My Favorite Free Website Resources

When it comes to creating and maintaining a website on a budget, it’s helpful to know that there are free website resources available that give you world-class results.

Here is a list of my favorite free website resources…

1. WordPress.com

Even if you already have a self-hosted WordPress website set up, you can still benefit from a free WordPress.com account. There are a lot of free features and services that come along with a WordPress.com account, and you can connect to them to your self-hosted WordPress site using the free Jetpack plugin. Analytics, forms, list-building tools and more. What’s nice is that, if you manage multiple WordPress websites, you can connect them all to one WordPress.com account and manage all your updates from one dashboard.

Of course, one of the other things I love about WordPress.com is that you can set up and host a free WordPress blog. Although I would recommend having a self-hosted WordPress website if you want to go beyond a personal blog, it’s a great place to get familiar with how WordPress works.

Visit the site.

2. WordPress.org

WordPress.org is a resource for software, plugins, themes, discussions forums and help articles related to WordPress. If you have a self-hosted WordPress website, you may have heard of the WordPress repository. WordPress.org is the WordPress repository. When you want to add free plugins or themes to your self-hosted site through your WordPress admin panel, it is pulling those resources from WordPress.org.

Visit the site.

3. Google Analytics

To know how your website is performing, you’ll want to monitor your site’s analytics. You can monitor some of these analytics by using the free Jetpack plugin connected to your WordPress.com account. However, if you want to go really deep into your analytics, you’ll want to use Google Analytics. Other than the fact that many of its features are free, the other good news is that you don’t need Gmail to create a Google account and track your website statistics.

There are also free Google Analytics plugins you can use to monitor some of your analytics directly from your WordPress dashboard.

Visit the site.

4. Canva

Not a graphic designer? No worries. Canva is graphic design for the rest of us. With Canva you can easily create awesome images that you can use on your website or social media. There are premium features available, but there’s enough free stuff to keep you busy for a while.

Visit the site.

5. Pixabay

A picture is worth a thousand words. The quality of the picture, however, determines whether those words are eloquent and effective, or sure to backfire on you. Pixabay offers a huge variety of free high quality royalty-free images, vector art and illustrations that you can use to spruce up a blog post, add that wow factor to your home page…or whatever you need!

FYI – the featured image for this post is from Pixabay.

Visit the site.

6. Pixlr

Can’t afford Photoshop? No problem. Autodesk’s Pixlr is a free online image editing suite. They have two options: Express, which is a very simple image editor, and Editor, which is a more robust application similar to Photoshop. In fact, with Editor you can actually open and edit Photoshop (.psd) files.

Visit the site.

7. Image Optimizer

If you have an image that you need to resize or optimize for optimum speed and performance on the web, a quick handy solution is Image Optimizer. Upload your large image file and it will render an optimized image for use on your website.

Visit the site.

8. Amazon S3

If it’s one thing web hosting companies don’t like to do, it’s…host stuff. It seems kind of ironic, but hosting companies really don’t want to host, much less serve, large files to your website visitors. Oh, sure, a couple of HTML pages – no big deal. But, once you start getting into larger files, like large PDFs, MP3s and, heaven forbid, video files (AAAIIIGGGHHH!!!!) your website hosting company gets a little cranky.

Fortunately, there is a very reputable off-site storage facility just for you. It’s called Amazon S3. It lets you store up to 5GB worth of data on their servers for free. What’s more, their pricing for files and data transfer rates that exceed your free quota are based on your actual monthly usage – not an arbitrary tier-level type of plan. Data usage is extremely affordable – a non-issue, really.

Visit the site.

9. Vimeo

Sure, YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google, the company that owns it. And, yes, if you want your videos to be found, you would be smart to have them on YouTube. However, if you want to link a professional looking video for display on your website, you may want to consider Vimeo. They have a very classy brand, and, by way of association, will make your website look classy, too, which will, in turn, help your brand.

Visit the site.

10. Wistia

 

In addition to Vimeo as a great alternative to YouTube for hosting video files, you may also want to consider Wistia. Wistia has some great analytics tools. Their claim is that they are “made for business”, but they also have a free level. The main reason I use Wistia is because, when marketing to educational markets, YouTube and Vimeo videos may sometimes be blocked.

Visit the site.

11. MailChimp

Monkey Do! MailChimp has always offered a free level for its autoresponder customers, but that free level came with some serious restrictions. Until now. To stay competitive MailChimp has lifted some of its restrictions – in particular: automations. Now, with the MailChimp free level, you can have up to 2000 subscribers and be fully automated with a follow up series.

Visit the Site.

12. MailerLite

MailerLite is another great option to consider as your autoresponder. The free level gives you up to 1000 subscribers with full automation. What’s more, MailerLite has an impressive array of other services, such as the ability to create landing pages. Using MailerLite’s tools, you could build an email list with an impressive landing page without ever having to have a website!

Visit the site.


What about you? Have you found any free website resources that aren’t listed here? Share them below!

  • Yeah if you really can’t afford photoshop, then pixlr and Online Photoshopis best bet. Not just afford comes in matter but if i am away with my desktop which have photoshop i always use browser based photo editor.

  • Steve Pederson

    You bring up a great point, Jennifer, about being away from your desktop. What are the mobile options? Pixlr does make an app for your mobile device. Photoshop, Photoshop Express and Lightroom have mobile apps as well. I had never heard of Online Photoshop. Thanks for sharing that one. I noticed it is a Flash-based application, so will only work on a desktop, and does not offer a mobile version. Looks like a desktop solution that’s worth trying, though!

  • Yeah, toolpic editor is also same like pixlr/editor version.. but since autodesk taken up pixlr, they started hiding many good feature in there paid version. Toolpic also have gif creator which pilr do not have. Do try i and review on your site. Will lovee to see your view thanks

  • Steve Pederson

    Jennifer, would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog and do a review of this app? If so, please contact me through the contact page on my site.