Each year I publish an overview and blueprint of the tech stack that I plan to use for the rest of the year. The purpose of this inside look is to provide you with a blueprint to follow for your own business so that you can feel confident that you're using a tech stack that already works and has been proven to bring success.
If you'd like to hear and watch my explanation for how the entire tech stack fits together, check out my video walkthrough here:
Tech Stack Quick Reference
The TLDR Version. More details in my written walkthrough below.
Website Theme and Page Builder
I use WordPress because it provides me with the most flexibility and compartmentalization. In other words, I'm using a platform where I can pick and choose additional tools to work with it so that my business is modular and not entirely based on one single all-in-one platform like Kajabi.
Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect
To build my website and customize the look to be exactly what I want, I use Thrive Suite. Specifically, I use Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect. Thrive Suite is the easiest to use "page builder" and "theme" for WordPress, made by a fantastic team who are laser focused on providing a suite of tools made for digital entrepreneurs and business owners. Rather than getting lost on the 1% that doesn't matter, they focus on the 99% that does.
Want to learn more about these two amazing tools? I have two courses that'll have you feeling confident and creating a website in no time.
I use a subdomain for my courses and membership. That means my primary "marketing site" (Convology.com) is one installation of WordPress, and my course site (members.convology.com) is another. These are treated as two entirely different sites, capable of being hosted wherever I want.
My courses are all built in Thrive Apprentice. I love the ability to fully customize the entire experience my students receive. I have complete customization over how everything looks and behaves from the moment they log in. I can even use conditional display to tailor their experience to them based on the products they own.
Learn more in my Thrive Apprentice Course.
A big part of my Thrive Apprentice setup is the custom-built dashboard where students can access the courses they've purchased, see upcoming office hours, and access everything they need for their account.
You can learn more about this custom dashboard in my full Thrive Apprentice Student Dashboard tutorial.
Shopping Cart and Sales
ThriveCart powers my ecommerce. Creating sales funnels is so fast and easy with ThriveCart. With just a few clicks you can offer order bumps, upsells, and downsells.
ThriveCart gives you the option for hosted carts or embeddable carts (I use both here at Convology). You also get strong integrations and behavioral automations that integrate with email tools and Zapier.
The integration between ThriveCart and Thrive Apprentice is also really, really good. When an order comes in from ThriveCart, an account is automatically created for the user on my website. If an account already exists, the order is added to the user's existing account. It's seamless and easy!
Thrive Apprentice 4.0 + ThriveCart Course Funnel Tutorial
Learn how to get up and running with ThriveCart in just a few hours by following my comprehensive video walkthrough.
Lead Generation and Segmentation
My lead gen and segmentation are handled entirely through ConvertBox. I find it to be far more robust than Thrive Leads, both in terms of integrations and usability on the site. ConvertBox is also not a WordPress plugin, s it can be used in ThriveCart (it's actually owned by the same company) as well as in my community and anywhere else I can embed a script.
ConvertBox does so much more than popups, too. It can handle complex segmentation through the use of different states. Conditionally, users can be shown different states based on what you learn from them. ConvertBox can also send webhooks and fire different integrations based on these conditions.
I use ConvertBox to power my ConvertQuiz Funnels (check out my course), affiliate quizzes, and more. It can even integrate with Thrive Apprentice, through Thrive Automator, to create user accounts for leads. A great example of this can be seen in my tutorial for building a Thrive Ultimatum Webinar Funnel.
Email Marketing Automation
My emailing needs are fairly straightforward in this course and membership business. I need standard autoresponders that send welcome sequences, nurture sequences, and trigger automations based on tags. I also need the ability to send webhooks.
FluentCRM offers these features at a price that's hard to ignore. Most email solutions are software as a service (SaaS) and charge by the number of subscribers you have in your list. This can quickly becomes hundreds of dollars a month (or much, much more) whereas FluentCRM remains the same low price each year.
Caution: FluentCRM is an advanced solution for tech enthusiasts. If you need something that 'just works' (my motto) then I highly recommend ActiveCampaign.
Since FluentCRM is a WordPress solution, it's also easy to tie into other mainstream WordPress apps. For example, Thrive Ultimatum and Thrive Automator have great connectivity with FluentCRM.
My community is built on the Circle platform. I love everything about this platform and the company behind it. Circle is a modern, sleek, and extremely user-friendly community platform. The platform is rich with features like:
- Live streaming to the community
- Instant messaging between members
- Slack-like chat for the community
- Member directory
- Customizable space groups and spaces
- iOS app
I connect Circle with my courses subdomain using single sign-on. This means my users only need one login, and it's the same one they use to log in to see their courses. This creates a perfectly seamless experience between the community and the course site.
Video Players and Video Hosting
Hosting video is a big part of my tech stack because most of my business is centered around video courses and video cohorts.
Bunny offers an incredibly affordable video hosting service through Bunny Stream. I could run my entire video business on Bunny Stream and spend < $12 for the entire year.
I still have a Vimeo account because I like the workflow for certain videos. It's fast and easy to integrate with a lot of of platforms as well, like Circle.
Wherever my videos are hosted, I can use Presto Player as the 'skin' over the top. But it's more than just how the player looks. Presto Player adds incredible functionality to the video player as well with features like muted autoplay, opt-in gates, chapters, and lots more.
There are times when my tech stack needs a little boost. I have a couple of tools that I use to bring cohesion and connectivity to the mix.
Some tools simply need Zapier to connect to the outside world. For example, connecting ThriveCart to tools where there's not a native integration requires Zapier.
Thrive Automator is like Zapier for WordPress. While it can facilitate the connection between plenty of other tools, it really shines when combined with Thrive Apprentice. The entire Thrive Suite ecosystem's connectivity opens up to the outside world, allowing the flow of data in and out, with Automator.