There are a lot of elements to consider when creating & managing a website: How are you going to build it? What fonts are you going to use? Where will you find images? What platform will you blog with? How will people comment? The list goes on and on.
In true Hover form, we thought we’d make things a little bit easier for you. In this post, we’ve gathered 50 inexpensive tools to point you in the right direction for virtually all aspects of creating a website. These aren’t in any particular order and some will be better options than others depending on your specific needs. There are a lot of tools out there – it was hard just narrowing it down to 50! As such, this is definitely not a definitive list, but it’s at least enough to get you started. Enjoy & best of luck!
KompoZer – Free & open source web authoring tool. Also has a WYSIWYG editor, though ideal for intermediate & advanced web devs.
Wix – Free drag-and-drop website builder. Premium features extra, starting at $4.08/month.
Squarespace – Another drag-and-drop website builder with many customizable themes. Plans start at $8/month.
Weebly – A free drag-and-drop builder with optional premium features such as eCommerce. Premium plans start at $4/month.
Adobe Color – Free advanced color wheel that will help you drill down to the perfect colour & which ones go well with it.
Paletton – Another free color wheel with a very simple interface.
Coolors – Press spacebar to generate random colours, lock the ones you like and keep pressing spacebar to generate ones that compliment your choices – all for free.
Colourcode – Rather than dragging points around a wheel, simply move your mouse across the screen to generate colours. Also free.
COLOURlovers – A free community-generated collection of great colour schemes.
Font Squirrel – Extensive collection of free handpicked high quality fonts.
WhatTheFont – If you see a font you like & don’t know what it is, upload a screenshot & it’ll find it (or a similar one) for you.
Google Fonts – Discover and fine-tune highly customized fonts and easily integrate them into your site – all for free!
Typetester – Compare fonts side-by-side. Great for narrowing down options or testing which fonts go well together.
Pixabay – Large collection of free stock images, vectors & illustrations.
Dollar Photo Club – Huge library of great photos, vectors & illustrations, all for $1 each.
NounProject – Community-generated vector icons, free with attribution to the artist or $1 without attribution.
Photo Pin – Search through images on Flickr that are approved for repurposing (with attribution to the author).
Find Icons – A large collection of free icons and illustrations.
Photoshop – It’s the gold standard in image editing used by top professionals. Now with a new price point of $9.99/month as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, it no longer has the steep price that scared new users away in the past.
Pixlr – A free browser-based alternative to Photoshop. For more advanced designers.
GIMP – Another free Photoshop alternative, downloadable for Mac, Windows & Linux.
Canva – A browser-based drag-and-drop image editor created for non-designers. Select which layout you’d like and replace with whatever images or text you’d like. Upload your own images, use the free ones included or purchase premium ones for $1 each.
BeFunky – An easy-to-use browser-based photo editor. Free (with advertisements) or paid starting at $4.95/month.
WordPress – It’s hands-down the most popular blogging platform (we also use it for the Hover blog). Free, easy to use, endless plugins to choose from, yada yada yada.
Tumblr – The standard for microblogging. Quickly share images, audio, video, text or anything else you can think of with your audience. Best of all? It’s free!
Svbtle – A stripped-down interface that lets you just focus on writing instead of overwhelming you with a ton of widgets, menus and other distractions. $6/month.
Ghost – Another distraction-free blogging platform. Ghost has a great side-by-side view of your writing and a preview of the final product. Free if hosting on your own or paid plans starting at $10/month.
Posthaven – Making things all the more simpler, Posthaven lets you post to your blog by sending an email. Even simpler is its pricing – just $5/month.
Postach.io – Easily post articles from other apps you’re already using, including Dropbox, Evernote & Pocket. Free or $5/month for additional features like multiple sites, password-protected sites & multiple authors. Bonus points for using a domain hack.
Reformed – A free bare-bones form editor that’ll populate whatever elements you’d like and generate the HTML. You’ll need to know a bit of HTML to further customize the form, and it’ll be up to you to collect & manage entries.
Google Forms – Just like most things Google, Google Forms is a feature-packed form creator available completely free of charge.
pForm – A quick & free tool to create HTML forms. Select a style, elements to include and then download the HTML. Premium features like automatically sending results to your email, auto-responder emails, file uploads & PayPal payments are available for $49/site.
Wufoo – Simply click what elements you’d like to include in your form & customize to your heart’s content. Integrations with Twitter, MailChimp, WordPress & more, plus great reporting/analysis. Free for 1 user with 3 forms, 3 reports & 10 fields. Paid plans starting at $14.95/month.
JotForm – A feature-packed editor that’ll let you design highly customized forms and even host them for you. Free with 100 monthly submissions. Paid plans starting at $9.95/month for more submissions, payments, storage and sub-user accounts.
Zoho – A drag-and-drop editor that makes designing forms a breeze. Zoho will also collect & manage form submissions really well. Available for free or paid plans starting at $5/month for more records, storage, custom branding and other features.
Disqus – Add a beautiful commenting section to any section of your site. Also lets visitors discover other great content from your site that are sparking discussions. It’s easy to add to your site and best of all is completely free.
Livefyre – Another great & free commenting platform that’s easy to add to your site. Has a number of other great features including Sidenotes, which let your audience have discussions based on specific points within an article.
IntenseDebate – A free commenting platform brought to you by the people behind WordPress, PollDaddy & Akismet. It’s also got great features like the ability to tweet a comment & a Plugins API so you can customize to your heart’s content.
MailChimp – A feature-packed service that’ll let you create beautiful emails by dragging-and-dropping (or code your own), organize subscribers into different lists, A/B test alternate headlines, analyze the success of your campaigns, and too many other features to list here. Free for 0-2,000 subscribers with 12,000 emails/month, paid plans starting at $10/month.
Campaign Monitor – A great drag-and-drop email creator with meaningful analytics & social media integrations. Plans starting at $9/month.
AWeber – A full-featured platform with a drag-and-drop editor, subscriber segmenting based on their actions, analytics, and even RSS to email to automatically keep people in the loop. Plans start at $19/month.
Google Analytics – Learn everything there is to know about the success of your website like where people spent the most time, where they left, where they came from, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Best of all? It’s free!
PIWIK – An open source web analytics platform that’ll give you great insight into what’s working (and, more importantly, what isn’t). Free if you host it yourself or plans starting at $65/month for PIWIK Cloud.
Crazy Egg – Literally see how visitors interact with your website with heatmaps of where people clicked. This’ll give you a birdseye view of what people are most engaged with on your website and where they trail off. Plans start at $9/month.
Open Web Analytics – A completely free & open source web analytics platform. Includes many elements found in alternative platforms such as heatmaps, geo-location, search terms that are referring visitors and navigation through website. Best off all, there’s no upselling – the service relies entirely on donations from its users.
Google Alerts – A free & simple tool that will send you a notification whenever you’re mentioned on the web.
BuzzSumo – See where you’ve been mentioned & how many times articles have been shared on different social networks. Free for top results; paid plans with full results, multiple users, alerts, content analysis & more starting at $99/month.
Twazzup – Search Twitter and see what top influencers, links, photos & news are being shared about you – all for free!
Hootsuite – A great all-in-one social media management platform, Hootsuite allows you to set up a custom dashboard so you never miss a mention. You should be able to get all you’ll need out of the free plan but if not, Pro is just $9.99/month.