My 5 Most Useful Online Tools as a Professional Photographer

1. CrashPlan

CrashPlan is a secure service that offers truly unlimited backups over the wire. You simply specify what folders you want uploaded up and it sits quietly in the background throwing your data to its server. It seems to manage bandwidth very cleverly as it never noticeably interferes with general usage of the internet despite its heavy load. It is cost effective compared to its competitors and much cheaper than the old LT05 tapes and drive I used to use.

Depending on your work load the amount of data you will want to back up will vary but so far I have 2.5TB in the cloud and have just queued up another 450GB. I have several friends in IT and they informed me that even by commercial standards my back up is huge and that they have 50+ person businesses that don’t have so much data to deal with. I blame the 50mb RAW file of the D800!

A screengrab of my CrashPlan backup.

2. Serpfox

This is a service that was recommended to me on r/SEO and has very quickly proven itself to be invaluable. It lets you track the current position of your keywords on Google (also on Bing but honestly, who cares?) and updates every few hours. This means you can quickly build up a profile of how your website is ranking and can see how any changes you make have impacted your overall results. Best part is that it is free up to 10 key words!

A screengrab of my Serpfox account

3. VaultPress

Simply the best $5 a month you can spend. This super simple system backups your WordPress site to their secure servers daily. Much easier to configure and use than Backup Buddy it gives complete peace of mind should your site be hacked or damaged by a plugin. Having already lost two days rebuilding my site from scratch after it was compromised using the Tim Thumb Exploit (remember that?) this system really does give peace of mind.

Screengrab of my VaultPress backup

4. SmugMug

A rather swish online gallery that features an integrated shopping system making print and canvas sales a doddle. Smart, sleek, secure and with tons of new customisation options after its recent relaunch it has simplified a major part of my business.

Screengrab of recent wedding album.

5. Zopim Chat

A very recent addition to my site Zopim adds a powerful call to action targeting any visitors interested in my services. It is customisable, really easy to install (seriously, took about 3 mins to get it working on my site with some swift header editing)  and best of all FREE for one user! Perfect for me and potential clients.

Gives you tons of data on real time action on your site as well as telling you what page people are on when they chat to you and where they came from on the web.

Screen grab of recent Zopim activity.

Hope some of you find this useful, if there are any bits of kit you use and want to recommend then leave me a comment below!

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