Tag - Business

7 Best Virtual Business Phone Number Apps in 2019 (w/ Free Options)


Managing business phone calls from your personal phone number can become very annoying, and it takes away your privacy. Not to mention it doesn’t scale as you hire more people.

This is why many new and established business owners use virtual business phone number apps to get a custom phone number for their business.

A virtual business phone number allows you to use the same number on laptops, mobile phone, desktop handsets, and more. You can easily forward calls, record voice messages, and share the same number among employees.

You can quickly and easily setup a virtual business phone number without any technical knowledge. All you have to do is download the app on your phone or computer, and you can get started.

In this article, we’ll share our pick of the best virtual business phone number apps for small businesses (including free and unlimited options).

Best virtual phone number apps for businesses

When Do You Need a Virtual Business Phone Number?

Whether you run a small business website or an eCommerce store, offering customers a fast way to contact you will help you grow your business.

Most businesses now have an online presence, and customers need multiple ways to reach out.

While communication tools like business email, live chat, or text messages can be useful, nothing beats the personal human connection of hearing an actual human on the other end of the line.

Normally, businesses believe that having a landline number is quite enough. However, they soon realize how ineffective the traditional landlines are when it comes to handling business and customer calls.

And you definitely don’t want to make the mistake of using your personal phone number for business.

This is where a virtual business phone number app can help. It gives you the following benefits over the traditional land and mobile phone numbers.

  • You can use it on your phone with mobile apps, laptops, desk phone, and other devices
  • One number can be shared by different employees at the same time
  • Call routing, waiting, ring tones, vacation responses, business hours can all be managed via the app
  • Voice messages, text messaging, call to email transcription, and cheaper local/international phone calls are just the cherry on top

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best virtual business phone apps that you can use.

1. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva is the top virtual business phone number service provider on the market. They make it super easy to manage your virtual phone number using their app on your desktop / laptop computer, mobile phone, tablets, or a desk phone.

You can even keep your local number and use it with Nextiva to get HD voice calling over VoIP. They also allow you to get virtual business phone numbers for different geographic locations.

Nextiva has a powerful set of features included in each plan like call forwarding/routing, auto attendant, receptionist, voice mail to email, call queuing, unlimited calls, and call analytics.

Pricing: Starting from $20 per user each month.

2. RingCental

RingCentral

RingCentral is another powerful virtual phone number app provider for small businesses. They offer virtual phone numbers for any region in the US and Canada, toll-free 800 numbers, voice mail, fax, call forwarding, caller tones, and more.

They have easy to use apps for mobile phones to manage all your business calls on the go. You can also share the number with team members, setup auto call routing, create call flows, and ensure that your customers get all the answers they need.

Apart from virtual phone features, RingCentral also offers video meetings with screen sharing, free call minutes, and integrations with popular CRM software, Dropbox, Microsoft, and Amazon cloud services.

Pricing Starting from $19.99 per user per month.

3. Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper provides an easy virtual phone number service for startups and small businesses. It comes with a mobile app that allows you to manage your business phone system on any device and from any location.

They offer virtual business numbers, vanity numbers, local numbers for different regions, 800 and 833 toll-free numbers to choose from.

You can keep business and personal calls separate with the same device and never miss a call. Grasshopper combines all essential features in one package with call forwarding, voice mail, business texting, business VoIP and WiFi calling, automated greeting, and more.

Pricing: Starting from $26 per month for 1 number and 3 extensions.

4. Phone.com

Phone.com

Phone.com is another great option to get a virtual business phone system. They offer affordable business phone services for startups, soloprenuers, and small businesses.

They also offer cheaper call rates to some European countries and Canada by counting those as local call minutes. From features perspective, you get mobile apps, call forwarding/routing, virtual assistant, IVR menus, text messaging, fax, and more.

They offer pay per minute plans which allows you to pay less based on your usage. However, it can easily get very expensive as your business needs grow.

Pricing: Pay per minute plans starting from $12.99 per month. Unlimited plans starting from $29.99 / month per extension.

5. Google Voice (Free)

Google Voice

If you are looking for a free virtual business phone app, then Google Voice would be the best option for you. If you are already using G Suite, then you can integrate it with all other Google Apps you are already using for your business.

Individual users and soloprenuers can use the personal plan to get a virtual phone number and call anywhere in the US and Canada for free.

However, the personal plan does not give you access to many of the business phone features included in their business plan such as auto-attendant, desk phone support, etc.

Pricing: Free for personal use. Paid plans start from $10 per user/per month.

6. eVoice

eVoice

eVoice is a popular business phone company offering international coverage, particularly in the United Kingdom. They offer business phone system, virtual numbers, toll-free numbers, and local numbers for different regions.

Their plans include call management tools, virtual receptionist, outbound calling app, conference calling and more. You can get custom phone numbers for UK, EU, Canada, USA, and many other countries.

You can choose from multiple plans each comes with a different number of users you can add, and set of call minutes. Call forwarding rates are different based on your location and the number you are forwarding to.

Pricing: Starting from £7.50 per month for 1 user.

7. FreshCaller

Freshcaller

Freshcaller is an easy to use virtual business phone app provider. Suitable for small and growing businesses, they offer reasonably priced plans to fit all budgets including a pay per minute plan with unlimited agents.

You can get international numbers, toll-free numbers, use the existing number, mask local number with a virtual number, or choose a vanity number.

It includes all the usual features you need like call management tools, business hours, mobile apps, shared lines, call waiting, SIP connections, and more. Some plans allow you to keep using your local carrier which is useful if you cannot port your local number or the local carrier offers better call rates.

Pricing Pay Per Minute or $19 per agent per month

We hope this article helped you find the best virtual business phone app for your business. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address, and the best email marketing services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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25 Best Free WordPress Business Themes of 2019 (Expert Pick)


Are you looking for the best free WordPress business themes?

WordPress repository has thousands of free themes for all kinds of businesses. However, with so many choices it can become quite overwhelming to find the perfect theme.

For most business websites, you want a theme that looks good, is easy to customize, and helps you grow your business.

In this article, we have handpicked some of the best free WordPress business themes for you to choose from. All these themes are optimized for performance and are mobile-friendly.

Best free WordPress business themes

Creating a Business Website with WordPress

WordPress is the most popular website builder to make a business website.

There are two kinds of WordPress websites available. WordPress.com, which is a restricted hosting platform and WordPress.org, which is the popular WordPress platform you’ve heard of.

Related: Difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (Full comparison)

We recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org for your website. It gives you access to all WordPress features out of the box.

To build a website, you will need to get a domain name and web hosting.

A domain name is your website’s address that your users will type in their browsers to access your site (for example, wpbeginner.com). On the other hand, web hosting is where you will store all your website files.

We recommend using Bluehost because they are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

For more recommendations, see our guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.

After purchasing web hosting, you can follow our guide on how to make a business website for step by step set up instructions.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best free WordPress business themes that you can use.

