Are you running your business on a budget, or looking for ways to cut down start up expenses? It’s open source software to the rescue!
Open source software is software that the developers have placed into the public domain and/or allowed to be legally distributed freely and it is estimated to save consumers $60 billion a year (source: Wikipedia and a report by The Standish Group).
The exact legalities of open source varies some between the various types (GNU vs. OSI vs. badgewear/adware, etc). In general though it’s software you don’t have to pay for and that you can edit the source code for if you want to. For the specifics of any program always check the accompanying license file. Some of the software listed below isn’t open source, but it is free.
What’s this mean? First, free software! Second, because the source code is open it often creates a less buggy piece of software — any programmer can become part of the community around the software and help develop and debug it.
Here are 11 free software tools I use, that you might like, too!
Chrome or Firefox for Web Browing – Always good to check your website in multiple browsers just to make sure it displays nicely and works properly. I use Chrome for most of my browsing because it loads fast.
Avast for Antivirus Protection – Don’t skip antivirus protection! If you’re on a budget (or just don’t like some of those other options out there…) check out Avast. Free for personal/home computers and affordable for business.
Notepad++ for Text Editing – This is a great little program for editing various types of text files. I use it to edit html, php, etc.
Filezilla for FTP – My favorite free file transfer program for Windows.
Open Office – Awesome free suite of tools including a word processor, spreadsheet, and more. Good alternative to the standard office suite of programs.
Audacity for Audio Editing – With audacity you can easily record your own mp3 files and share them on your website.
Miro for Video Viewing – Allows you to open and a view a variety of video formats.
GIMP for Image Editing – A nice alternative to Photoshop. Has a learning curve but it’s a very powerful image editor.
CamStudio for Video Editing – A free option for recording your own videos. It’s got a few bugs, but overall works really well and you can’t beat the price.
WordPress for Website Building – You knew this was coming, right? WordPress just rocks.
Got a favorite free software program? Share it in the comments!