31 Jan 2011

With Social Media as hot as it is…

Blog, Blogroll, Helpful Resources, Products I love No Comments

We still need to keep up with the latest web tools to make our lives easier ands faster.

Here are a bunch of web tools that I have found for us all to use.

Check them out!

42 Fabulous Free Web Tools
Here are 42 free web tools guaranteed to make your web life easier. If the link is not hot, just type the topic into Google and do a search.
1) Icebrrg
Need a feedback form? Survey? Registration form? Head on over toIcebrrg.com and get one for free.
No technical expertise needed. They will even store your information in a database and allow you to export the info to Excel.
You can create up to 3 forms for free.
2) Picnik
Rotate, crop, re-size images and photos right from your browser. A much easier alternative than GIMP, in my opinion.
3) Image-Maps.com
Need to turn parts of your image into clickable links? Image-Maps.com will take on the task for free. All you do is upload your image, complete a few fields, get your code and you’re ready to go.
I just used this site to image map my new YouTube channel banner.
Note: I don’t usually endorse Internet Explorer, but I had trouble using this tool in Firefox, so this is one of the few times I will recommend using Internet Explorer instead.
4) SXC – Free Stock Photography
Looking for some royalty free photograhy? SXC has a nice selection, especially for a free site.
5) 123-Banners.com
This site has been around forever! I remember stumbling upon it as a web newbie over 11 years ago. It’s still going strong and now allows you to create Flash and sound banners.
Normally free banner creation sites are pretty cheesy, but their templates aren’t bad for a free site.
6) HTML Basix Javascript Banner Rotator
Everyone always asks me about my rotating/refreshing banner script at the top of my blog. I used to use Magic Image, but I recently switched to HTML Basix’s script because it doesn’t require an external file.
I like these kinds of banner rotation scripts because the banners change without needing to refresh the page.
Note: I wish I could find one like this that shuffles the banner order. Please comment if you know of one or how to tweak the code.
7) Free Hand-Written Fonts
I’m somewhat of a font junky. I like to use different fonts for images I create in Photoshop. This blog has a good list of hand-drawn fonts you can download.
Just download the fonts you want and go to the Fonts section in your PC’s Control Panel to install.
8) My Live Signature
Use this tool to create a graphical version of your signature you can use on your site or any electronic document.
9) e-Book Cover Templates for PhotoShop
If you own Photoshop, you can use these Actions to generate e-covers for your e-books, software or any other digital goods. All you do is load the Actions (templates) into your PC’s Photoshop directory and they’re ready for use!
10) Firefox
I joked about a Firefox mandate on Twitter a while back, but it really would be nice.
While later versions of IE are much better at handling CSS, nothing compares to the speedy, safe Firefox browser with all the cool add-ons.
If you are a webmaster or blogger still using IE, shame on you.
P.S. Google Chrome is great too. If it ever supports an add-on feature like Firefox, it will be a close rival.
11) FireFTP
A very handy Firefox browser add-on.
I love being able to FTP files to my host without having to shut down my browser and open another application. FireFTP works right inside Firefox and simply opens a new tab.
12) FileZilla
If you don’t use Firefox or don’t like FireFTP, FileZilla is another great FTP option.
13) BrowserShots.org
Just because your site looks fabulous in Firefox 3.0, don’t assume it looks so hot in other browsers. This site will give you a preview of your site in virtually every relevant/current browser and multiple versions.
14) IETab
Want a quick preview of how your site will look in Internet Explorer without having to fire up the browser? Install this Firefox add-on and all you have to do is right-click your mouse on the page and select IETab.
15) Twitterfeed
Manually announcing your blog posts on Twitter is sooooo 2006. Let Twitterfeed automate the process for you.
16) OpenOffice.org
An open-source software suite for spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, databases and more. Hard to believe that it’s really free… but it is!
17) Toodledo
Organize your day, keep track of deadlines, set goals and be more productive. That’s what this free app will help you do.It’s even fun to say…. Toodle-lee-doo. There’s also an iPhone app.
18) DropBox
This is a great tool for synching, saving, backing up and sharing files online. What a handy site.
19) Instapaper
Save web pages to your computer or phone for later reading. Works for iPhone and iPod Touch too.
20) SearchStatus
There are many tools that report a site’s PageRank, Alexa Rank, backlinks, etc. But this plug-in also tells you whether or not a site is using no-follow or do-follow links. (So does SEOQuake.)
Nofollow means a link from that site will not transfer any PageRank to your site. So Google ignores it as a potential backlink to your website. Many blogs use no-follow in the comments area.
I don’t obsess much over dofollow or nofollow links/sites, but I know it’s important to a lot of you. I still believe that if you spend more time focusing on writing quality content, you will eventually get enough quality dofollow links that count.
21) Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Numerous keyword tools have surfaced over the years, but this is still my favorite. Anytime I want to check keyword search demand, I come here.
22) Joomla & Drupal