1. Astra

Astra

Astra is a popular multi-purpose WordPress theme. It comes with dozens of starter sites including multiple demos for business websites.

It is fully customizable and makes it super easy to change its colors, background, fonts, and other options. Astra works great with any of the top page builders which makes it easier to create your own custom layouts when needed.

2. OceanWP

OceanWP

OceanWP is a free WordPress business theme designed to make any kind of website. It comes with several pre-built demos that you can use to quickly launch your business website.

The theme is eCommerce ready to start an online store in a few clicks. It has the fastest page load time and built-in SEO features to boost your website traffic.

3. Neve

Neve

Neve is a lightweight WordPress multi-purpose theme suitable for small business websites and eCommerce stores.

It has a minimalist layout with beautiful colors and advanced typography. It integrates with popular page builders like Beaver Builder for easy customization.

4. Guten Theme

Guten Theme

Guten Theme is a Gutenberg ready WordPress theme that you can use to create your business website. It comes with support for extra Gutenberg blocks that you can use to build beautiful layouts for your website.

It also works well with drag and drop page builders to give you even more customization options. It’s highly optimized for speed and performance.

5. Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is a powerful WordPress business theme. It comes with a full-width image slider, custom logo, unlimited color options, and access to all Google Fonts. Other notable features include sticky navigation menu, header image, and parallax scrolling.

6. Mesmerize

Mesmerize

Mesmerize is a super-flexible WordPress multi-purpose theme built for business websites. It is beginner-friendly and comes with tons of options that let you make a website without writing any code or CSS. The homepage features a business website design, which includes 5 header styles and over 30 ready-to-use content sections. It also supports video backgrounds, slideshows, header content types, gradient overlays, and more.

7. Zelle

Zelle

Zelle is a one-page WordPress theme designed with a professional layout for business websites. It has parallax scrolling, custom backgrounds, mega menus, and 1-click demo content importer to get started right away. The Zelle theme is also compatible with all popular page builders to help you easily create custom page templates.

8. Bento

Bento

Bento is a user-friendly WordPress theme built with several professional layouts, including a template for your business website.

It’s packed with features like multiple page templates, custom widgets, vector icons, unlimited color combinations, and Google Fonts. You can use the WordPress customizer to customize your website with a live preview.

9. Hestia

Hestia

Hestia is a free WordPress theme perfect for business websites. It comes with a companion plugin that adds client testimonials and services section on the homepage.

It is compatible with popular page builder plugins and offers out of the box support for WooCommerce. Hestia is easy to set up using the live theme customizer.

10. Affluent

Affluent

Affluent is a free WordPress theme well-suited for corporate and business websites. With a minimal and professional layout, it features custom post types for homepage slider, content blocks, and testimonial rotator. It integrates with popular WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, and WPML to extend the functionality.

11. Foodica

Foodica

If you’re looking for a free WordPress theme for your food-related business, then Foodica would be a perfect choice. It offers a spacious layout with white background that makes your content and images popout.

This theme has multiple navigation menus, image slider, social sharing icons, and featured content section on the homepage. It’s easy to customize with WordPress live customizer.

12. Avant

Avant

Avant is a free and modern WordPress business theme to quickly make professional-looking websites. It gives you complete control to select the layouts for your pages and blog.

You can also customize the layout settings to adjust the spacing in the header, footer, and widget areas. It is multilingual ready and supports WooCommere out of the box.

13. Total

Total

Total is a beautiful and free WordPress theme for business websites. It comes with a flexible homepage layout with different areas to add slider, contact form, progress bar, portfolio, team section, testimonials, and a blog section.

It includes multiple widget-ready areas and full customizer support to change theme settings. It is also WooCommerce ready and can be used to create a multilingual website.

14. Hueman

Hueman

Hueman is a free and multi-purpose WordPress business theme. It is highly customizable and comes with easy to use options panel. It has multiple layout choices, including single, two, or three column layouts. Hueman offers two navigation menu locations and social media menu built right into the theme.

15. Poseidon

Poseidon

Poseidon is a minimal WordPress theme with a beautiful spacious layout. It can be used as a simple blog theme, a business website, and even as an online magazine. It allows you to build a homepage layout using custom widgets. You can use the WordPress theme customizer to change colors, fonts, and background.

16. Customizr

Customizr

Customizr is one of the most popular and highly customizable WordPress business themes. It is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. It comes with a featured slider, multiple page templates, layout choices, and colors. This theme has an attractive full-width custom background image to leave a stunning first impression.

17. Make

Make

Make is a page builder friendly WordPress theme with drag and drop functionality that allows you to build your business website quickly. It comes with multiple layout choices and fully responsive design. It also includes full-width banners and image galleries to showcase your business portfolio.

18. Vantage

Vantage

Vantage is a free and flexible WordPress business theme that can be used for almost any kind of website. It is highly customizable by using the page builder plugins. You can use the drag and drop functionality to customize the layout quickly.

It is optimized for performance and can also be used to eCommerce websites.

19. Colorway

Colorway

Colorway is a stylish WordPress business theme with easy to use features and options. It comes with a custom background, multiple layout choices, Google analytics support, and more. You can also import demo content to set up the theme and then replace the text and images to get started right away.

20. Pinnacle

Pinnacle

Pinnacle is a bold WordPress theme offering a flat design with fully responsive layout. It features a full-width header background image with custom logo and navigation menu. Pinnacle also supports WooCommerce to extend your business site into an eCommerce store.

21. Spacious

Spacious

Spacious is a free WordPress business theme with a minimalist and refreshing layout. It comes with an image slider, custom widgets, and homepage sections for featured content.

It also includes boxed and wide layout choices, blog page template, and several other page layouts. You can choose between lighter or darker color schemes for the website and use it with any page builder plugin of your choice.

22. Moesia

Moesia

Moesia is a responsive WordPress business theme with full parallax support. It comes with pre-defined blocks that you can use to build your homepage. Each block can have its own parallax background, which creates a beautiful experience for your users.

23. Engrave Lite

Engrave Lite

Engrave Lite is a powerful WordPress business theme. It showcases a full-width image slider and custom sections on the homepage.

It has multiple navigation menus, widget-ready areas, support for eCommerce plugins, and easy customization options. It is quick to set up without struggling with too many options.

24. Full Frame

Full Frame

As the name suggests, Full Frame is a full-width WordPress theme for business websites. It comes with a built-in featured content slider, call to action button, custom widgets, and multiple page layouts.

The theme supports WooCommerce to convert your business website into an online store.

25. Minamaze

Minamaze

Minamaze is a minimal WordPress business theme. It has a beautiful combination of black and white colors for the background, fonts, and borders. The theme has a full-width slider, 2 navigation menus, and a custom logo. It is highly optimized for SEO to grow your website traffic.

We hope this article helped you find the best free WordPress business theme for your website. You may also want to check out our expert pick of the best email marketing services and best business phone services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Choose the Best Business VoIP Provider in 2019 (Compared)


Are you looking to choose a business VoIP provider but not sure which one is right for your needs?

