Free Alternative To Paid Services For Online Entrepreneurs

Free Alternative To Paid Services For Online Entrepreneurs

Starting and managing an online website is not an easy job. You may require lots of supporting services to keep it live. For example, Customer Relationship Mangement, Website Security, Marketing Services etc.  All these services are so important that you can’t imagine a successful website or blog without them. Every one of you will need these services to grow your online presence.

During an initial time, these services are available at free of cost. But, once you grow, you need to subscribe to their paid plan. For example, if you are using MailChimp then, you will get only 20,000 free emails per month. Next, for sending more emails, you will require to subscribe to their paid plan.

I know you may think, what’s wrong in this? If you want to send more emails then obviously you need to pay for it. But, what if, we say, you can send more emails without paying anything.

Yes, you heard it correctly. We are running three websites online since 2011 and till date, we have not paid for any such services. But, this does not mean we are not using any of these services. Actually, we are using all these at free of cost.

After getting lots of question asking which tools and services we are using online, we thought to write an article on this. Here, in this article, we have shared the list of all basic tools and services that are necessary to grow your website or blog. Of course, all of them are free for unlimited time. Don’t worry, we will not discuss any free tools or services which are free for a limited time or has certain limitation.

These all the tools or services are such that it will definitely fulfill your requirements infinitely. It means you can use it for an unlimited period of time and for unlimited customers or clients or websites.

But before starting with this article, let us share, Why we find a needs to write this article? We are actually writing this article for all those people who can’t afford to invest in these services.

Next, many of you will be not aware of these services because professional bloggers are not endorsing any free service to the users. This is because, in the case of free service, they will not get paid any commission. Hence, they are not endorsing any such services to their users.

We are sure at the end of this article, you will have the list of free alternative to all important supporting services. So, now there is no need to invest money in getting these kinds of services only. Below is the list of free tools available online.

Free Online Tools

Before listing down these free tools or services, let us first list out the important services require to grow your website or blog. To run your website or blog you may require the below supporting services.

  1. Email Newsletter
  2. Website Security and Performance
  3. Marketing and Advertising
  4. Customer Support Services
  5. Optimizing Images
  6. Statistical Analysis

Above all are the basic supporting services that every blogger or website owner may require to grow their online presence. Now, below, let us discuss one free alternative tool for all these services.

Email Newsletter

No matter, what is the hottest or trending way to promote your product or service online? Email Marketing will be always the best and first choice of Marketer. But, for sending an email newsletter, you can’t use your regular email inbox. Your free service provider like Google, Hotmail, Yahoo etc will not allow you to share hundreds of emails to your clients. If you try to share email newsletter through these service provider then there are the higher chances that your email id will get banned and your email will get delivered into spam box of the user.

Here, the role of Email Marketing websites comes. Email marketing websites will allow you to share email newsletter to thousands of subscribers instantly. Of course, using this service you will not get banned and your newsletter will not get delivered into spam inbox. Your service provider will take care of all these things.

For example, MailChimp. As discussed earlier in this article, MailChimp will allow you to send 20,000 emails per month at free of cost. But if you want to send more emails then you need to subscribe to their paid plan.

But what if you don’t want to pay for this service. In that case, you can use the free alternative tool listed below by us.

Our free alternative tool for this service is Php List.

Php List

phpList is Open Source newsletter and email marketing software to send unlimited free emails to your subscribers. It is available free of cost if you use your own web server to host it.

According to their official website, they are used in more than 78 countries and in the last 12 months they have sent more than 1,117,666,633 emails.

Worried, How to install Php list? Don’t worry, it is very easy to install it.

This comprehensive PhpList manual will help you to install PhpList on your server. Once installed you can send unlimited emails to your subscribers.

This is how it looks like when you install it.

PhpList Dashboard
PhpList Dashboard

Alternatively, you can also use the other options like Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, or Feedburner to avoid using above open source platforms.

Website Security and Performance

When your website or blog goes live, it starts facing lots of vulnerabilities online. Hackers will start attacking your site and try to hack or steal personal information from the website.

Next,  it is also important to optimize your website performance for better conversion rate. Here, the term performance includes Loading Speed, SSL Certificate, Auto Minify etc.

There are many online options are available to protect and improve your website performance but most of them are the paid options. Hence, here we will share the name of the website that provides basic features, required to protect and improve your website performance at free of cost.

The name of this free tool or website is Cloudflare.

Cloudflare Website

Cloudflare is a US-based company that acts as an Intermediary between your visitors and Cloudflare network. When you add your site to Cloudflare, it will provide content delivery network services, DDoS mitigation, Internet security, and distributed domain name server services to your site.

In simple words, Cloudflare provides an intermediary network between your site and visitors. This intermediary network will protect and improve the performance of your site online.

Cloudflare is a must application for your website or blog

Cloudflare for your Online Store
Cloudflare for your Online Store

Yes, this service is available under both free and paid plan. But, its free plan is enough for an individual website or blog.

We are using their free plan since 2011 without any problem. The free plan of Cloudflare includes all basic requirement like Caching, SSL Certificate, Firewall Rules etc.

Update: Cloudflare recently started an option called Apps. With Cloudflare applications, you can build anything without touching your site. Hence, now there is no need of installing any plugin or module on your site.

For example, Initially, you need to install Social Media Plugins for showing social networks on your site but now using Cloudflare Apps, you can install Social Media app directly on Cloudflare server.

On Cloudflare Apps, tons of apps are available for free. We are sure these apps will replace all your installed plugins on the website or blog.

