Free Tools

Here they are, a bunch of free tools to help you develop and promote your web site. Eventually I intend to write a post about each of them and place them in categories, but until then, here is a list of all of them. THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST YET. I will be adding to it and expanding very soon!

There are 1000’s of tools available. I will only be listing the ones I use for now. As this blog grows, I will update the list, probably split it into the different categories, and use your feedback to add even more. Let me know what you think in the Questions and Comments area near the bottom.

A note on my writing, I usually refer to server-side software, like WordPress, as scripts. So whenever I say script, it could be one file or many files and may include database access. Basically, I use the term scripts loosely.

WordPress

WordPress.org

First and foremost, WordPress is an awesome publishing platform that runs the backend of many web sites, including this one! And 1000’s of themes and plugins turn this great blogging tool into an extensive content management system like you’ve never seen before!

WordPress Plugins Used Here

Some of these plugins I am not actually using right now, but they are activated for future use (like WP-o-Matic). There are more I want to add (like image galleries) and there are some I’d like to use but have conflicts. I will link each plugin to its WordPress.org page soon, for now just enter the plugin name into the search box on the Add Plugins page of the WordPress Admin area. As this blog grows, I will also have posts about each plugin, and add plugins based on your feedback, and much more. But until then, here is my list of Activated plugins, with descriptions taken directly from WordPress Admin Plugins page.

  • .html on PAGES
    Adds .html to pages.
  • Advertising Manager
    Control and arrange your Advertising and Referral blocks on your WordPress blog. With Widget and inline post support, integration with all major ad networks.
  • Akismet
    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
  • All in One SEO Pack
    Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
  • ClickTale Plugin
    This plugin allows easy integration of ClickTale script with WordPress.
  • CrossPress
    Automatically, cross-posting to assiciated site/blog to enabling the post-via-email option with PIN code e.g. multiply.com, livejournal.com, blogspot.com and much more
  • Dual Registration – not completed
    Integrate other web based programs that require registration or user input already being recieved.
    By Christopher Peacock.
  • Exec-PHP
    Executes < ?php ?> code in your posts, pages and text widgets.
  • FD Feedburner Plugin
    Redirects all feeds to a Feedburner feed
  • GD Star Rating
    Star Rating plugin allows you to set up advanced rating and review system for posts, pages and comments in your blog using single and multi ratings.
  • GLM’s Category Magic Plugin
    This plugin allows you to display posts in categories a variety of ways
  • Google XML Sitemaps
    This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.
  • HidePost
    Protect a part of your post by using Please Login or Register to read the rest of this content. between the protected content.
  • Page Lists Plus
    Adds customisation options to the wp_list_pages function which is used to create Page menus. Change the link text and title attributes, redirect, nofollow or unlink links, and remove links from page lists altogether, all through the WordPress dashboard.
  • Pretty Link
    Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website!
  • Redirection
    Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors
  • Register Plus
    WordPress 2.5+ ONLY. Enhance your Registration Page. Add Custom Logo, Password Field, Invitation Codes, Disclaimer, Captcha Validation, Email Validation, User Moderation, Profile Fields and more.
  • Simple Tags
    Extended Tagging for WordPress 2.3, 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 ! Autocompletion, Suggested Tags, Tag Cloud Widgets, Related Posts, Mass edit tags !
  • Sociable
    Automatically add links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites.
  • Tagalize It
    Create taged text by enclosing the text to be tagged in one of the following. [TAG-Tec] [Tag-Ice] and [Tag-self] also alternate tags can be inserted into the [Tag-tec “new tag”]
  • Tag Managing Thing
    A thing for managing your tags. Things like renaming and deletions.
  • Twitme
    This plugin allows you to automatically post your new posts on the twitter website.
  • Widget Logic
    Control widgets with WP’s conditional tags is_home etc
  • Wordbook
    Cross-post your blog updates to your Facebook account. Navigate to Settings → Wordbook for configuration.
  • WordPress.com Stats
    Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks.
  • WordPress Link Directory
    A Links Directory for WordPress
  • WP-DBManager
    Manages your WordPress database. Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of database.
  • WP-CopyProtect
    This plug-in will protect your blog content from being copied. A simple plug-in developed to stop the Copy cats.
  • WP-o-Matic
    Enables administrators to create posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds.
  • WP-RelativeDate
    Displays relative date alongside with your post/comments actual date. Like ‘Today’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘2 Days Ago’, ‘2 Weeks Ago’, ‘2 ‘Seconds Ago’, ‘2 Minutes Ago’, ‘2 Hours Ago’.
  • WP Auto Tagger
    Automatically finds tags based on your post content.

SEO Tools and Keyword Research

Keywords and SEO

There are just to many keyword research tools and search engine optimization tools to go over right now. So until I get a post out about each one, here’s is a (very incomplete) list of the ones we use.

Keyword Research Tools
WordPot.com
Google Keyword Tool
Google
Keyword Elite
Keyword Analyzer

Search Engine Optimization Tools
SEOSurf
Google Analytics

Autoresponders

Autoresponders

Of course there is Aweber which costs a little but I hear it is really good. However, as of this writing I have never used Aweber, and this is a blog about free tools. However if you can afford it or your online business can support it, it may be a good option. But on to the free stuff…

  • GWA-Autoresponder for WordPress
    Great plugin for WordPress. Why don’t I use it? In my opinion it’s number one downfall: it only supports one list. I intend to have multiple lists, and as I have not found a plugin that provides that, I use a third-party script as I’ll explain below. However, some may only need or want one list, and this plugin is for you.
  • PHPlist
    Here is a third-party script that has a great interface and integrates with WordPress easily. However it does not yet support scheduling messages to be sent out after a new user register. It has been several months now since I checked, maybe it does now or maybe there is a paid version. If it has the features you need, I suggest it.
  • Dada Mail Project
    Here is another third-party script that has a great interface, but doesn’t integrate your blog users like PHPlist can. However, it does support scheduling messages to be sent out after a new user registers, but they are registering with your DadaMail implementation, not as a WordPress user. We switched over to using Dada Mail on TheGadgitech.com a while back because it has all the features we need and getting registered blog users isn’t a priority over there anymore.
  • Infinite Responder
    The interface is not the best, and it requires some setup, but it is capable of manual semi-integration with WordPress. This is the list manager we used to use over at TheGadgitech.com, but somehow I broke the unsubscribe links, and there isn’t much proof that emails were successfully sent, so we switched to DadaMail. However, it supports multiple lists and has all the features we wanted. I have also written a small plugin that makes it easier to integrate with WordPress without modifying any core files. I must note that unsubscribing users is still a separate process (once for the autoresponder, once for WordPress), even with the plugin.

Other Tools

Other Tools

Here are some more tools which I don’t have enough of to make separate categories, yet. Again, I will be expanding this list into many more categories. But here’s a little something for now…

Digital Product Download Manager
A simple program that emails unique download links for your eProduct customers. You place a PayPal button, have the ipn notification sent to the script and it verifies the transaction and sends the customer an email with a download link unique to that customer. You can also set the links to expire after so many hits so they can’t share links. It lacks tracking and logging, but since it’s written in PHP, this script is easily customizable – I even have it set up so it creates a log and have a simple script to view the log, so you can see exactly where the customer screwed up (did I just say that 😉 …ahem, the customer is never wrong).

WordPress Link Exchange
WP Link Exchange gets another honorable mention here for being a great link exchange management addition for WordPress. If you are using WordPress and plan on exchanging links with other sites or even if you just want to use it to make a directory, WP Link Exchange is THE plugin to get.

That’s it for now, more to come soon!

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