Your MemberFix Resource Toolkit
We have used and extensively tested every item on this list over many years of working with our customers.
These are “best in class” tools you can count on for your business.
Table of Contents
Affiliate Disclaimer: if you purchase a product or service through one of our referral links, we may earn a commission.
Grow Your List, Grow Your Income
ThriveLeads – Few things can make such a tremendous impact on your business as the size and quality of your email list.
But to generate email optins predictably you need both a strategy for your site and a tool that allows you to execute on that strategy. Most of the lead generation apps for WordPress are incomplete, inflexible or just plain crappy.
ThriveLeads, on the other hand, is best-in-class. Most of our customers use ThriveLeads (often on our recommendation). And of course, we use it as well here on our humble little website to generate all sorts of business; from affiliate sales, to consulting engagements, to new customers of our productized services, and more.
You can see ThriveLeads in action on some of the largest and best-known sites & blogs, across a dizzying array of different markets. You can also see this ‘hybrid’ approach, and a million variations thereof, in action on some very large and well-known sites.
Within our own “online marketing” sphere, we see ThriveLeads being used on such giant and illustrious sites as:
…and countless others.
While there’s certainly no shortage of options for lead generation plugins on the market, no tool that I’ve used has rivaled the power and flexibility of ThriveLeads, which is why it’s one of the only lead generation tools we use and recommend.
Improve Your Site Speed & User Experience
WPRocket – Slow load times are no longer something that you can afford to ignore if you’re serious about your website.
Slow-loading websites receive less traffic, get less SEO love in the search engine rankings, suffer higher bounce rates, and of course, annoy your visitors.
But your website doesn’t have to be slow.
There are technologies out there such as caching and minifcation which can drastically reduce load times for your visitors, and thus drastically improve the user experience.
Of all the WordPress performance plugins we’ve tried and worked with, none has been as effective and pleasant to work with as WPRocket.
This easy-to-use plugin is extremely well-documented (which, whether you know it or not, is a vital consideration when choosing your tech), yet incredibly powerful and flexible.
We use WPRocket on most of our own sites, and many of our customers’ sites. It even works with membership sites with a little configuration know-how (link to article on configuring WPRocket with membership sites).
The main reason we decided to go all-in with this piece of software is because the WPRocket team is always improving and updating this plugin.
Just as it’s vital to have solid documentation, it’s equally important that the developers of your tech are in their business for the long haul, and dedicate themselves to making sure their app serves your business both now, and well into the future.
Keep Your WordPress Site Safe From Hackers
WordFence – Security is one of those things you don’t really take seriously until something catastrophic happens.
Can you imagine if your main money-producing asset – whether it’s your website, your email list, your Facebook group, etc. – were suddenly hacked or destroyed?
It’s probably not something you even want to think about…Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and it absolutely can happen to you. The good news is that prevention is in your hands. The WordFence security plugin for WordPress is our #1 choice to aid in this prevention
You see, my team and I have cleaned up a lot of hacked sites. Removing malware is only one-third of the equation (and besides, your site is already compromised at this point so you’re in damage control mode). The other third is hardening the site against future attacks (again, this is after removing an existing hack).
And of course the most important third is actually preventing those lowlife hacker jerks from screwing with your site in the first place!
The WordFence team has shown an incomparable dedication to the craft of online security.
They regularly announce day-one attacks, immediately push updates to their plugin (which is fully functional in the free tier, by the way), show you potential infections in the neat dashboard, and offer GRANULAR settings.
Forms, Quizzes, Surveys
GravityForms – The sheer variety of things you can do with GravityForms makes it perhaps one of the most versatile and powerful plugins for WordPress, period.
This is not an exaggeration. Here are just a few of the things that we actively use GravityForms for:
- Creating quizzes / surveys that integrate with your email marketing app
- Generating dynamic PDF files
- Payment processing (can you say “cheap & easy shopping cart?”)
