We are often asked what tools we use in our own business, so we thought it would be valuable to share our current stack.
It’s also useful for us to keep an overview, as we’ve used a lot of tools and services over the last 20 or so years, and have accounts all over the interwebs!
Getting the right tools gives you a solid foundation for everything you do online, and these are the ones we currently use and recommend.
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through our link, we’ll receive a commission for the sale. This is never at your expense: you’ll pay the same as going direct, and in some cases you’ll get a better deal by using our links.
We’ve had our AWeber account since 2008, and still use it pretty much every day. Paired with AWtomator, it meets all our email marketing needs at a very agreeable price, so we’ve never needed to look elsewhere.
AWtomator makes a basic backup of our subscribers every day, but we also backup our email lists with ListLockr, which gives us 30 days of extra backup protection for our lists.
Back in 2001, we ran a web hosting company and domain registry. After we sold that business, we bounced around a few domain registrars until we finally discovered Namecheap. The interface is fantastic, the prices are great, and domain privacy comes free.
Website, Hosting, and Membership
- Platform: WordPress (self-hosted)
- Theme: GeneratePress
- Membership: aMember Pro
- Hosting: Linode
- SEO: RankMath
- Graphic Design: Canva
- Image Optimization: Shortpixel or LiteSpeed
We’ve used WordPress for all our websites since about 2007. It’s the most well supported platform in the world, and it’s easy to customize. Paired with the excellent GeneratePress theme and native Gutenberg editor, it creates well optimized, lean website code, which helps our pages load faster.
Talking of speed, we host everything on our Cloud Dedicated cPanel servers at Linode. We moved to Linode in 2023 after spending 6+ years with LiquidWeb. Now we only wish we’d done it sooner… the quality of the servers is a level above, their cloud manager is second to none, and we’re saving a small fortune in management fees every month too.
Our servers are cPanel based, with a LLMP stack (LiteSpeed) on the newer ones and Apache/PHP-FPM on the older ones.
On the older Apache servers, we optimize images using the excellent Shortpixel plugin. We love the GLOSSY compression, which produces sharp, high quality images with small file sizes. And it’s FREE for up to 100 image conversions per month! The newer servers use the native LiteSpeed image optimization.
Talking of images, we now pretty much exclusively use Canva to generate images. It is easy to use, has a comprehensive stock photo library, and ensures all our images are always properly licensed for use.
aMember has been our membership software of choice since 2013, because it is the most extendable and robust solution on the market, yet is relatively simple to install and maintain.
Having a standalone membership script with native WordPress integration gives far more flexibility than any dedicated membership plugin for WordPress ever can. And it’s a fraction of the annual cost of most WordPress membership solutions… so what’s not to love!
Finally, a recent addition to our website stack in 2022 is the excellent RankMath SEO plugin. Its features leave Yoast in the shade in our opinion, and it is super easy to use.
Why a self-managed website stack?
While we’ve flirted with all-in-one platforms like DealGuardian and Kartra in the past, we have always come back to owning our own real estate, rather than relying on someone else’s platform.
Maybe we are control freaks, but we sleep better knowing everything is under our own roof.
We do, however, have an account with GrooveFunnels. We purchased a lifetime deal as an early backer, and it’s something we’ve tucked up our sleeve in case we ever need it.
As a husband / wife team, our collaboration needs are pretty lite, so we use Apple iCloud internally to manage our Calendars, Mail and Documents.
We also use Google Workspace as well as Zoom for collaboration and meetings with clients.
As a qualified media buyer, Rob uses Slack to talk to colleagues in the AdSkills Pro League.
We’ve got some older sites using ClickBank, mainly for their 3rd-party revenue-sharing feature and VAT handling, but are setting up newer sites using Paddle where possible.
We used to use Stripe and PayPal for our SaaS offerings, but with Brexit and the increasingly complicated global sales tax and compliance rules, it just makes life easier to use a fully compliant service provider who handles it all.
The peace of mind knowing we are legally tax compliant worldwide with no hassles, makes it a no-brainer for us.
We still use PayPal to accept incoming affiliate payments and to pay other service providers.
Rob loves coding PHP, and uses Sublime Text editor for all his projects because it is lightning fast, gorgeous to use, highly customisable, and has great community support (eg laracasts).
His preferred theme is Sunburst, which is a black background with easy on the eye colors.
For development, he uses MAMP on Apple Mac, and backs up his code to private git repositories at BitBucket. He also has a GitHub account which he uses to make contributions to public repositories as needed.