So you’ve got an awesome idea for a product/app/service/software/website, but what now? Assuming you have decided on a name for your startup, below are many tools, some free some not, that will help you implement you idea.
- Domain and Website Management
- All Things Content
- Social Media
- Marketing Resources
- Business/Legal Tools and Resources
- Domain.com – Domains and hosting
- .co The domain for startups
- GoDaddy – One of the longest standing domain registrars
Hosting your site – the link is specific to a web design firm, but contains a good discussion of hosting services
- GoDaddy – Tried and true. Affordable solution for small dynamic sites and static sites.
- 1&1 – Don’t give in to their salespeople!
- Rackspace – Industry standard.
- WP Engine – Best WordPress host there is.
- Amazon Web Services – Hulu, Netflix, Reddit, and countless others use AWS. Easy to scale with AWS.
- A Small Orange – Super cheap and reliable.
We haven’t used any of the below, but all have been recommended to me.
- inmotion hosting
- Linode – Linux
- Liquid Web
- AppFrog – PaaS App hosting
- OpenShift – PaaS App hosting
- Google App Engine – App Hosting
- Google Drive Web Hosting – Just came across this on TheNextWeb, perfect for mock-ups and demos.
- Microsoft Hosting
- WordPress.com – Hosted; and WordPress.org – Self hosted. WordPress is very flexible, has a huge Dev. community, tons of plugins, and is insanely easy to use.
- LightCMS – I have never used LightCMS, but it looks pretty interesting. It looks like a lot of the editing and content management is done in the front-end. Built for designers.
- MODX – Open Source, non-coder friendly.
- Wikipedia’s huge list of Content Management Systems
- Strikingly – Simple one-page builder.
- Breezi – Design Remix Engine. Pretty unique builder.
- WIX – HTML5.
- Squarespace – Easy eCommerce builder.
Here is a pretty solid walkthrough to help you design and implement a wbsite if you have no idea where to begin: WebsiteSetup.org.
- WordPress – Self-hosted.
- Tumblr – Self-hosted.
- Blogger – Google platform.
- Medium – Hosted. Pretty cool concept here.
- Quora Blogs – Hosted.
- BlackLocus – Big Data intelligence for pricing assortment and product info across the web.
- ProStores – Social commerce solutions.
- Priceonomics – The price guide for everything.
Shopping Cart Solutions
- Batavi – Open-source shopping cart.
- VirtueMart – Open-Source shopping cart.
- PrestaShop – Open-Source.
- osCommerce – Open-source, with more than 7000 ad-ons.
- Drupal Commerce – Linux, super-easy integration with Drupal.
- Magento – Flexible and robust shopping cart.
- Avactis – Turnkey shopping cart solution with Facebook integration.
- Volusion – All-in-one eCommerce. Marketing/social/mobile/security and support platform.
Storefronts and Marketplaces
- FlyingCart – Customizable template based stores.
- Amazon Webstore – Turnkey storefront.
- Shopify – Easy storefront/shopping cart.
- BigCartel – Independent store, incorporated into the larger marketplace – Art specific.
- Storenvy – Free online store builder and social marketplace.
- Codecademy – FREE – interactive code tutorials.
- Khan Academy – FREE – Tons of coding tutorials and classes.
- PHPmaster – FREE – PHP tutorials and discussions.
- Tizag – FREE – Simple tutorials and cheat sheets for html, css, and php.
- Code School – $25/Month – Ruby/GIT/Backbone.js/JQuery/Java/HTML/iOS Objective C and much more.
- Lynda – Starting at $25/month – More than 1500 online video courses in a wide variety of fields, including many coding languages.
- Treehouse – Tiered plans from $25/month – $49/month – Same concept as Lynda, but strictly for coding. Crazy in-depth programs.
- Skillshare – Price varies and depends on the class and teacher – In-person and online classes based around many different subjects, including many coding topics/classes.
- tutsplus – starting at $19/month – Hundreds of coding video courses/tutorials.
- (9/5/13) Open Education Database – A huge database/repository of Free Online Engineering & Computer Science Classes from top universities.
