July 13, 2018

Best blogging tools in 2018: Bloggers' queries answered

In the last three posts, we introduced reputed and tested free software/ tools relating to writing and language, image editing and video editing. In the present one, we answer some questions asked by bloggers (on Quora etc) that pertain to tasks that can be easily done with available free software but many bloggers do not know about. 

Can you suggest a screen capture software that does the job better than the one available on Windows computers?


Computers have an inbuilt sniping tool, and most keyboards have a 'print screen' key. However, if you want a feature rich screen capture software, don't pay for it as Greenshot is an equally good free alternative.

For video screen capture tools, please visit the previous post on video tools.

What are the best websites from which I can download free and license-free photos?


There are many such sites. Even normal photo sharing sites such as Flickr have a number of such photos. The following sites deal exclusively or predominantly in license-free photos: Pixabay, SnappyGoat, Freeimages.

How can I share a Word document or a slide with others through my free blog? There is no way I can upload it directly. 


Free blogging platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr and Wordpress do not have a provision for hosting such documents. What can be done is to host the document on the web through a file-storage and sharing site (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive) and give a hyperlink to that document from the blog. Slideshare is a good option to host presentations/ slides on the web.

Google Drive has an outstanding set of office tools, G suite, that allows you to create all types of documents, data sets and presentations and share them with others.

Is Quora a better blogging platform than Wordpress and Blogger for an information related blog, because many people come there in search of information? 


Though Quora offers blogging, it is NOT primarily a blogging platform. If you want your blog to be seen by people asking questions on Quora, include hyperlinks to your blog in your replies.

Is UC News a good blogging platform?


We have seen advertisements and promos of UC News. Unless you have a special reason to go with their platform, we'd recommend sticking with the standard ones such as Wordpress and Blogger.

I want an emailer that would send emails to addresses automatically. Is there some free service?


MailChimp is a good emailer/ email management tool if you want a free one. It will serve you well if you do not have to send thousands of emails a day. It has a number of customization features even in the free plan. 

My camera's photos are too heavy, running into MBs. What software should I use to make them light without cutting out anything?


Camera photos are often huge because they store a significant amount of pixel attributes and extra data. It is not advised to upload them directly on the website.

Our post on picture editing ( second in this series) has details on image-editing tools. However, if your interest is in just optimizing photos for the web or simple edits, popular image viewers such as IrfanView can save your photos for the web in much smaller sizes without perceptible loss in quality.

Optimizilla is a free online image optimizer for the web. However, you need to upload your original photos to the website, which you might sometimes not like to do. 

Is there a software for safekeeping my blog so that it does not get deleted by mistake or through cyber-attack?


You must regularly back up your blog. If the blog is on Wordpress or Blogger, there are in-built options on these platforms to export the blog and also back up. Wordpress also has free plugins for this work, but you can install plugins only on self-hosted blogs created with Wordpress or a premium plan. 

If your blog is self-hosted (i.e. hosted on a server for which you pay), the host will give you an option for backing up the blog. 

In all cases, make it a habit to store the content on your computer at regular intervals even if it means copying each post and saving it individually.

How do I put AdSense advertisements on my blog? Do I need an app or a code and knowledge of coding for that?


It is damn simple, and we have discussed it in the linked posts. However, know that you cannot put advertisements on your blog on Wordpress.com (free plan), LiveJournal, Medium and many other free blogging platforms. 

Best software is sometimes available free! Enjoy it.

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We have, over time, listed a number of free software / tolls useful for bloggers and others. You can browse them all in one place here: Posts of best free software category.

Other posts in the present series:

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