During one of our virtual 'Tech Surgery' calls, it was very apparent that a lot of people are using the business Wix plans to schedule their classes, workshops and 1:1's. It's so easy to set up, and once it's done - gives a fully automated and slick user experience for the customer. Happy days!
However, one thing that seemed to be quite challenging was customising emails for events. These are automated emails that Wix can send to the customer. On the basic package, this includes 3 emails - a confirmation, reminder and cancellation email. Wix creates these emails based on the information you use to set up your events, however - each of these can also be customised, to include the necessary information or guidance you wish to provide.
Here's a quick guide on how to do the customisation (and thanks to Sasha at 'Sasha's Dance & Pilates' for allowing us to use the screenshots of her set up):
1. Navigate to the Events page
Once you have logged in to Wix, select 'Events' from the sidebar.
2. Select the Event
In our case we are going to customise 'Beginners Pilates'. So, click on the 'Edit' button, or anywhere on the event.
3. Select Emails from the tabbed view
The page that loads up will have a tabbed view, with 'Event Details' as the active tab. Click on 'Emails' (the 4th tab along).
4. Three emails to edit
Each event has three standard emails. Confirmation, reminder and cancellation. Users will always receive the confirmation email - this cannot be turned off, as Wix uses it to send the user their ticket for the event. Reminder and cancellation emails can be turned off by clicking on the blue toggle before the 'Edit' button. Click on 'Edit' at the end of the Confirmation row.
5. Edit the Confirmation Email
You can edit the subject line (this is always on a single line) and the message (the body of the email). The 'Email Preview' in the right hand pane will update automatically as you type.
The 'Event Details' are pulled in from the event itself and cannot be changed (you will need to go back to the event itself to make changes). There are several checkbox options to tick and untick depending on how you set up the event.
Remember to click 'Save' once you are done.
6. Reminder Email
The reminder email is very similar to the confirmation one – with one important difference.
You can set how far in advance of the course you would like registered users to receive a reminder, the default is 3 days. Subject and Message can be updated as per the other emails.
7. Cancellation Emails
Very similar in look to the confirmation email, update the fields as required.
One thing to note here is if the 'Event' had a payment attached, the user will not be refunded when you cancel the event. You need to instigate this manually.
If you get stuck or have any questions, please email us at email@example.com
TMC has a lot of history in the ever changing world of telecommunications. For the non-industry people out there, that's Mobile Network Operators (MNO) or Telco's - the company who provides your mobile service and possibly other services like fixed line, broadband and TV. This world of digital content and services has changed massively over the past 20 years. From the early days of caller tunes and wallpapers - to today, where telco's and digital giants like Facebook and Google share a very similar space - providing an endless supply of content and services to entertain, inform and influence us.
As a content or service provider, the aim is to distribute at scale - reaching as many users as possible. MNO's can be a great way to achieve this, with their vast client base and integrated billing platforms. Particularly in the emerging markets, the billing available from a telco is very attractive. Many customers in these regions do not have a bank account or credit card to pay for digital services or content. They use their mobile. In this way, and for some years now, content and service providers have been able to reach and monetise otherwise inaccessible customer bases - in some huge and high growth markets. And, whilst localisation is required to reflect cultural specifics, language and variable pricing - the benefits can be significant.
If you are ready to take your service to the emerging markets and need to find a way to reach customers, mobile operators could be an interesting opportunity to explore. But, where do you start and who do you contact to discuss?
We met the team at Gamepix about 5 years ago. They're a young, dynamic gaming company based in Rome, that specialise in html5 games and game portals. GamePix provides game developers with the opportunity to expand their potential beyond traditional app stores, by distributing the games via their extensive network of partners, plus their own B2C games portal. Tidey Mitchener provide ongoing business development and sales support to the team at GamePix. Working alongside their talented and experienced team, we created a targeted development plan - whilst remaining focused on their valued core of existing partners. Using a systematic and co-ordinated approach, the team communicate the products and services in a friendly and transparent manner, highlighting the benefits and use cases for the extensive game catalogue and white label game portal. Managing an offshore team, means that the use of a simple, but effective management tool is essential. Right now, we tend to favour using Trello with our clients. With consistent and regular updates, task allocation, setting deadlines - a team scattered across the globe, working in different time zones can be surprisingly well co-ordinated!