Dev Platforms and Programs
- ToolsCloud – Tons of Dev tools.
- FuseGrid – ColdFusion cloud hosting. Full disclosure- I have no idea what that means.
- CodeAnywhere – Code editor in a browser with native clients on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.
- Bootstrap – Front-end framework by Twitter.
- Heroku – Super-easy app deployment.
- FriendCode – Free private repositories and collaboration.
- Firebug – Firefox Dev platform.
- CodeVisually – a repository of coding tools and resources.
- Google Page Speed Test – Loading speed insights.
- uTest – All things testing. UX/security/functionality/speed/localization/load testing.
- Fivesecondtest – Crowdsourced landing page optimization.
- Silverback – Usability testing software.
Sourcing, Version Control, Integration and Deployment
- dotCloud – Affordable custom application stacks.
- OffScale – Database version management.
- Bitbucket – Private repository hosting.
- Pixelapse – Design version control, backup, and collaboration.
- memsql – World’s fastest in memory database.
- GitHub – Collaboration, review, and code management for open source and private development projects.
- TestPilot.me – Continuous integration.
Bug Tracking and User Feedback
- PivotalTracker – Bug tracking and project management platform.
- Crittercism – Mobile app performance management platform.
- BugHerd – Bug tracking, user feedback, and project management platform.
- BugSense – Mobile app bug tracking.
- Rollbar – Error collection and analysis.
- Usernap – Visual design and bug feedback/tracking.
- Crashlytics – App crash/error analytics.
- UserTesting.com – User Testing. Simple enough.
- Usabilla – Visualize user feedback.
- Qualaroo – User behavior dependent prompts.
- Kampyle – User feedback forms.
- GutCheck – On-demand user insights community.
- WebEngage – Survey your users.
- Notepad++ – Open-source code editor.
- SeaMonkey – Open-source all in one internet app suite.
- BlueGriffion – Open-source Firefox editor.
- Trellian WebPage – Robust open-source dev tool kit.
- Wufoo – Form builder.
- FormStack – Form builder.
- EdenPHP – Huge PHP library.
- Firebase – Backend maintenance as a service.
- Snippets.me – Code snippet manager/storage.
- SubtlePatterns – Pattern/texture repository.
- Divshot – Interface builder for web applications.
- Scratchpad – UI for dummies. Platform allows you to grab and collect UI elements from anywhere on the web.
- Balsamiq – Rapid wireframe/mock-ups tool.
- Mockingbird – Collaborative wireframing tool.
- Lucidchart – Collaborative Wireframing/mind-mapping/diagraming tool that integrates with Google Drive.
- AppCooker – Clickable iPhone and iPad app mockups.
- FluidUI – Mobile prototyping for iOS, Android, and Windows.
Graphic Design – Tools and Resources
- FindIcons – Huge database of icons and icon sets.
- DesignKindle – Icons/graphics/vectors and tons of resources.
- ColorMunki – Color palette creator.
- Kuler – Tons of color palettes and design themes.
- ColourLovers – Colors, patterns, and palettes.
- Design Resource Box – CSS3, HTML5, and jQuery cheat sheets.
- Color Scheme Designer – Color scheme tool.
- Color Picker – An experiment by Nathan Speller that crawls through Dribbble and displays the most common palettes for any given color.
- Brusheezy – Free Phostoshop brushes.
- Visual.ly – Infographic creating tools and marketplace.
- StatWing – Data visualization tools.
- Tableau Public – Data visualization and infographic creation tools.
- Infogr.am – Infographic creation tools.
- PiktoChart – Infographic creation tools.
Some Cheaper and Free Photoshop and Illustrator Alternatives
- Pixlr – Free – Web-based photo/image editor. A lot of functionality, but does not save or open many PS or vector formats. Good for simple edits on a computer or device you don’t normally work on.
- Pinta – Open-Source – Pretty robust tools/effects. I haven’t ever used Pinta, but it looks solid, and I have heard nothing but good things.
- Paint.net – Open-source – This I have used. As far as a free PS alternative goes, Paint.net is as good as it gets. Huge dev. community and tons of extensions, plugins, and brushes.
