In this post I will list some of the resources I have used that you might need to survive your daily web-life. These are the stuffs that I have used and can recommend to my readers. Some of these are premium products i.e paid products and some of them are free or open source. This might come out to be a really long list but I am sure it wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what I really want to share with you all, I have either forgot about many of them (damn you bookmarks) or that product/service is currently unavailable. So I will keep updating this list as I come across new stuffs.
Please note that some of the links in the post are Affiliate Links which means I might earn a commission if you intend to use the product. You will incur no extra charge.
I know its hard to read all the 4000+ words at one go! So why not Bookmark this webpage in your browser and come back and read it later? Try pressing Ctrl+D.
Since this is a blog, Let us start with the Blogging Stuffs.
WordPress.org : WordPress is the most widely used and popular Content Management System. This is best flexible web application I have ever used. WordPress.org is a package that needs to be installed on a server. The project is open source and there is a massive community supporting it. You can download it for free from the link above.
WordPress.com : WordPress.com is the similar version of its self hosted counterpart, Except that this version is handled by the WordPress team on their own servers. Which means you need not buy/rent a server to use wordpress. This is of course free but comes with limitations that will hinder your development and creativity needs. You can register for a free account and start your blog with the link above.
Blogger : Blogger is a Google owned product and that will in itself speak about the quality and maintenance. Blogger is very different yet similar to wordpress.com. This too is hosted and maintained by a team – Google. Its free and requires just a Google account to open a blog. Go ahead, Create one. Follow the link above.
Tumblr : Tumblr was recently acquired by Yahoo. I have used the service before its acquisition and must say it is very sleek and simple to use. Just register and pick a username. Then enjoy the worry free content posting. Follow the link above to reach the service.
Recommended reading : The Basics of Getting Started with a Blog
When it comes to professional and long term serious blogging or web-related development. You need to pick a webhost/Server to host your files on. You shouldn’t rely on free hosts as they can wipe clean your files one day for no real reason (I have experienced it).
HostGator : This is one serious webhost which actually cares about its customers. You can’t regret spending money for their service. Just so you know. HackTabs.com is hosted on their servers and I have used them for years now without any huge problems. You can try their service the first month for just $0.01. Use the coupon code HACKTABS25OFF at the checkout. Have a look at their different server plans, Follow the link above.
Recommended reading : My HostGator Review
Domain names represent the IP Address to a computer or a web server hosting the blog files. They are the address with which you can access the files on web. Eg: www.hacktabs.com or www.google.com. You need to register a domain name from a Domain Name Registrar. The following are the Domain name registrars I recommend.
Namecheap : This registrar is known for its top notch service and has won several awards for the same. They usually provide a lot of freebies with their cheap registrations. They have been offering free Whois privacy with every domain name registration, What this will do is protect your identity when someone looks up for the owner of a domain name. You can go to their website with the link above.
Godaddy : Godaddy is one of the heavily advertised Domain Registrars, They too have very good service record. But I find it difficult to navigate their sloppy website. One great thing about Godaddy is their $1 Domain Coupons which they usually release at the starting of every month. You can use the coupon they release to register 1 Domain name at just $1. Visit their site and check if they are running any promo now, Follow the above link.
Network Solutions : Network Solution is a registrar who really knows their job and manages a hefty amount of registrations. They too release coupon codes regularly but I have had trouble using them successfully. Did you know that ‘thefacebook.com’ was registered on Network Solutions? Yes the first name of Facebook.com was thefacebook and it was registered on NS in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. Visit Network Solutions with the above link.
WordPress offers millions of free themes in its repository, I must say there are some really excellent themes I have liked in there. Also there are third party developers working to create products for WordPress users. Premium Themes are one of them, I have used two famous WordPress Theme Framworks and they both rock! I am currently use one of them on this blog.
Studiopress – Genesis : Studiopress is a Copyblogger Media product and one of the most widely used Theme Frameworks for WordPress. Genesis is really flexible and easily customizable. Child Themes are the specialty of Frameworks which enables you to customize your theme without touching the core theme files. Studiopress hosts a range of child themes developed by its designers, Many of them are free. Visit studiopress with the link above. HackTabs.com uses Genesis Framework.
DIYThemes – Thesis : Thesis is another WordPress Theme Framework that is mostly known for its SEO capabilities. It has its fair share of user base and uses Skins – similar to Child Themes. There are tons of free and premium skins for thesis theme. Checkout Thesis using the above link.
