes quite a bit of time to learn. It really depends on how you want to scale your business.

      Hope this helps

  3. Not sure this is the right place, but… any ideas on improving content moving. Everytime I resdesign a new site half the time if there isn’t a xml file or such, it’s a manual process, I’m looking for a content scraper per say but something legal, usually its text, images and hyperlinks, maybe tags at a push.

    The issue is client side moving from a non wp blog scenario custom or otherwise to wp.

    Any ideas Cory?

    1. Hey Saff,

      There are some tools if your on a know platforms. For example I’m pretty sure they have tools to help migrate a Drupal or Joomla sites to WordPress and vice versa. Apart from know systems the fastest way would probably be to hire a SQL programmer from say Freelancer and have them port the data for you, along the way replacing the paths for things like images… Its usually not a super easy process…


  4. This is an awesome list. Thanks Cory. For wordpress themes I have been using Elegant Themes. They are very reasonably priced and offer great support.
    The Divi theme they launched is brilliant for techies as well as novices.
    For images that are free for personal and commercial use is a pretty good site.

  5. I know here may not be the right place to ask this questions but I wish to be pardoned.
    The problem is , I downloaded (cloned) my live site with duplicator because I want to redesign it locally. But when I try to install it locally in USBServer it doesn’t work. If I run the installer.php and “test connection” it can’t find the server. But when I try to install in WAMPServer, it works. Observation: when server is “localhost” it works but when server is like “local host:8080” or “” as used in USBServer and similar portable server’ it doesn’t work. Is there any way to get rid of that. I need portable Server because I use different PCs at different times each day so I news to move my work to each of the systems at anytime easily. Any help will be highly appreciated.

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