Finding Alternatives to Software and Websites You Need


People often ask me how I know so many different tools and website off the top of my head. Normally, when someone says they have a problem I feel compelled to ask them if they know “such and such tool” right away. For one thing, I love gadgets, tools, websites. The useful kind, that is. Secondly, I love to stay in touch with the latest in technology. In order to do that, I often try new sites, sign up for betas, and visit sites that aggregate news and lists of tools and useful websites.

Here is a short list with some websites I visit regularly just by curiosity or when a need arises (e.g. “I need a free alternative to software [such]“).

Alternativeto.net – This website lists software (and web applications) that are similar to other resources you may know. For instance. if you are interested in an alternative to Photoshop, you can search for Photoshop on the website’s main page and be redirected to a list of similar tools, all tagged with relevant keywords. Each tool you decide to find out more about has its own page with:

  • links to the developer’s website for downloads and documentation
  • feature set
  • platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, Web),
  • community ratings,
  • comments by other users that have the software,
  • whether it is open source, commercial, or free of charge.

See this sample search for Photoshop.

Similarsites.com – The name says it all: Similarsites lets you find alternatives to websites you already know. The search results and information provided here are by far less comprehensive than what’s seen on Alternativeto. However, it does provide a quite accurate list with links to sites that are similar to the one you searched for in their database.

osalt.com – osalt lets you search for open source alternatives to commercial software you may know, and vice-versa.

Go2Web20.net – This website is a great aggregator for Web applications. The search is very comprehensive with very well-delimited tags. Even though the name is a bit dated with the “2.0” designation there, their are constantly adding new websites to their database.

Listio.com – Very similar to Go2Web20, Listio keeps an excellent list of Websites and Web applications. The difference here is that Listio is more community-run. À la Digg, people post, vote, and comment about websites they find useful. When you find a Website you like, Listio shows you a list of similar ones.

KillerStartups – Another community-submitted, community-voted list of useful Websites and Web applications.

 

Tip: you can also just do a Google search with the name of a tool or website you know + “alternative.” For instance: photoshop alternative.

 

 

enzofsilva

Instructional Designer, learner...

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