2013 Review of Thomson Reuters - WebBuilder CS

 

Best Firm Fit:

Firms who use the Thomson Reuters CS Suite of applications, especially the NetClient CS portals.

Strengths

  • Integrates tightly with other Thomson Reuters services, including NetClient CS client portals and Virtual Office CS.
  • The service includes many client-facing tools, including online appointment requests, referral submission forms, financial calculators, a basic client portal, and moderated client testimonial tools.
  • Graphical WYSIWYG interface is easy to use and allows complete administration of a firms website and navigation menus.
  • Firms can switch between a range of included website templates, and it is relatively simple to migrate a firm’s existing WebBuilder content organized in a different website template.
  • Thomson Reuters offers a wide range of optional services, including custom website design, advanced search engine optimization, niche content, individualized articles, and custom logo design.

Potential Limitations

  • The tool for creating and maintaining a blog on the website is a proprietary application, and does not include the ecosystem of add-in modules available with popular blogging tools like WordPress and TypePad.

Summary and Pricing

Thomson Reuters Web Builder CS is a full-featured web solution with a number of options for optional services to meet the needs of most firms.  There is no up-front setup costs, and no long-term contracts are required to use the service.  New users receive a thirty day free trial. Pricing of the product depends on the options selected, and starts at $70 per month with no required service contract.  Some services, such as custom website design and advanced search engine optimization are individually priced based on customer requirements. 

 

 

Full Review:

From the Dec. 2013 issue.

Overview

Web Builder CS, the website creation engine component of the Thomson Reuters CS Suite of applications, was the formerly independent eMochila website engine.  (Thomson Reuters acquired eMochila in 2011).  This solution has historically received praise from practitioners and reviewers alike, and is part of a broader set of Thomson Reuters firm marketing tools which includes PDI Global and BizActions (which were acquired in 2011 and 2012, respectively).  These tools give practitioners a wide variety of options for niche digital content, ghost-written articles, and client-facing toolkits.

Web Builder CS has a rich feature set, including basic client portals, ten staff e-mail accounts, hundreds of pages of customizable accounting-related content, financial calculators, a wide range of templates and custom design services, as well as free technical support.  The product is both simple enough to be used by practitioners, while providing robust features like blogs required by larger firms.   Firms can use the included portals and e-mail accounts or create web links and DNS records to route this traffic to their preferred solutions.

The solution uses a menu-driven application manager (“AppMan”) to work with advanced modules such as the e-mail list manager for client newsletters, the blogging engine, and the controls for using the Google Analytics web statistics toolset.  AppMan is available from a separate tab in the web-based administration site included with each site. 

General monthly newsletters and daily news feeds are included with the basic subscription.  Premium content for blogs, social media, and newsletters is available from both BizActions and PDI Global, which provide marketing solution to accountants, attorneys, and financial planners.  These two groups provide fee-based custom content for niche practice areas as well as ghost-written articles on a wide variety of topics.

Basic search engine submission is included with the submission, and the page editor includes fields where users can enter titles, tags, descriptions, and other keywords to help prospects find the website.  Advanced search engine customization is also available for a separately quoted fee.

Web Builder CS is hosted in a commercial hosting facility with redundant power and internet connections, and 24x7x365 monitoring and security.  The included web portals are encrypted at rest as well as in transit using 256-bit AES encryption.  DNS server maintenance is included with the monthly hosting fee, or firms can redirect their DNS records to point at the Web Builder CS data center.

Best Firm Fit

Firms who use the Thomson Reuters CS Suite of applications, especially the NetClient CS portals.

Strengths

  • Integrates tightly with other Thomson Reuters services, including NetClient CS client portals and Virtual Office CS.
  • The service includes many client-facing tools, including online appointment requests, referral submission forms, financial calculators, a basic client portal, and moderated client testimonial tools.
  • Graphical WYSIWYG interface is easy to use and allows complete administration of a firms website and navigation menus.
  • Firms can switch between a range of included website templates, and it is relatively simple to migrate a firm’s existing WebBuilder content organized in a different website template.
  • Thomson Reuters offers a wide range of optional services, including custom website design, advanced search engine optimization, niche content, individualized articles, and custom logo design.

Potential Limitations

  • The tool for creating and maintaining a blog on the website is a proprietary application, and does not include the ecosystem of add-in modules available with popular blogging tools like WordPress and TypePad.

Summary and Pricing

Thomson Reuters Web Builder CS is a full-featured web solution with a number of options for optional services to meet the needs of most firms.  There is no up-front setup costs, and no long-term contracts are required to use the service.  New users receive a thirty day free trial. Pricing of the product depends on the options selected, and starts at $70 per month with no required service contract.  Some services, such as custom website design and advanced search engine optimization are individually priced based on customer requirements. 

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