Three Third-Party Tools We Use to Build Better Websites
At NMC, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with powerful websites...I think our homepage headline makes that pretty clear. In building powerful websites, we recognize that it's not always necessary for us to "reinvent the wheel."
By being willing to plug in other applications to our sites, we avoid having to custom develop certain complex elements of the site, thus saving us time and saving our clients money. It's not necessary for us to spend time and our client's budget trying to reinvent something that another vendor has already focused on and poured resources into.
We understand that work it takes to make a really powerful and compelling application, as we've dedicated our team and resources into building a powerful Content Management System that is one of the best around. So, we're not hesitant to recognize the strengths of different companies in other niches and we frequently leverage their technology to make our websites more powerful.
Here are three of our favorite vendors to incorporate into our sites:
- Wufoo form builder - Wufoo's tagline is "making forms easy + fast + fun." We couldn't agree more. Wufoo is a simple to use tool, with robust capabilities. We have dozens of clients that use Wufoo as their primary form tool, allowing them to easily create new forms, start petitions, process contributions, and more. Much thanks to the Wufoo team for making such a powerful tool so easy and fun to use.
- Campaign Monitor Email Marketing Software - Campaign Monitor is our email marketing tool of choice. Seems like from an ad agency or design firm's perspective, Campaign Monitor has done just about everything right with this product. Unlike their competitors, they give you complete control over the look of your email template in a very easy-to-use manner. Also, their CreateSend system makes it easy to give our clients a personal login to manage their email campaigns from start to finish, on their own.
- Disqus comments system - We haven't used Disqus extensively, but plan on using them more frequently after recent successes. We recently used them to create a web 2.0 atmosphere around the Saranac Beer website, allowing visitors to comment on just about any page and start a discussion about the company's products. Disqus was easy to plug in to the site and added some really cool functionality that the client has been very excited about.
All three of these companies save our clients money by allowing us to easily and affordably plug their powerful software into our client sites. If you know of any other cool tools we should be using more regularly, let us know.
Clay S NMC team member
That's a great question. Actually, Wufoo just released an API for MailChimp. MailChimp is probably my second favorite email system to Campaign Monitor, and it's ideal for templates that are not too design heavy. It's also more affordable.
Not sure if the Wufoo and Campaign Monitor folks have plans to team up (or already have?), but you can read about the MailChimp plans here: http://wufoo.com/2009/03/09/integration-with-synthasite-and-mailchimp/. Thanks for the comment!
Campaign Manager and Wufoo are indeed very impressive. Have you come up with a solution to get them to work together? The ability to add a check box to a Wufoo form which calls the Campaign Manager API to subscribe a customer would be icing on the cake.
Affordable Web Design
Campaign Monitor is our email marketing tool of choice. Seems like from an ad agency or design firm's perspective, Campaign Monitor has done just about everything right with this product. Unlike their competitors, they give you complete control over the look of your email template i
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