Running a website goes far beyond just actually creating one, manually or with a content management system. If you want to have a technically flawless website that brings profits and customer satisfaction, you do need a bunch of additional tools to optimize everything you can, track your progress, establish the connection between you and your clients, and so on.
So here I am to help you. In this guide, I’ve collected 20 tools that will make your website running routine easier.
Who.is is a tool you will need at the earliest stage of your website deployment when you’re choosing a domain name. Who.is lets you quickly check if the domain name of your preference is available, and what are the extra options if it’s not. In addition, you will get the information on the price, registrar, and the current owner if the domain is already taken.
Basically, all you need to do is enter the desired domain or keywords that you are willing to include in it. The tool will perform a domain whois search, whois IP lookup, and search the whois database for relevant information concerning domain registration and availability.
Note that many other tools of the same functionality still pull the data from Who.is, but can ask you to provide payment details to start using them. I doubt that you’d want to pay for what you can get for free.
Google Analytics doesn't even need any additional introduction. This free tool is super popular among website owners, as it lets you analyze your website's traffic, your visitors' behavior, their demographic information, physical location, the exact time users spend on particular web pages, devices your website is visited from, etc. Google Analytics also lets you track your ad campaigns, so you can make changes in time to optimize their performance. On top of that, the tool helps a lot with A/B testing.
Google Analytics offers a variety of SEO and marketing metrics for you to keep an eye on. The most important of them will help you:
SEO PowerSuite is a powerful SEO toolkit that consists of four independent tools. Each tool covers a different SEO aspect, from technical audit to backlink outreach, with free versions available for each tool. Let’s have a closer look at each app:
Awario is a tool for tracking brand mentions on social media. As you may know, linkless brand mentions do matter for SEO, and especially for local SEO, which is all about entities. As Google ranks entities based on how notable they are, it’s nice for you to know how often people mention your brand and what the context of those mentions is.
In addition to SEO goals, Awario works great in terms of reputation management, as you can track what people say about your brand, work out the solutions for negative mentions, and shape your marketing strategy to avoid negative mentions in the future.
All in all, Awario (free version available) provides you with:
If you're to accept any payments on your website, then you’ll need a dedicated payment processor. I suggest Stripe here. The tool is pretty affordable with pay-as-you-go pricing starting from 2.9% + $0.30 per successful charge.
Stripe is a third-party payment processor that fits businesses of any scale, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. The tool’s functionality lets you process online, international, and B2B payments, and can be incorporated into any software or mobile app. What’s more, Stripe has no monthly fees.
Here’s a brief overview of the benefits you can get from Stripe’s functionality:
Crazy Egg is another useful website optimization tool that is integrated with your Google Analytics account and visually demonstrates how visitors interact with your pages. Prices start from $24/mo with a 30-day free trial.
The visual reports by Crazy Egg are as follows:
Grammarly is a free Chrome extension that instantly proofreads any text you are writing on your website or blog, corrects your grammar, punctuation, style, and offers you accurate, context-specific suggestions.
The tool can be also used with Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and almost everywhere else on the web where there’s a text input field.
All in all, Grammarly can save you a lot of proofreading resources and lets you improve your grammar skills. Still, if you’re writing texts with some specific terms in them, you’ll need to double-check on the tool’s corrections — it may simply not know some words. But you’re free to add them to your Grammarly dictionary.
MailChimp is one of the most popular tools for email marketing. It lets you create different types of newsletters and ad campaigns and send them to your audience. As for the pricing, you can use MailChimp’s free version if your amount of monthly sends doesn’t exceed 10k.
If you have an ecommerce website, you can easily connect it to MailChimp. The tool will instantly get the order and contact details of your customers to easily set up remarketing and follow-up campaigns.
The tool offers you a rich collection of ready-made email layouts, all customizable in the drag-and-drop editor. Still, if you want a brand-new letter design, you are free to create it with an HTML editor.
You can also sort out your subscribers by specific segments. For instance, those who have opened a specific campaign or those who have accomplished a certain goal on your site.
Moreover, MailChimp lets you easily track your campaign performance, i.e. see the total number of messages sent, how many of them were actually opened and clicked.
Sleeknote is a tool that can help you convert your website’s visitors into paying clients by collecting their emails. Prices start from €49/mo (>$54/mo), including a 7-day free trial.
Sleeknote lets you create various pop-ups to ensure successful email capture. You can place these pop-ups strategically on your website to make them relevant to the customer journey stage.
In addition to email capture, you can use Sleeknote to navigate customers’ shopping experience and promote your special offers.
The tool can also be integrated with your email service provider (MailChimp is in the list) to automate sending emails to your new subscribers.
Disqus is a commenting system that can be installed anywhere on your website where you’re planning to accept comments from your users. Prices start from $12/mo with 30 days of a free trial.
The tool provides a smooth user experience: customers can either create a Disqus account or login with Facebook, Twitter, or Google to start commenting. Users can also upvote or downvote comments and subscribe to thread updates.
In addition to user experience, Disqus also offers a lot of features for a website owner. So, you can monitor engagements (the number of reads, comments, and interactions) and even monetize engagement by placing ads in the comment threads.
MightyCall is a virtual phone system that provides your employees with a business phone line. This tool is especially important if your business provides support via phone, and your team works remotely. Pricing starts from $9/mo, with 7 days of a free trial included. The tool has a mind-blowing set of features.
