Free Telecommuting Tools for Businesses

Free Telecommuting Tools for Businesses

When you need tools to telecommunicate for your business , there are some free options to help you do this. Some of these have pro options for more functions, but you can use these while there is a need to telecommunicate between employees and work.

Work from home by telecommunicating?

Not a problem. Here are some of the tools for working via home and telecommunicating with your place of business. These are the most popular of tools that businesses are using.

Skype – for a very familiar feeling

For many, Skype is the go-to tool for all things video chat. As far as free tools go, it offers excellent quality without using up too much of your mobile data while on the go.

Key features: Video-calls, private and group IM, group video chats, file sharing and management, screen sharing and more

What’s so great about it? Most people will already have it installed, so you just need to swap usernames and you’re ready to go. You can also use it for group video chats for up to 10 users at once.

Google Hangouts – easy, hip team communications tool

Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, is a popular tool for many. It provides users with an easy way to converse with others, either with a single person or groups of people.

Key features: Voice calls, video calls, chat, multimedia messages, videoconferencing, live-stream meetings and events

What’s so great about it? You can connect with up to 10 people worldwide regardless of devices and messages can be archived for future reference. It recently got a dedicated website, so you can now use it in any web browser, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus.

You are limited to 10 users in a video call and 100 users in a chat, but paid subscriptions are available to increase that limit.

Slack – team communications on the go

If you need a chat app to send direct messages and create private groups, then Slack has the answer. It offers multi-team support, with free native apps for Android, iOS, and Mac and Windows desktops.

Key features: Real time messaging, one-to-one and group conversations, file sharing, powerful search and archiving (up to 10,000 most recent messages in free plan), dozens of integrations with tools such as Google+ Hangouts, Dropbox and Asana

What’s so great about it? Slack is one of the most widely used team communications apps available for all major mobile and desktop platforms. It’s quick to set up, well designed and allows you to embed social media posts and download and store images.

Advanced plans include features such as guest access, user groups, custom profile fields, unlimited service integration and a searchable archive with unlimited messages.

Bitrix24 – communication AND collaboration

Think of Bitrix24 as a social network for business. This free collaboration tool can be used by up to 12 users and offers free iOS and Android apps.

Key features: Instant messaging and group chat, email collaboration, telephony, videoconferencing, email connectors, unlimited tasks/subtasks, unlimited projects/workgroups, daily planner, multiuser editing, document sharing, calendars (personal and shared)

What’s so great about it? The free plan has plenty to offer, with up to 5GB of online storage. With a like button, interactive update feed and IM services, it’s incredibly user friendly.

Upgrade to increase storage space, participants and gain additional features such as backup storage, trigger emails, CRM record conversions and much more.

Fuze – high definition team communication

Fuze offers you a better meeting experience through the use of high definition audio and video conferencing. It provides a consistent experience across all supported devices, which include OSX, Windows and Linux for the desktop and iOS and Android for your mobile.

Key features: Cloud content, HD screen share, HD VoIP, HD video streams

What’s so great about it? Not only can you use it to hold meetings with someone across the country, but you can also use it to share documents such as animations, multimedia or other types of rich content.

Paid plans are available to increase participants, and receive additional features such as webinars, meeting recordings and unlimited dial-in (US only).

GoToMeeting – easy basic communication

GoToMeeting platform is ideal if you’re just looking for something easy and basic. The free plan allows you to video-conference up to 3 users and is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. A mobile app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Key features: Screen sharing, unlimited VoIP, application sharing, private and group in-meeting chat, customizable meeting link, one-click meeting entry

What’s so great about it? The free plan is perfect for consultants and freelancers looker for an easy to use a screen-sharing app with high-quality audio.

Starter, Pro and Plus plans are available for increased number of participants, as well as additional features such as recording, keyboard and mouse sharing, video conferencing and drawing tools.

Glip – tool for a productivity surge

Not only is Glip great for communication, but also it is ideal for increasing productivity as it keeps everything from task management, calendars, to-dos, files and notes in one place. With Glip you get unlimited teams and projects, as well as iOS, Android, web and desktop apps.

Key features: Real-time messaging, video conferencing, shared calendars, integrated task management, link sharing, extraction and archiving, and more

What’s so great about it? The free version offers unlimited users, storage, posts, free guest users and external integrations, as well as 500 minutes worth of video chat

Upgrade for additional support and video chat minutes.

Zoho – any time, any platform

If you’re looking for a way to host an instant web meeting, then Zoho is the answer. While the free option only allows one host and one participant, it is easy to use and set up, ideal for freelancers and small businesses. It supports Android, Linux, Mac, Windows and Web-based.

