As a small business owner, it’s important to make the most of the free tools available to you online. Whilst enlisting the help of experienced creatives can help save you time on that new company logo or social media campaign, sometimes you want to get more hands-on.
For that reason, we asked a number of our own creatives here at Createxplore for their favourite free tools. As a number of those we asked are small businesses owners themselves, you can trust that this is an authentic list of the most useful tools available!
Take a look:
As one of the most popular website builders in the world, it’s easy to see why WordPress is our top voted choice. With its simple to build design and free layouts, there are infinite possibilities when creating a website to showcase your small business. With the ability to add eCommerce functionality, SEO options and much more, there’s not much WordPress can’t do.
“Number 1 has to be WordPress - I build all my websites with WordPress.org its open-source and 35% of the world's websites are built with it.” - James Davis, Pike & Conker
Another free website builder, Wix offers small businesses a unique way of sharing their presence. With the ability to optimise your website for mobile use and search engines, Wix gives the designers a chance to showcase their ability. Popular with artists and businesses alike, it’s one of the perfect sites for everyone.
Pinterest is a creative person's paradise. Designed to spark inspiration and share creativity, it’s an ideal way to share your businesses' perks and gain inspiration for your next project. Artists use the platform to research current trends and guides on how to do things. It’s also a great tool to use to follow others within your industry.
“I use Pinterest a lot to research art trends and how to do things and love saving boards of such work and following others” - Hannah Pickering, Digicreates4u
Founded in 2009, WeTransfer is an easily accessible way to transfer a large number of files in one simple way. It allows you to send up to 2gb of files in one go in comparison to other software with much lower restrictions. There is a paid option but with no limit on the number of times you can use the site, it’s definitely one to add to your list.
Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite. Suitable for individuals and small studios alike, it offers a responsive development process. The software works well on Python, Linux, Window and Macs so designed to support all.
One of the best social media marketing and management platforms available, with Hootsuite, you can unite all your social media channels into one place. Ideal for those who have more than one social media channel to manage. On their free plan, you can have up to 3 channels but if you require more you can upgrade for a monthly fee.
Ubersuggest was created by Neil Patel who needed a way to gain more traffic to his website. The website allows you to get insights into competitor strategies and suggests content and SEO keywords for your website. This website is increasingly popular for the digital marketers out there or those who want to improve their search engine ranking.
With over 3 billion Google searches conducted every day you’ll need to make sure your content stands out. This is where Answer the Public comes in. The website is free to use (with a limited amount of searches) and helps you pull through autocomplete data from search engines so you quickly create content that your customers really want.
“Working in SEO, I regularly use Answer the Public to come up with content and article ideas that real people are searching for. The visualisations make it very easy to pick out the very best keywords” - Ryan Lees, Limelight Digital
Canva is a free to use design website. Perfect for those who want a quick design for social media, their website or presentations. With over 8000+ free templates and hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics, it’s perfect for every business large or small.
Sketchbook is a free to use app which offers the ultimate drawing experience. Users have the ability to draw without distraction and capture ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Compatible with many different devices and software including Photoshop it really is a designer’s best friend.
Unsplash offers thousands of free to use imagery that has been taken by professionals and everyday people. Perfect for those who are creating a website, sharing on social media or even creating graphics, anyone can use Unsplash.
Responsiv offers you a chance to see how your website will look on a variety of screens. From iPhones to 27” iMacs, you’ll be able to see how your website looks and tailor it to be more responsive for the digital world.
IM Stocker was designed to make sure that photographers, animators and any form of visual creators get their content noticed on stock websites such as Unsplash. By giving them dedicated keywords to attach to their image, it’s perfect for smaller photographers and designers who aim to make money off their creations.
The last tool in the list doesn’t really need an introduction! YouTube is a video sharing platform and also the second most popular search engine behind Google, which owns it. More useful than just watching unboxing videos, YouTube is great for tutorials and advice from fellow creatives.
“I use YouTube for tutorials on photography as well as photo and video editing techniques. It’s also useful for some content such as sound effects and /or video clips for use in projects.” - Tracey Harris, Createxplore Creator
Slack is one of the best channels to use when working remotely or within a big team. Designed to manage multiple projects simultaneously and allow a team to ask questions, share updates and stay in the loop. With the ability to connect on calls, share files and collaborate with partners, Slack is one for those with a wider team.
Commonly used by photo editors, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a freely distributed program tasks such as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. Popularly used by graphic designers and photographers, GIMP is available on a wide range of platforms.
Pixlr is one of the world's favourite online photo editing software. With next-level AI-powered tools for a professional edit, it’s quick and easy to use. Compatible with most image formats including PSD (photoshop), JPEG, PNG, SVG and more. Perfect for the professionals and the amateurs.
For professional editing software, Lightworks has been used on Hollywood films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Pulp Fiction, The King’s Speech and many more. Perfect for those who need a video creating for social media, YouTube to a high budget film. Lightworks is easy and free to use.
Designed for all levels of designer, Inkscape is aimed at taking the doodle and planning stage to a final, professional-grade design format which is ready for publication. With its flexibility and power, you’ll quickly adapt to creating clean and high-resolution vector graphics.
A source of free graphic design icons, Flaticon is a place where graphic designers can share and find icons to suit their next design project. With unlimited possibilities, Flaticon is used by numerous companies including NASA, Amazon and Microsoft. Free to use as long with premium icons available, it’s a great online software for those who need creative icons.
"I use Flaticon to source all my graphic design SVGs as it has a wide range and something for everything that I'm creating. It's also a great place to gather inspiration for badges and logos." - Anne-Marie Lees, Photographer and Videographer Freelance
A presentation software designed to create, share and store beautiful visual content. With the ability to present live or record and share, Prezi is ideal for those who want to make more interesting and engaging presentations. As it’s online, there is no need to worry about transferring your presentation, simply log in and go.
Perfect for lovers of a mindmap Mind42 is perfect for every business as it allows you to create todo lists, brainstorm ideas, organise events and everything else you need to plan. Running within your selected browser, you can create mind maps easily and share with your colleagues. Completely free to add to your browser it’s ideal for the super organised and creative people alike.
Coggle gives you a clear way to share and understand complex information. It’s an online collaborative document which allows you to simplify complex things and help your teamwork more efficiently together. With a mission to change the way people work and collaborate forever, Coggle makes it easier to share information with others whilst doing it in a way which is beautiful.
So there you have our top tools voted for by the experts. Have we missed your favourite app? Let us know on our social media channels. In the meantime take a look at our other blogs