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Favorite Tools

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Airtable

A spreadsheet killer, drop-in API, a backend with built-in admin interface, and so much more. Airtable is one of the best all-around tools for startups and side projects.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Algolia

Make your data super-searchable. If you’ve heard of Elasticsearch, Algolia is like that, but without the self-hosting headaches.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Algorithmia

Integrate models from your team or the AI Marketplace with ease.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Amazon Cognito

Amazon Cognito lets you add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to your web and mobile apps quickly and easily. Amazon Cognito scales to millions of users and supports sign-in with social identity providers, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Answerbase

Quora-like Q&A

Cheapest Plan: $15 per month.
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APIs.io

The API search engine.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Arc.codes

A simplified framework for building lambda functions on AWS.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Auth0

A universal authentication & authorization platform for web, mobile, and legacy applications.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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AWS API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume - there is no charge when your code is not running.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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AWS S3

Very low-cost file storage.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Aylien

Myriad text analysis tools available on the web or via their API. They have a generous free tier that is great for testing things out.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Azure Machine Learning Studio

Tools to help you build machine learning algorithms and analyze data. Starts free for small experiments.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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BigML

Visual interface for uploading, cleaning, and running machine learning experiments and creating algorithms

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Botman

PHP chatbot framework

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Botsify

Create Your Own Website Chatbot in 5 Minutes.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Bubble

Build whole web apps without a developer. Haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard good things.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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BulletTrain

Ruby on Rails “SaaS in a Box”. Good if you’re already familiar with Rails.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Chargebee

Adds recurring billing to Stripe.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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ClickSend

Automate text message sending using their API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Cloudflare Workers

Host little bits of javascript on Cloudflare’s CDN. Great for proxying API calls or using secret values on the frontend.

Cheapest Plan: $5 per month.
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Compose

A database platform as a service. Pay monthly for a fully managed database that can hook into your web apps.

Cheapest Plan: $20 per month.
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DataTables

Add advanced interaction controls to your HTML tables.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Deployd

Open source tool to create an API with no code.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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DigitalOcean

Cloud hosting that is among the cheapest and easiest to use in the business.

Cheapest Plan: $5 per month.
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Diigo

Organize and group your bookmarks. You can use their Chrome or mobile apps, then you get an RSS feed of your links. This allows you to automate all sorts of things with it.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Draw.io

Create diagrams and mockups online for free.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Dreamfactory

Turns your database into a full-featured API. It’s open source and built on PHP/Laravel.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Dropsource

Dropsource is a low-code mobile app development platform that allows organizations to leverage their enterprise data in building truly native enterprise-grade apps. With a powerful drag-and-drop UI, developers can easily develop, deploy, and maintain enterprise mobile apps without sacrificing quality or performance, and in a fraction of the time of yesterday’s tools.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Embedly Extract

Grab data from articles so you can use written content how you want to.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Feedbin

RSS Aggregator

Cheapest Plan: $5 per month.
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Firebase

A data backend especially for mobile and real-time apps.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Flarum

Forum software

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Formspree

Simple embeddable form that emails you the results.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Gandalf

Open-source decision engine for big-data. Plug into their API to let non-tech team members build algorithms.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Github Pages

Free static HTML website hosting.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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GoNative

Turns an existing website into a mobile app. Takes some work to customize it and add advanced features, but for small sites this is a quick way to implement mobile. The downside is that it can get quite expensive.

Cheapest Plan: $790 per month.
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Google App Maker

Build a web application in Google’s visual interface and then hook into code and data hosted on Google’s hosting platform.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Google Sheets

While not as nice as Airtable for relating data or Wufoo for forms, Google sheets is the easiest to use as you’re probably already hooked into the Google ecosystem in some way.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Heroku

One of the simplest ways to host your web applications. It requires a developer, but it’s much easier to use and maintain than Digital Ocean, AWS, or Azure.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Hook.io

Free (up to 1000 req/mo), $10 for 10k req/mo

  • Logging
  • Cloud datastore
  • Role based auth with keys
  • ENV vars

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Hyper.sh

The simplest and fastest way to run containers in the cloud. No VM to manage, No cluster to schedule. Also has a Docker-based serverless function tool.

Cheapest Plan: $5 per month.
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IFTTT

A free way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Import.io

While it can get pricey, import.io is the best tool I’ve found for scraping data from websites.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Intercom

Intercom is probably the most well-known player in the chat space, but it’s great for talking to customers or leads live.

Cheapest Plan: $49 per month.
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JSONBin.io

Store any arbitrary JSON for free and access it via their API anytime.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Kaggle

Free datasets and projects for machine learning.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Klipfolio

Create dashboards from your data. Can even be whitelabeled to distribute to customers.

Cheapest Plan: $49 per month.
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Knack

Build a user interface for your business data.

Cheapest Plan: $39 per month.
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Laravel Spark

A complete “SaaS in a box” solution for PHP developers. Built on the Laravel framework.

