Top 40 free tools for bloggers, website owners, authors, SEO, designers in 2021

We bring you the updated list of 40 useful websites, apps and tools for bloggers, web writers, authors, newspersons, photo and video editors - all those who create and modify content for the web or elsewhere. Some of these are excellent tools for other purposes such as Search Engine Optimization, web security, and checking whether someone has stolen your content.

Each of these free tools/ apps have been used by me and my friends and blogger friends. I have only included websites and software when I find them safe, stable and really useful. 

Tools that do not install well or are reported to install junk on your computer, those with useless features in their free versions, and tools/ apps that are not found totally safe in my and others' reviews have been rejected. 

Some of the entries in this free tools' list are freemium tools - these have free as well as paid versions.

Repeat: all these great tools/ sites/ apps are FREE!

Free writing tools for bloggers, writers

A magnificent spelling and grammar checker for English, which checks passages online, integrates with MS Word and has browser extensions too. (Has paid plans also.)

Another fantastic free online grammar and readability checker. Hemingway app also tells you how good or bad your writing it, suggesting ways to improve it. (It also has a paid desktop version.)

If you are a blogger writing in English, I strongly recommend that one of the above two should be your essential blogging tool.

This alternative to MS Office and other office suites is a workhorse and integrates well with other Google products such as Google Sheets. 

This comes in this list because of its versatility for web use. In addition to being a good word processor like Word, Google Docs is available to you wherever you go if you have an internet connection. You can collaborate with others, go back to history, share the document with access control, etc.   

Google Docs, Sheets, Form, Slides and Drawings are all FREE apps and the documents you create through them are stored in your Google Drive.

A very comprehensive dictionary cum thesaurus that is available offline and also online. The offline app integrates well with all Windows programs. 

Wordweb is free forever if you declare that you are not rich enough to buy it!

If you need typing in languages other than English, this tool (has web and app versions) is a must for you. With intuitive word formation, it can type in 121 languages instantly as you type in English. 

Though your blogging or website platform might have option to input different languages, I recommend that you bookmark this tool on your browser and use it as an independent language blogging tool if you work in languages other than those written in Roman script.

You can translate between a number of languages instantly online. However, there is a character limit. You should do a check before you use the translation, because some expressions might not look good. If you are signed in through Google, it also stores earlier translations! 

Helps you create and test headlines that attract attention and perform well on the web and elsewhere. 

Because headlines act as a hook for drawing readers' attention, I recommend this tool to bloggers and other content creators.

Free plagiarism checking tools 

We have not come across any completely free tool that we can recommend. However, these are good freemium tools, though with limitations. Also note that even the best premium plagiarism checkers cannot check plagiarism 100 percent.

Has online 'plagiarism checker' tool and a tool for comparing two articles. You should use this tool when you want to check whether an article has copy-pasted text.

The free plagiarism checker comes with options (URL, text chunk) to check duplicate content.

Free image, audio and video tools

image editing tools
Inkscape and Gimp are the best free image/ photo tools.

Gimp is the best photo editing app available free, and is equal to the industry standard - Photoshop. It has almost all that Photoshop has, a bit less here and a bit more there. 

With Gimp free image editor, you can make all types of images for any job including making graphics for blogs and websites. You can touch up photos, make computer graphics, apply numerous effects... The learning curve is steep, but you can take help from web tutorials.

This free image tools is as good for drawing and making vector graphics (images that do not pixelate when enlarged) as Gimp is for photographs and other normal images. 

Inkscape is not only a free alternative to Illustrator, the industry leader, but is one notch above that in some respects. It needs some learning before you can master this tool, but there are thousands of tutorials available on the web.

  • Snapseed

If you need to do image editing and photo touch-up on a smartphone, snapseed is presently the best free image editing app. It is almost as good as the professional programs available for the desktop.

If you do not want a feature-heavy but difficult-to-use image editor, go for this simple online image editor.

A dependable storehouse of license-free images. There are some other nearly as good (e.g. Pexels, Unsplash, Creative Commons), but Pixabay alone would serve your purpose if you need stock photos for free for your blog, website or social media account. 

Earlier called Picasaweb, this Google entity is free storage space for images. You can decide to share images stored on Photos through a link because each image has a unique web address. If you are on Blogger blogging platform, all your images are saved here automatically. 

There are other alternatives such as Flickr. Since Photos is integrated with Google and Blogger, we have included this one in the list.

This is the top free audio editing software. Besides editing almost all types (some with the help of plugins) of audio files, it has a configurable audio recorder. 

Audacity is a  must-have tool if you are a podcaster or have a music blog. You can also use it for preparing audio lectures to go with screen-captured video (e.g. for tutorials).