Key features: Audio conferencing, embed meeting in website, remote desktop control, secured web meetings, instant chat collaboration

What’s so great about it? The great thing about Zoho is that you are allowed unlimited meetings and durations in their free option. You can schedule meetings, or hold instant ones, with the ability for instant messaging and shared mouse and keyboard controls.

Upgrade your plan to gain more participants and additional features such as meeting reminders, changing presenters and dial-in audio conferencing.

Avaamo – a secure team messaging tool

Avaamo is a simple team-messaging tool that allows you to send an unlimited amount of messages to an unlimited number of business contacts. It offers free native iOS and Android apps.

Key features: One-to-one and group messaging, file and screen sharing, secure and searchable messaging, send and receive voice memos, dozens of integrations

What’s so great about it? With a delightfully simple interface, this instant and secure messaging service allows you to contact co-workers, partners, customers and vendors without having to worry about security.

Upgrade to the Premium version to receive increased customer support, data compliance and more.

Trello – Team CRM Great for Business

Trello offers a free version and professional version depending on your needs in business. Create productivity boards with a drag n drop interface. Invite users to join the board, assign tasks and drag n drop towards completion. You can share google docs and other tools available for businesses.

One key feature we like about Trello is that others can download the app and use Trello straight from their phones and on the go. you can assign tasks and managers who will also have responsibility for adding to and managing your Trello board. you can also have more than one board under your account so GREAT for dividing up employees and management.

Duo App for Video Calls and messaging

Simple, high-quality video calls for smartphones, tablets, computers, and Smart Displays like the Google Nest Hub Max. – You have gmail account, you can easily connect with Duo – for up to 8 people in video conferencing.

Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom offers both free and professional plans that are affordable. Lots of different options and especially good for business solutions where you can monitor workrooms.

Square allows for curb side pickup on orders

Square allows for curb side pickup on orders

As of Weds March 18th, 2020 – Square released an announcement that they have ways now for people to order from your business and pick up curbside. This is coming from ways to help businesses in your community take orders, pay and pick up curbside with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

If you have an existing WordPress web site great! If you are using it with Square™, you can now offer curbside ordering for your customers. If you would like to set up an online store using Square, feel free to contact us or we can take your existing WordPress web site and link it to your square account so people can still shop for your products.  This is a safer way for people to shop online right now and go pick it up from their vehicle.

Wednesday’s announcement below will help small businesses.

Square Community,

We realize that everyone around the world is facing unique challenges right now, and for business owners, the stakes are particularly high. In this challenging and uncertain time some of you are able to continue with little change, while others have been required to temporarily shut your doors. We want to offer some support in the ways we can. Here are the immediate steps we are taking to help:

 

Today Square Online Store released the option for curbside pickup, and later this week a local delivery feature will be available for all businesses so that you can quickly adapt to this changing environment. We are also waiving curbside pickup and delivery fees for the next three months. Square Online Store already offers online orders for in-store pickup with no monthly fee.

 

We are refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March, which includes Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything.

 

We’re also offering a resource hub with information and advice for businesses to navigate this new environment, which covers how to offer local delivery, set up and promote electronic gift cards, utilize free marketing campaigns, turn off signature requirements for in-person purchases, and more.

 

We are taking proactive steps to ensure we can continue to provide you with both advice and assistance. Customer Support is here to help with questions or concerns. As we continue to assess the situation, teams across the company are prioritizing how we can provide additional support during this time.

Please take care of yourselves, your families, your employees, and your customers.

With adjustments in how today and in the future may shop, it is a great way to keep your customers’ shopping.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us so that we can assist you.

Share this on your social media so that we can help assist you with businesses online.

WordPress Updates and Backup Services

WordPress Updates and Backup Services

At Coffee Web Design we always encourage our clients to keep up with and do monthly WordPress updates. We know sometimes you need to concentrate on your business and may forget or aren’t sure of ability you have in doing it correctly. Thats why we provide monthly services in maintaining your WordPress web site. 

What happens if you do not update WordPress?

Security risks are the most important reason why you should update WordPress, themes and plugins. They should be done in a particular order to lessen the chance of breaking things in your site. WordPress core files usually are updated first, them your plugins (one at a time) and then your themes. 

Things are changing really fast in the technical world and sites are being attacked all the time for access to inject malware. These are VERY time consumiing if your site gets hacked. Then you have to pay for clean up of files and your site to close those vulnerable areas to prevent it from happening again. 

If you are behind or haven’t updated your site in a long time, you are more at risk for being hacked. 

If you are hacked, search engines like Google will flag your site so everyone can see that they are subject to malware. This clean up and process for being UN flagged is also very time conuming and search engines have to review over and over again till your site is successfully clean for viewers. You do not want to risk being black listed or listed as a hacked site. 

Since attacks are on the rise and we do not want to see any of our clients be vulnerable to hack attacks or have the expensive cost of cleaning up a site that has already been attacked. We offer updating and maintenance services now so you don’t have to worry about your web site any longer. 