MightyCall lets you make business calls from any type of device, automate greetings, record your conversations, etc. What’s more, you can use MightyCall for your own teamwork — set up conferences, distribute calls, create call queues, etc.
Tawk.to is a free tool that lets you implement life chats on your website so that your customers can easily contact the support team and instantly get professional advice on the problem they have.
Live chats by Tawk.to are easy to customize, so you can make a chat to match any brand style. You can also easily localize your chats for any region — your clients will surely appreciate this.
The tool lets you track chat progress, monitor customer behavior, filter messages, ban spammers, etc. Tawk.to has a pretty nice knowledgebase of ready-made short messages, so you may not worry about being late with a response.
Piktochart is a great tool to create infographics and visualize any data without a professional designer. People do love infographics, so having some on your website will give you an engagement boost. The tool has a free version, which may be enough to cover the needs of a small website.
In addition to infographics, Piktochart allows you to create informative and visually appealing presentations, reports, posters, and flyers. If you have little to no experience with any visualization tools, that's fine. Piktochart offers several free tutorials.
There's also an opportunity to import your data from a Google spreadsheet and visualize it straight away.
Google Structured Data Markup Helper is a free Google tool that will let you generate Schema markup without any coding skills. Search engines use structured data to better understand the content and form rich snippets in SERPs, so having schema on your pages increases your chance to stand out from your SERP competitors.
The tool offers 12 Schemas, which is more than enough for an average website.
To generate a Schema, you only need to choose the Schema type and mark all the necessary elements on your webpage. The tool will then generate a piece of code for you to add to your page.
Also keep in mind that most ecommerce CMSs have Schema integrated by default, so you may not bother with markup generators and simply fill out product information in your CMS admin. If a CMS doesn’t have a default Schema generator, you can always fix this with plugins.
It would have been weird not to mention it. Search Console is a free native Google tool for auditing a website’s overall performance and health.
GSC is a must for every website, as it lets you track your webpages’ performance, check indexing issues, test page experience, etc. In Search Console, you can also find clues to better content optimization: see if any of your pages get to Google Discover, check if Google sees your FAQs and rich results, and find underperforming snippets.
Moreover, Search Console is a proven way to check if your website got under any manual sanctions from Google.
Also, if you have made some drastic changes on your website, GSC will let you request recrawling of your pages or resubmit an updated sitemap (you can generate one with WebSite Auditor). This way, Google may notice those changes quicker.
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool to check if your pages pass the Core Web Vitals assessment, both on mobile and desktop.
As Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor, you have to consider this metric a lot and fix anything that prevents from providing smooth user experience.
If the tool spots any issues, it will show you the opportunities for improvement:
Still, checking each and every URL on your website may be a tiring task, so I’d suggest using PageSpeed Insights when you create a new page or seriously update an existing one. This will help you ensure that your changes will not affect the website’s overall position.
Google Optimize is a free tool and Chrome extension for A/B testing. It lets you optimize your website pages so that they get as much traffic and revenue as possible.
Google Optimize allows you to create different versions of your pages (no matter how many, you’re not limited to two variants) and tracks how users tend to interact with them (GA access for more precise data required).
With Google Optimize, you can actually test every element of your site: headlines, images, CTAs, colors, graphics, and many more. You can also track how new pages or page elements perform against their original versions, and update the pages accordingly. In addition, the tool lets you target different audiences with your test (based on region, behavior, UTM parameters, etc.).
OneSignal lets you implement 4 types of push notifications on your website: user messages, transaction messages, conversion drivers, and promos. The tool has a free version and is compatible with custom-built websites as well as those created with website builders and CMSs.
In addition to website notifications, OneSignal lets you create mobile and in-app push notifications if you need them.
To start sending push notifications, you need to copy the piece of code generated by the tool and paste it on your website. Then you can go to OneSignal’s editor and create a notification you need. Paid Pro version ($99/mo) includes advanced analytics that can help you track the performance of your notifications and see how users of different segments interact with them.
With OneSignal, you can also A/B test your push notifications to see which one works best and eventually choose the best variant for your website.
CSS Hero is a website customization tool for WordPress and Shopify themes. Prices start from $19/year.
This tool is integrated with Unsplash, so you actually have an almost unlimited library of images to use on your website. In addition to a rich сollection of visual aids, CSS Hero supports a vast variety of fonts — you can use those of Google Fonts, Typekit, and even upload your custom ones.
If you want to add a video background, use the Coverr library, which is also integrated with the platform.
All in all, you’re free to experiment with colors and backgrounds, pick ready-made combinations, create snippets, slideshows, and actually customize any single thing on your website.
If you think that highly customized themes will harm your page speed, I’m here to calm you down — CSS Hero lets you minify all the files without losing their quality, so the user experience will not be affected.
HootSuite is a tool for posting to multiple social media accounts from a single place. Plans start from €39/mo (>$43/mo), 30 days of a free trial included.
The tool integrates social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. You can write and schedule posts ahead, taking into consideration peak engagement times for every platform.
HootSuite also lets you promote your posts, so there’s no need for switching between the advertising accounts anymore. The platform also has in-built analytics, which lets you track your social media success and timely adjust your posting strategy.
Of course, there are a lot more tools out there that make the lives of website owners much easier — these are different CMSs, design tools, and tons of alternatives to those tools I’ve just covered above. By the way, what tools do you find helpful for businesses in your niche? You are welcome to share in the comments.