Sump Pump etc

I have a 1946 home with perimeter concrete foundation and piers/columns filling the dirt crawlspace. The house sits on a slope and the crawlspace is large - I can walk through a lot of it fairly comfortably - almost standing upright in a major portion of it. During the big rains in California this year we got quite a bit of water filling up in one corner and I bought a small manual pump to help me pump it out each time it would rain. I want to install a sump pump but don't know where to look. They had some at Home Depot, but I couldn't find a good basin. Ideas? Suggestions on a good system?
I also read about covering the dirt with 6 mil plastic, and putting in insulation on the 'ceiling' of the crawl space.
My backyard slopes towards the house and the soil is clay, so I'd like to think of some ways to help divert water *around* the house, starting in the back yard. Would french drains or troughs work?

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