How often should you update your WordPress site?

Usuaully we get updates at least once a month. We know cause we use WordPress as the platform for most of the sites we design and build. Its a great platform and offers so many dynamic options from just a personal WordPress page or blog to shopping carts and options for all types of business.

Plugin and Theme Vulnerabilities

Developers of all the great plugins and themes you can get by using WordPress also have to keep up with WordPress core developments and security updates. These updates too are usually done on a monthly basis, if not more! New warnings through WordPress also notifies you of plugins that are abandoned or are not longer supplying the demands of updates. These you should always be aware of and find a comproble solutoin in replacing these plugins with something else.

When we do updates at Coffee Web Design, we will notify you if this is the case.

Do we only offer updates for our design clients?

No we offer updating services in several packages for both our design clients and those who just meed the update and maintenance services.

What other optons come with maintenance of WordPress sites?

  1. Security – we always make sure that people have some type of security plan in their WordPress site. 
  2. A secure hosting plan – we want to make sure not matter what hosting you have, that it is a good and safe secured hosting. We have seen servers become infected with malware that can affect all or any on your hosting plan. We always suggest cPanel hosting since there are more options for security.
  3. Backups are available both server side and downloadable files just incase your site gets hacked. If you are on a smaller or tight budget, just the monthly maintenance updae plans are available. 

We have been doing updates for clients for many years now, because they get behind, forget, or simply are unsure of how to do maintenance properly. This takes a lot of time for us just to make sure you are secured. By subscribing to our WordPress maintenance plans, we go in and make sure every month, these are done for you. If something happens during an update, it is our responsibility to find the solution. This is included. If you do your own updates, great! If something happens we have to charge to fix it from now on. 

What is the typical costs for breaking of your site or security breaches?

Breaking of sites because of updates usually can take 1-4 hours to find out the problem and fix it. We charge and hourly fee to fix this.If it takes over 4 hours, then we notify the client of our progress and an approx time should be agreed upon. Weekends our hourly rate is double.

Fixing hacked sites – Anywhere you look if your site is hacked due to not updating or not having security installed on your site, then this can take more time. Usually finding the vulnerabilities takes 4-16 hours or MORE! This can be costly noe matter what service you need to use to clean up your site! In this case it runs between $125 the first hour and up! Then hourly fees apply depending on what we need to do to fix your site. If anyone has to work weekends, then it is double all hourly rates. This can be costly and we want to help you prevent this.

So think about our maintenance services to keep your site running in tip top shape. In the long run it is going to save hours of coslty fees to fix your WordPress site.

The Coffee Team

 

 

GDPR – Are you in compliance?

GDPR – Are you in compliance?

By now you should be updated in your WordPress version and all your plugins. In the newest update of WordPress you will see some of the available tools to help you in GDPR compliance.

You need a privacy policy on your web site.

To help understand in a nutshell what the GDPR compliance is all about, it’s about how you store data of users on your site, information, tracking tools, etc. People should have access to the information you have on your site about them, be able to view such information on request and able to delete their personal information on request.

With the updated version of WordPress, you have tools available to create your privacy policy page, suggestions on what to include to be in compliance, and how to provide your audience and clients with the information and data from their accounts that you store on your site.

List your business on Google

List your business on Google

So you have your business web site now and need to list your business on Google. To boost your search engine recognition, the best practices are:

  • Web site completed (we deal with WordPress web sites)
  • Check settings for search engine crawling site maps (if you do not have one we can help with this)
  • Submit and verify your web site with Google
  • Submit for desktop and mobile standards (we can help with this if your web site doesn’t meet these requirements)
  • Submit information for a business listing in Google. (see that information below)
  • Verify with code given by Google.

Complete, now let’s get started!

 

What does a business listing on Google include?

  • Address to your business location
  • Link to Google Maps and Directions for customers
  • Phone number
  • Hours of operation (and you can change these for holidays etc)
  • Short description of your business
  • Link to your web site (if you don’t have one, contact us for a quote)
  • Ability so someone can send your information to their mobile device
  • Upload of photos about your business
  • Reviews from customers

Get higher rankings when you have a business listing and it is verified through Google.

Coffee Web Design can help you with your Google business listing. We only charge $25 to do this. You must be at a be at the business phone number to complete verification.  If you do not have a business phone number, no problem, here are other ways to verify, but it will take more time. You can schedule an appointment to come by our office located in East Flat Rock, near Hendersonville, NC.

If you have not already had Google crawl your site, we can consult to make sure you have the tools needed for Google to crawl your site. Once you do, then we can submit this to Google to crawl your site and then list it on Google business. This would be at our hourly rate of $45.

Let’s start in 2020 with your business listed on Google! Contact us!

 

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