VoIP is a term used for business phone service which allows you to use advanced call management features on your computer or mobile device.

Unlike the old school bulky phone setup, business VOIP is a perfect phone solution for small businesses. You can cut down phone costs while enjoying all the powerful tools to grow your business.

In this article, we will explain what is business VoIP, and how to choose the best business VoIP provider for your company. Since we had to choose a VoIP provider for our own business, we will also share our best VoIP phone providers for small and growing businesses.

Best business VoIP services compared

What is VoIP?

VoIP or Voice over IP is a term used to describe internet phone service. Unlike a traditional phone service which uses the landline, VoIP services use the internet to receive and make calls.

Benefits of using VoIP

Following are just some of the benefits of using a business VoIP phone system:

  • You can receive calls using computers, VoIP phonesets, and even cell phone.
  • You can share one number with several employees.
  • You can easily track call duration, hold times, wait times, and overall usage.
  • Most business VoIP services come with call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call routing, and more.
  • You can use the same number anywhere you want.
  • It gives you a business phone number, so you don’t have to share your personal cellphone number with clients.
  • Business VoIP offers cheaper local and international calls.

The business VoIP technology offers a lot of flexibility and freedom, and it has made it easy for businesses of all sizes to have a business phone number. Whether you’re a small 1 person company, a growing 10 people team, or established business with over 100+ people, you can use business VoIP.

However if you don’t choose the best business VoIP provider, then you can run into some serious challenges.

For example, the voice quality on VoIP calls varies depending on the internet connection and the service provider you’re using. Unlike landlines, you’ll loose VoIP connection during a power outage or internet disruption, but this shouldn’t impact most small businesses if you’re well prepared.

Having said that, let’s discuss when is the right time to start thinking about a business VoIP solution.

Does Your Business Need VoIP Business Phone Solution?

In any business, giving people a way to contact you is helpful in building trust and boost your sales.

When starting a website, most business owners add a contact form, which makes it easy for users to contact you via email.

However depending on the industry, sometimes customers may prefer more instant communication.

This is why many businesses offer live chat or phone number on their websites. Giving users more than one way to communicate with your business can improve customer support and result in more sales.

Whether you run an online store to sell products or a business website to sell services, a VoIP based business phone service can help you grow your business without the high costs.

Your website visitors can easily call you to request a quote, ask a pre-sale question, or even request support.

In short, business VoIP phone enables you to better manage and track your calls, collect customer information, and build stronger relationships with your customers.

How to Choose The Best VoIP Service Your Business

There are a lot of large companies offering business VoIP services, and it’s a very competitive space. The abundance of choices and highly competitive nature of advertising makes it difficult for business owners to choose the best VoIP provider for their business.

If you are just starting out, then you may be looking for the cheapest VoIP business phone service. However, you need to be careful when going down this route because they may lack certain features, which you’d later discover to be essential for your business.

Then there are some business VoIP services that are not easy to implement, transfer, or simply too expensive.

When comparing business VoIP providers for our business, we looked for a balance of features and reasonable cost. Here’s a quick checklist that we used:

  • Cost of local vs international calls. Most business VoIP services offer different plans for international calls. You need to choose a provider based on the geographic location of your customers.
  • Features available in the VoIP plans. Many companies offer different features while some sell them as separate add-ons which would increase your costs.
  • Mobile apps and features that you can share among multiple users.
  • Third-party integrations that you can use to connect your VoIP service to other tools like your CRM software, email marketing service, and more.

That being said, let’s take a look at our pick of the best business VoIP providers.

1. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva is the best business VoIP service on the market. We can say this confidently because while researching for a VoIP service for our own business, we ended up choosing Nextiva.

Their business VoIP service offers all the essential features needed by a growing business including call routing, free domestic calling, voicemail to email and text, online fax, and more.

Other standard features include free number porting, caller ID, call forwarding, custom greetings, hold music, and more.

They also offer a free local or toll-free number with their plans.

We were able to quickly setup professional sounding welcome message with directory and phone routing which helps make our small business compete with the big guys.

What we really liked about Nextiva was their support team was extremely helpful from pre-sales all the way to onboarding and setup.

Even though we didn’t need any fancy desk phone sets, they gave us a full demo and showed us how we can easily use Nextiva with traditional desk phones or conference phones as our business grows.

The best part was they went above and beyond even though we’re a relatively small customer for them considering they help large businesses like Taco Bell, Ashleys Furniture, Conan, and others.

Pricing: Starts from $20 / per user / per month. Unlike other business VoIP providers, they don’t require annual contracts. However you can get discounts on buying pre-paid packages, and you can also get lower rates when you add more users to your plan.

2. RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral is another excellent business VoIP provider. With RingCentral, you get all the standard feature you would expect from a reliable business VoIP provider like call forwarding, advanced routing, call waiting, caller ID, hold music, and more.

They offer easy integrations with third-party services like Dropbox, G Suite, Salesforce, and more.

Other notable features include online meetings, video calls, screen sharing, conferencing, and an easy to use web-based administration panel.

We first discovered RingCentral organically because they are very well known and a fairly large company in the business VoIP space. While their feature offering is great, their pricing is a bit on the higher end unless you sign the annual contract.

Pricing: Starting from $34.99 / per user every month for the first user. Their monthly pricing drops significantly when you add the second user to $24.99 per user every month. You can also save 40% by switching to the annual plan.

3. GrassHopper

Grasshopper

GrassHopper is a popular business VoIP service suitable for startups and growing businesses.

They offer virtual phone numbers over VoIP platform, allowing call forwarding to any numbers or devices. The downside is that you’ll need a landline for outgoing calls.

They offer all the features you will expect like call waiting, forwarding, hold music, advanced routing, voicemail to email, and more. You can manage it from a computer using your web browser or mobile phone apps.

It works with local, toll-free, vanity numbers, and you can choose from the US, Canada, or UK based numbers.

Pricing: Starting from $29 per month with 1 number and up to 3 extensions. They offer a 10% discount if you sign an annual contract.

4. Phone.com

Phone.com

Phone.com is another popular choice among small business VoIP service providers. They include many European countries and Canada in their local call minutes. If you are operating in those locations, then it could be a cheap business VoIP service for your needs.

Their service includes call forwarding, routing, waiting, custom greetings and music, conferencing, and more. You can also integrate your VoIP plan to popular CRM software like Salesforce or Zoho.

Pricing: Starting from $12.99 per month with 300 monthly minutes. Their unlimited plan starts at $29.99 per month per user extension.

5. Vonage

Vonage

Vonage is famous for offering residential VoIP however they also offer business VoIP services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as enterprise clients. They offer a wide range of business communication tools including VoIP.

It includes all the usual features such as call forwarding and routing, caller ID, waiting, and more. Apart from that, they also offer team messaging and chat, conference calling, CRM integration, automatic call attendant, call recording, and more.

They offer different plans each with different features and limitations.

Pricing: Their base plan starts from $19.99 per month per line.

Which is the Business VoIP Provider for You?