Alternatively, Tidey Mitchener offers a fixed period of targeted business development, focusing on specific territories or potential clients - to explore the appetite and level of interest in a product or service. In a Phase 1, the target group of companies would be identified and contacted to explore and understand initial interest in the product portfolio. The all important feedback and comments would be collated and available 'live' via the Trello board, with recommended next steps and guidance for a potential Phase 2. This is a good option for smaller companies, who are maybe looking to move into a new region with their existing portfolio - without commitment to a longer term plan.
If you have a digital product and would like to explore distribution via mobile operators - give me a call!
At our recent Virtual Tech Surgery, we were asked to produce the 'Top 5 Monthly Checks' to manage the SEO for your website....so here goes!
1. Make sure your website is indexable
One of the most essential aspects of SEO, which is often overlooked. Search engines can’t rank your content if they don’t know about it. Indexing your website tells the web crawlers what pages are available on your site, and also which pages the crawlers shouldn’t bother with (for instance, the 'empty' shopping cart page). Equally, if during the course of the month you have experimented with a new page, removed a page, added a plugin or blog, then this is worth checking.
You can take a look at what pages Google is indexing, in the Google Search Console. If you’re not already signed up for this - you should. It has a wealth of information and you can tie it together with Google Analytics. Once you’re signed, click on Coverage in the sidebar (under the Index heading). This will show all the pages with errors, warnings, valid pages and excluded pages. You might be surprised how many pages your site has – and which ones your CMS has decided are crawlable or not! Most CMS’s allow you to turn the visibility of a page on or off, and also give you the option of whether the page is crawlable. It’s easy to make a mistake when you’re setting the page up and click the wrong option.
So, review your site on the Search Console and if you notice an issue, check with your CMS how to toggle the setting. Or give us a shout and we can guide you in the right direction.
Geek Corner - The crawlers use a combination of the robots.txt file (this file is at the root of your domain, so for example https://your-awesome-site.com/robots.txt) and the sitemap.xml (https://your-awesome-site.com/sitemap.xml). If you have created your site using a CMS (WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, etc) then this will most probably have been created for you – but if you are feeling geeky and want to see what Google reads, replace ‘your-awesomesite.com’ with your website name.
2. Fix errors and review crawl reports
This fits in with the point above - Google marks you down if it finds errors on your site. The Search Console (or maybe you are paying for an alternate service) is your friend here. Watch out for dead pages (404 not founds), pages that load with errors or pages that just refuse to load at all. No matter how good the content is on the rest of the site, Google doesn’t like broken pages – so make sure you check your site at least once a month.
3. Optimise your existing content
Instead of starting a page from scratch, work on improving the content you have already spent time on. Take a look at your competitors who are ranking higher than you, then compare your coverage and structure to theirs. Done correctly, optimising content can take less time than producing new content and you can generate traffic faster. Review your pages at the end of each month, if you have the time - and enrich the content where possible, for example seasonal topics.
4. Remove dead wood
A low quality page - a page that doesn’t generate a lot of traffic or engagement, makes it harder for your other pages to rank. Over the lifetime of your website, you have probably generated hundreds of pages - blogs, ecommerce and experimental pages all add up over time. Don’t just leave those pages lying about. You have two realistic options here, remove the page completely from your site (remember point 1 about indexing, this page no longer needs to appear in your sitemap, so make sure it’s gone) or set up a redirect from the low quality page to a better one. There are a couple of “gotcha’s” on the redirecting option, so have a read up about this or give us a call.