Want an interactive site but don’t want to learn how to program or hire anyone? These two content management systems lead the pack in their category. You can usually install them on your domains for free through your web host control panel.
23) Ning
Setup your own social networking site in seconds. No fuss, hassle or programming involved. Just understand this script is remotely hosted, meaning your site sits on Ning.com’s servers. (Always somewhat of a risk when you use a 3rd party to host your content.)
You can still buy a domain name and redirect it to your Ning site for branding and to make your site’s web address more concise and easy to remember.
24) Elgg
The self-proclaimed “leading social engine.” Unlike Ning, you can install this social networking script on your own domain and have much more control over the design and customization. Yes, it’s open source.
25) Kompozer
A free, WYSIWYG HTML editor for creating web pages. I know a lot of people that use it and love it. Just be warned, it can do some odd things with your CSS files so make sure you read the documentation.
26) HTMLDog.com
This is the place to go for learning about HTML and CSS.
27) FireBug
Another nice Firefox add-on. It allows you to edit any site’s CSS code right from your browser. It’s a great way to test updates/changes before going live.
This plug-in is also great for figuring out how other sites use CSS to develop cool layouts and designs.
Note: Of course, you cannot actually edit anyone’s site. The changes will only be seen on your browser.
28) FreeCSSTemplates.org
Quality CSS templates you can download and use for your site’s design. They also do a great job of adding new templates on a regular basis.
29) ColorZilla
Yet another handy Firefox add-on that allows you to retrieve the HTML hex color code, by simply pointing the eyedropper tool to any place on your browser.
30) Hex Color Scheme Generator
This handy, little tool has made this page one of the most popular pages on my site. Not only can you get the hex color code from the color wheel, but you can generate a color scheme for your site as well.
31) Google Analytics
This is without a doubt the best and most comprehensive stat package on the web. I love that you can integrate stats from AdSense, your shopping cart, AdWords, Google Custom Search and more right into the reports to get a complete picture of how your site is doing in multiple areas.
32) Google Reader
This online content aggregator continuously scans your favorite sites and blogs for new content and feeds it to you so you never miss an update. (Can’t believe I forgot about this one.
It also looks great on the iPhone and many other smart phones.
33) Google Voice
Get your own Google number and forward it to any number.
You can also choose where calls are forwarded based on who’s calling. You can even listen in before taking a call or direct chosen calls to voicemail automatically.
34) Google Custom Search
Need an internal search engine for your site? Installation is easy. Just copy and paste a few lines of code and you’re ready to go.
And if you’re an AdSense member, you can also make money when users click the contextual ads that appear next to the search results.
You can even opt to show the results on your own site so your visitors never have to leave your domain.
35) WordPress Theme Generator
Create your own custom WordPress theme with this free generator. No HTML, CSS or PHP knowledge needed.
Of course, if you’re not familiar with CSS, that means you will be limited when it comes to your design. However, using this tool may encourage you to learn more about CSS and blog design.
36) WordPress Database Backup
A must-have plug-in for WordPress users that will automatically back-up your blog’s database using the time interval you specify. I have it setup to send a backup file to my e-mail once/week.
People often backup their posts, but neglect to backup their databases — which is equally important. (Thanks, Paul from TechnicallyEasy.net)
37) Thesis OpenHook Plug-in
If you use the WordPress Thesis Theme, you will fall in love with this plug-in. It makes an already cool theme, even cooler.
You can overwrite and customize almost any section of your blog’s design (header, footer, sidebars, etc.) by simply pasting your custom code in the appropriate sections of the plug-in. No need to open or edit the actual source code.
Note: This plug-in is only compatible with the Thesis theme.
38) Tell-A-Friend Form
Make it easy for your audience to tell their friends about your site. No programming needed. Just sign up and SocialTwist.com will give you the code to create the tell-a-friend form on your site.
39) XML Sitemap Generator
A sitemap keeps the search engines updated on all your content. This site will crawl your site and generate the code for your sitemap. All that’s left to do is submit it to the major engines.
Most blog platforms create XML sitemaps automatically, but this is good for static, HTML sites.
Note: If you use WordPress, just install the All-In-One SEO Plugin and it will create and submit your sitemap automatically.
40) CutePDF
Create PDF files from virtually any printable document using this free app. A great alternative if you don’t want to shell out $450 for Adobe Acrobat Professional.
41) Feedburner
If you own a blog, this is a must-use tool. Feedburner reports, tracks and helps you promote your blog’s RSS feed. It’s not just for blogs, however. You can use it for any site that has a feed.
42) CubeStat
CubeStat estimates any website’s worth, ad revenue and much more. These tools are always fun to play with. Just don’t take the data too seriously.

Whew! I can’t believe you looked at all these! I am impressed. Let me know the ones that worked for you and some of your favorites.
Austin

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