It’s no longer necessary to create every feature that you want for your website. Now there are plenty of third party services to help you add some extra bells and whistles without spending much time at all. Third party companies, such as Olark, Boast, and Mailchimp, spend their time and money on offering a specific product and direct their focus on solely updating and making these services better. Whether you need to track statistics or improve the level of engagement and socialization on your site, these add-ons are sure to stop you from continuously having to reinvent the wheel.
Finding reliable chat services are few and far between. However, Olark has been one of the most effective 3rd party chat modules used on our client’s websites. Not only is it a great tool for talking to customers, but it also tracks insights, allows you to customize the design, chat on the go and so much more. Olark is easy to install and even easier to use.
If your website has a blog or a news section then you definitely should be using AddThis. AddThis was designed to help you get likes, shares and followers simply by adding social links to blog posts and news articles. Customers can share your news and help you get discovered on social media with a simple click of a button. AddThis also provides you with a variety of button options and styles and even tracks your customer’s click within the basic analytics dashboard.
3. MailChimp Newsletter Signup
Need any easy way to collect emails addresses for your newsletter? Simply create a form in MailChimp, add the code to your website, and completely customize it to go with your design. Visitors can sign up wherever you place the form on your website, and you will have a solid email list in no time.
Fighting spam on blog websites is unfortunately a common problem. However, we have found that Disqus is one of the best tools for allowing comments on your blogs and news articles, while effectively preventing spam. Users must sign in through Disqus, Facebook or Twitter to leave a comment, and then you can easily monitor your blogs comments through the Disqus interface.
Collecting testimonials and reviews are important for any company’s credibility. But finding the right service to fit your needs can be a challenge. However, Boast has been one of the most effective 3rd party services used on our clients websites for collecting and displaying testimonials and reviews. Not only does Boast collect written testimonials but you can also create video testimonials from anywhere on a phone, computer or tablet. The testimonials can then be easily reviewed within your account and are added to your site automatically once approved.
6. Facebook Developer Tools
Looking to improve the social media engagement on your site? Facebook Developers have a whole slew of Facebook plugins that are perfect for almost any site. Add simple plugins such as Facepile or Like Boxes, or get a little more complex with activity feeds and embedded posts. These plugins are easy to use and even allow some customization in the process.
7. Twitter Embedded Timeline
Adding a Twitter Timeline to your site is another great way to improve the social media engagement on your site. Embeddable timelines are interactive and enable your visitors to reply, retweet and favorite tweets directly from your pages. The timeline widget works great on web, mobile web and touch devices. They load fast, scale with your traffic and update in real-time.
8. Flipbook PDF
Browsing a PDF is not always a great experience online, but with Flipbook PDF, you can dynamically display flip book versions of PDFs right on your website. Simply upload your pdf to FlipbookPDF.com, then copy the embed code right onto your website. Users can flip through the pdf as if there were reading a book. Adding customer engagement to your website had never been easier. Read more about Flipbook PDF »
9. Google Web Fonts
Thanks to Google Web Fonts, you no longer have to use default – lets be real here – BORING web safe fonts. Now you can choose from hundreds of fonts that can be loaded right onto your website with a single line of code. Browse through the vast selections of fonts at www.google.com/fonts, select a few fonts to use, and simply add the line of code to your css or html file.
10. Google Analytics
Are you interested in knowing who is visiting your site? What pages they are viewing? How many clicks your links are getting? And the list goes on… But I would assume your answer would be, “YES!” Well then Google Analytics is a must. It’s free, simple to add and provides insights and results to help you track website performance.
What are your favorite 3rd Party services? I’m always looking for other great tools to add to my collection.