- Pixelmator – $14.99 – PS alternative for Mac OS X. I haven’t used Pixelmator, but it looks pretty robust, and at 15 bucks it is super affordable.
- Inkscape – Open-Source – Vector graphics editor. More of an alternative to Corel or Illustrator that PS. Pretty functional, and easy to use.
- Gimp – Open-Source – Robust PS alternative that supports nearly every PS and vector format.
- 3DVIA Shapes – Free – 3D shape and image creator/editor.
Stock and Public-Domain Images and Font/Typography Resources
- Wikipedia’s huge list of Public Domain Image Resources – The resources below are on this list, but there is also a lot of lesser and non-useful resources on there. Below are the best, at least in my opinion, resources.
- rgbstock – Completely free.
- FreeRange – Free after sign-up.
- EveryStockPhoto – Free after sign-up.
- VectorFinder – A stock image search engine.
- Most NASA images are free to use – here are the usage guidelines.
- 123RF – Cheap royalty free images.
- Designious – Cheap vector packs, Photoshop brushes, and hand drawn illustrations.
- MediaLoot – Cheap vector packs, textures, icons, and other images.
- UrbanFonts – Tons of free and paid fonts and dingbats.
- dafont.com – Free, public-domain, and demo fonts.
- Google Fonts – Tons of open-source fonts.
- FontFeed – Premium fonts and recommendations.
- Awwwards 100 Greatest Free Fonts for 2013 – I saw this in a tweet by @themadray. More on his venture Hunie, a little further down.
Inspiration and Design Communities
- Designspiration – Sort-of Pinterest for designers.
- David Airey – Blog of a brand-identity designer. Lots of interesting insights.
- Design Milk – Design blog tracing new and interesting work across all mediums.
- SmashingMagazine – Awesome design resource. Put this in your bookmarks right now!
- WebDesignerDepot – Design blog.
- Twistedsifter – Similar to Design Milk, but but a different presentation and focus.
- Abduzeedo – Design inspiration and tutorials.
- Dribbble – Show and tell for designers.
- Hunie – Hunie is an invite-only design community. It is similar to Dribbble, but more constructive and more feature-rich. Check out our interview with Hunie Founder @themadray.
- Appcelerator – Mobile app development platform.
- PhoneGap – Free open-source framework that utilizes APIs, HTML, CSS, and Java.
- Flurry – Development/analytics/advertising/monitization platform for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows mobile apps.
- AppCodes – App Store SEO platform for your app.
- StackMob – App Back-end as a service.
- AppHarbor – Hosted .NET platform as a service.
- Kinvey – App back-end as a service.
- Kickfolio – In browser iOS app testing.
- AppCooker – Mock-ups and wire-framing with clickable prototypes.
- Codiqa – Super-fast mobile prototyping. Native apps and mobile websites.
- Prototypes – iOS prototyping.
- UXPin – UX design tools.
- Justinmind – Interactive wire-framing.
- UI Stencils – UI Stencils for hand designing apps.
- Mockability – An iPhone app designed for designing iPhone apps.
CRM and Analytics/Metrics Tools
- Apslar – Analytics and advertising platform.
- Placed – Location analytics for mobile.
- Appboy – Customer engagement and analytics platform.
- Mixpanel – Engagement analytics.
- Kontagent – Customer intelligence and segmentation.
- UserMetrix – Engagement and use analytics.
- Tracelytics – Stack application tracing.
- Metricfire – Application metrics as a service.
Turnkey Mobile Applications
Sourcing, Data, and Research Tools
- HARO (Help A Reporter Out) – Source or be a source.
- Pew Research Center – Tons of data sets and info.
- Amazon’s Public Data Sets – Easily integrated into AWS Apps and sites.
- SBA.gov – U.S. Small Business Administration’s data sets.
- Data.gov – U.S. Govt’s public data sets.
- BigML blog post – Tons of links to data sets.
- SourceBottle – Connecting sources with journalists.
- World Bank Data Sets – International econ. data and statistics.