- Work requests / ticket system (justrecord.it)
- Contact forms (including the use of hidden fields and dynamic population)
- Low budget affiliate program
- Low budget membership site
…and I’m just getting warmed up…
We use GravityForms extensively in our business and for our customers’ needs simply because it can handle many complex use cases elegantly, right from within WordPress. It’s highly extensible (i.e. it’s easy to code on top of it), has a huge user and developer community, and the Developer’s License allows you to use it on unlimited sites you own.
Run A Profitable Membership Site
MemberPress – MemberPress is our WordPress membership plugin of choice.
We’ve worked extensively with MemberPress in many different scenarios, and what strikes our team continually is how sophisticated this plugin is, despite being so user friendly.
It’s got a great set of native integrations, but it also integrates with Zapier through its own, dedicated Zapier app which allows you to connect it to your entire app “stack” without tons of custom code.
As if that weren’t enough, it has a built-in developer tools suite that allow your developers to code custom solutions should you need them.
We’ve migrated many customers away from their old membership plugin to MemberPress and the satisfaction rate has been nearly perfect.
In fact, MemberFix is proud to be a MemberPress Certified Developer.
Own a beautiful, professional and flexible website…
Divi Theme – Divi is perhaps the most flexible, powerful and comprehensive WordPress theme on the market today.
I admit it; that’s a bold statement considering all of the amazing and well-made themes out there.
However, because we’ve worked with such a huge variety of WordPress themes in a bevy of different circumstances, we’ve seen firsthand which themes and frameworks stand up to the test of customer demands and quality standards.
In fact, in mid-2017 we switched all of our main web properties over to the Divi theme. Switching themes is no small feat. All the more so when you’ve been relying on a visual editor to create most of your pages, which leaves those pages broken when you flip the switch, and requires you to completely redesign your pages using the new theme.
Nevertheless, we knew this was a switch that had to be made for a variety of reasons including but not limited to:
- The ability to design your pages separately for Desktop, Tablet and mobile and craft the experience of each to be distinct and made for that device, as it should be
- The ability to work with 3 different types of editors, depending on your needs
- The ability to use the powerful Divi builder on custom post types (as we do to create sexy custom multi-step popups)
- The existence of a huge and generous community of other Divi users and developers upon whom you can rely to get questions answered and custom functionality implemented
- The dedicated and aggressive pace at which the Divi development team introduces and rolls out cutting-edge features and updates
- The relatively lightweight builder that doesn’t hammer your memory and allows you to work in more or less real time (lots of builders totally hog your memory to the point where working with them slows down or even crashes your browser / computer)
- The extremely affordable pricing for unlimited sites that you own
Let me be clear that Divi is not perfect. There are a few issues, such as:
- Divi spits out unclean code (shortcodes)
- It can be a bit slow depending on your connection and computer
- There’s a bit of a learning curve
…on the whole, though, I consider these complaints to be rather trivial and perfectly reasonable concessions in exchange for the ability to work with such a powerful tool. If you’re considering launching a serious, long-term business or web project, Divi is the first theme I’d look at using.
Smart Email Marketing & Automation
ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign is our email marketing tool of choice. We’ve been using it for years now and it’s never let us down.
ActiveCampaign has everything you expect from a best-in-class email marketing application.
- Easy to use
- Tons of integrations
- Automation marketing (tags, custom fields, automations)
- Email campaigns
- Reasonable pricing
…and much more.
ThriveCart – ThriveCart is one of the most advanced shopping cart apps on the market today.
TC is a cloud-based app that features all of the awesome functionality you’d expect from a shopping cart, including:
- Integration with your payment processor of choice (Paypal, Stripe, Auth.net, ApplePay)
- 1-click upsells / downsells
- Order bumps
- Integration with your email provider of choice (Drip, ActiveCampaign, etc.)
- Several styles of conversion-optimized, responsive checkout pages
- A/B testing (?)