Above we have shared the best business VoIP providers in the market today. Each of them offer a slightly different product and service at different prices.

When looking for a business VoIP solution for our company, we did extensive research to compare each of these companies, their ratings on top user review websites, and even what their employees were saying about them.

At the end, we ended up choosing Nextiva for our business.

We recommend using Nextiva as the best business VoIP provider. Their plans are suitable for businesses of all sizes with an impressive set of features and great customer service.

They offer fair pricing, do not require annual contracts, and their customer service is top-notch.

RingCentral came as a close second. They offered a lot of the same features, but at the end it came down to pricing where Nextiva clearly won.

We hope this article helped you find the best business VoIP provider for your business. You may also want to see our list of most useful tools to manage and grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Create a Free Business Email Address in 5 Minutes (Step by Step)


Do you want to create a professional business email address for free? A business email address uses your company name instead of the generic gmail or yahoo account. In this article, we will show you how to easily create a free business email address in less than 5 minutes.

How to Create a Free Business Email Address

What is a Business Email Address and Why You Need it?

A professional business email address has your company name instead of the generic gmail or yahoo account, for example: john@stargardening.com

Most beginners use generic free business email accounts without a domain name which isn’t very professional. For example: john.smith2019@gmail.com or jsmithfromstargardening@yahoo.com.

Since anyone can create these generic email accounts, it becomes harder for customers and other businesses to trust such email addresses as legitimate business email accounts.

Below are the top 4 reasons why you need a professional email address for your business:

  • A custom business email address looks more professional.
  • It is also short and easy to remember.
  • A professional business email address helps you earn customer’s trust as a legitimate business.
  • Sending emails with your own business name allows you to promote your brand with each email you send.

The best part is that you can get your own custom business email address for free, which means there is no excuse for not getting it.

If you want your customers and other businesses to take you seriously, then you need to start using a professional business email address, immediately.

What Do You Need to Create a Business Email Address?

You will need to have domain name and a website to create a free business email address.

After that, you will need an email service provider to handle your business emails.

There are a few different solutions that you can use to create a professional business email address.

We will show you two different methods, and you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

The first method is free and fairly easy to setup whereas the second method has a small fee, but it offers a lot more features.

Method 1. Creating a Business Email Address for Free

This method is easy and available to almost everyone who has a website. It allows you to create a business email address for free.

When creating a small business website, you will need to buy a domain and signup for web hosting.

What most beginners don’t know is that many WordPress hosting companies offer free business email features as part of the package.

Normally, a domain name costs 14.99 per year and website hosting starts from $7.99 per month. If you were to use a paid email service, then you can add another $5 per email account.

Luckily, Bluehost, one of the largest WordPress hosting company in the world, has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% off discount on hosting.

This means you can start your business website for $2.75 per month (and it comes with a free business email address).

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Deal ←

Here is the complete step by step instructions to create your free business email address with Bluehost.

Step 1. Setup your Business Address (Domain Name)

First, you need to visit the Bluehost website and click on the green ‘Get Started Now’ button.

Bluehost get started button

This will bring you to a pricing page where you need to click on the ‘Select’ button below the plan you want to use.

Basic and Plus plans are the most popular among small businesses who are just getting started.

Select plan

After selecting your plan, you will be asked to choose your domain name. You need to enter your business name and click on the ‘Next’ button.

Choose a domain name

Bluehost will now check to see if a domain name matching your business name is available. If it is not, then it will show you some alternative suggestions, or you can look for another domain name.

Here are some quick tips on choosing the perfect domain name for your business email address.

  • Always choose a .com domain name. See our article on the difference between .com vs .net domain names to learn more.
  • Keep your domain name short, easy to remember and pronounce.
  • Do not use numbers or hyphens in your domain name
  • Try using keywords and business location in your domain name to make it unique. For example, if stargardening.com is not available, then look for stargardeninghouston.com

For more tips, take a look at our guide on how to choose the best domain name for your business.

Choosing a good domain name is crucial for your business but don’t spend too much time on that, or you will never get past this step.

After choosing your domain name, you will need to add your account information and finalize the package info to complete the process.

On this screen, you will see optional extras that you can purchase. We don’t recommend choosing them at this time. If you need them, then you can always add them later from your account.

Finalize account information

Lastly, you need to enter your payment information to finish the purchase.

You will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel. This is where you manage everything including website management, business email accounts, and other settings.

Step 2. Creating Your Free Business Email Address

In your hosting account dashboard, you need to click on the ‘Email’ section and then click on ‘Add Email Account’ tab.

Add a new email account

Enter a username and password for your email account and then click on the ‘Create Account’ button.

Bluehost will now create the email account, and you will see a success message.

Step 3. Using Your Business Email Account

Now that you have created your free business email account, the next step is to learn how to use it to send and receive emails.

Under the ‘Email’ section on your hosting account, switch to the ‘Email Accounts’ tab. You will see your newly created email address listed there.

Manage your email account

You can click on the ‘Access webmail’ link and Bluehost will take you to a webmail interface. This is a good option if you don’t want to use an email client on your desktop or mobile.

The downside is that you will have to login to your hosting account each time you want to check your email. A better way is to click on connect devices and then click on “Set Up Mail Client” link.

Bluehost will show you the information needed to use your business email address with any mail client or app. You can use this information to setup your business email inOutlook, Gmail, or any Mail app for your mobile phone or desktop.

Note: the process of creating a business email is pretty much the same with other hosting companies that offer cPanel like SiteGround, HostGator, and InMotion Hosting.

Method 2. Creating a Business Email Address using G Suite

Google offers professional business email address with G Suite which includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar for businesses.

This method is not free, but it allows you to use Gmail for your professional business email with your own business name.

While there’s a small cost, it comes with many advantages:

  • You will be using Gmail’s familiar interface and apps to send and receive emails.
  • Google has far superior technology which ensures that your emails are delivered right away, and they don’t end up in spam folders.
  • Your website hosting company has shared server resources. This means they don’t want you to send too many emails. Gmail on the other hand will allow you to send up to 2000 emails per day.
    • We use G Suite for our business email address here at WPBeginner.

      That being said, let’s take a look at how to setup a business email address using G Suite.

      Step 1. Sign up for a G Suite Account

      G Suite basic plan costs $5 per user each month. It gives you access to Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and audio/video conferencing with 30 GB of cloud storage for each user.

      You will also need a domain name, which you can purchase during the signup. If you already have a domain name and a website, then you can use your existing domain with G Suite.

      To get started, simply visit the G Suite website and click on the get started button.

      Get started with G Suite

      On the next screen, you will be asked to enter your business name, the number of employees, and country where you are located. You can choose just yourself for 1 user account, or choose the number of employees.

      Enter business name and users

      Note: You will be charged for each user account, so it is better to start small. You can always add more users when needed.

      Click on the next button to continue.

      On the next step, you will be asked to enter your personal contact information including name and email address.