5. Keep an eye on your rankings
You probably want to do this more than once a month, it’s more of a weekly task. In the previous points, we spoke a about optimising your existing content and removing dead wood - both of which affect your rankings and traffic over time. Not every tweak you make is going to be perfect, so use your rankings, traffic numbers and other indicators to keep your site relevant. Both Google Analytics and the Search Console can be put to good use here. Use them to measure your own key indicators - and also those of your competitors. Their content may include topics that are trending at the moment, driving their ranking above yours.
Any questions or confusion, drop us an email. We can help with specific questions and can also provide a full SEO and website health check for your site, starting from £99+VAT for Milknbizz members.
Do you have an idea, that needs tech to make it a reality?
Very often, we can be sitting somewhere, anywhere - whether it be with friends or strangers, and a conversation starts about a great idea someone has had (or over heard!) and they NEED an app. Love it. We joke now, everyone needs an app! However, the reality can be somewhat more daunting, challenging and very time consuming. The process of turning an idea into reality, so taking a concept and producing the application or platform, is widely under estimated by most people. Not only the time and preparation needed, but also the technical effort and level of collaboration required between a product owner and their tech team. It's a personal thing, building someone's 'baby' - and the differences between a creative (read product/idea owner) and the tech guys (who are actually building the thing) can be quite significant, it takes some management and lots of patience!
TMC's background is technical (Mitchener) and commercial partnerships (Tidey). So, when it comes to identifying a great partner with a cool idea, who we know we can work with (and who can work with us!) and who importantly knows what they want - plus a realistic understanding of the challenge ahead, we are well positioned to recognise this and are then good to go!
When we met Susie in 2019, she had a fabulous idea, tonnes of enthusiasm and knew exactly what she wanted - perfect! Here's Susie's story:
"The Family Home Swaps concept was first ideated in 2018 when my global family travel community members suggested that they would love to home swap with other trusted members. The idea remained just that, an idea, until summer 2019, when I met Charlotte and Dylan. They understood and shared my vision to create a family home swap platform, focusing on the environment and family activities in the area, over bricks and mortar. Highly organised and talented, Charlotte and Dylan have partnered with me to build a bespoke website that enables families worldwide to connect and home swap. The new website includes member logins and profiles, self-published home listings, search functions, private chat, booking, and a payment area. All of which require extensive tech knowledge and experience"
The financials are another tricky part of this process. Building an app is expensive. In the industry, people throw around the 1,000 hour build - this is not a myth, it's a reality. So, when you're having that 'I need an app' thought or conversation, make sure your idea is going to be revenue generating. Have a business plan, projections - and a very good idea of how you are going to attract user/customers, and keep them. A solid commercial model, both with your business partners (if you have any) and your end customer is essential.
There are a number of ways to go when talking about funding an app. If you're lucky enough to have the cash to pay upfront - happy days, otherwise there are alternatives. If you 'buy' the app, likelihood you will be talking £30k+, then it's yours to take away - and whether it's a success or not impacts no one except you. You will have the option to go for a maintenance arrangement with your tech team, which means they will oversee the app, ensure it stays live and fix bugs etc. You will then pay additional amounts for improvements and enhancements. Alternatively, there might be an opportunity to spread your cost over an agreed period, with a partial upfront payment. The risk here for your tech provider, is that your product fails/company folds and they don't get their payment - so you'll likely have to pay more in the long term to offset the risk they are taking. The third option is a partnership. It's not generally something most 'idea' people will think of initially, but - tech is your friend, believe me! This model is a little more complicated to begin with, whilst you work though the terms of the partnership - but if done well, can prove a great way to move forward. It's called 'skin in the game' - meaning that it's then in everyone's interest for a product to be a success. However, as the product owner, it's likely you will need to compromise a little on your original scenario and embrace the idea of having a longer term partner.
Here's a very nice quote from Susie on the topic:
"Partnering with Dylan and Charlotte has been an incredible experience. I am looking forward to continuing this long-term partnership and evolving the family home swap product as it grows and gains popularity across the globe"
familyhomeswaps.com is now very much a team effort. We have regular f2f catch ups, a Trello board, Whatsapp group and plenty of coffee! We brainstorm, laugh and cry (at the terrible timing of our launch during the global Covid pandemic) - but hey, as they say in the travel industry - it's not all about the destination, so let's make sure we enjoy the journey!
