Okay, so it is confession time for me. I have had a little too much fun looking at these 40 great website tools.
I still find it amazing that, just by adding an ity bit of code onto your website, boom - you have awesome extra website functionality.
In my last post about social media widgets, I looked at the tools you can use to boost your social media presence and engagement.
In this post, I am going to look at some other great tools outside of the social media arena.
Now, there are thousands of website tools out there and so I have decided to focus on those that I use and those that are recommended by Jimdo (the website builder that I design my websites with*) .
These 40 tools fall into one of these categories:
Social Media (which we have already covered)
- Booking & Events
- Website Analytics
Website Search Engines
- Online Calendars
If you want to create engaging online presentations, try Prezi.
There are so many exciting design options and templates. Once you have created your presentation in Prezi, you can click on it and select ‘embed’ to generate the code to add to your website.
Embedded prezis work just like a normal prezi only smaller. You can move through your presentation using the previous and next arrows at the bottom of the embedded prezi screen (or with the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard). It is also possible to pan and zoom through embedded prezis.
When you embed a prezi, you can choose whether people can only move through the steps of the prezi's path, or if they can also pan and zoom freely within the prezi.
Click here to check out Prezi’s video tutorial to learn how to embed a prezi.
A confession. I have been meaning to start using Slideshare for months. I love looking at the content on this site and have seen how powerful these presentations can be in terms of repurposing content and driving traffic to websites.
My main aim for Slideshare is to repurpose the content I have created in my blog into a snappy presentation.
For example, looking at this blog post, I could create a slideshare based on all of the tools that I have looked at.
I can then share that sideshare on my social media networks and also embed the presentation into my website (I can embed the content created by other slideshare users too).
To do this, you simply visit the slideshare page of the file that you want to embed, go to the top of the player and click on the ‘embed’ link. Then copy the code and place it onto your website or blog. (Click here for more information about embedding slideshare content.)
Wufoo is a form designer that enables you to create contact forms, online surveys and invitations so that you can collect data, registrations and payments. It was acquired in 2011 by SurveyMonkey, the online survey software tool (click here for more about SurveyMonkey).
I have not used Wufoo as yet, preferring to use Jimdo’s forms or the forms that I can create in Google.
However, there are lots of different tempting forms to create in Wufoo. For example, customer satisfaction surveys, employment application forms, event registration forms, online order forms and party invitations.
You can find out how to create a form in Wufoo by watching the video below.
Once you have created your form, you can either share it to your social media platforms or copy and paste the embed code onto your website. I know that I will be checking this tool out the next time I need to create a form.
Powr.io offers a number of powerful, yet easy to install, plugins that you can add to your website. For example, you can add an online form, an about page, a PayPal button, a price table or a social media bar to your site in, they say, minutes.
Okay, let’s test this out…
...And I’m back! It took me about ten minutes to create the social media feed that you can see on my About page.
A lot of that time was spent getting to grips with the Powr.io system and playing about with my custom colours. All in all, I found it super quick and really easy and am looking forward to doing more with the Powr.io plugins.
Bannersnack offers a quick and easy way to create banner advertising that you can then embed onto your website. See the video below for more information:
You have to pay for many of these banners, but the fee is pretty minimal. I found Bannersnack really easy to use.
I created the banner ad below (based on one of the templates available) and embedded it onto my site in about five minutes. I know I have only scratched the surface so far but I can already tell that this tool is extremely user friendly.
Photosnack is a photo slideshow maker allowing you to upload your images, choose from a selection of templates, share your slideshows and embed them onto your website.
Photosnack also enables you to make HTML5 slideshows that are fully compatible with mobile devices,
I was interested in creating a Photosnack slideshow to display my recent website designs. I found the tool simple and easy. You are directed to a series of templates and you can save time by selecting the template that best suits you and customising from there.
For the purposes of this blog post, I made the slideshow below super quickly with a few screen grabs. However, I was impressed at how easy it was to create and embed. I think I will go back and have a longer play around!
You can also add audio to your slideshow from the Photosnack library or upload your own songs.
Email Marketing Tools
I use Mailchimp for my email marketing campaigns and find it so user friendly with lots of different designs and customisation options. And who could resist after listening to MailChimp’s advert at the start of the Serial Podcast!
Mailchimp comes highly recommended by Jimdo who found it to be a clear winner in a search to find the best, business-focused email marketing tool.
Once you have created a campaign or emailable newsletter, you can also design and embed a pop-up sign-up form onto your website to capture those all important email contacts.
CleverReach is another email marketing and newsletter design software tool that also allows you to embed registration and unsubscribe forms onto your website.
