9 free webmaster tools I can't live without

Webmasters and developers don't need a whole lot of money to spend on tools in order to work efficiently and be productive. Here is a list of free tools that help me run my everyday webmaster chores.

Notepad++

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image right","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Notepad++"}}]]Dreamweaver and such designing tools might have become very advanced in the recent years but I am still far from satisfied with them. I prefer to do the coding with a simple text editor and be in total control of the code and not end up with unnecessarily long code. Recently I discovered Notepad++ which has the few bells and whistles that are desired by hard core programmers such as code highlighting, Regular Expression Search/Replace support, capability to extend functionality with plugins and nice depository of contributed ones. Worth your attention.

Filezilla

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image left","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"FileZilla"}}]]If you are like me and don't use WYSIWYG editors to do your HTML/CSS designs then you are probably need or are already using a standalone FTP client to upload/download files to and from your server. Filezilla is a free tool that I have been using for some time and has not failed me. New version 3 has lots of new features, if you are FTPing stuff often maybe you should check it out.

Xampp

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image right","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"xampp"}}]]XAMPP is an apache server distribution that integrates php, mysql, phpmyadmin and a bunch of other great open source projects into an easy installation. It can be used on production servers to host one's sites but I mostly use it locally to code and test my html/css/php projects. Its easier to develop locally because there is no need to upload files on servers every time, and only upload when your project is complete. It can be installed on Windows/Linux and lots of other platforms and if you are serious about developing you should get it installed in your computer and start playing with it.

Google Analytics

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image left","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Google Analytics"}}]]Google analytics is a free website statistics package that anyone can easily integrate into their website in a few minutes. Analytics once installed on your website it gathers data and presents you with reports about which sites your visitors come from, what country they live in, how long they stayed on your site, which pages were more popular and a whole lot of reports that you will likely not need another statistics package for you site. Those statistics are vital to the progress of any site in order to understand a site's audience and find things that might need to be improved. You can create as many analytics accounts as you like (unlimited number of sites) as long as your total pageviews don't exceed the monthly allowance of 5 million.

Firefox

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image right","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Firefox"}}]]Mozilla Firefox is not only a great browser to surf with. Firefox was build with extensibility in mind and has given developers a way to extent its functionality with add-ons. Add-ons can enhance the capabilities of Firefox and enhance the browsing experience. There is a whole lot of add-ons in the Mozilla repository that can help you with task such as bookmarking, searching, social interaction, developing, news reading, downloading to name just a few categories. Some of the following favorite tools of mine are actually Mozilla Add-ons. Its definetelly worth your attention.

SeoQuake

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image left","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Seoquake"}}]]
Seoquake is a Mozilla add-on that was created with the SEO professionals in mind. It will help you gather important statistics about a website or web page with the touch of a button. Such statistics include PageRank, indexed pages, google backlinks, Cached date etc. One can also extend it/configure it to gather other important statistics from online services not already included in it.

Firebug

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image right","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Firebug"}}]]Firebug is yet another Mozilla Add-on; a webmaster tool that can help you understand and debug your javascripts. It has so many bells and whistles that I am thinking of devoting a whole article on it. I will just mention the features that I use myself; Inspecting and editing HTML and CSS on the fly, debugging and running javascript on the fly, monitor network activity but there are many others. Here is a video tutorial I recently found that will help you get started with firebug debugging

Gimp

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image left","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Gimp"}}]] Gimp is an open source image manipulation package that can help you with photo retouching, image composition, format conversion and animations among other things. Its not likely to replace Adobe photoshop any time soon but its a free alternative that has found many followers and through its plugin architecture promises to built the only image manipulation tool you will ever need. Some of its features are presented in a way of a presentation but nothing can convince you better than to actually install it and try it on your own.

Drupal

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image right","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"drupal"}}]]Drupal is a content management system much like wordpress but a lot more extensible. Wordpress is a good CMS (content management system) for simple sites and even though it has many plugins to extend its capabilities I would not recommend building anything other than a blog with it. Drupal on the other hand was built in such a way to be extensible. A programmer digging in its code will appreciate its flexibility, code quality, and modular design and simplicity for writing a new module. Drupal is was build from the ground up a tool for building community sites, and as a result it has many features to support such sites but it is also capable for supporting standard websites. Its learning curve is quite steep but it pays off in the end. Worth more than a look from you.

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54 Comments

Hi!
Thank you for your review of seoquake!
Do you use seodigger? another our service?

Yes I do use it. ITs a great service but I did not consider it essential for this list.

Thanks for the great piece of script.

very good list you have
I started working with Notepad++ not long ago and just love it

I am curious on why you chose Drupal compared to all of the other CMS's. Do you happen to have an unbiased article comparing them? I would be interested in seeing such an article - and of course dropping my 2cents ;)

-aaron

add photoshop cs and swishmax to my account, don't forget to mention Wordpress..

Aaron,
I don't have any article comparing it to other popular ones but, I have my experience talking here and like most/any articles it can't be completely unbiased but, you can take it for a spin and see if you like it ...