Cloud is one thing you cannot live without in the modern web connected world. Every thing is on cloud now and it makes it easier to access stuff – vulnerable too but that is the case with everything. Having access to your files anytime,anywhere is just an awesome thing. Cloud Storage makes it possible. I have tried several online storage but these two caught my eyes.
Dropbox : You can this is the simplest and most effective cloud storage Ive ever used, When I think of cloud (In the web sense) I think of Dropbox. It has helped me in several occasions. The free plan comes with sufficient storage to feed the needs of every casual web user – 2GB. You can further extend your storage by huge Bytes by performing simple tasks such as Tweeting,Referring others etc. Signup for a free account now with the link above.
Recommended reading : How to Get 5GB+ Free Space on Dropbox
Box : Box is my another favorite storage service, I use to host apps that I often share on HackTabs. Mainly because Dropbox usually limits the amount of public downloads and displays an out of bandwidth message. Box.com comes with 5GB Free storage.
Google Drive : Google Drive is a fairly new product by Google, it is also the new home of Google Docs. You can store your files securely and Google being a search giant, has emphasized search features in the product with features like ability to search for text in shared documents/images. Comes with 5GB free storage.
All the above shared cloud services come with dedicated Desktop apps making the syncing process smoother.
Privacy Protection & Anonymity.
Here I will list some tools and web apps you can use to protect your privacy online and hide your real identity. These softwares will help you stay anonymous on the Internet, They will mask your real IP Address and much more. Difference between a Proxy and a VPN is that Proxy will only hide the IP for one or two apps like Browser, Torrent Downloader etc but VPN will hide it for the whole computer. You should read my article about Unblocking Torrents.
Cyberghost VPN : Cyberghost is a VPN that uses many servers to hide your identity online. It has a free and premium option.. The free option has limited bandwidth per month. The servers are fast and totally anonymous. I am not sure if they keep logs of your surfing or not. But they are one of the best I have tried. At the time of writing they are running a promo which offers 2 years subscription at a very cheap rate. Check it out with the above link.
Recommended reading : Cyberghost Promo Code
PureVPN : PureVPN is another great VPN that I was asked to review. They had provided me with an account and I was very happy find the fantastic speeds of the servers. Checked with multiple IP Finders – none could reveal the real IP. Check it using the above link.
Recommended reading : PureVPN Review
HideMyAss : I have only tried its web based proxy but have a friend who has tried their VPN and his reviews were great. Hence I suggest it to you too. This VPN has been quite popular among different forums and user base seems happy. Check it out for yourself, Follow the above link.
10 Minute Mail : You can use the temporary Email addresses generated by this web app to use for registrations on suspicious websites. You can receive emails on this address hence can confirm verification emails that websites send upon registration. The advantage is that the email expires in 10 minutes and you don’t have to worry about any spam.
Guerrilla Mail : Similar to 10 Minute mail but you can edit the temporary email id and create a customized one and can manually make the address expire after use.
In both the above services don’t exit the website once the Email is generated as it relies on Cookies and they might get deleted on some browsers.
FakeNameGenerator : When registering on websites you are asked for your Name, Age, Address and other personal information. You can fake them professionally with this tool which will generate a new Fake identity every time you refresh the page. Use them to protect your real identity.
Google Analytics Opt-Out : If you don’t want Google Analytics to track your visits to a website then use their official addon. Btw HackTabs.com too uses Google Analytics to get an overview of visitors. Please note that Google Analytics never reveals your identity to the webmaster nor your IP Address.
Recommended Reading : All You Need to Know About Identity Theft Protection
I have used a lot of Apps on Android but as I said earlier, I have forgot about many of them. Thankfully I recovered those I installed via Google Play Store because it keeps a log of all the apps you have installed. I will list some of the essential apps.
Tasker : This would be your best investment if you like Automating stuffs in your life. You can’t compare this application with any other, The developer has done so much work on making this as user friendly as possible. Yet he hasn’t left out on sweet stuffs. You can automate anything you think of. Eg : Put your phone in silent while at College, Put it back in General when you step out of class. Connect to Wifi periodically at night to check for messages in Whatsapp instead of keeping it connected the whole time. Download the app from the link above.
Titanium Backup : If you have rooted your Android, Your phone shouldn’t live without this App. Titanium backup is the ultimate backup app you will ever need for an Android. It can backup both the App+Data on a rooted android. Also good for people who migrate ROMs frequently. Comes with a Free version too, Download it now from the link above.
Prey Project : This is the only anti-theft app needed for your entire gadget base. It will locate every gadget you own by using the specified modules for each platform hence works on all popular Operating Systems. It has a paid plan as well as free plan which holds upto 3 devices and 10 reports max.