      Enter contact information

      After that, you will be asked to choose a domain name. If you already have a domain name, then click on ‘Yes I have one I can use’.

      If you don’t have a domain, then click on ‘No, I need one’ to register a domain name.

      Choose a domain name

      If you need to register a new domain name, then you will be charged separately for registering a new domain name. The cost of a domain name will be displayed on the screen and usually starts from $14.99.

      If you are using an existing domain name, then you will need to verify that you own that domain name. We will show you how to do that later in this article.

      After choosing your domain name, you will be asked to create your user account by entering a username and password.

      This username will also be your first business email address, so you need to choose a username that you want to use as your business email address.

      Create account

      After that, you will see a success message and a button to continue with the setup.

      Continue with the set up

      Step 2. Setting up Business Email with G Suite

      In this step, you will complete the G Suite setup by adding users and connecting it to your website or domain name.

      On the setup screen, you will be asked to add more people to your account. If you want to create more accounts for your employees or departments, then you can do that here.

      You can also just click on ‘I have added all user email addresses’ and click on the next button.

      Remember, you can always add more users to your account and create their email addresses later when needed.

      Add users

      If you are using G Suite with an existing domain name, then you will be asked to verify that you own that domain name. To do that, you will now see a HTML code snippet that you need to add to your website.

      Copy meta tag

      There are other ways to verify your ownership as well. You can upload a HTML file to your website using an FTP client or file manager app in your hosting account dashboard.

      If you don’t have a website, then you can use the MX Record method to verify your ownership of the domain name. You will see step by step instructions to do that once you choose this method.

      For the sake of this article, we are assuming that you already have a WordPress website, and we will show you how to add the verification HTML code snippet in WordPress.

      First, go to the admin area of your WordPress website to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footer plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footer page and paste the HTML code you copied from G Suite under the ‘Scripts in Header’ section.

      Site verification

      Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.

      Now switch back to your G Suite setup screen and click on the checkbox that says ‘I added the meta tag to my homepage’.

      Verify domain name

      After that, you will be asked to enter MX record entries for your domain name. We will show you how to do that in the next step.

      Step 3. Adding Domain MX Records

      Note: This section is for users with existing domain names and websites. If you registered a new domain name via Google, then you don’t need to read this.

      Domain names tell internet servers where to look for information. Since your domain name is not registered with Google, your emails will reach your domain name, but not to the Google servers.

      You will need to setup the right MX records on your domain name settings, so Google’s servers can send and receive emails for your business.

      To do that, you will need to login to your web hosting account, or your domain registrar account.

      In our article, we will show you how to add MX records in Bluehost, but the basic settings are the same on all hosts and domain registrars. Basically, you will be looking for DNS settings under your domain name.

      Login to your Bluehost hosting dashboard and click on ‘Domains’. On the next page, select your domain name and then click on the ‘Manage’ link next to DNS Zone Editor option.

      Domain name settings

      Bluehost will now open your DNS zone editor. You need to switch back to your G Suite setup screen and check the box that says ‘I have opened the control panel of my domain name’.

      G Suite MX records

      It will now show you the MX records that you need to enter. You will also see a link to the documentation which shows you how to add these records to dozens of hosting and domain services provider.

      Here is how you will add this information to your Bluehost DNS settings:

      Adding MX records in Bluehost

      Click on ‘Add Record’ button to save it. After that, repeat the process to add all five lines as MX records.

      Once you are finished, switch back to G Suite setup and check the box next to ‘I created the new MX records’.

      Created new MX records

      You will be asked to delete any existing MX records still pointing to your website hosting or domain name registrar.

      To do this, you need to switch back to your DNS zone editor and scroll down to the MX records section. You will see the MX records you created earlier along with an older MX record still pointing to your website.

      Delete old MX records

      Click on the delete button next to the old MX record to delete it.

      After that, switch back to the G Suite setup screen and check the box that says ‘I deleted existing MX records’.

      Save MX records

      You will now be asked to save your MX records. For some providers, once you add MX records they are already saved, for others you may need to manually save MX records.

      Once you have saved MX records, check the box that says ‘I have saved MX records’ in G Suite setup.

      Verify domain and setup email

      After that you need to click on ‘Verify domain and setup email’ button to exit the setup wizard.

      Step 4. Managing email in G Suite

      G Suite makes it super easy to manage your email account. You can simply visit the Gmail website to check your email or use the official Gmail apps on your phone to send and receive emails.

      You will need to sign in using your business email address as your username.

      To create more business email addresses simply go to the G Suite Admin console. From here you can add new users, make payments, and adjust your G Suite account settings.

      G Suite admin control panel

      Business Email Address FAQs

      Following are some of the most commonly asked questions by our users regarding business email addresses and how to use them.

      1. Can I create more custom email addresses for my business for free?

      If you are using Bluehost, then yes you can go ahead and create more email accounts for free (You get 5 email accounts with basic and unlimited accounts with plus and choice plus plans).

      If you are using G Suite, then you can create email aliases which are separate addresses for the same email account. However, if you want to add a different email account or a new employee, then you will be charged based on your plan.

      2. Can I create free business email without domain?

      No, you cannot create a free business email account without a domain. You can create a free email account with Gmail or Hotmail, but it will not use your business name, so it will not be considered a business email address by customers and other businesses.

      3. Can I use desktop and mobile email apps with my custom branded email address?

      Yes, you can use your business email address with any desktop or mobile email apps. Most of these apps can automatically figure out mail settings. You can also get these settings from Bluehost or G Suite documentation.

      4. Can I switch my free business email account to another provider if needed?

      Yes, you can switch to any other email service, website hosting, or domain registrar and take your business email address with you.

      5. What are some business email address examples that I should use?

      It depends on your business needs. For example:

    • You can create a custom branded email for yourself or individual employees like: john@stargardening.com
    • You can set up a business email account for departments like sales, support, HR, etc. sales@stargardening.com
    • 6. Can I create a free business email address without making a website?

      Yes, you can. However, you’ll still need to pay for website hosting because you get the email service and domain name for free with your hosting package.

      Once you have signed up, you can choose a domain and then just create your email address.

      That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to create a free business email address or create a professional business address with G Suite. You may also want to see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending emails issue.

      If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

      The post How to Create a Free Business Email Address in 5 Minutes (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business Compared (2019)


Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2019? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?

Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. In this article, we will review the 7 best email marketing services for small businesses.

Best email marketing services compared

Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.

This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers.

Not convinced on email marketing? See these 6 reasons why building an email list is so important today.

It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.

If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer features and terrible deliverability (which causes you to lose even more money).

A good email marketing service enables you to create highly engaging emails. It also allows you to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email campaigns.

Most importantly, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.

You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.

Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.

Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing to maximize your open rate.

Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.

Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small businesses to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.

For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.

Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit-card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.

WPBeginner users can use our Constant Contact coupon code to get an additional 20% off.

2. Drip

Drip

Drip is a powerful email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation and personalization easy.

They offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.

What sets Drip apart from the competition is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, list groups, and a visual workflow builder. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.

Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.

We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to connect, engage, and relate to every customer on a personal level with smarter eCommerce marketing automation.

We believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced tools.

Drip offers a free account for up to 100 subscribers. After that their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.

ConvertKit allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails.

With ConvertKit, you can easily segment contacts into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel personal.

ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning material.

A lot of ConvertKit features are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.

ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day refund policy.

4. AWeber

AWeber

AWeber is one of oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.

Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress. For detailed instructions, see our ultimate guide on how to connect AWeber to WordPress.

You get access to ready to use email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights.

Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.

AWeber offers a 30-day free trial. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.

5. SendinBlue

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe.

It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop tools are perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.

SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send email using their AI algorithms.

SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding. Paid plans start from $25 per month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.

6. GetResponse

GetResponse

GetResponse is another very popular email marketing solution. It is extremely easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses and absolute beginners.

It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns.

With their drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send content designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective campaigns to boost your profits.

GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders. It also integrates with third party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.

Support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning material including videos, webinars, how-tos, guides, etc.

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Their pricing starts at $15/month.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.

Mailchimp comes with an easy email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also allows you to setup delivery times based on user’s timezones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.

You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms. If you are using WordPress, then see our ultimate guide to using Mailchimp and WordPress for detailed instructions.

When it comes to marketing automation features, Mailchimp platform is quite limited when compared to other providers in our list such as Drip or ConvertKit.

In the recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not truly advanced.

Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorials knowledge-base.

Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only, and you may find it not as helpful.

Their paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.

Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service

There are dozens of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:

If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their top-notch support and onboarding will help you find success with email marketing.

If you run an online store or want something more advanced, then we recommend using Drip. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own businesses use Drip, and we will be switching the WPBeginner website to use Drip as well in 2019.

If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.

Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!

Once you have picked an email marketing service for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.

We use and recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.

OptinMonster

OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing service that we mentioned above and dozens more.

WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built this toolkit to help grow our own email list, but since then it has tremendously grown in popularity.

Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.

We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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24 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Business Websites in 2019


Looking for the best WordPress plugins to take your business to the next level in 2019?

There are over 54,226 WordPress plugins that you can choose from. This makes it extremely overwhelming for new users to find the right plugin for their website.

We are often asked by readers for the best WordPress plugin suggestions for SEO, social media, backups, speed, etc.

Being the largest WordPress resource site, our experts test over thousand free and premium WordPress plugins every year, so we can make it easy for our users (you) to find the best solutions.

Having the right set of WordPress plugins and tools can help you grow your online business. In this article, we have shared our expert pick of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites in 2019.

Must have WordPress plugin for business websites

Note: these are the plugins that our team installs when we start a new blog or make a new website for our own businesses.

1. WPForms

WPForms

Every website needs a contact form because it makes it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you. WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.

This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms, user registration forms, surveys, polls, and basically all other types of online forms with just a few clicks.

WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.

We use it on WPBeginner and all of our other websites, but we’re not alone. Over 1 million websites use WPForms, and they have consistently maintained a 4.9 out of 5 star rating average for over 2 years now.

There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution.

If you are a seriously looking to grow your business, then we recommend getting the Pro version because it comes with all the powerful features you need to boost your lead generation efforts. Use this WPForms coupon to get 50% off your purchase.

2. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to “properly” connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can see exactly how people find and use your website.

The best part is that it shows you all the important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can then optimize your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue. We have detailed guides on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress, how to use Google Analytics to enable eCommerce tracking, and how to track user engagement.

MonsterInsights has a free version, but the true power of it only unlocks when you upgrade to the Pro version.

You can use our MonsterInsights coupon to get 50% off your purchase.

MonsterInsights is used by over 2 million websites.

3. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

SEO helps you get more visitors from search engines to your website. While WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box, there is so much more you can do to increase your website traffic using SEO best practices.

Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress plugin of all time. It is a comprehensive WordPress SEO solution with all the features and tools that you need to improve your on-page SEO.

It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.

For complete SEO setup on your website, follow our ultimate WordPress SEO tutorial for beginners with step by step instructions.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Email is the most effective and most reliable marketing tool at your disposal as a business owner. It allows you to stay in touch with your users even after they leave your website. This is why we recommend every business owner to start building an email list right away.

Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world.

Their platform allows you to build an email lists and send beautiful email newsletters to your subscribers.

It is quick and easy setup for non techy users. It also works well with popular lead generation plugins for WordPress like OptinMonster and WPForms.

Alternatives: Drip and ConvertKit are good alternatives if you want something more advanced, but they are more pricey.

5. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software in the market. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.

This WordPress plugin and application helps you get more email subscribers, fast.

OptinMonster comes with pre-made high-converting opt-in forms that you can easily customize with their drag & drop builder. Their powerful display targeting features allow you to personalize the campaigns for each user, so you can show the right message at the right time.

It’s a great solution for bloggers, business websites, and eCommerce websites. Basically if you want to make more money from your website traffic, then you need OptinMonster.

It helps you recover abandoned cart sales, convert website visitors, and grow your email list. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.

We use OptinMonster on WPBeginner and our other websites.

6. Sucuri

Sucuri

Security should be a top priority for all online business owners. Sucuri offers a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.

They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then you need to add one today.

To learn more on how to strengthen the security of your website and protect your business, see our ultimate WordPress security guide with step by step instructions for beginners.

Sucuri help us block hundreds of thousands of attacks every month on WPBeginner.

7. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin on the market. It allows you to set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email, and more.

It also makes it super easy to restore your website from a backup. Their base plugin is free, but they also have a paid plan with extra features and priority support.

Alternative: BackupBuddy and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) are also excellent solutions, but they are paid only.

8. WP Rocket

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly improve your WordPress website speed and performance with no technical skills required.

It automatically turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading. You can also turn on optional features like lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and more to further improve page load times.

This is by far the easiest and most beginner friendly caching plugin. The only downside is that it’s paid only.

Alternative: WP Super Cache is free, but it’s not as powerful or easy.

9. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is the best drag and drop page builder for WordPress. It allows you to easily customize your website design and create custom page layouts without writing any code.

Business owners love it because it lets them create completely custom landing pages within minutes without having to hire a developer.

Alternative: Divi plugin is a great alternative.

10. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress allows you to build online communities and membership sites using WordPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin in the market.

You can create subscriptions and restrict content to users based on their subscription plans. It works with all popular payment solutions and plays nicely with online stores using WooCommerce. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a membership website in WordPress.

11. CSS Hero

CSS Hero

WordPress themes rely on CSS for the visual appearance of your website. If you want to make customization to your theme, then you will have to learn CSS. This can be time-consuming for a business owner.

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing a single line of code. Check out our review of how CSS Hero makes WordPress customization easy for more information.

It’s not a drag & drop page builder like BeaverBuilder that helps you build custom layouts. Rather it helps you customize any WordPress theme available in the market within minutes to match your needs.