Well I would not add photoshop and swishmax in a list of FREE tools because they are not free.

Wordpress could be in your list, I posted what a consider a better script; DRUPAL. Everyone is welcome to try it.

Hi, I use a FF plugin called SearchStatus and find I use this even more than SeoQuake, recommend you give it a whirl.

No I did not,
You are free to tell us a few things about Grouptivity, but it better be good otherwise I am going to erase your post.

Drupal is the win! Thanks for the SeoQuake link, not seen that before.

Personnaly i prefer Wordpress from Drupal .
Simple but effective ...

Great post, I'm now going to check out Google Analytics. I'm wondering, does Drupal have a chat extension and plugin mechanism?

I have been using Crimson Editor for years. It sounds like it is very similar to NotePad++, and it is free.

Hi GiorgosK, 4 of your choices are on my list, too, but I am not a programmer, though. Funy, I was using Gimp, but not as a pluggin - thanks for an upgrade. I am going to spend quite some time on your sites, because there are so many 'pearls', here

I find myself having to disable SEOQuake every time im done using it because it slows down the searching.

Would Firebug help in seeing if a link is using Javascript to cloak or fool the visitor into thinking a link is DoFollow?

I'm referring to a previous post by you on NoFollow being just the beginning.

Firebug will show you all the raw HTML CSS and Javascript on a page so it can potentially show you if a link is noFollow or not ...

The post you are referring to was actually written by Forrest

I used filezilla and i can say that it is really good.. About statistics, there exists many different popssibilities.. i wanna use Google Analytics and see how good it is

I love Google Analytics. I designed my own website and it has helped with my marketing campaign. I will have to come back more to research what may be beneficial to my website and business success.

We use seoquake I would have to agree this is one of the best seo research tools

GiorgosK,

Being an outsider on web design and programming I would understand why I don"t have some of the tools you mentioned. What I do have right now on my desktop are Firefox and yes, SeoQuake. For photo editing, I have Corel.

Friends have agreed that Drupal is one of the most SEO friendly CMS'es out there. I use CoreFTP for my uploads and Netobjects for my editing.

I guess, most of my choice of tools stem from me being an outsider in the field of IT. I am more of a front ender who works on the surface of things more than on what makes everything work.

This list is very useful for anybody looking for a way group of free tools to use. I agree that these tools are not only indispensable but are actually essential to those who maintain or use websites, tech savvy or not.

I can also add Google Webmaster Tools to the list, because it is very useful in seeing information about my site rankings in the search engines.

I've heard many great things about Firefox. I'm still old fashioned and use IE I guess..heh.

I prefer the SearchStatus extension for Firefox. It shows just the amount of information I want. :)

Ha, didnt even know half of these programs existed. thanks.

SEOquake looks interesting - just installed it, will save me time going backwards and forwards to check out site stats, thanks!

Got lots of new toys to play with now :D

What about fireftp.mozdev.org/ - fireftp, for firefox, opensource ftp addon - fast, reliable and quick to install. For me the best ftp that I have come across so far.

I am a big fan of Google,,,,,I recommend you to inlude Google Webmaster Tools.

thank you .i have already used all of them .but the best of them is seoquaqe nodupt

Seoquaqe can shows us pr value of links on search engines. But i need some feauture that can shows pr of all links on a random webpage. is it possible?

Even though I use Dreamweaver for the majority of my website editing you honestly cant beat Notepad!! Also SEO Quake Rocks

Yes i also want a feaure that shows us seo of links ( ie. pr ) of any page individually. for example seoquaqe shows the properties on the seach enginees page, but i want to show it on any single page .

I use Google Annalytics and Firefox, those are the ones I couldn't live without. but reading the others you mention here I think I'll try more than one of them.

Drupal is a content management system much like wordpress but a lot more extensible.

Hi GiorgosK, Thank you for share this tips about webmaster tools. Firefox, SeoQuake, Firebug are best tools for website SEO work. I already saved it to my favourite, Thanks.

Very good tip.
Till now I;ve been using just Notepad. Reading your article I understood the need of more powerfull tools. Notepad++ will be the first among those to give a try.
Good Job!

This are all good stuff very helpful, there's so many to choose from, but i like the simplicity of Notepad++. Myglobalsatff.com

horlama, there is an addon to Firebug that shows all links on the page including nofollow attribute, but doesn't show PR of each link unfortunately, at least for now - FireLinkReport.

Yes i also want a feaure that shows us seo of links ( ie. pr ) of any page individually. for example seoquaqe shows the properties on the seach enginees page, but i want to show it on any single page .

Thanks for putting them together. I love Google Analytics. It helps in analyzing the overall traffic to your website.

i'll recommend seobook's rank checker...

Firebug is my favourite webmaster tool , I love the features as a web designer its very helpful . I also think SEO quake is another great tool

I;ve been using just Notepad. Reading your article I understood the need of more powerfull tools. Notepad++ will be the first among those to give a try.

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