42 Fabulous Free Web Tools

Here are 42 free web tools guaranteed to make your web life easier.

1) Icebrrg

Need a feedback form?  Survey? Registration form?  Head on over to Icebrrg.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.  (Thanks for the suggestion, Lisa)

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.  (Thanks, Elaine)

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!

I used these Actions to create the cover for my free e-book, ThePerfectSiteGuide.com.  As a matter of fact, I use them for all my e-books.

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.  (Thanks for mentioning this one, @retireat21.)

18) DropBox

This is a great tool for synching, saving, backing up and sharing files online.  What a handy site. (Thanks @Oceanlugano!)

19) Instapaper

Save web pages to your computer or phone for later reading. Works for iPhone and iPod Touch too.  (Thanks for the recommendation, @TamiaS)

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.  Start here.

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.  Thanks for the reminder, @socialarts!)

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.  (Thanks for the link, @KenmonPittman.)

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.

For example, I use it to display the latest posts from my forum’s Blogging & RSS category at the bottom of this page.

Read a more detailed explanation of how Feedburner works.

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.

What are some of your favorite free tools?

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for the huge list! I am already using some of the above tools. Some others are new to me.
    123-banner is very cool! It is old as you said but I have never come across it.

    Thanks a lot.
    Take care,
    Mouh

  2. says

    Hi Lisa–

    Great site!

    BUT 8>(

    9) e-Book Cover Templates for PhotoShop

    seems to be gone bye-bye.

    When I clicked on same,
    I received an offer to buy
    the domain name.

    Just thought you’d like
    to know.

    I love you,

    Dr. Larry Winebrenner CBM
    I-Business Mentor

    • says

      W3Schools is definitely more thorough than HTMLDog, but a lot of people don’t like it. They think it’s too technical. But if you’re looking to learn fundamentals then W3Schools is better. I’ve just found that most people prefer HTMLDog.

  3. says

    Being in a online math tutor I didn’t have much experience with the free tools but in the recent past I was making my website and these tools helped me a lot. Specially 123banners is really a great tool to make basic banners but that was ok for me.

  4. says

    Thank you for mentioning Colorzilla! I knew there a Firefox plugin that did that, but I couldn’t remember what it was called. Google reader is my favorite way to follow other blogs.

  5. AqilEizzat says

    Hey Lisa , Thanks for sharing all of these . You’re such a life saver . I need to know , what do you mean by All My E-Books ? Do you have many e-books ? If so , could you give me all the links to the e-books . I would like to download it . I can read it when there’s no internet coverage in my laptop . THanks in advance .

  6. Denis Gray says

    Lisa, how do I configure a wordpress form (using cform) to perform simple math calculations (addition). In other words I want field 1 to be added to field 2 and display the results in another field c

    Thanks Lisa

  7. says

    Hi – great list! i can personally vouch for Picnik as that is the one i use the most. it is exactly as you say, very easy yet extremely effective.

    I will use the others and let you know – thanks a lot for sharing.

  8. says

    Wow, I read a lot of these lists but you managed to find a ton of software I’ve never even heard of! This will keep me busy for a while.

  9. says

    Thank you for the impressive arsenal of web freebies. I suggest adding LibreOffice at http://www.libreoffice.org/ or replacing OpenOffice.org with it, because most of the open source developers went to work on LibreOffice when Oracle bought Sun and alienated OpenOffice from the open source community. I already replaced it on all my computers without any problems – LibreOffice can only be better because it’s based on the same exact (free and public) code OpenOffice had, only improved. The update and upgrade work on Openoffice.org virtually halted and has been silent for one year now, while LibreOffice is regularly releasing updates and new versions.

  10. says

    Hi Lisa, Great list you put together here. I like to build lists as well as its truly valuable information for your readers. There are some great sites that I had not heard of until checking this list out. Thanks again!

  11. says

    Lisa,
    Wow . great list . particularly instapaper.
    I was manually saving programming related urls manually in a text file. this was going on for years. instapaper saved my years of hardwork .
    THANKS a lot.
    regards
    vinodh

  12. says

    This is a great list, so thanks Lisa.

    I would recommend adding the Ultimate TinyMCE plugin – you get many extra formatting tools added to the basic tools provided by WordPress

  13. says

    Lisa,picnik is my go to tool for editing pictures online, after the demise of picnik I feel Picmonkey is the the alternative.

    Hope you will update the list.

  14. says

    you have great list Lisa :)

    But I have question Lisa will plz help me out
    1 what is good to build blog or website ?
    2 I want to create on online songs website so how I do this ?

    please reply me on ma mail

    thanks again for your information on this site :)

  15. says

    Hi Lisa

    In regards to: “I just used this site to image map my new YouTube channel banner.” as you’ve stated.

    Wow, I have never seen that before. How do you that? It’s amazing Lisa.

    Btw, thank you so much for the great information on your website. I can sure find good use of it.

    Thanks again,

    Vincent

  16. says

    These are all wonderful and free tools to use online. However, I’m wondering if there is a working and automated “Facebook wall cleaner script,” where anyone can automate the process of cleaning their Facebook wall on autopilot. Do you know of any such working applications?

  17. says

    Thank you for this list, I’ve installed the FireFTP and I just love it. Makes editing pages super easy within firefox and it only took a few seconds to setup. Great post!

  18. says

    Great list, I am already using some of these tools: firebug, FileZilla and more and as a novice web developer it is always hard to pick the good ones, so this list is a great help.

  19. says

    Hi Lisa, the 123 flash banner site is fantastic but…..I’ve been trying to get a 123 Banner to upload to my site for several hours, and failing. The FAQ at their site is as clear as mud. I’m not a complete beginner but this one has me stumped.

    Could you consider writing a non geeks ‘How To’ post on how to upload .swf files to a website? Or a youtube video if that is your preferred media option. Please….. :)
    Signed: Desperate of Sydney.

  20. says

    Hey Lisa!
    Great job!! thanks for jotting down all the web tools.By this blog I got knowledge about all the web tools and didnt have to waste time in searching.Most of them are unknown to me .So one again Thanks

  21. says

    Great list of free tools. Picnik is no longer available to use. Google created the software as a project and closed the site. I loved this software. Easy to use! Boo Boo Google!

    Mr.MakingUsmile

  22. says

    Hi Lisa!
    This has to be hands down the best article I have read about website tools. Keeping up to date with the internet and anything that can help to make your life (and website) easier is always a good thing. I’m on my way to look at many of these tools now. Great article, great website. Best wishes to you.

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