WhatsApp : The best messenger on Android according to me. I am sure you are already using it, If not get on it fast you will find many of your friends already using it.
LauncherPro : This is the best home launcher replacement for Android according to me, The smooth and heavily customizable interface has led me to this conclusion.
Android Terminal Emulator : Command prompt/Terminal on your Android.
Astrid Tasks : A To-Do list app that one should use to note down tasks. Has very simple set of instructions. I will list some other alternative apps below.
Evernote : You should have heard of this already. If not this is another note taking application which is quite popular.
Pulse News : This is a sort of feed reader cum magazine. You can subscribe to popular blogs in almost all fields like Science and Tech, Health, Arts and Crafts etc.
Android SDK : How can I forget this, Not an Android App but a very essential kit for developers.
This will list all the apps and tools I have used to automate different stuffs. Some of these are paid apps but they are well worth the money you spend on them.
Tasker : I have about this in the Android section, Scroll a little above into the Android section to read about it.
iMacros (Firefox | Chrome) : This best for small browser based automation tasks such as Filling Forms, Scraping data from pages, Registering on sites etc. Just hit the record button > Perform the action you want to automate once and play it as a loop how ever times you want it. You can get the free version as an Addon for all popular browsers and the paid version lets to create complex scripts.
WinAutomation : This is similar to iMacros except that you can automate even Windows tasks with this application. Eg : Launch browser > Go to Filehippo.com > Download the latest version of a software > Install it > Quit the browser > Clear the Cookies and Cache. The software is paid one but comes with 30 Days trial option. Also you can create stand alone EXE files of the tasks you create which can be run on any machine without the need for WinAutomation to be installed.
IFTTT : This is a web app which will handle web app automation with unlimited amount of twists, You will know what I mean by that once you start using it. Basically what you do is make recipes which consists of connecting different websites together. Eg: If you get tagged in a Photo on Facebook > Then > Download and save the Photo to your Dropbox account and the best part about this is that it runs on their own server so no need for constant monitoring of the script. There literally thousands of community made recipes for use.
UBot : This is software that is not for everyone, This is used by Internet Marketers and SEOs to create bots that will perform tasks like Register or 1000s of websites and upload articles with link back to your website and similar stuffs. You can create a standalone EXE of the task and send it to anyone. It is a paid software.
Zennoposter : This is similar to UBot in its functionality except that you cannot export the task as EXE and always need Zennoposter software to be installed in order to run the script. It is a paid software.
Action(s) : I haven’t tried this personally but listed this because I read an article about this application on LifeHacker.
Photo Upload/Share Spaces.
Photo upload and sharing services allow you to share your photos with others easily. Just upload an album and share it with others via Email,Facebook etc. These are the top services.
Flickr : Another Yahoo acquired service which has recently upgraded its storage space to 1 TB per user. This news came after Tumblr was acquired by them. Flickr is also one of the most popular service for photo sharing.
Picasa : Picasa is a Google product and is known for its desktop application which creates a beautiful photo slideshow. You can share your albums and upload them from desktop via the application.
Photobucket : This is another service that is quite popular. The main objective being the same as others.
Instagram : Instagram has grown popular because of its iOS and Android application which lets you capture photos and apply vintage filters to it.
Web Scrapers & Extractors.
These apps and tools will help you to scrape information from websites, You can use these tools to reduce the manual work and let the application do the job of scraping. Most of the tools listed in the Automation section doe scraping but these are additional tools.
Google Image Scraper : This is a free web-based scraper which will scrape Google Images for a search query.
Online Email Extractor : Let us say there is a webpage with a lot of Email addresses listed, Like you asked your facebook fans to put their emails in the comment section (not a very good idea) and you want to copy them all without other text from the page. Then press Ctrl+A and copy all the text from that page > Head to the extractor > Paste the text > Apply the options > Click extract. You have all the emails formatted perfectly.
Scrapebox : This ought to be the king of Scraping. This is a paid software that is used by Internet Marketers and SEOs to perform link scraping and blog commenting. It’s blackhat vs whitehat application is a debatable topic but we intend to use it nicely.
HTTrack : This is a Website Ripper which will crawl all the links in a website downloading all the pages and elements as it crawls. This will copy a website entirely to your desktop, There are advanced options to be tweaked.
Text and HTML Tools.
Text Mechanic : The only website you will need to manage all your text formatting related issues. I agree the interface of the website is not so eye catching but the functionality is outstanding.