Cloudflare Apps
Cloudflare Apps

Marketing and Advertising

The next service in the list is for Marketing and Advertising. No matter, what kind of website or blog are your running? You need to spend money on its marketing and advertising for sure.

Next, for marketing and advertising, one of the most common activity you may require is printing materials, new business cards, make seals, design letterheads and then attractive brochures in order to market your business properly.

Hence, there is a need for the free online tool to design all these materials for marketing and advertising purpose.

The free alternative tool for this kind of service is Canava

Canava

Canava is a graphic designing online website famous for its drag and drops features and access to tons of free graphics to use.

It is very easy to use Canava. You need to do is select the appropriate option and then use drag and drops features to design your graphic.

Next, you can download this graphic in your required formats say PDF, JPG and PNG. Yes, this tool is available for free and you can download the final file without any watermark or limitation.

This website is a comprehensive solution for all your graphics requirement like Banner, Poster, Logo, Business Cards, Presentation, Brochure, Book Cover, Wallpapers etc.

Customer Support Services

The next supporting service in the list is Customer Support Service. This is must service for all online websites and blogs.

In the absence of any physical interaction with the seller and unable to examine the product in person leads to many problems like this online store is fake, products will be not up to the quality etc. here, the role of customer support service comes.

Your customer service should be such that it ease the online purchase process for your customers.

Now, there are two famous ways to provide customer support service. First, through Emails and Second, through the Live Chat option.

Nowadays these both the option have become prerequisite for any online entrepreneurs.

Yes, we all know, both these option are available for free online. Gmail is available for sending free emails and free live chat apps are available for online chatting.

But both these options has its own limitation. Once your website or blog grow you can’t continue using Gmail or free live chat apps available online.

This is because Google is not a complete free ticketing support service and online free live chat apps may have certain limitations.

Hence, below we have shared a free alternative tool for these services. The free alternative for email support service is Freshdesk Ticketing System and for live chat option is Smartsupp.

Both, Freshdesk Ticketing and SmartsUpp allow you to create unlimited agents for unlimited customer queries.

Yes, you heard it correct. There is no limitation as far as the volume is concerned. Hence, you can use it free, even after your website or blog grow in future.

Freshdesk Support

Before making any comments, just look what freshdesk is providing at free

  1. Unlimited Agents
  2. Unlimited Emails
  3. Social Integration
  4. Unlimited Knowledge Base

No matter, from which place your customers are raising queries like Social Media Networks, through emails or freshdesk portal, all these queries will get collaborated at one place and automatically a ticket reference will be generated for them.

Yes, this all features are available for free and for unlimited agents, customers, and queries.

Next, it is very easy to use this service. All you need to do is create an account on freshdesk. Once the account is created, you can start using this service immediately.

Freshdesk Helpdesk Ticketing Website for PrestaShop Store
Freshdesk Helpdesk Ticketing Website for PrestaShop Store

Note: Freshdesk will only charge you if you want to use your own personalized domain name for using this service.

SmartsUpp

SmartsUpp is an online website providing live chat support service. Like Freshdesk, on SmartsUpp also, all the services are available for free of cost.

You can create and manage, an unlimited number of agents and customer queries online.

Free live Chat for Website
Free Live Chat for Website

Note: You need to upgrade your plan only if you want to check your detailed statistics.

Optimizing Images

Image Optimization always remains the key factor in improving the loading speed of your website. If you want to improve the loading speed of your website or blog then you need to reduce the size of your uploaded images.

Of course, there are many online tool or apps are available for reducing the size of the image without losing its quality but all these tools are available with certain limitation in the number of images compressed.

Hence, we decided to share one desktop tools to compressed an unlimited number of images for your website or blog.

The name of this desktop tool is ImageResizer.

ImageResizer

Image Resizer is an offline tool that allows you to resize images by right-clicking. This tool is available for free and using this tool you can compress an unlimited number of images.

Optimizing Image for web Image Resizer
Optimizing Image for web Image Resizer

Hence, there is no need of installing and using any paid tool for optimizing your images before upload.

Statistical Analysis

Last and the most important supporting service that every online entrepreneur use is Statistical Analysis.

We all have anyone plugin or module installed to collect statistical data of our customers.

Yes, this plugin or module is available for free of cost. In fact, nowadays this feature is also available as default feature along with your online platform. But,  this kind of plugin or module is not as capable as the solution we are going to suggest below.

Our free alternative tool is the father of all these modules and does not require any technical knowledge to use it.

Your free statistical plugin or module will only share the data but this free alternative tool will also share the interactive report based on collected data.

If you are using any statistical module or plugin then uninstall it now. Because this free alternative tool has all these features available for free by default.

The name of this alternative tool is Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

It is very easy to use Google Analytics. All you need to do is copy and paste a simple code on your website. Once you paste the code, Google will take care of the rest. Starting from Online Users to Users Behaviours, everything is available at a single place in Google Analytics.

Next, all your statistical data will be available on your Analytic dashboard as shown in the below-attached image.

Google Anaytic Dashboard
Google Analytic Dashboard

Note:  We suggest to use Cloudflare Apps for installing Google Analytics script code on your website or blog. There is no need of installing any plugin or touching your website for using Google Analytic.

Wrapping Up

We know there are no services which are available for free. Every free service has certain limitations attached to them. But, we assure you, the above-listed alternative will not dissatisfy you.

Unless you have any specific requirement, the all above listed free alternatives are the best options available for you.

At last, if you think we have missed out any best free tools to listed out above then please let us know. We will be happy to include your suggestion in the list.

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