From the Aug. 2012 review of Website Building Tools for Accounting Firms.
Since its websites are not based on templates, GetSetNet is a good fit for a CPA firm that wants a custom design without any up-front design fees. Because websites are built on the popular open-source WordPress software, those familiar with it can easily modify their own websites.
- Since the WordPress platform is non-proprietary and with the nearly 20,000 plugins from wordpress.org, there is a great deal of flexibility to add nearly any widget or feature a firm wants.
- For firms that prefer to make website changes themselves, WordPress is a user-friendly and widely-used platform, and GetSetNet provides several training videos on its website.
- Unlike most web builders that only provide coaching, GetSetNet’s services include Google+ Local setup and optimization on behalf of the customer firm.
- All sites are custom designed, and GetSetNet will make unlimited revisions and custom code website changes (layout, contact forms, etc.) at no charge.
- No up-front setup fee or custom website design fees.
- The newsletter is released quarterly, which is less frequent than the other vendors (it used to be monthly, but customers thought it was too frequent).
- GetSetNet does not offer some of the add-on services (such as accounting software hosting) offered by other vendors.
A relatively new entrant into the CPA firm website builder market, GetSetNet was introduced in May 2009. Rather than a template-based approach, GetSetNet builds custom websites for CPA firms based on their needs and preferences using the open-source WordPress content management system. Firms can either e-mail, fax, or call an assigned “Guardian Webmaster” to do nearly everything related to managing a website, including editing content, adding pages, and publishing images, but not extreme website design changes. Firms that would like to make changes on their own are given login credentials for site administration with WordPress.
All of GetSetNet’s plans include submission to search engines, onpage optimization, and META tags. The amount of SEO analysis and keyword research services that are provided depends on the plan purchased by the firm. GetSetNet installs any site statistics capabilities, including Google Analytics, for its customers upon request. Sitemaps are automatically submitted to search engines when pages are edited so they can be quickly re-indexed.
Private temporary subdomains are used for customers to view a website while it is in the process of being customized. When a website is approved, it goes live on the firm’s unique domain name. GetSetNet’s customers maintain full ownership and control over the domains. GetSetNet will manage firms’ DNS upon request if they want to switch their website over and do not want to deal with the techincal side.
GetSetNet’s servers are managed by LiquidWeb in Lansing, Michigan. The datacenter is SAS70 Type I and II certified and utilizes Tier 1 premium bandwith providers like SAAVIS, LEVEL3, COGENT, GlobalCrossings, Sprint and MCI. Server administration is performed via SSH or SSL (WHM) which ensures encryption of the connection. Backups are performed hourly and are stored both remotely and onsite. GetSetNet’s portals are in full compliance with HIPAA/GLB/IRC 7216.
GetSetNet can set up Google Apps for its customers, which provides 10 free e-mail addresses. Assistance with integrating e-mail with Outlook and mobile devices is provided. However, the e-mail service is not required and firms can maintain their own Exchange or other server.
Newsletter Marketing & Content
GetSetNet provides a newsletter that can be automatically populated to its customer firms’ websites. Unlike other vendors that release newsletters monthly or bi-monthly, GetSetNet’s newsletters are released quarterly. The feedback from customer firms was that monthly newsletters were too frequent, as clients would be more inclined to read it if it came less frequently and clients don’t like to be reminded about taxes every month. The content is white label and can be branded to look like it is provided from the firm.
GetSetNet can utilize the RSS feed publication capabilities natively within WordPress, or it can be directed to Google’s Feedburner. GetSetNet also integrates with third-party e-mail marketing providers such as Constant Contact, iContact, MailChimp and Vertical Response. Simple e-mail marketing can also be done through a website opt-in form that is COPPA/CAN-SPAM compliant.
If a firm has profiles with social media sites such as Facebook, AngiesList, and LinkedIn, GetSetNet will include buttons with links to those sites. Various WordPress plugins also make it possible to push new content and blog posts to social media sites as well. GetSetNet can also add over 100 financial calculators, appointment request forms, payment submission forms, PDF files, and many other features upon request.
Summary & Pricing
GetNetSet offers three tiered pricing plans starting with the Representer plan at $29 per month. The majority of its customers go with the Retainer plan at $49 per month, which adds a newsletter, e-mail, Google Apps setup, a secure online portal and other features. The Recruiter plan, at $99 per month, includes advanced SEO services, Google+ Local setup and optimization, Google Analytics training, and additional website storage space. The Retainer and Recruiter plans include a portal with 1 GB of storage and firms can add additional storage for $5/GB/month. See http://getnetset.com/pricing for a complete list of features for each plan.
There are no setup fees or contracts, and interested users can try it free for 30 days. There is a 10% discount for firms that pay annually. Also, GetSetNet is a proud affinity partner of the National Association of Tax Professionals and offers a 20% discount to all NATP members.