Creating content on the Web can be difficult, especially if you are working with limited resources and need to get content out the door quickly. You shouldn't have to sacrifice quality for efficiency, especially when there are so many great tools that you can use directly from your browser.
In this article, we will take a look at some great Web-based tools for online content creators.
Whether you are looking for a quick tool to help with proofreading, or a utility to assist you in spreading the word about your latest creation, there is a good chance that you can find the solution you are searching for without leaving your browser.
Creating good content means having a process for quality control in place. If you are a one-person operation, or if an editor isn't in your budget, you should try a powerful grammar and spelling tool like Grammarly.
Usable for free, with additional (and extremely useful) features available for premium users, Grammarly is your one-stop shop for proofreading. Basically, you just copy and paste your draft into the engine, let it know what type of content it is, and Grammarly will check it over for grammar and spelling issues.
In its premium version, you can even check work for plagarism, identify and replace cliche terms, and more. Grammarly may not be a replacement for a human editor, but it will catch most common mistakes.
Image compression is a key step to content creation. Not only can a properly optimized image aid in page load times for your users, but it can also save you a pretty penny in hosting costs. An image file that takes up 1MB of space doesn't sound like a lot by itself, but when you are serving this file out to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of concurrent visitors, it can quickly become a burden on your server.
Compressor.io is a free tool that enables you to compress JPEG, PNG, GIF, and SVG files using either lossy or lossless compression. Not only does it work entirely from the browser, but it has a remarkably good compression algorithm behind it. We found Compressor.io to be comparable to, and even better than, the tools we listed previously in our blog post on image optimization utilities.
Buffer puts simplicity back into social media management. It is a bare-bones approach to allowing you to intelligently schedule posts across a variety of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) without the clutter and hassle that comes with more full-featured social management services like Hootsuite.
Buffer is no slouch in the features department, either. You can access easy-to-read analytics for previous posts, manage automatic posting times, receive email alerts when you run out of scheduled posts, and grant team member's access to your accounts without giving them the keys to the actual social accounts.
In addition to its Web-based interface, Buffer has mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as several browser plugins that enable you to schedule posts from any page on the Web.
If you need something a bit more powerful than Buffer, HootSuite is probably one of the best options you can find. HootSuite gives you the ability to keep up with multiple social feeds, respond to comments and replies, and even schedule future posts.
HootSuite even scans your social accounts to determine the best times of day to schedule posts based on the activity of your followers. If you'd rather have full control over exactly when content is shared on various networks, you can do this as well. You are even able to set up a CSV file to schedule updates in bulk, allowing you to quickly fire off an entire campaign in a single session rather than doing individual posts.
Like Buffer, HootSuite supports team members, vanity URLs, and analytics reporting. It just takes what Buffer offers and extends it a bit more. Analytics reports, for example, are incredibly detailed and delivered in a print-friendly PDF that is perfectly suitable for a board room presentation. This service comes at a cost, however, and you will be paying a premium with costs varying based on the size of your organization.
Draft is another writing tool that makes collaboration easier. It supports Markdown and has a clean, distraction free user interface similar to what you might find on popular stand-alone writing apps like iA Writer. The entire menu system gets out of your way when you aren't using it, allowing you to focus just on the text.
Like Google Docs, Draft is great for collaboration, enabling multiple users to view, edit, and export documents.
Google Drive is not the best tool for writing in HTML, but it is an excellent set of utilities that can help you to plan, collaborate, and execute content creation tasks in a number of different ways.
Google Docs is a free and incredibly versatile set of online tools that allows multiple users to collaborate on a single document at any given time. Spread sheets, presentations, and written materials can be created and shared from just about any modern browser out there.
Google Drive gives you a cloud-based storage platform to keep documents and other data. It's easy to use, and even allows you to share folders with anyone that has an email address.
These are a few of our favorite tools when dealing with content creation. What are yours? Please feel free to share your favorite Web-based utility in the comments section below.