Cheapest Plan: $99 per month.
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Link.fish

Web scraping in Google Sheets

Cheapest Plan: $10 per month.
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Lookback

Conduct live user interviews and see how users are using your product.

Cheapest Plan: $49 per month.
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Mailchimp

You may have heard about them in a podcast advertisement, but Mailchimp is great for a number of reasons. Their email template builder is simple to use and they have a generous free tier for up to 2000 subscribers. Sign up today to get a free $30 credit!

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Memberful

Tools for selling SaaS membership sites. Expensive, but integrates with lots of existing sites. Especially good for Wordpress.

Cheapest Plan: $100 per month.
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Metabase

A free, open source data visualization tool that plugs into any SQL database.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Microlink

Helps you supplement your data about any website using meta tags.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Moonclerk

Simplest way to set up recurring billing forms. Integrates with Stripe, but allows you to drop in recurring payment forms on your site.

Cheapest Plan: $15 per month.
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Nexudus

Scheduling and room management specifically for coworking spaces, but could be adapted to other use cases.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Notion.so

The first tool I’ve used that has given Trello a run for its money. Your documents are more dynamic and links can be made between all sorts of records.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Now.sh

Fast deployments Logging ENV vars No datastores/filesystem access

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Pagedraw

Pagedraw generates code from an in-browser mockup.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Phantom Buster

APIs for grabbing data from various websites and social networks.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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PHP CRUD API

PHP wrapper that turns any database into a RESTful API. Great if you need an API and have an existing database.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Privnote

When you have to share passwords or secrets, this is the way to do it. The notes will “self destruct” after a few minutes.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Public APIs

Open source list of publicly usable APIs. Really helpful if you need data to augment your app and you’re not sure how to get it for free/cheap.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Publishthis.email

Publish any email to the web by forwarding it on to their service.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Qalcwise

Build custom web applications from your data.

Cheapest Plan: $25 per month.
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Quickbase

Ideal for small-scale internal business apps. Pricing gets expensive for large user bases though.

Cheapest Plan: $25 per month.
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Ragic

Build real-world enterprise applications with simple Excel-like interface.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Redash

A low cost way to query your data, build dashboards to visualize data and share them with your company.

Cheapest Plan: $29 per month.
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Restdb.io

A spin on the DBaas in that it defaults to NoSQL.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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RSS-to-Email

Turn any RSS feed into an HTML newsletter. The web version offers limited functionality, but web developers can do much more with customizing their feeds.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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RSSMix

Merge multiple RSS feeds into a single feed.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Scrapy

An open source framework for extracting the data you need from websites in a fast, simple, yet extensible way.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Sendgrid

Sendgrid has long been my go-to for api-driven email, and now you can actually create campaigns and templates in Sendgrid as well.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Sheet2Site

Simple way to generate a web page from data in Google Sheets.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Sheetsu

Turn your Google sheets into an API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Shopify

The easiest and most popular way to build an online store.

Cheapest Plan: $29 per month.
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Slack

Slack is great for team communication, but can also be used to build public or member-only communities.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Stdlib

Pay as you go serverless hosting. Also supports an online code editor at https://code.xyz/

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Stream

News feed data store and API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Stripe

Payment processing that you can integrate with your website or store.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Strong Password Generator

Don’t use the same password for every site. Generate strong passwords with this tool and save them to a password manager.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Substack

Paid newsletter creation/distribution platform

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Thunkable

Thunkable enables anyone to create beautiful and powerful mobile apps.

Cheapest Plan: $10 per month.
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TinyCart

Paste a snippet of code into your website and instantly get a shopping cart.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Toapi

Turn any website into an API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Trello

The simplest, most flexible project management tool out there. A generous free tier and lots of connected apps make Trello a must-have.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Twilio

Make phone calls and text messages with this popular API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Typeform

Unique styling, but very comprehensive form-building solution. Can plug into lots of other apps via Zapier or its API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Webflow

Design in their platform and they’ll generate code you can take to your site.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Webtask

Create/deploy serverless API endpoints for free.

Free (1 req/s soft limit) For small projects, $10k+ for production level tasks.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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WooCommerce

Woo Commerce is an ecommerce solution built on top of Wordpress. What that means is that you get all the great open source, free extensions from Wordpress with a robust set of online shopping themes and plugins as well.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Wordpress.org

Open source software you can use to create a website, blog, or app. Thousands of free themes, plugins, and enhancements are available for free.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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WrapAPI

Turn any static HTML website into a queryable API.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Wufoo

Once you outgrow Google Forms, use Wufoo. It even integrates with Stripe if you need to take payments.

Cheapest Plan: $15 per month.
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Zapier

If you have any repetitive tasks in your life right now, get Zapier. It pays for itself in just a few minutes of setup.

It can also be used as a simple message bus to connect services for web developers.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Zeroqode

A collection of no and low-code tools and plugins specifically for Bubble.

Cheapest Plan: $0 per month.
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Zoho Creator

Workflow automation especially for backend systems, but they also let you add-on customer-facing interfaces.

Cheapest Plan: $10 per month.
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