- Physical product support (coming soon)
- Dunning (coming soon)
- Customer management area (coming soon)
- Detailed analytics
- Integration with 3rd party apps like membership plugins, Teachable, etc.
- A well-developed API and Zapier app (this is HUGE)
- A high-quality, built in affiliate module!
…and more stuff both already in the app and on the development roadmap.
There were really two things sold us on using ThriveCart: the values of Josh and his team, and the absolutely unrivaled quality of support.
On the first point, I’m consistently amazed at how composed and patient Josh is when it comes to developing and rolling out features only when they’ve been thoroughly tested, and are 100% ready to go. This despite the pressures and constant inquiries from members of the Facebook ThriveCart community. Josh assertively but politely lets everybody know that he’d rather keep people waiting a bit longer and release something epic than cave to pressure and plaster on features nilly-willy. And despite this fact, I’d argue that ThriveCart is rolling out new features at a very ambitious pace.
The other thing that got us was the responsiveness and quality of TC support. Every support ticket I’ve sent in; every post I’ve made on the FB group has been met with a thorough and thoughtful reply from one of the support team (usually Dale Miles – rockstar!) Compared to the desultory, uninspired replies and buck-passing I’ve seen with so many other apps and services, getting this kind of dedicated support is truly a breath of fresh air.
SamCart – SamCart is arguably ThriveCart’s main competitor in the cloud-based shopping cart apps space. In fact, SamCart has been on the scene and doing their thing longer than ThriveCart and thus have a larger number of features to show for it.
Several of our customers use SamCart and we find it’s very intuitive and easy to work with, besides being so powerful. I find their marketing to be on the obnoxious side but fortunately it’s not a reflection of the quality of their product or support, which are both top-notch. I’m not crazy about the fact that if you want to use their affiliate module you have to pay an extra $100/month; I find that exorbitant, especially since ThriveCart includes it at no additional cost.
CloudWays – CloudWays is the hosting provider on which we built our own hosting company. It’s basically a middleman between the end user (you) and all of those giant, technically complicated cloud hosting providers like Amazon, Google, Vultr, etc.
Traditionally, if you wanted to host your site on an Amazon instance it meant hiring a sys admin who knew how to set it up and maintain it. It’s a fairly involved setup. But CloudWays disambiguates this process by putting a user-friendly interface between you and these providers, thus making it easy to setup and manage servers without needing any particular tech expertise.
This way you can tap into the power of enterprise-level hosting at incredibly reasonable price points (a Vultr server starts at $11/month). You have way more flexibility than you do with the majority of hosting companies, you have no limit on resources, you’ve got the latest tech at your fingertips ready to deploy in 1-click, and great tech support.
We fell in love with CloudWays in late 2016 and have moved almost all of our sites, and many of our customers’ sites over to CloudWays. The performance improvements have been tremendous. And what’s really impressive is how ambitiously CloudWays rolls out new updates and features that keeps your hosting on the cutting edge of speed and security.
SpeedKills.io – SpeedKills.io is our own hosting product that’s built on TOP of CloudWays. It’s essentially lightning-fast cloud hosting with a delightful service on top. So what’s the service? Total management of your site updates and support, and proactive weekly optimizations geared towards continuously improving site performance.
Basically, if you want great hosting but don’t want to deal with any of it yourself, we’re the guys you delegate it to. 🙂
Namecheap – Namecheap is a domain name registrar that allows you to search for and register domain names with a variety of extensions (.com, .net, .xyz, .io – and so on).
It’s the most intuitive and user-friendly registrar we’ve ever worked with and we use it to register and manage just about all of our domains. As soon as we register a domain we’ll typically set the nameservers to point to our next beloved resource, CloudFlare.
CloudFlare – DNS management and security service.
CloudFlare is several tools in one:
- DNS management
- Reverse-proxy (similar in function to a content delivery network)
- DDoS protection
And you can add unlimited sites to your CloudFlare account for free, so long as you’re only using the basic toolset on the free plan.