Little Known Blogging Tools That Rock!

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.


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.



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.



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.



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?

40 thoughts on “Little Known Blogging Tools That Rock!”

  1. Joel,

    I use and like Colorzilla. It's been invaluable in setting up some of my niche websites. I use it to match my eBay widget colors to my pages. They aren't so intrusive that way.

    Great post,

  2. Joel,

    I use and like Colorzilla. It's been invaluable in setting up some of my niche websites. I use it to match my eBay widget colors to my pages. They aren't so intrusive that way.

    Great post,

  3. Addictomatic looks very interesting. I really enjoy Google Alerts, but you are limited to web pages Google indexes.

    I really like the color combination tool – I might have to use it with my next WP theme designs! Thanks Joel!

  4. Hi Joel,
    4 more very useful tools! I can't wait to check out what people are saying about me 😀

    The color charts are very helpful. You're very handy to have around!

  5. Fascinating tools! I had fun with the Social Mention one, and was especially pleased that the keywords associated with my name are relevant to my online efforts. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Very true about the HEX value. It's also good to “prove” that the green they asked for that they liked on one site is the green they got – colors look different when placed next to other colors and get mistaken for being a different shade.

  7. Great article. This is the kind of thing I like to read. It is very easy to get lost among plug-ins, and try to sort through what's the best to use. Just the fact that you have reviewed them and have experience with these tools makes the decision much easier than going through a directory of similar services. Keep up the great work.

  8. The HEX value one is brill – often clients say I'd like a 'green' background! How many types of green are there? Knowing the HEX id makes it much easier.

    And am always looking for icons – a great share.



  9. Hi Joel,

    You're the real blog tech-artsy guy!

    Thanks for these links and I'm sure I'm going to try some of these new concepts real soon and have my graphics designer find what fits best. 🙂

    You've got great choices!

    All the best,


  10. As Always Joel, really cool stuff that I had no idea it existed. I'm thankful for you and your site paying attention and taking the work out of me having to find it for myself. Awesome stuff.

  11. Very useful! Seems us WordPressers can never get enough of new shiny objects, and some of the ones you list come in real handy … even though one of these days I'll need a weekend to myself again 🙂

  12. Some really useful information, as ever, Joel. I'd heard of Google Alerts, but not addict-o-matic nor socialmention. Can see me playing with these things over the weekend!

  13. This is really helpful. I can’t wait to get started on Social Mention! I think it can be really confusing to know where to look when we first start out blogging, as there seem to be so many tools out there to choose from. Sometimes I feel as if I’m walking through a forest trying to find my way about, so it’s great to have products which have been used and recommended. Thank you!

  14. Social Mention is a good tool, can be a little addictive. There are thousands of tools and many do the same thing in slightly different ways so it is still confusing to the “experts” too. Everyone has their favorites so playing around can help. Thanks Jen!

  15. Amazing information here, Joel. Just signed up for alerts.

    Looking forward to more of your generousity.

    You are indeed the master of these little tools that can add so much to our information on our blogs. Looking forward to more coming. We are paying attention.


  16. I like the icons. Sorry, but they are really cute. My only question is where do you use them?
    I do use the Google alert, but maybe I should try the Social mention and Addictomatic.
    Thanks Joel for all the great info, it is really helpful.
    Have a great day and stay Happy.

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