The family home swap platform is now live and gaining momentum, with homes listed in 15 countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Malaysia, Uruguay, and Ireland. Together we have delivered a unique, adventurous travel platform for families looking to house swap across the globe. Check it out, then sign up - some amazing destinations await!
If you have a product idea that needs some tech to make it a reality, give me a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org
milknbizz Tech Surgery #2 - Topic 1: The thumbnail created when you share a link on social? That’s Open Graph.
Here's the first blog from our second milknbizz Virtual Tech Surgery. There were quite a few questions and some lengthy discussion about the images that accompany those all important posts on social media....so here it is, the lowdown.
Open Graph (OG) was created by Facebook in 2010 to turn links shared on the platform into interactive objects. They encouraged website owners to add a few lines of data to each page, and in turn Facebook created a rich thumbnail when the user shared a link. Many social sharing apps have now adopted Open Graph into their platforms, including LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Whatsapp and Twitter (Twitter have their own format but will fall back on OG).
Adding Open Graph meta data to your website does not directly affect your SEO, but it will influence the Click Through Rate (CTR) of your social media links. There are three reasons to optimise you OG tags:
1. When used with an appropriate description and image, you can communicate what your content is about.
2. They make your content more noticeable in social media.
3. They help Facebook (and others) understand your content, which can improve your visibility in social search.
So what OG tags do I need to add?
There are five main tags needed for social media platforms to understand your content:
This one is self explanatory, and serves a similar purpose to the meta title tag on your page (displayed in the tab on your browser). The title should be compelling, just like your page title. To keep your title consistent across different social platforms, keep it between 55 and 60 characters. You can go up to 90 on Facebook, but other platforms may truncate you. Don't include your site name in here, that can be included in the og:url
This is how you set the canonical URL for the page (we will be covering canonical URLs in a future post). It helps consolidate all related/connected data, such as likes - across all duplicate pages. One thing to note, is that Facebook only displays the domain name, not the full URL. For example, if the link I am sharing is https://www.tideymitchener.com/blog/awesome-content - only www.tideymitchener.com will show up in the OG.
This is probably the most important of the tags. It occupies the most space on the post, and good images always make content stand out. Use a custom image on the pages you want to share, else social platforms will pick a random image from the page, which may not be the one you want. To keep your image looking great across platforms, use a high quality image with dimensions of at least 1,200 pixels wide by 627 pixels high. You can go bigger, but always keep the aspect ratio at 1.91/1. Also, make sure you keep the file size below 5MB. Some platforms are ok with images up to 8MB, but it's better to err on the side of caution. If you supply an image of less than 400 by 209 pixels, you will land up with a much smaller thumbnail that does not cover the width of the post, making it less noticeable.
This refers to the type of content that you are sharing. There are a lot of options when it comes to types, but the most commonly used are 'article' and 'website'.
This is a brief description of your content and it's very similar to the meta description tag you are using for SEO. In terms of length, it's best to keep this to 60-100 characters to keep consistency across social platforms.
Hopefully this blog will give you some insight into how to craft compelling Open Graph content. In a future post, we will be covering how to implement OG into your CMS (Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace). Any questions please leave a comment below.
Look out for our next blog, where we will be looking at how to create a landing page sign up form with Mailchimp - see you then!
Charlotte and Dylan
Thanks to everyone who joined the first milknbizz Tech Surgery or posted questions in the feed for us to answer in the session. As promised, here's the blog covering our fourth topic - Starting out with Mailchimp:
There are a lot of email services out there, and the number seems to grow every month, but one of the most popular is MailChimp. It's easy to sign up on the free plan and get going in a matter of minutes. So once you've signed up, what should you do next?
