With the phenomenal growth of internet users, flourishing open source technologies and availability of on-demand cloud computing, it has become far less expensive and attractive to begin your internet business. Here are five tools I found indispensable for every internet entrepreneur. Using these tools, you can kick-start and operate your internet business at negligible infrastructure cost.
1. Website/Content Management System
For the front-end customer facing website and blog, you certainly need a CMS/blogging platform. If you are slightly techie and can do things on your own, I recommend using WordPress. If you are not techie and need something out-of-the-box, go for Weebly.
With myriad choices in hosting, this part gets trickier. If you are looking to play a long innings, I strongly recommend using Rackspace cloud for hosting, even if you are new to cloud hosting. The reason is – for less than $30 a month, you get your own cloud sever which you can scale up or scale down in minutes. I found Rackspace cloud control panel the easiest to work with and their help/documentation/support is awesome!
3. Visitor Tracking
The third most important thing to do for your web business is tracking your site visitors and finding out what attracts them and what puts them off. Fortunately, Google analytic free edition does the job exceptionally well.
4. Up-time and performance monitoring
Your internet businesses relies on the availability of your website. It is critical to keep a watch on your website up-time and performance. Pingdom offers website up-time and performance monitoring completely free for one website. You can always opt for advanced (paid) features at a later stage.
5. E-mail/Online Collaboration
Your web business needs its own e-mail and online collaboration tools. Google apps (free edition) is the answer. Recently, Google has buried its free Google Apps edition inside its hyperlinked pages such that it is not easily found. Click here to sign up for Google Apps free edition.
I hope these tools become helpful in your journey to be a successful web entrepreneur. What tools do you use?