With so many free website addons, small businesses can save tons of cash and still create a gorgeous, functional website. But to create a wonderful website that truly pays for itself, you’re going to need to invest in a few addons that are too good to be free.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through five essential addons that are worth their weight in gold. Let’s get into it!
5 website addons worth paying for:
- Cloud-based backup
- SSL certificate
- SEO tool
- Hosted exchange
- Email marketing tool
1. Cloud-based backup
Cloud-based backup is a strategy for preserving your website’s data in the event of disaster or an equipment malfunction. With cloud-based backup, you send a copy of your website to a secondary off-site location so that if something goes wrong with your website, you still have a perfectly functional copy of your website that will keep attracting customers and earning money.
Why is cloud-based backup important?
Cloud-based backup is one of the most important addons you can get for your website. Data loss is every website owner’s worst nightmare. Powerful-enough malware can wipe out your entire website, forcing you to start over from scratch.
Having external physical storage isn’t enough to back up your data. The security of your website is too important to entrust to any single backup method. Cloud storage is widely used among business owners, because it’s the most logical way to supplement your other data backup methods.
To choose the right cloud-based backup, look for the following features:
- Scalable cloud storage options
- Rapid recovery
- Secure servers from a trustworthy hosting company
2. SSL certificate encryption
An SSL certificate encrypts communications between browsers and web servers.
Why do you need an SSL certificate?
- SSL certificates increase your search engine ranking: Because SSL certificates help ensure the safety of your visitors, a website with an SSL certificate will rank higher in search results than a website without an SSL certificate.
- They’re mandatory if you need to collect your customers’ credit card information: The Payment Card Industry (PCI) requires any website that collects credit card information to have an SSL certificate. If you want to be able to sell products through your website, you’ll want to be able to accept as many payment options as possible, which means you’ll need an SSL certificate.
- Your website looks unsafe if you don’t have an SSL certificate: If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, your visitors will be able to tell just by looking at their browsers. Sometimes, this will be in the form of a message that says “Not secure”, or in the form of a warning symbol, or in the form of a lengthy message explaining that the site they’re about to visit may expose their sensitive information to hackers. As you might expect, this chases customers away.
As far as addons go, SSL certificates are definitely worth the investment.
3. SEO tool for search engine optimization
An SEO tool is third on our list of addons because it’s the best way to increase your website’s traffic. Lots of clickbait-y articles promise you that you can increase your website’s traffic in five simple steps, but most of the time, these tips don’t really work, and you can get through an entire article only to find that the whole purpose of the article was to increase that website’s traffic.
It’s no wonder articles like this get millions of views. The whole point of a website is to attract visitors to your brand. If your website doesn’t get any traffic, you’ll feel as if your investment was wasted.
An SEO tool is the best way to improve your website’s traffic.
Here’s how it works:
Our SEO tool scans your website to determine why your web traffic is suffering. After scanning your site, our SEO tool gives you a report on exactly what’s going wrong with your website, and it gives you step by step instructions on how to fix the things that are dragging down your search engine ranking.
This addon pays for itself in increased traffic.
4. Hosted exchange
This addon is the perfect solution for businesses that need to get all their employees and clients on the same page.
Hosted exchange is a service in which a web host (That’s us!) maintains Microsoft Exchange servers in the cloud instead of at a physical location. Hosted Exchange makes it easy for businesses to coordinate their calendars, clients, contacts, tasks, diaries, and other essential company information. The best part is that it works offline and across multiple devices, so nobody’s ever out of the loop!
5. Email marketing tool
Email marketing works. That’s why it’s still a powerful marketing tool of big eCommerce websites.
Here are some reasons you need email marketing:
- It increases conversions: Anybody who visits your website is a potential customer. But sometimes it takes more than one visit for a visitor to become a customer. In fact, email marketing is a way to ensure that you can reach your website’s visitors even when they’re no longer on your website.
- Email marketing is a low-cost way to promote your business: Billboards and internet ads can be expensive, and most other forms of advertising are ineffective. Email marketing is a cheap way to keep your brand front-and-centre in your visitors’ minds.
- Easily integrate with other forms of advertising: By adding social media share icons in your email, you can integrate an email marketing campaign with your social media marketing campaign, so your visitors have more chances to learn about your brand.
Email marketing is effective, but there’s also a very delicate balance between reminding your visitors about your brand and annoying your visitors.
An email marketing tool helps you organize a strong email marketing campaign and helps you create emails that look as though they were professionally designed!
These are some of the features of our email marketing tool:
- Helps you create different groups within your contact list
- Automates your contact list by weeding out dead email addresses that reject new messages
- Automatically updates future forms when you make changes to your web form
- Helps ensure that emails conform to legal requirements for anti-spam laws
There are lots of free website addons for you to take advantage of, so if you’re going to pay for anything to do with your website, it makes sense to spend your money only on things that will definitely increase the value of your website. These five addons from Monsterhost are definitely worth paying for!