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Top 10 Free Tools to Help Improve Your Website Business

No doubt, you have a list of your favorite tools you use to help streamline your website business workflow, but there is always room for a few more! Below is a list of the top 10 free tools you may already be using or should take a look at to help improve your website business. If any of your favorites aren’t listed here, please share them in the comment section.

Photography

  • ImageOptim - https://imageoptim.com - If you’re a Mac user, ImageOptim is a must have tool in your website toolbox. It combines nine different image optimization tools for all your png, jpg, and gif file shrinking needs, and "...optimizes compression parameters, removes junk metadata and unnecessary color profiles." It can even shrink the file size of an image that was "Saved for Web" in Photoshop. In a world where speed is king, ImageOptim could help speed up your site. And, the answer to your current question is Yes, all photos on this post have been sent through ImageOptim at least once.
  • Death to the Stock Photohttp://deathtothestockphoto.com - Sign up and you'll get free high quality photos emailed to you every month. The sooner you sign up for it the better! As the name implies, these won't be your average business man shaking another business man's hand stock photos.
  • Unsplash It - https://unsplash.it - Unsplash is a popular site to use for high resolution photos. However, Unsplash It takes things a step further and allows you to embed Unsplash photos as placeholders. They have many different attributes that can be given to the image depending on your needs. Like Lipsum, it's a great tool to use if you just need dummy content on a site.

Text Editor

  • Atom - https://atom.io - Released as a beta in early 2014, Atom, was created by Github, who know a few things about free and open source software. It is highly configurable and is marketed as, "A hackable text editor for the 21st Century." Some hardcore coders might still prefer Vim, but Atom is a great free editor for the rest of us.
  • Bracketshttp://brackets.io - Brackets is an open source text editor created by Adobe. While you can code in it, you can also use their Extract for Brackets feature to pull out design info from a PSD. 

Analytics

  • Hotjar -  https://www.hotjar.com - Hotjar helps you visually see how people use your site. This includes heatmaps, recording of a user sessions, site visit funnels, surveys, forms, and more. This will help you see if someone is getting hung up navigating your site and how they get to a particular page.
  • Google Analytics/Webmaster Tools - http://www.google.com/analyticshttps://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ - Technically these are two different products, but I think they tie together very well. Google Analytics gives you more info then you'll ever need, while Google Webmaster tools will help you find SEO issues that you might have.

Productivity

  • Evernote - https://evernote.com - This is a tool that I use on a daily basis. Meeting notes and brain dumps are what I use Evernote for the most. If you've never used it or would like to use it more, read this wonderful article on The Verge, "The Verge at work: backing up your brain," and you will have a whole new appreciation for its uses and find inspiration on how to best use it. Also, using their web clipper will allow you to quickly save or bookmark things to later return to.
  • Dropboxhttps://www.dropbox.com - Dropbox was one of the early cloud storage companies. While many have caught up with, or surpassed their service, the simplicity of uploading and sharing a screenshot is why it made the list. While other screenshot services have put limits on their free offerings, Dropbox allows you to make as many screenshots as you want, as long as you have the storage space available. Note: this functionality isn't quite as robust on PCs (especially if you work on dual monitors) since the auto-save feature only applies to Print Screen captures. 
  • Dribbble - https://dribbble.com - Showing off your work on your website is good, but submitting your work to a design community can help you get feedback to refine your craft as well as get your name out there.

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