New web tools appear daily. Often I don’t even manage to bookmark them all, let alone try them. Nonetheless I try as many Internet tools as I can, I’m just a serial early adopter. I can’t stop it. These are mostly 30+ free tools which are either web tools or tools for the web I discovered and bookmarked as useful.
I tested most of these tools and I use some of them regularly as a web professional. Most of these social media, web design & development, search, SEO and analytics, e-commerce, blogging and Internet tools are not yet widely known main stream tools. The average webmaster will hopefully find them useful. I selected the 30 most useful tools from the hundreds available out there.
- Topsy is a search-like interface showing the most popular links on Twitter
- Trunk.ly collects all your links from Facebook, Twitter, Delicious etc. and also show those shared/saved by your friends
- Browzmi is a real time social browsing and chatting tool, it’s like a more advanced StumbleUpon
- Hellotxt lets you collect and organize social media activity or crosspost to several sites/networks
Web Design & Development
- Cushy CMS makes any static site a CMS site, it’s so easy I’ll recommend it to my mother who already uses Jimdo
- Pokform is a Jimdo-like Flash online CMS that allows you to create smooth websites with ease, currently it’s a nono for SEO though so you should only use it for an artists or photographers page
- Pingdom allows you to test whether your site is up and how fast it is
- Splashup is the real web based Photoshop, the Adobe online app can’t match
- BricaBox allows you to create your own social site, be it a map mashup site, a wiki, or a voting site. They compare it to WordPress and Ning to underline the ease of use of creation of a site but it appears to be even easier than WordPress
- Blekko is a highly customizable search engine for power users (English only)
- Grooveshark Lite is a music search engine that lets you listen to what you find
- Tineye lets you search for images or rather their sources and appearances based on the image itself
- Google GEO Search Tool allows you to see Google results from other locations as Google localizes your results based on your IP usually
SEO and Analytics
- Piwik is the best open source Google Analytics alternative. Some aspects of it are already better than GA.
- Rank Checker by SEOBook, been around for several months now but after more traditional ranking checker software has been crippled recently by Google a very good alternative
- Raven SEO Tools, this a a whole web based suite of internet marketing tools which will also track your rankings over time among others
- Woopra is an advanced web analytics suite which can compete with Google Analytics and in some cases offers better and more timely data
- Google Insights for Search is a keyword research tool similar to Google Trends but much more exact
- Shopify is a very simple online shop application virtually anybody can set up a shop now, it’s been around since 2005 and nobody told me!
- PPCalc is a “PayPal fee calculator”. As you know PayPal is very widely used but rather expensive and also not the most reliable solution. I’d recommend Moneybookers as alternative
- ChipIn is a PayPal connected tool that facilitates so called crowdfunding. It’s like crowdsourcing but with money. You ask many people to fund your project
Blogging & Internet
- BuySellAds does exactly that buy and sell banner ads taking 25% commission, it’s easy to use ideal for bloggers and worked fine for me
- Proxify “is a web-based anonymous proxy service which allows anyone to surf the Web privately and securely.”
- xrl.us by Metamark is the better TinyURL, I use it daily
- issuu is a YouTube like website for magazines and other print publications, you can upload them and allow people to read them only using a sleek Flash interface
- MagMyPic – You always wanted to get famous and end up on the cover of a magazine? Now you can!
You might know some of these web tools, especially if you’re a SEO expert you probably will know the SEO tools. I made sure that the list contains both the best tools currently available and those which not everybody outside a certain industry knows yet. Also these 30 tools can be used by anybody. You don’t need to be a full fledged web professional for most of these.
Last updated: April 21th, 2011 – Several defunct tools removed and new tools added.