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Feature - Free products - all levels

Fun! Functional! Freeware!

Article & illustration by Gini DeCooman, Eye for Beauty (Belgium)

$0 -freebies

Although I bought the most important tools that I use for creating web sites, here are some great freebies that I could not live without. The quality of these free tools has always amazed me. Some or all of them outshine their big brothers that must be purchased. I could not pay a better tribute to them than to compile a list of these fantastic free tools to share with others.

This list is compiled especially with the newbie in mind. If you wish to build a web site economically, why not start from the point of view, "Why pay when you can get it free, huh?"

Note that this compilation is surely not exhaustive.I listed the most important links, at least to my eyes! Please also note that some freebies have restrictions on their use and that terms can change.

Free Hosts
These places will host your web site for free. Usually you have to have their advertising on your site - either in a popup window or as a banner ad.
Holy Grace, those hosts won't do any advertising on your site!
Domain Registration
Under certain conditions, some providers offer to register your site for free. The domain registrars listed here may not be free, but they are much less expensive than Network Solutions.
Graphics Editors
Image Forge
Irfan View
Ulead Gif Animator
Images Viewer
Images Animation
Grafo Maniac
Filters to plug in into your graphic program for creating special effects.
Plugin Commander LightOrganize, apply and convert all your graphic filters
HTML Editors

IMS Dwarf
These are great editors if you don't want to or can't afford to purchase programs like HomeSite or Dreamweaver

This one is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
File Transfer (FTP)
CoffeeCup FTPA necessary tool for transferring your pages and graphics from your computer to the server hosting your site.
Fonts & Dingbats
Dingbat Pages
Font Garden
Front Freak
Type Around
Jeff's Dingbats

The Font Thing
There are many more places where you can get fonts and dingbats. Search for them with the search engines listed below!

A font manager that allows you to browse all your fonts and eventually to install them. If you are a fontaholic like me, you will find it very handy.
Big Nose Bird
The CGI Resource
Java Boutique
Java Script
Dynamic Drive
The last three places also offer JavaScript scripts or Java applets for cool effects!
Guestbooks - Forums - Counters - Stats etc...
Extreme Tracking
Site Meter
If you want to have a guestbook so that your visitors can leave feedback, if you want to know how many people visit your site each day, if you want interactive communication with your visitors through a message board, don't go further - they all offer that these services.
Graphic Utilities
Picture DicerSlice all your graphics in a snap. Even if I have sophisticated graphic programs that have the slice feature, I always use this wonder. It supports all main formats. Unfortunately the main site doesn't exist anymore, but you may download it from the URL I give here.
Tiles by SyntrilliumTiles can be used to make interesting graphic patterns.
The Infinity Texture ExplorerThis little tool can show your textures tiled and also render them on a sphere or plane.
CSAMUse this small utility to determine the RGB values of the color underneath your cursor. It can be used in any application and it includes magnifying lenses
Screen CalipersIndispensable for measuring any graphic, before slicing or just to see if it will fit your screen.
Dot ColorIf you ever wanted to know how your HTML page would look on a different background, you can try this with color mixer and change certain pixels on your screen to a different color!
Anfy TeamA large choice of Java applets - there will be surely one that will make you happy!
HTML Utilities
McCatis Meta Tag GeneratorHelps you generate META tags that search engines use to rank your site.
Xenu Link Sleuth Spidering software that checks web sites for broken links.
Handy Utilities
Note Tab LightI have been using this one from the beginning. A MUST. It replaces Windows notepad with a lot of neat features, like HTML coding, among many others.
Viewlet BuilderThis amazing program lets you create animated online demos that show how software works.
BabylonBabylon is an online information tool with offline capabilities that brings you information customized to meet your specific needs. The Babylon tool instantly provides relevant information about any word or value that you click on. Since French is my native language, I use it constantly for verifying my English spelling.
Completely Free SoftwareThis is a terrific place that gathers a ton of software of any kind.
Search Engines
CopernicSearch the web efficiently with this tool. It simultaneously consults the best search engines and stores the information so that you may have access to it whenever you need it. Available in different languages. I use the french version :-)
All the Web
Ask Jeeves


While I mainly use Copernic, from time to time I also use these powerful search engines.

Atomz Search can be easily added to any web site, with in-context results display, no software to install, no banner advertising required and they provide e-mail reports that help you identify content that visitors are looking for that the site did not contain.

That's all, folks. I do believe that all these goodies will keep you busy for awhile ;-) Please let us know if you have found this info useful.

Editor's Note: Most of the software listed is for Windows only. We'll see what we can come up with for Mac users in a later issue!

Photo of Gini

Genevieve (Gini) Decooman, the creator and owner of Eye For Beauty, is a web designer and illustrator in Belgium. Her speciality is richly colored and complex images, with a large range of themes going from high-tech to fantasy or spirituality.

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