Call To Action Tools
In addition to the call to action buttons that I have created myself, I use Wise Pops to design and customise pop-up CTA buttons and forms.
There are lots of different CTAs to choose from depending on your goals.
For example, you can increase subscriptions to your newsletters (Wise Pops integrates with MailChimp), you can promote important information (such as sales and contests etc) you can welcome visitors by traffic source and you can reward repeat visitors.
The great news is that they are all super easy to create and customise.
Business Feedback Tools
You can sign up to Yelp for free and add a Yelp badge to your website that will enable potential customers to access your reviews. Click here for more information about how to use Yelp within a Jimdo website.
Yelp uses automated software to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews for the Yelp community. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp.
Yelp had an average of approximately 135 million monthly unique visitors in Q4 2014 and Yelpers have written over 71 million local reviews.
Vocal References provide tools to enable you to capture testimonials for your business in video, audio and text formats. It then enables you to display these testimonials on your website. For more information, take a look at the video below:
In addition, click here for a tutorial that will help you to install Vocal References onto your Jimdo site.
Online Shopping Tools
In a nutshell, Gumroad allows you to sell digital products directly to your audience. The system is super smooth and easy. You can integrate Gumroad onto your website, sell on social media or through your email newsletter.
Paypal needs no introduction - its position as a safe way to pay for things online is well established.
If you have something to sell, you can also add a widget that will create a Paypal payment button that you can embed onto your website. This will enable your clients to pay for your products or services without appearing to leave your site. Click here to discover how to embed PayPal onto your website.
Community Engagement Tools
PollDaddy enables you to create customised surveys and polls and embed them onto your website.
For more information about PollDaddy's key features take a look at this blog post.
Formilla offers a live chat facility to embed onto your website.
Click here for all of the information that you will need to embed Formilla onto your Jimdo website.
You can customise your chat widgets to match your brand colours and even add attention grabbing images.
There are lots of features (click here to see Formilla's features) depending on whether you want to stick with the free version or upgrade to a paid option.
I use Disqus on my website to create and manage the comments box that appears at the end of each of my blog posts.
Disqus is free to use and simple to install. This is how I added Disqus onto my Jimdo website.
Some bloggers are moving away from comments boxes and favouring the use of social media instead. This is something that I will be keeping an eye on.
However, I like Disqus because it gives me the control that I want and always alerts me to new blog comments.
SnapEngage allows you to create a fully customisable live chat box that you can then embed onto your website.
While I haven’t gone down the live chat route for my business, I do like SnapEngage’s ethos of offering “awesome” human support.
Indeed, as I was looking at all SnapEngage had to offer, a little box came up and Erica asked me if I needed any help (see below). I told her that I was just looking at SnapEngage for a client and for a blog post and she replied straight away that I should ping her if I needed anything.
Well, this experience gave me a really warm feeling about SnapEngage and I could easily see the tool’s customer service potential for other businesses.
Rumbletalk enables you to create a customisable, sociable chat room.
You can use Rumbletalk on your PC, mobile or tablet and integrate it into your website, blog, App and onto Facebook. Click here for instructions how to embed Rumbletalk into a Jimdo website.
Pubble is a cross platform, community engagement tool that allows you to support messaging options such as Q&As, direct messages and updates on your website. You can also host live events on your website using this tool. See below for how to do this:
Pubble is a powerful website tool. Click here for details on how to integrate Pubble into a Jimdo website.
Userlike allows you to create a customisable chat system for your website.
Olark also offers live chat functionality for your website. See the video below for more information:
Olark is easy to use, is great for teamwork and customer service, gives you lots of data and analytics about your website visitors and saves a trackable record of your conversations. It also integrates with many customer management software tools.
Click here for instructions on how you can install Olark into your website.
Booking & Events Tools
BookingBug is a cross platform, online scheduling tool that you can embed onto your website. You can customise your design to fit in with your brand and manage your staff, services, resources, events, appointments and reminders through BookingBug’s dashboard.
BookingBug integrates with a range of tools and platforms including Mailchimp and Facebook. It has a CRM element that allows you to store the details of each of your customers and it also enables you to take payments or deposits online.
Click here for more details about how to implement BookingBug onto a Jimdo website.
Ticketleap offers online ticket sales and registration. You can design your events page to look great across all devices. You then use their widgets to create buttons to embed on your website that will send traffic to your Ticketleap event page or even buy tickets directly from your website.
Ticketleap’s events pages are optimised for social sharing and can also pull in hashtag mentions from Twitter and Instagram.