- IMF Data Sets – International econ. data and statistics.
- Pocket – Of everything in this tool-kit, I use Pocket the most. It used to be Read It Later, if you are familiar with that. Essentially, you can put everything that you want to read or watch later into your Pocket, where it is queued up and put into a more readable format, perfect for reading articles or posts that are not mobile optimized.
- Flipboard – Of everything in this tool-kit, I use Flipboard the 2nd most. Flipboard is similar to Pocket, but is a much more visual.
- Percolate – Large-scale curation for brands.
- Gnowit – Real-time alerts and monitoring.
- BagTheWeb – Create “bags” of content around topics.
- Prismatic – Personalized curated stream of news and other content.
- Feedly – Clean easy to use RSS reader. Along with nearly everyone else, I switched over to Feedly once Google announced they were scrapping their reader.
- News360 – Personalized news app (iOS, Android, and Web Apps) that learns what news you want.
- Scoop.it – Magazine builder and content curation platform. Follow topics and users.
- RebelMouse – Social front page. RebelMouse creates a Pinterest like stream of everything that you have shared across all social media.
- YourVersion – Content discover/bookmarking around topics.
- Trapit – iOS app that learns and adapts is discovery process to your tastes.
- Alternion – Aggregation/discovery tool.
- StumbleUpon – Pure content discovery. Pick some topics and start stumbling. The platform adapts to your thumb-ups and downs to bring you the content that you want.
- HootSuite – Social media dashboard combining Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and much more into one platform. Also provides analytics. Paid and Free versions.
- tracx – Social media intelligence and real-time analytics dashboard.
- Social Strategy1 – Analytics and engagement platform.
- Social123 – Sales prospecting, lead generating and analytics platform.
- SocialMention – Real-time search and analysis across all social media.
- Contaxio – CRM for Facebook and Twitter.
- Sprout Social – Analytics, engagement monitoring, and post management for SMBs.
- IFTTT – If This Then That. A sort of social media macro builder. It allows you to create a series of “if then” triggers for social media. A pretty useful tool.
- GraphDive – Follower insights.
- Friend or Follow – quickly sort, filter, follow and unfollow on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Twitter Specific Tools
- TweetDeck – Twitter dashboard.
- TwitterCounter – Twitter search engine and statistics tracking.
- Destroy Twitter – A super clean Twitter client that feels more like IM or G-Chat.
- Fllwrs – Follow/unfollow data.
- Qwitter – Unfollow notifications.
- WeFollow – Directory of influencers and thought-leaders arranged by topics.
- T4BP – “TwitterForBusyPeople” – Organizes your Tweet stream by avatar. rather than by Tweets. A very interesting take on the timeline, worth a look.
- Twitbin – A Firefox specific client.
- ReFollow – CMS and engagement tool.
- Gigya – Registration as a Service provider.
- LoginRadius – API for social login.
- Janrain – LinkedIn, Twitter, Windows ID, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! logins.
- oneall – Social login API that supports just about any social network you can think of.
- WPMU DEV – Tons of social based WordPress plugins.
- Or you can always go directly to the source – Twitter API, Facebook API, Google API, LinkedIn API.
- Crunched – Sales and marketing intelligence platform.
- Agile.ci – Customer insights and big data analytics.
- Odysii – Intelligence platform.
Social Media Marketing
- uberVU – Real-time analytics, conversion rates, engagement reports, and much more.
- SocialFlow – Predictive analytics and ROI tracking platform.
- Spreadfast – Social media management and ROI/engagement/conversion analytics platform.
- MaerketMeSuite – Prospecting/lead gen. for social media.
- GraphScience – Facebook marketing and ROI tracking platform.
- SendMail – Open-source
- CheetahMail – High-volume enterprise level service.
- MailChimp – Industry standard; Free up to 2000 subscribers; cost scales with subscribers.
- ConstantContact – Email campaign platform; tons of additional CRM/user management services and products.
(1/24/14) Business Intelligence (BI)
- Domo – Domo pulls in vast amounts of data from disparate sources into one simple to use platform. The data can then be manipulated and visualized in an intuitive yet robust dashboard.