We are going to discuss four areas:
Your email list
If you are on the free plan, you will only have the one list. It will be set to the name of your company and your email address will be added to that list. You can change the name of the list by clicking on 'Audience' in the left-hand menu bar, then the 'Manage Audience' in the dropdown on the righthand side of the Audience page, then select 'Settings'.
On the Settings page select 'Audience Name and Defaults'. Now you can change the name, as well as being given two other options - 'Enable double opt-in' and 'Enable reCaptcha'. The former creates an email verification loop and prevents spammers clogging up your lists. The latter is the "pick all the squares with bicycles in" check. This can be useful against screen scrapers and bots on your site.
You can also set the email footer, especially important if you fall under GDPR compliance and if someone wants to report you for spamming.
There are two common use cases for sending automated emails. The welcome email and the "good bye" email when someone unsubscribes from your list. While you are still in the 'Audience Name and Defaults' page check the boxes for "send a final email welcome" and "send unsubscribe confirmations to subscribers". Now scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save audience and campaign defaults".
Once it's saved the audience page will reload, now click on 'Signup Forms' from the menu. Click on 'Form Builder' from the new options, and when that page loads you can select "Final Welcome Email" and "Goodbye Email" from the forms and responsive emails dropdown. The actual layout and configuration of these forms we will cover in a future post.
Connecting with web builder services
Most of the modern web builders will have plugins or integrated services to connect to MailChimp. For those on Wordpress, MailOptin is a very popular choice. For Weebly users automate.io offers various options to integrate, and Wix has an in-house integration into MailChimp. We will cover this in a future post if you are interested.
Sign up forms
A great way to grow your email list is to use sign up forms. You can create a sign up form in MailChimp which will embed into you web site. This can cut out the old fashioned process of collecting email addresses via your stand alone sign up form on the web site and then importing those emails into you Mailchimp account.
If you've followed along from the previous section about Automated Emails, you are already in the right place. If not, navigate to Audience > Manage Audience dropdown > Sign up forms. From the page that loads, select Signup forms. The default option in the dropdown should already be set to Signup Form, if not click on the dropdown and select it.
You can use the form designer on the page to create a sign up form that perfectly matches your web site. We will cover integrating the form onto you site in a future post.
Any suggestions on what we should cover next? Look forward to hearing from you!
Charlotte & Dylan
Thanks to everyone who joined the first milknbizz Tech Surgery or posted questions in the feed for us to answer in the session. As promised, here's the blog covering our third topic - the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) :
What is SEO and why do we need it? SEO is a way to drive traffic, acquire new customers and get found online. Google is the no.1 search engine in the world (except for in China), so whilst this also includes others like Bing and Yahoo, with over 75% of the all search traffic, let's focus on Google for now. Whatever you type into Google, it will instantly provide the top search results. They do this by using algorithms and data collected by their web crawlers that crawl the web 24/7, indexing and ranking the information on your site against your competitors. That's why you need SEO.
Most people only review the first page of search results provided by Google, so your site needs to feature in that top list of websites. There are 2 key ways to improve your ranking. The first is 'on page' - so on your website and the second is 'off page', by referring to your website on your social media pages and and linking back from other sites. The more references to your website or 'backlinks', the more points you'll score with the web crawlers in certain areas. We'll talk more about this later.
Get your first phase of SEO set up, then keep at it. It needs to be maintained regularly, not just an initial blast at the beginning, Google are constantly updating their algorithms...but where do I start?
Some tips for how to approach SEO for your website:
Almost all website builders have inbuilt tools or plugins that can help with your SEO. Check their documentation for exactly how to implement the five points above. We are going to run through the generic approach.
This is the single most important optimisation on your site. The title tag to a large extent defines the content of the page in the eyes of the web crawler. It's also very important because it's the first line the SERP (Search engine results page). For example if we searched for "hotels in St Albans" we would get back something similar to this (after the paid-for ads). So booking.com are returning "The 10 best hotels in Saint Albans, Hertfordshire" as their title tag. Google displays between 50 and 60 characters in the title (it actually comes down to pixels but 50-60 characters is a safe bet. Everything after that gets the ellipsis treatment. You should also try to tie in one or two important and *relevant* keywords. In this example we can see Cheap... (booking.com here are loading "cheap" and "accommodation" into the title to catch more search results.