URL Decoder/Encoder : This tool will help you encode/decode URLs. Eg : http%3A%2F%2Fwww will be converted to http://www after decoding.
StripHTML : A tool to strip HTML and formatting from Text.
These web apps will help you compress different files to reduce their size but trying to maintain the quality of it.
TinyPNG : Will compress your PNG files by stripping unwanted meta data and processing information. This tool is the best PNG optimizer I have seen and it retains the transparency unlike many other tools.
Small PDF : Compresses PDF Files.
Dynamic Drive Image Optimizer : Compresses all popular image formats.
Online File Converters.
These tools will help you convert your files from one format to another without the need for downloading any special desktop applications.
Zamzar : Converts most files into most formats.
Media.io : Specializes in Music/Audio conversion.
You can create short/long videos online with your Images and Music. These are some web apps that let you do that.
Animoto : Animoto is a popular site in this category, They have paid and free plans. The free plan allows creation of 30 seconds of videos with Animoto branding.
Stupeflix : Stupeflix is another competitor that has very unique set of templates. They too have free and paid plans.
Keyword tools let you find Keywords and Suggested keywords from a seed keyword. These are helpful for SEOs and keyword targeting projects.
Google Keyword Tool : This has the best data you can get for a keyword, The amount of monthly searches and the approximate cost per click for the keyword and much more and best of all.. its all from Google’s database.
UberSuggest : Ubersuggest scrapes the Suggested keywords that Google shows beneath every search term also the google instant suggestions it shows when you type a keyword. These keywords are gold mine as in they can be used as contextual keywords in SEO projects.
Spyfu : This can be used to detect your competitors keywords and much more.
These are some of the useful Addons for Firefox that I have used.
Adblock Plus : Use this to block unwanted Ads and annoying popups and popunders.
Greasemonkey : Greasemonkey lets you add snippets of code to modify the functionality of any website plus there is a community generating thousands of scripts to aid you. The community is Userscripts.
Firebug : This is every web designer/coders dream tool. It lets you inspect and modify website design of any website in realtime. You can see the changes as you modify them.
iMacros : As I said earlier in the Automation section.
Search By Image : This addon lets you use the Google’s search by image function directly by right clicking an image and using the Search By Image from the context menu. Very handy!
Autopager : This addon will load the other pages of a website you are reading if it is paginated. Eg : Reading threads with multiple pages in a forum or google search results. You don’t need to click on the next page. It automatically loads the next page beneath the existing one.
Copy URLs Expert : A handy tool to copy the URLs of all the currently open tabs in firefox.
Evernote : If you are an evernote user.
Lastpass : The best password manager for your daily browsing.
Favorite Websites and Forums.
These are some of my favorite websites and forums, I guess you already know of them but still I have to list them.
XDA Developer Forum : The best forum in the world for any Mobile Operating System related knowledge. You can learn it all here. The users there are fantastic and great at helping fellow users with their queries.
Mashable : Pete Cashmore and his team has one of the best Tech blog to ever exist on this planet.
Tech Crunch : A blog that never falls behind in unique and interesting tech information.
Life Hacker : This network has a unique way of presenting article in a non-boring way which I like very much. Obviously they cover more than tech.
Ars Technica : To the point and well researched articles are the specialty.
CNet : One stop webpage for the best of best reviews and tech news.
Hack College : I recently discovered this site and it has had me reading.
Android Police : Nothing in the Android world escapes their keyboards.
Android Advices : Amit and his team work so hard to deliver the best of Android news to their readers. Every article teaches something new.
Labnol : Amit Agarwal is a truly inspiring person from my home country. His blog is one of the top ranked tech blogs in the world and the articles are always – everytime fresh and informative.
Wired : Wired take tech blogging to a new level with their articles, I love their Underwire category!
Make Use Of : You should really make use of this website! Their Question and Answer area is outstanding. Along with all the giveaways they arrange all the time.
Engadget : Gadget news? Look here!
Hacker News : Informative discussions and just follow their Fanpage, You get tons of interesting stuffs!
Viper Chill : There is no words to describe Glen, He is one of the best marketers I have ever seen. He is also one of those very rare perfectionists I have seen, Gives so much emphasis on small details. I liked his website design very much.
The Facebook Blog : The official Facebook Blog – For tuning into the official announcements.
All Facebook : The unofficial Facebook Blog – Has lots of interesting and informative articles on Facebook. I say they should make this the official Facebook Blog.
Google Blog : For tuning into the official Google announcements.
Linkin Park : LP Fan? Follow their website for announcements and perks.
LP Association Forum : The true LP Fan Forum with endless discussions on the band.
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