When the day of your event arrives, Ticketleap will enable you to welcome your guests by checking their name off a list, scanning barcodes or via a Selfie Ticket. You can also use Ticketleap to accept credit cards at the door.
GetEvents allows you to create and customise an events listing page. Once you have created your event listings, you can add them to your website. The listings can be for events in your area or for the events that you are organising.
The key idea is to provide people with the information that they need while creating content and driving traffic to your site for SEO purposes. The events are tailored so that the tool only shows events that are relevant to your business.
If you have a Jimdo website, click here for details how to embed GetEvents onto your website.
EventBrite is another customisable event listing and ticket sales tool that you can embed on your website. For more details, see the video below:
You can also use this tool to promote your event on the EventBrite website or via social media.
Website Analytics Tools
By adding Google Analytics tracking code to your website, you can analyse and monitor all of the traffic that comes to your website. I use Google Analytics and it never ceases to amaze me what I discover!
I use the free version of GetClicky for a quicker overview of how much traffic is coming to my site and from where. It gives me all the key information I need at a glance.
Website Search Tools
Swiftype allows you to add a search engine facility to your website. It also offers a website search, a mobile search, real time audience analytics and instant updates as your site changes.
In addition, with a simple drag and drop function, you can customise potential search results.
Addsearch is an instant visual website search facility. I like the fact that it is visual (probably because I am).
However, I am going to road test both website search tools before I pick the one that I am going to stick with.
Soundcloud allows you to upload and embed audio to your website.
Bandcamp allows artists to host, sell and embed music on their website.
Iradeo enables you to create a streaming radio station on your website.
I love creating video for my own business and for my clients. I think that video (and the tools that we can use to create it) is too big a deal to cover in just a few lines. So, I will list a couple of quick tools here and then, in a future post, I will go into video marketing in more depth.
I have used Animoto to make videos for my business and for my clients for years. They are really effective and, once produced, can be embedded onto your website quickly and easily.
You can also share your new video on social media, upload it to Vimeo or YouTube or send it via email.
You can make videos for free with this tool. However, you will need to upgrade to remove the Animoto branding and gain access to all of the templates and cool features.
Here is an example of a video that I have created with Animoto:
Magisto is another video maker. You can upload your photos and videos (it select the best parts of those videos), choose some music, a theme and some effects and then the tool mixes it all together to create a video.
Before this blog post, I hadn’t used Magisto before so I thought, why not give it a whirl!
The free version offered me the ability to upload up to 10 videos, 10 photos and 1000 MB to my video, which can last no longer than 15 minutes.
I quickly uploaded a random selection of images that I have created for my blog posts just to get an idea of the Magisto experience.
I then had to choose a video style. I chose ‘happiness’ (ahhh...).
I was then asked to choose a soundtrack for my video (I could also upload my own audio). This process was all very free and easy and I was pretty excited to find out how my video would look!
A few minutes later, my video was finished. You can see the results below.
Obviously, this is a bit rough and ready because I didn't spend much time in my image selection but I'm already liking the potential of Magisto!
If you would like to create a member login form, pay-to-access tool or password protection to your website, take a look at Sentry Login.
This tool costs $4.95 per month.
It allows you to customise your login box and then choose where you would like the login link to appear on your website. This link can appear in your navigation bar, for example.
You then simply paste some code into your website’s sidebar section. From this point, you can copy and paste the protection snippet code onto the website page that you want to protect.
Click here for instructions on how to install Sentry Login onto a Jimdo website.
If you would like to display forthcoming events on your website, why not embed a Google Calendar? You can customise this calendar and then copy and paste the code into your website. And wait… more good news… it is free!
Click here for details how to install a Google Calendar to your Jimdo website.
AvailabilityCal is another embeddable website calendar. There is a free trial available but then this tool will cost a small fee (the cheapest option is $12 per year for up to three calendars and up to three users).
Click here for a guide to installing AvailabilityCal onto a Jimdo site.
I have just added Google Translate to a client’s website and it is so simple to create and embed.
Indeed, it enables you to translate your website into over 60 languages - instantly.
You can manage your website translations, by clicking the ‘Manage Translations’ button at the end of the embedding process to ensure that all of your content has been translated correctly.
Phew, that sure turned into a mammoth post!
I really enjoyed our whistle stop tour through all of these great website tools and widgets. I hope that you did too. If you have any comments, or if there is a tool that you love that I have missed, do let me know in the comments section below.
*If you would like to find out more about creating a website using Jimdo do feel free to contact me or leave a comment in the box below.
Alternatively click the button below to start creating your own website right now!
Thanks for reading!
Take care, Jane x