8 Really Cool Web-Based Tools for Bloggers

Looking for cool applications to help you make your blog or site all it can be?  We’ve found some good ones!  From ways to make sure your site looks good no matter who’s looking at it, to protecting your privacy and your content, these tools are all easy to use and either free or very low-priced.  And they’re all web-based, so no downloading to your computer necessary.

tynttynt insight – tynt.com is a tool you can use to keep track of what’s being copied from your site, ensuring proper credit is given while capitalizing on the copying you want.  This tool not only helps you track down content thieves, it helps to improve your SEO and traffic by generating more links back to your site and providing automatic attribution links.  You’ll download this software to your server, but not to your computer. Cost: Free

TestSize.comTestSize – As you probably know, your screen resolution is not the same as that of all your visitors.  So even if your site looks spectacular on your computer, it might look funky on someone else’s.  Want to see exactly what it looks like in various resolutions? That’s what TestSize.com is for.  Just enter your URL and choose which size you want to see, and you’ll get a view of your site from that resolution.  It’s a great way to put yourself in your site visitors’ shoes.  Cost: Free

stribeStribe – This is a great way to take your blog or site to the next level.  You have followers, readers, and subscribers now, but have your really created a community?  Stribe lets you do that.  It’s an easy way to instantly create a social network on any website.  Stribe is an easy plug-and-play solution that allows you to customize its features and build your blog into a community of users, all connected with each other – and with you.  Cost: Free (while in beta)

shrinkthewebShrinkTheWeb – This simple tool does exactly what the name says.  It takes any web page (home page only, unless you upgrade to pro) and creates screenshots that can be used in blog posts or other content areas on your site.  With one click, you get six different sizes of screenshots, from 320×240 down to a 75×56 thumbnail.  Cost: Basic = Free; Pro = $34.95/mo

iPadPeek – With over a million iPads sold so far and growing, you can bet some of your readers are looking at your site on one.  So how do you make sure your site looks good on the iPad if you don’t own one yourself?  Easy – just click over to iPadPeek.  You enter any web address at the top of the virtual iPad, and the site appears below just as it looks on the real thing.  Pretty slick! Cost: Free

img4meIMG4Me – Want to display your email address on your contact page without getting a ton of spam?  You could do something like “myname [at] mysite.com” which is pretty common, but not as cool as what IMG4Me lets you do.  With this txt to img service, you can put your email address in the text box, choose your parameters, like text color, font, and font size, and the app will generate an image of your text.  And they’ll even host the resulting image for you.  Cost: Free

fivesecondtestfivesecondtest – Want to know what people see when they first look at your site?  That’s what Five Second Tests do for you.  You earn “karma” by looking at other people’s sites and giving feedback on them, which allows you to upgrade your own tests when you’re having your site looked at.  There are some pretty cool options for tests, and you get results fast.  Ad agencies charge thousands of dollars to conduct this kind of research, so this can be a very valuable tool!  Cost: Free (unless you want premium features)

BrowseraBrowsera – There are a lot of browser options these days, and you can’t assume that just because you prefer Firefox, Safari, or Chrome all your site’s visitors have the same preference.  Believe it or not, some people still use IE!  In any case, just as with screen resolutions, your site might look very different from one browser to the next, and while it might look really good in your browser, it might be completely messed up in another (not to mention the various versions of all the browsers).  Browsera not only allows you to see what your site looks like in various browsers and their many versions, but it points out potential problems, like layout issues, JavaScript errors, and more. Cost: Free (with limited options – $39-$99/mo for more options)

There you go!  Some cool tools to make your site the best it can be.  We’re always looking for new, innovative solutions to improve the look, feel and functionality of websites, so if you have other nifty solutions, don’t hesitate to share in the comments!

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