YouTube needs no introduction. For blogs with videos (vblogs), it can be used as free storage space, which not only allows linking but also embedding videos on any website/ blog. You can visit this article on why YouTube is so great as a secondary web host for videos.

If you want to regularly post videos on the web, you should open your own channel on YouTube for free, and post videos on it. If it gets popular, YouTube pays you for the traffic that you get on the channel.

This is a topnotch free online design tool. It comes with numerous free templates for making quick graphics for social media, especially with embedded text. You can use their free photos, make infographics and charts, and other designs. 

This is another, equally good, website that allows the creation of beautiful graphic designs in a jiffy, using available free (and paid) photos and design elements, for all types of web media and other formats.

A wonderful software for screen-recording. It sits on a side of your desktop, and you can invoke it from there for screen capturing and recording the movements on the screen. You can use this program for making video tutorials.

Though Camstudio is another free software as good as Screenrec, it installs third-party software and asks private questions at the time of installation, so not recommending it.

A near-professional free video editing software, even in its free version. You can edit videos easily and apply many filters. Then you can export videos in many formats. It has too many video-editing options, and therefore it needs some learning before you can master this tool.

Free social networking tools

There used to be many free online tools for scheduling, follow-unfollow, analytics, etc. However, the social networks keep changing their APIs and the tool providers often shift fresh features to their premium versions. So, I am not recommending any third-party tool at present.

Major social networking platforms now incorporate analytics within their settings menu. This is very useful if you want to know how your Facebook page, Twitter handle, Instagram account or YouTube channel is performing over time, how many times a post is liked or followed or shared, the profile of visitors, and so on.

Twitter's own scheduling and management tool. Has a multi-column layout that makes it easier to deal with tweets, users, lists, etc.

Free tools for SEO and keyword research

There are many freemium tools available online and offline for SEO. However, in most cases, the free versions are very constrained. So, I am listing here free tools from Google itself and just two SEO tools that are good in many respects.

Previously called Webmaster Tools, this toolset gives you deep knowledge about search on your website, including what has gone wrong and how to fix that. 

If you are a webmaster, website owner or professional blogger, you cannot afford to not regularly use Search Console

This traffic monitoring tool gives great insight into traffic on your website. Another must-have tool for bloggers and website owners.

 The daddy of keyword research tools, this is part of tools available under Google AdWords - the advertising platform of the search giant. Most other SEO tools use this data for further analysis and making recommendations.

In its free version, this keyword research tool gives many aspects of SEO for a limited number of domains per day. It analyzes a domain, suggests keywords, tells which keywords and pages are ranking on Google search, etc.

This SEO extension gives you a glimpse of traffic and monetization potential of any keyword you type on Google, and also suggests related keywords and their data.

There are many other SEO extensions for Chrome, Mozilla and other browsers. But the ones tested by me take a lot of resources and slow down the browser. Some of them have data overkill, which does not help. So, going with this simple, focused one.

  • Rank Math SEO plugin for Wordpress

One of the most popular SEO plugins for Wordpress, with a useful set of features in its free version.

Though Yoast is reported to be the most popular SEO plugin for Wordpress, its free version has big limitations.

Other free tools for bloggers, web users

A great website that teaches you bits of HTML and CSS in very simple ways and explains why a code on your website/ blog is working the way it is. You can test sample codes then and there.

Web writers, columnists, thinkers, newspersons and bloggers need updates in their area of specialization, and nothing beats Google Alerts in giving alerts on any number of topics. It sends alerts on your Gmail account at a regular interval as set by you.

Not to forget this most popular cost per click (CPC) program from Google, which allows bloggers to make money by placing AdSense advertisements on their blogs/ websites/ YouTube channels.

A fine automatic email sender and opt-in form generator, with enough resources in the free account. 

You can create copyright license for any creation (text, audio, visual) for free, so that others know how much copying of your content is permissible.

A free security certificate for websites. If you have a self-hosted blog or website, you need not go for paid security certificate (unless you allow financial transactions through the website).  

Creative Commons has free images, copyright license tools
Finally,

Top free blogging platforms

This list will be incomplete if I do not mention the three top blogging platforms here. For a detailed discussion, let me refer you to the relevant page on Top Blogs: Blogging Platforms: features, strengths and limitations, and comparisons.
Wordpress is the most popular free content management system or website/ blog creation software. 
Wordpress.com is a free blogging platform, but it comes with many limitations. It excels in looks and readability.
Blogger is a free blogging platform that allows lots of customization. It also allows putting ads on the blog.
Medium is a free blogging platform that allows very little customization and concentrates on quality of text content.