12. SeedProd

SeedProd

SeedProd is the best WordPress maintenance mode and coming soon page plugin that helps you collect leads and grow your followers even when your website is not available.

If your site is under construction, then you can use it to create beautiful coming soon landing pages. It includes features like integration with your email marketing services, countdown timer, social media integration, and dozens of templates to choose from.

13. LearnDash

LearnDash

LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin to create and sell online courses from your WordPress website. It has a drag and drop course builder that allows you to quickly add lessons, quizzes, and assignments to build your course.

For detailed step by step instructions, see our guide on how to create online courses in WordPress using LearnDash.

14. G Suite

G Suite

G Suite is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful set of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free.

It allows you to save costs on software licenses, hardware, hiring IT staff, managing backups, and more. Most importantly it allows you to use professional email addresses with your own business domain name right inside Gmail.

15. SEMRush

SEMRush

SEMRush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals and business owners. It comes with powerful tools to help you improve your SEO, paid traffic strategy, social media, and content & PR strategy.

It also helps you gather competitive intelligence on your competitors, so you can outrank them and dominate your industry.

It helps you do keyword research, backlink audit, track brand mentions, spy on competitors, discover best-performing posts on social media, ad strategy analysis, and more.

These short paragraphs are not enough to describe the true power of SEMRush. It’s a must have tool in our list for serious business owners.

Alternative: Ahrefs is an excellent alternative.

16. LiveChat

LiveChat

LiveChat Inc is the best live chat support software for businesses and e-commerce websites. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly add live chat on your WordPress website.

It has tons of customization options, and it comes with a mobile app, so you can stay connected while on the go.

It integrates with your existing support software, CRM, email marketing, and other tools. Most importantly, it loads fast and offers a great user experience.

17. Pretty Links Pro

Pretty Links Pro

Pretty Links Pro is one of the best link management plugins for WordPress. It allows you to easily manage affiliate links while making it easy make your affiliate links short and memorable for sharing.

It is the perfect tool for affiliate marketers, podcasters, business owners, and others who want to easily create short URLs in WordPress.

18. Shared Counts

Shared Counts

Shared Counts is the best WordPress social media plugin that allows you to easily add beautiful social sharing buttons on your website.

It also shows share counts, which helps you add social proof to your website.

While there are many paid solutions available, this free plugin beats them all in code quality and performance.

We use SharedCount on a lot of our website because it offers an easy out of the box solution for both beginners and developers.

19. WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP

By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails. The problem is that either WordPress hosting companies don’t have this feature setup properly, or they block it to prevent abuse.

This basically means that you and your users may not receive important email notifications from your WordPress site.

WP Mail SMTP solves this problem by sending WordPress emails using a proper SMTP mail server. To learn more, see our article on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

20. Insert Headers and Footers

Insert Headers and Footers

While managing your WordPress site, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress header or footer for verification, inserting ad retargeting scripts, etc.

Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files. Take a look at our tutorial on how to add header and footer code in WordPress.

This free plugin is extremely handy for business owners.

21. TablePress

TablePress

For a long time WordPress editor didn’t have an option to create tables in your posts or pages. The new WordPress block editor comes with a table block, but it lacks many features.

TablePress solves this problem by allowing you to add beautiful tables to your website. It keeps your table data separate from your posts and pages which means you can embed the table anywhere and update it from one single location.

Most importantly, you don’t have to write any HTML or CSS. See our guide on how to easily create tables in WordPress.

22. WPML

WPML

By default, WordPress does not allow you to easily create a multilingual website. This is a challenge for businesses who cater to a multi-lingual customer base in different geographic locations.

This is where you’ll need WPML. It is a WordPress multi-lingual plugin that allows you to easily create multi-lingual websites with WordPress.

It is very easy to use, SEO friendly, and helps you easily create content in different languages.

23. WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress used by over 4 million websites.

It comes with all the powerful features that you need to create an online store.

Over the last few years, WooCommerce has established itself as the most dominant eCommerce plugin for WordPress. There’s even a WooCommerce ecosystem now with dedicated WooCommerce hosting, WooCommerce themes, and WooCommerce plugins available.

24. Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly is a popular online grammar checker tool available as a browser addon for Google Chrome, Firefox, and even Microsoft Edge. It checks for spelling, grammar, and contextual errors as you write your posts.

The free version is sufficient for most people. However you can always update to the premium version to unlock plagiarism detector, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, and more advanced features.

This concludes our list of the best WordPress plugins for business websites.

Depending on your business, you may not need to use all plugins mentioned in our list, but it’s pretty common for our readers to end up using at least 18 out of 24 solutions that we have mentioned.

Now that you have the best WordPress plugins, you may also want to see our article on how to increase your website traffic (27 proven tips).

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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12 Best Live Chat Software for Small Business Compared (2019)


Did you know that more than 67% of users on eCommerce websites abandon their shopping carts without checking out? Customers want their questions to be answered instantly, and any uncertainty with their purchase can result in losing a sale.

Using a live chat support software helps you instantly answer user questions and convert them into paying customers. In this article, we will share our pick of the best live chat software for your small businesses. These live chat services work perfectly with any WordPress site.

Choosing the best live chat support software for your WordPress site

Why Add Live Chat Support to Your Website?

According to eConsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels of any customer service channel at 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone.

It is a no brainer that live chat has such a significant impact on online sales and marketing. It allows customers to get instant answers without leaving your website. A positive live chat experience can effectively help customers make the buying decision.

Adding live chat support can definitely reduce cart abandonment, increase sales, and boost conversions. But a lot of it depends on the live chat software that you use.

A poor live chat support experience can have an adverse impact. You can lose sales, customers may leave with a bad impression of your brand, you may end up paying too much for the service, or fail to utilize the live chat app due to technical skills.

Basically, you want to find an affordable live chat service, that is easy to use, works with WordPress, and comes with all the features to help you make more sales.

That being said, let’s take a look at our expert pick of the best live chat software that you can use to grow your business.

1. LiveChat

LiveChat

LiveChat is the industry leader in live chat software. It’s very easy to set up and install with their free LiveChat plugin for WordPress.

LiveChat also offers beautifully designed live chat support apps that you and your agents can use on your laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. That means you can chat with customers while on the go, without having to login to your WordPress dashboard.

You can add survey forms before and after a live chat session, so you can evaluate how your support team is doing. During your off-hours, your users can also conveniently send a support ticket directly from live chat.

LiveChat integrates with dozens of other services like popular CRM software, Google Analytics, Zendesk, all the top email marketing services, and many more. This will save you time since you won’t have to enter customer details manually into your other systems.

Perhaps the best feature of LiveChat is speed. It loads extremely fast, works on all devices, and offers a much better user experience than most other live chat software.

We use LiveChat on our eCommerce websites.

Pricing: LiveChat has different plans for businesses of all sizes. Their starter plan starts from $16 per agent per month billed annually, or $19 for month-to-month. Each plan comes with a 30 day free trial.

Special: WPBeginner users get 30% off the first payment when you use our LiveChat Coupon.