The meta description appears below the title tag on the results page. Meta descriptions are leaned on less heavily by search engines (compared to title tag) but they are very important in terms of describing your site and what it offers. This description is what your potential customer is reading in the search results when deciding to click on your link or not.
Google shows around 150 characters, so you need to keep this fairly short. However, make sure you are using keywords and possibly a call to action that drives the user to click on your link. There is a lot more work that can be done in this area (specifically checking what your closest competitors use in their description and then reverse engineering those keywords into your site). We will be covering this in a follow up post in the next week or so.
Google places a lot of importance on the links on your page. There are external links (on other websites that point to yours) and internal links which is generally your navigation menu, plus any links to external sites in the copy on your page.
The easiest way to get this right is to think about a user trying to navigate your website. The easier you make the process the more likely the user will stay engaged and on your site. If you make it convoluted and difficult to get around, you will lose users. The same applies to web crawlers, the harder to navigate - the less accurate your PageRanking will be (more of that in the next post too).
Content is the reason people come to your page. No matter how good your titles, descriptions and linking are - if the content is poor, users close the browser tab. There are three components to creating good content - headlines, body and "geeky stuff".
Think of the headlines on your page as a restaurant menu. Each headline - "Food", "Drinks - then breaks down into smaller headlines "Starters", "Mains", "Dessert". Keep the structure in mind when creating the page and use headers, sub-headers etc (the names will differ depending on your website builder, but this ultimately becomes the H1 to H6 tags that the crawlers will look for).
The body is the crux of your website. This is where you get your message across and engage with users. Keep your content unique and make sure you use the appropriate keywords (similar to that you used in the description for the page). One other point to watch for is keeping a balance between text and images/video on the page. Image and video can also be optimised for SEO, another item we plan to cover soon.
Geeky stuff is the last area to worry about. How quickly does the page load, does it look good on mobile and are all your images optimised to be as small as possible (in physical size) whilst still looking amazing? This can be more complicated to check if you are not technically minded but there are a lot of tools out there to help. Again we will try to cover this topic soon but if you are interested you can start with Pagespeed
This is a small XML file that helps search engines find and index your site. Most website builders will create the sitemap automatically for you. If you are creating the site from scratch then you'll know what to do already.
The sitemap for this website for example can be found at https://www.tideymitchener.com/sitemap.xml.
Use the Google Search Console to make sure Google finds and indexes your pages.
You need to be familiar with how DNS works (refer to the documentation on the site you bought your domain from, or give us a shout!) in order to carry out step 2. However, after that it's all pretty simple. Google will start collecting data immediately, but it might take a couple of days before the data is available.
We hope the guide removes the mystery of SEO and provides the tools you need to get found online. If anyone has any questions or would like to discuss in more detail - give us a shout!
Our next blog post will be addressing MailChimp (and the alternatives)...watch this space.
Charlotte & Dylan
Thanks to everyone who joined the first milknbizz Tech Surgery or posted questions in the feed for us to answer in the session. As promised, here's the blog covering the (less than exciting) topic of GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation:
So, the very boring part...GDPR is a regulation in EU law relating to data protection and privacy, and the transfer of personal data outside of the EU. It was introduced in 2016 and enforceable from May 2018. Now, whilst the UK has left the EU, the law remains and will initially be written across to UK law - but we should keep an eye out for changes that maybe introduced later on.
From a small business perspective, if you collect the contact details of clients (email addresses, names, telephone numbers) here are the three main things you need to remember:
We had a question from a member with regards to existing customer databases, and how they should be managed to make them GDPR compliant going forward. Sending a simple email and asking people if they wish to remain on your database - to confirm and consent is an easy way to do this. Equally, Mailchimp has an opt out at the bottom of the email, so they can easily request to be removed from a database.