- Rocket Lawyer – Document resources and Lawyer database.
- DocuSign – eSignature tool.
- WSGR Term Sheet Generator – Free resource from Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
- National Venture Capital Association’s legal templates – Huge compilation of VC and funding related documents.
- Y Combinator’s Series AA Financing Docs. – Open-source equity docs.
- LegalZoom – Any legal doc you will ever need.
- Docstoc – Documents and resources of SMBs.
- Nolo – Legal resources and Lawyer directory.
- Google Patents – Search engine for patents.
- USPTO.gov – US patent office.
Hiring and Outsourcing
- SimplyHired, Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, LinkedIn – The usual job-listing suspects.
- Dice.com, TechJobs.com, – Job boards exclusivity for tech sector jobs.
- AngelList Jobs – Angel.co’s talent portal.
- Inside Startups – Pretty cool website that allows you to take a deeper look at startups, and post and apply for jobs.
- Social Check – A tool that gives you deeper insights into applicants and potential employees.
- InternMatch – Find a great intern.
- GroupTalent – Find a great developer or designer.
- Recruiterbox – Recruitment software.
- InterviewStreet – Interactive test/challenge to find the right coder.
- 37Signals Job Board – List or apply to many programming jobs.
- Guru, Freelancer, Elance, oDesk – General tech-focused freelance databases.
- 99designs, CrowdSpring, DesignCrowd – Graphic design specific freelance databases.
Accounting, Payments, Payroll, Expense Reports
- ClearBooks, ThinkLink, KashFlow,HomeBank, Outright, Wave, Xero – General bookkeeping and accounting software.
- Receipt-Bank – Receipt and invoicing management software.
- WorkingPoint – All in one accounting, invoicing, financial reporting, tax reporting, and business dashboard.
- GnuCash – Open-source financial/accounting software.
- 10sheet – Online financial monitoring and reporting as a service.
- UserVoice – Help-desk service.
- Olark – Live chat customer service on your website.
- ZenDesk – Customer service software.
- Customer Sure – Customer feedback, reviews, help-desk, and survey software.
The Pitch – Tools and Resources
- SlideRocket, PowToon, Wideo, 9slides, Prezi – Pitch deck creation tools.
- The Pitch Clinic – Pitch advice and strategies.
- Idea Flight – An interactive iPad application for pitches. There is a pilot – guiding the pitch – and passengers – those seeing the pitch.
- AngelList Valuations – A good resource to see how your company stacks up to other similar startups.
- Crowdvi.be – Market research through polls and user engagement.
- Lab42 – Market research software and tools.
- aytm – Market research
Funding – VC, Angel, and Otherwise – Tools and Resources
- VentureHacks -Blog by the founders of Angel.co – Which is an excellent resource as well.
- Gust – Platform for startup funding, similar to AngelList.
- Angel.co The Angelist
- Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Ulule, PleaseFundUs, Peoplefund.it, WeFund – Crowdfunding platforms.
- CircleUp – Quasi-crowdfunding with the “crowd” consisting of accredited investors.
- UpStart – A very unique approach to funding where the individual is funded, with or without a product.
- Top Research, WorkMate, Teambox, SyncPad, Huddle, Wiggio – Robust collaboration platforms. All have more or less the same features.
- Rocketr – iOS collaboration app.
- Remember the Milk – Web, iOS, and Android applications. Task manager and collaboration features.
- Yammer – Private social network for your company.
- Azendoo – The Next Web French Web App of the Year 2013. Box, Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote integration.
- Siasto, 5pm, Goplan, ProjectTurf, Thymer, Kanbanery Basecamp – Robust web applications. All have generally the same features and both free and paid versions. Really comes down to a UI decision.
- Wimi – Tons of features and a unique Dropbox/Box style file syncing function.
- Streak – Free Gmail extension.
- Sugar CRM
- Nimble – Social CRM.
- Pipedrive – Small team CRM.
- Tactile CRM
- Highrise – CRM by 37signals.
- Salesforce – Most used CRM.
- Capsule CRM
What did we miss let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org