There are thousands of plugins and addons that people can use to make their blogging easier and better. However there are some lesser known ones that may help you in certain aspects of your blogging.
1) HTML COLOR CODES
When altering the design of your site or even adding a sidebar widget box, it is very useful to know the hex value of a color for use in CSS or HTML code. This is where HTML color codes comes in, giving you the most web-friendly color codes in which to design your site. You can even buy them on a mousemat or poster for handy references! If you have Firefox you can also use the Colorzilla dropper tool extension to find out your the hex code of colors you like.
2) COLOR COMBINATIONS
When designing a site it’s often hard to know which colors compliment each other, and will look good on your site. Color Combos is a site that has a large selection of palettes and complimentary colors. You can type in your hex code(s) or simply the name of a color and get back a list of palettes that have colors that look good together. You can even test and tweak the combinations to see how they look side-by-side. One thing I don’t like about the site is the number of adverts plastered everywhere.
3) BLOG ICONS
Every blogger needs icons, whether it’s for Twitter or Facebook, or for various projects. There are plenty of icon sites out there but I like some of the icon search sites that are out there. Find Icons and Icon Finder have 287,194 and 158,179 icons respectively. Of course some will be duplicates but the great thing is they are all there at your fingertips to compare side-by-side and download. Icons often come in icon sets, so if you like the style you can usually get similar ones to match.
4) ONLINE REPUTATION
If you run a business you usually like to know what is being said about you. Google Alerts are very useful for that, and you can also set up Twitter searches, but it would be nice to find everything in one place. This is where Social Mention and Addictomatic come in. They search various sites to see if your name is mentioned (be sure to wrap your name or brans in quotes in order to find an exact match, like “blog tech guy”). Social mention actually searches 97 places, like Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, even the BBC. They also provide some metrics, like strength, sentiment, passion and reach, though I need to look up how they’re calculated. Addictomatic comes back with a personalized page made up of widgets from some of the most popular sites showing the results for your search term. You can bookmark this page and check often. Invaluable stuff.
I’ll be covering some more tools in future posts, but have you used these and found them useful? Are there any other tools you find indispensable?