The list below represents a small sampling of free web-based tools that the fine folk at Brainstorm use to glean information, make things and build better websites. There are countless free tools out there, but these are some of the best and we recommend them highly. Enjoy!
Looking for a quick overview of your website’s performance? Go to SEMrush.com to see your site’s traffic, backlinks, keyword drivers, and more. You’ll even get a surprisingly thorough competition analysis that shows how your site is performing relative to your competitors. SEMrush limits how much data you can preview for free, but even a cursory glance at the site’s findings can be tremendously valuable. www.semrush.com
Simply the best free online tool for creating stellar infographics and online charts. Infogr.am is simple to use and chock full of design options. The download feature requires a paid plan, but there’s nothing to stop you from taking a screenshot of your work or sharing it via email or social media. www.Infogram.com
Most sites nowadays are built using one content management system (CMS) or another. If you are fond of a certain site, and want to know what tool it was built with, go to whatCMS to get the answer. You can get this information from the site’s source code, of course, but why go to all the trouble when whatCMS makes the process so simple and painless? www.whatCMS.org
Most free web-based design tools stink. And then there’s Canva.com. Use it to design eBooks, web banners, social media graphics and more. It’s way easier to use than most desktop design applications, and it gets the job done in minutes rather than hours. There is a small fee to export non-watermarked designs, but all in all it’s a steal. It’s also a great tool for creating comps that can be passed on to your design team. www.Canva.com
Create a down and dirty logo in minutes. And a good one at that. With thousands of icons and a wide range of type styles to choose from, Logoaster brings logo design to the masses. Non-watermarked exports will cost you, but the prices can’t be beat. And if you’re just developing comps to pass on to your design team, watermarked versions are free. www.Logaster.com
It is important to remember that no tool can turn a lackluster website creator into a great one. But the ones listed above – when used wisely – can speed up the web creation process at minimal cost and with stellar results.
By Bryan Lesseraux