Best free software for cheap (I mean, frugal) web developers ...and everyone else
Best free software for: protecting your computer, developing web sites, and having fun/being productive. I assume you have a Windows machine because they're cheap (unless you're a REAL techie who uses Linux and builds their own computer, in which case, this blog entry is probably beneath you).
- Protecting and securing your computer
- Developing web sites
- Having fun (or being productive) for free
- For more information
Protecting and securing your computer
- Anti-Virus Software: AVG - must be set to download updates and perform scans regularly. Note that cnet's download.com site has also given high ratings to: Avast and Avira.
- Anti-Spyware Software: Spybot - must be set to download updates and perform scans regularly; and turn on both resident and teatimer. Note that cnet's download.com site also lists additional high-rated anti-spyware software.
- Web browsing: Firefox - for safe-ish and more fun browsing of the web (see my previous post on some of the best add-ons)
Developing web sites
- Web design: Firefox (again!) - see my previous post on some of the best add-ons for developers
- Content Management: Drupal - why create content management from scratch, when a global community has done it for you?
- Link checking & sitemap creation: Xenu - finds broken links, generates an html sitemap of your content
- Testing dynamic code without a server: Xampp - test your pages on your local computer, without needing a remote server.
- FTP: FileZilla - upload and download files to/from your server without going through Dreamweaver!
- SVN: SmartSVN - for the hard-core web programmers who want version control and may need to share.
- XML & XSLT: OxygenXML - as xml is the wave of the web future, it's worth the academic price to buy this, but cnet.com's download site also lists a number of truly free, high-ranking xml editors.
- Text editing: Notepad++ - for source code editing with syntax coloring.
- A/B testing: Google Website Optimizer - great way to let user traffic decide which is the more effective design of a specific web page.
Having fun (or being productive) without giving more money to Microsoft, Apple or Adobe
- Typing, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawing: OpenOffice - who needs Microsoft Office?!
- Videos: VLC player - plays darn near every format of video that there is, unlike SOME players!
- Podcasts: Juice - download your podcasts without using iTunes or Windows Media Player
- Audio: Audacity - record and edit audio.
- Convert: Switch - converts audio to non-proprietary formats
- Compress: IZArc - handle those .zip, .tar, etc. files. Note that cnet's download.com site also lists additional high-rated compression software.
- Graphic editing: GIMP - old standard, but still good. Note that cnet's download.com site also lists additional high-rated graphics software.
- Operating system: Ubuntu - a free software to make your computer go.
Other people's lists
- A list compiled by PCMag of best freeware has 157 items in 17 categories!
- Even better is cnet's download.com site where you can limit it by OS, Free status, and type of software.
- An encyclopedic list also exists at Open Directory, with very helpful category options.
- Finally, check out Wikipedia's free software portal.