2. Olark

Olark

Olark is a popular live chat solution for online businesses. It’s easy to use, and adding Olark to a WordPress site is simple. All you need to do is copy and paste a code snippet into your WordPress sidebar widget or in your child theme.

If you’d rather not work with code, then there is also a free Olark Live Chat plugin which makes setup even easier.

Olark offers integration with other services such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Highrise, etc.

There are third-party mobile apps which allow you to connect to Olark chat from almost any iOS or Android device, so you can chat with customers on the go.

Pricing: Olark offers simpler pricing plan starting from $17 per agent each month. There is a 12% discount if you choose annual billing and 29% discount for two-year billing. They also offer 2-week free live chat support trial.

3. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat

Zendesk is the leading help desk support software provider. They recently acquired an existing company called Zopim to enter the live chat support market and rebranded it as Zendesk Chat.

If you are already using Zendesk, then the best advantage you get is that it already integrates with your existing support software. It also works smoothly with WordPress, Salesforce, and a number of other third-party services.

Zendesk Chat also offers real-time chats, advanced analytics, and AI-powered chat-bots to automate the process when no live agents are available. They have beautiful templates and customization options to create attention-seeking chat widgets.

Pricing: Zendesk Chat offers a limited free live chat support account for 1 concurrent chat session. Their paid plans start from $14 per month per agent.

4. Chaport

Chaport

If you are looking for a free live chat support software for WordPress, then you may want to checkout Chaport. They offer a free forever plan with unlimited chats, history, notifications, unlimited registered operators, and up to 5 operators online at the same time.

Their software covers all the basic requirements. They have live chat support apps for mobile devices, beautiful multilingual chat widgets, reporting and analytics, third-party integrations through Zapier.

Paid plans give you access to more features like typing insights, visitor notes, saved replies, file sending, auto-invitations, and more.

Pricing: They offer a free plan and a Pro plan starting from $9.80 per agent / month.

5. SnapEngage

SnapEngage

SnapEngage offers live chat service to businesses of all sizes. It is a bit expensive than some other live chat companies on the list but offers some unique features and add-ons to justify the cost.

They offer integrations with popular CRM software, call back request, automated chat invitations, and customizable chat widgets to match your site.

SnapEngage also offers a SMS to Chat feature as an add-on service to their live chat software, so your visitors can directly communicate with your support team via text. Their OmniChannel chat solution allows you to help customers across different channels like Facebook, Twitter, SMS, WeChat, Zalo, and more.

Pricing: Their essentials plan starts from $16 per user / month, with minimum 3 users and it is billed annually with 7-day free trial.

6. Intercom

Intercom

Intercom is a flexible tool that helps you capture leads, engage users, and boost conversions. It offers messaging services with live chat widgets that you can automate with your own flows, add chatbots, and engage customers.

It is not just a live chat support software. It can be used as an onboarding tool, support assistant, lead generation tool, marketing automation, and user-engagement software.

If you are just looking for a live chat software, then you may not be able to utilize Intercom’s full potential. On the other hand, if you want your live chat support software to do all these tasks, then you’ll love Intercom.

It is easy to use, integrates with Google Analytics, CRM software, Slack, email marketing services, and more.

Pricing: Their essential plan starts from $136 / month, after which pricing is calculated based on your usage and add-ons you purchase.

7. Freshchat

Freshchat

Freshchat is another good live chat support service with awesome features that rival some of the more well-known companies on this list.

Designed to be a conversation and messenger app, it allows you to start real-time chats with customers using agents or AI-powered bots. It also offers customer timeline views, live profiles, in-app campaigns, and customizable bots for automated conversations.

You can connect chats to support tickets on Zendesk or on a slack channel. Your team can use smart plugs, canned responses, labels, private notes, and desktop notifications to be more productive.

Pricing: They offer a free live chat support service plan for up to 10 team members. Their paid plans start from $15 per user per month and are billed yearly.

8. LivePerson

LivePerson

LivePerson is another powerful live chat support software with tons of awesome features to help you engage customers and increase sales.

It allows you to engage your customers via live chat on your website but also through SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. You can use chatbots to create automated conversation flows and save customer information in your other third-party apps.

LivePerson is targeted towards medium to large businesses and enterprise level clients.

Pricing: You will have to request a quote to get pricing information based on your needs.

9. Userlike

Userlike

Userlike is another neat live chat support software that you can use on your WordPress site. It is based in Germany and their servers are hosted in Europe. They offer GDPR compliant services, which makes them a particularly good option for businesses in the European Union.

Their software is beautifully designed offering a better experience not just for your users but also for chat agents. With a clean and clutter-free dashboard, your agents still have all the tools that you would expect from a professional live chat support service.

It offers beautiful chat widgets, chatbots, integrations with all top support, CRM, and email platforms. You also get meaningful analytics reports, which helps you improve performance and overall conversions.

Pricing: They offer free live chat support account for 1 user. Their paid plans start from €29 per month for 3 operators.

10. Smartsupp

Smartsupp

Smartsupp is a low-cost live chat support software that allows you to track and record user sessions on your website. This helps you see how potential customers use your website and what’s preventing them from making a purchase.

It also helps you track chat conversations in Google Analytics to see your performance. It works with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and other popular eCommerce platforms.

Pricing: A basic free-forever plan and their paid plans start from $8 per month per agent.

11. Pure Chat

Pure Chat

If you are looking for a free live chat software, then Pure Chat is another good alternative. It allows you to easily add beautiful live chat widgets to your websites and the free plan allows you to add 3 operators with unlimited chat history.

It comes with mobile apps so that you can stay connected with customers. Your customers can send you email messages when you are offline and pre-chat form helps you collect user information to reach out later.

Pricing: A basic free plan, and their paid plan starts $79 / month billed annually.

12. Drift

Drift

Drift is a conversational marketing platform that combines the power of live chat with an automated chat bot to help you save time and increase conversions. It comes with powerful features to help you convert more website visitors into sales leads.

Drift integrates with all popular CRM and email marketing services.

They offer several powerful features including Drift bot, anonymous visitor intelligence, account based marketing, scheduling for meetings, and more.

While it has a lot of powerful features, Drift is not affordable for small businesses.

Pricing: The Standard plan starts at $50 / month billed annually, and it comes with 2 seats. If you want the bot feature, then you will have to upgrade to the Pro plan which starts at $500 / month billed annually, and it comes with 5 seats.

Our Pick: Best Live Chat Software

For small businesses, we recommend LiveChat Inc. They’re the top rated live chat software in our list, and we use them on our business websites. It has all the necessary features for the right price.

If you’re looking for a complete platform and cost is not an issue, then we recommend that you look into Intercom.

If you’re looking to hire live chat agents, but not sure where to start, then we recommend using LTVPlus. We use them to hire affordable 24/7 live chat agents for our eCommerce website.

We hope this article helped you choose the best live chat support software for your WordPress site. You may also want to learn how to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce with Google Analytics.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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