CPASiteSolutions — CompleteWebSuite
From the April 2012 Review of Website Building Tools for Accounting Firms.
Best Fit: Firms that want a site from one the best template-based web builders along with comprehensive web marketing services, and firms that want to build a website quickly. CPASiteSolutions boasts that it only needs 15 minutes of a CPA’s time and that the dedicated webmaster often completes the site within 2 days.
- 366 great templates to choose from, including smart designs which auto-recognize screen sizes and devices for a perfect fit (unique among products reviewed)
- Great point-and-click WYSIWYG editor makes it easy to add and format text. Essentially, changes are previewed as you make them on the page. Advanced users can use an HTML editor.
- New site styles, features, and upgrades are released almost monthly. As a result, the product is constantly improving.
- Newsletters contain a lot of content (10 articles each month) and are written by CPASiteSolutions’ team of CPAs and MBAs.
- The CPASiteSolutions website and online Help Center is full of answers to frequently asked questions, explanations, tutorials, videos, and web marketing ideas.
- In general, newsletters contain only national content (for example, they do not contain state-specific tax news). However, a firm can write its own newsletter.
- Firms looking to make modifications to the website style (the layout, for example) on their own will find it to be very restricted to the template and will need to contact CPASiteSolutions for changes.
CPASiteSolutions has been helping accountants create websites since it was founded in 1999. With a strong belief in constant and never-ending improvement, the company adds new designs and product enhancements nearly every month. After having evolved for 13 years, CPASiteSolutions’ impressive offering includes hundreds of professional designs, thousands of pages of content written by CPAs, and a long list of add-on features.
CPASiteSolutions is a good fit for both firms that want to enter content on their own or want to have all of the changes made for them. Firms will find the WYSIWYG editor very easy for making minor text edits. Firms that do not want any part of the website administration back-end can call or e-mail their assigned dedicated webmaster with a to-do list.
Users have complete control over the content, page titles and meta-tags to optimize them for the search engines. The software’s control panel provides detailed web traffic statistics available for every site powered by Webalizer. For Platinum level firms that want more detailed analysis, CPASiteSolutions provides services to set up a Google Analytics account, as well as help firms interpret the data and track lead conversion rates. The advanced search engine marketing services include Google pay-per-click submission and maintenance, local search marketing, and monthly search engine marketing coaching.
CPASiteSolutions helps its client firms with domain name acquisition, registration, renewal and transfers without charging any extra fees. The firm owns its unique domain name and has full control over it. There is no charge to a firm that leaves CPASiteSolutions, in fact, they help a leaving firm collect the data and prepare an e-mail for its departure.
Websites are hosted on dedicated servers located in fully-redundant SAS 70 Type II certified data centers in Chicago and Houston with 99.9 percent connectivity. High-speed OC3, Tier-1 connections directly link these servers to the Internet. Each site comes with a client portal for document exchange that is 256-bit SSL encrypted.
CPASiteSolutions provides 10 e-mail accounts with 7,500 MB of data each that are branded to the accounting firm for no additional charge. Firms are not required to use e-mail along with CPASiteSolutions’ other services and may maintain their own Exchange or other server. E-mail accounts come with the spam filtering and anti-virus protection. A web interface for e-mail is available, and CPASiteSolutions also helps firms set up e-mail access in Outlook and mobile devices.
Newsletter Marketing & Content
CPASiteSolutions provides content for 10 new articles written by CPAs and MBAs every month that are automatically updated to a firm’s website and e-mailed to a firm’s clients. Each newsletter contains feature articles, tax saving tips, financial planning tips, a QuickBooks tip (if the firm offers QuickBooks services), tax due dates and links to previous newsletters. Included with the package for no extra charge, e-mail marketing is COPPA/CAN SPAM Act compliant and can integrate with third party tools for distribution.
All of CPASiteSolutions’ templates support the ability to easily link to social media websites. The Social Media Marketing System included in the Platinum plan automatically posts to firms’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
Summary & Pricing
With an impressive array of templates and features, CPASiteSolutions has created and maintained over 5,000 websites for accounting firms and solidified its position among the leaders in the industry.
CPASiteSolutions offers three tiered plans: Silver at $49.50 per month, Gold at $69.50 per month, and Platinum at $99.50 per month. The Gold plan offers all of the features of the Silver plan plus a dedicated webmaster, remote assistance, more designs and a more robust integrated portal. The Platinum plan adds site statistics, search engine marketing and a social media marketing system. The first 60 days are free for all plans, and there is no contract or commitment. Unlimited technical support is provided by phone, LiveHelp IM chat, and e-mail.
Local search engine optimization is a one-time fee of $499. Custom website design ranges from $195 to $495. Custom copywriting is $1 per word with a 150 word minimum. Other add-on features available for additional fees include extra client portal storage, professionally produced online video, online payroll processing system, online accounting system, online tax software hosting, and managed WordPress blogs.