Another question was regarding business cards. So, if someone physically gives you their business card can you add them to a database and communicate with them going forward? The action itself of handing over a business card with contact information (considered an affirmative act under GDPR) implies that they are happy for you to contact them and you have their consent to store the details they have provided. Storing those details obviously needs to meet GDPR guidelines.
If in doubt, check out the government guidance via this link:
If anyone has any questions or would like to discuss in more detail - give us a shout!
Next blog post will be addressing is SEO basics...watch this space.
Charlotte & Dylan
Thanks to everyone who joined the first milknbizz Tech Surgery or posted questions in the feed for us to answer in the session. As promised, here's the blog covering the first topic - video editing:
There are basically 3 routes when it comes to editing software, and all 3 have their pros and cons:
1) Online video editors
2) Free editors which you download
3) Paid editing services
ONLINE VIDEO EDITORS
Video editing is one of the most power consuming things you can do on your PC/laptop, and if you have an old or lower powered machine you will experience some slowdown when trying to edit. Online video editors can be a good way to get around this problem. The load goes onto their servers as opposed to your machine, so you can manage and edit without your machine limiting what you can do.
Adobe Spark Video Editor - Make your videos in browser or download the app.
Clipchamp - Provides a free video editor as well as a compressor, convertor and webcam recorder.
Magisto - Their integration with iStock provides a lot of video clips and photos to add to your project.
Movie Maker Online
Online Video Cutter - Does the simple things like cut, trim, crop and rotate the video very well. No additional purchases or upgrades involved.
Wave Online Video Editor - Similar to Online Video Cutter but with a richer feature set.
WeVideo - Works across almost every desktop, laptop and mobile device. 1GB of free cloud storage per month and 5 mins of video output on the free plan.
FREE TO DOWNLOAD EDITORS
Most of the options on the list below have free and paid options. In most cases the free version should get your project over the line but if budget allows, the paid versions open up a huge amount of functionality.
OpenShot - Easy to use interface, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
VSDC Video Editor - Free and paid versions, easy social media sharing. Windows only.
Movie Maker 10 - A Microsoft product, the free version covers all the basics. Windows only.
Lightworks - Easy to get to grips with. The user interface has been refined over 25 years. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Shotcut - Tons of tutorials and supports a wide array of formats. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
iMovie - Apple offering which comes bundled with Mac OS. Supports up to 4K and can be edited on iPhone, iPad and your Mac.
Splice - The best mobile editor. Free sound library to create more impact on your project. Available for iOS.
PAID-FOR EDITING SOFTWARE
Most offerings in this category have two payment models. A one-off payment or a monthly subscription, look out for student/higher-eduction discounts on the subscription models.
Adobe Premiere Pro - Probably the best video editing software for Windows. Available as a one off purchase or a monthly subscription. Free trial is available.
Final Cut Pro X - Probably the best video editing software for Mac. During COVID Apple have increased the free trial from 30 days to 90.
Adobe Premier Elements - Much easier to get to grips with than the fully featured Premier Pro. Still has all the features you would probably need. Available for Windows and Mac.
If you're not sure which software is best for you, and are price sensitive - remember to carefully compare pricing for the various services, based on the functionality they offer. You might get a free starter pack from one provider - but then find that the functionality you need has a higher price point for the paid upgrades you need, than a regular paid service. When comparing services, It's also worth keeping an eye out for things like water marks and time limits, which may be imposed in free services.
The last thing to mention is open source software (as opposed to commercial software). Depending on how tech savvy you are, this may be something worth looking into. Open source is basically software developed and shared for free (usually under an MIT license) amongst the tech community - which stays free. It can be quite fun to drop into, if you have some extra time and a geek level of interest and curiosity at what's going on in the world of video editing software. If you choose to use open source software, you will likely only need to add a 'thank you' on your website to the developer - but no fees are involved.
If anyone has any follow questions or would like to discuss in more detail - give us a shout!
Next blog post will be addressing your GDPR questions...watch this space.
Charlotte & Dylan