5 Fast and Free Web Apps to Transfer Large Files Locally or Online

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:59:38

Need to share a file quickly? These five sites let you transfer files either on Wi-Fi or online. You don’t need to install anything, and they’re completely free.

There are several ways to transfer files between computers. Our most recommended app is Send Anywhere, which works on all platforms. But other apps have their own methods that make them worth a look, from torrent-like transfers to fully no-internet-needed sharing.

Firefox Send: Private File Sharing, Deleted After 24 Hours

In an age where you want to be sure that any private data isn’t stored on some company’s servers, something like Firefox’s Send is the order of the day. It’s a simple file-sharing site for those who want to protect their data.

Go to the site, upload your files, and share the unique link with any friends. The files will be downloadable for 24 hours from the time of upload. And yes, it works the same on desktop or mobile. This is like one of those no-installation apps to transfer files quickly.

5 No-Installation Apps to Copy-Paste or Transfer Files Quickly 5 No-Installation Apps to Copy-Paste or Transfer Files Quickly Installed file transfer tools may be better for sending heavy files from one device to another. But here are five solutions when you need something simpler without installing anything. Read More

The extra reassurance is from the makers behind the app, as Mozilla Firefox puts a premium on privacy and security of Internet users. And no, you don’t need be on Firefox to use Send, it’ll work on any modern web browser.

NoFile.io: Previews, Encryption, and Dropbox Saving

free web apps transfer large files

There are several apps like Firefox Send, where you upload a file and share a link. NoFile takes this standard file-sharing template ands adds just enough extra features to turn it into a powerhouse.

For starters, you can preview any file before download. This is especially useful for images and videos, so that you know exactly what you want to save. NoFile also encrypts files during all transfers, adding that little extra security layer.

And for extra-sensitive files, you can even encrypt before uploading so that no bot can check the file before your recipient downloads it.

Finally, in case you don’t want to download a file but still save it somewhere, NoFile offers to let you download it to your Dropbox directly.

Fastest Fish: Transfer Without Waiting for Upload

free web apps transfer large files

Most transfers like Firefox Send require you to fully upload your file to a server. Then it generates a URL, and someone can download the files with that URL. For large files, this is a lot of time-wasting.

Fastest Fish uses peer-to-peer file sharing technology so that the upload and download is simultaneous. Think of it as all those piracy-oriented apps you grew up with, except this time, you’re using it for your own transfer needs.

How P2P (Peer to Peer) File Sharing Works How P2P (Peer to Peer) File Sharing Works There has always been a dark side to the Internet, and from the earliest days piracy was rampant. It began with message boards even before the traditional “internet” as we know it was even born,… Read More

Fastest Fish requires a few things though. You need to ideally use Google Chrome, and both the sender and receiver have to be online at the same time. A simulated network loss on the sender’s side didn’t kill the whole transfer; when I resumed network connectivity, the file transfer picked up where it stopped.

Instant.io: Private Sharing via Web Torrents

free web apps transfer large files

Instant.io combines the best features of Fastest Fish and Firefox Send into one app. This app is a private torrent-maker, letting you create a torrent with your own files.

Once you’ve added the files to Instant.io, share the torrent file or the Magnet URL with anyone who has to download it. They can put the URL in Instant.io and start the download immediately. Again, you’ll have to use Chrome, and all uploaders and downloaders will need to be online at the same time.

Instant.io is great for sharing large files when you’re in a large, distributed team, and is a perfect example of surprising legal uses for torrents.

8 Legal Uses for BitTorrent: You’d Be Surprised 8 Legal Uses for BitTorrent: You’d Be Surprised Like HTTP, which your browser uses to communicate with websites, BitTorrent is just a protocol. You could use your browser to download pirated content, just as you could use a BitTorrent client to download pirated… Read More

FileRoom.io: Share Files With Anyone on the Same Wi-Fi

free web apps transfer large files

When you’re working in a coffee shop or a shared workspace, the entire network isn’t at your disposal. But if you and your teammates want to transfer files quickly and privately, hop on to FileRoom.

This is basically a place where one person can send files to many others, as long as you are all connected to the same Wi-Fi network. FileRoom gives each individual the name of an animal, which can get confusing if you’re in a large team. But for teams of three or so, the app is perfect for quick file-sharing.

There is no chat room, comments, or other paraphernalia here. The idea is that you are all next to each other, so you can talk in person. Use FileRoom only when you need to share a file.

If You’d Rather Install File Sharing Apps…

All of the above options are for for quick, last-minute transfer, so it helps those who want to use a web browser and avoid installing another app on their phone or computer.

But if you transfer files between computers regularly, you’re better off with one of these awesome apps for sharing large files.

4 Best Apps for Sharing Large Files Instantly 4 Best Apps for Sharing Large Files Instantly With these apps, sharing large files with someone in a split second will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. Read More

How to Create a Hosting-Free Website With Itty Bitty

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:03:49

With programming, online creativity knows no bounds. Every day, programmers across the Internet use their skills to create small projects for the public. Itty Bitty, a website created by former designer for Google and current vice President at Dropbox Nocholas Jitkoff, is one such small project.

Using the Itty Bitty site, you can create a tiny HTML website for free even if you don’t have any web hosting.

An Itty Bitty Explanation

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

Here’s how it works: itty.bitty.site creates small sites by loading them through their URLs. In other words, your site is stored, and presented, within its link.

Because of this, websites created using Itty Bitty require absolutely no web hosting. The URL itself holds the entire data of the site: what it looks like, what it says, etc.

You’ll note that once you receive your Itty Bitty link, it’ll be a bit larger than usual. That’s your entire website.

Link for Link

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

The actual site created by Itty Bitty has a very minimal interface. Keep in mind, every additional page on the site is created using the site itself.

From this page, you can immediately begin using basic HTML for create a simple page.

If you want to create a more robust Itty Bitty site, you can either drag and drop an HTML document directly into the website or link an existing project directly into the prompt.

While your document or link may use other programming languages like CSS or JS, they’ll still be loaded with your Itty Bitty site. That said, the main benefit of using Itty Bitty (and the central reason it can be loaded from an address) is that your page has to be kept under a certain, small size.

How Small Is an Itty Bitty Site?

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

If Itty Bitty is free and requires no web hosting, how big can your site really be? The answer: not very.

The site presents the size of your website to you at the top-right portion of the window. While sites can fluctuate in size, that also means your link will fluctuate in size as well. Some sites won’t allow you to share links larger than a few bytes, which can limit your ability to share bigger sites.

Luckily, the creator has posted the max byte sizes possible for plenty of popular platforms to explain what sizes different platforms will accommodate:

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

If you’re looking to shorten a website using Bitly, for example, you’re going to have to create a very small website. That goes for Microsoft Edge as well. If you’re only looking to share it across browsers, however, you can create a much larger site.

From Link to Itty Bitty Site

While you can also create Itty Bitty sites by dropping HTML files directly into it or by typing the site contents directly, I’ll demonstrate using a Codepen project previously made by Dudley Storey.

Codepen is the easiest way to create your site using Itty Bitty. Codepen provides users with both an easy-to-use developer environment and a convenient linking process.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

The above is a fantastic example of how a strong HTML backbone—and other subtle programming additions—can create a simple website. Luckily, it’s also small enough to share across many of the platforms listed above.

To convert a Codepen project into an Itty Bitty site, paste the Pen’s link into the Itty Bitty site. Then, mouse over the gray untitled section and edit the text to reflect your site.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

Next, click on the menu at the top right of the window.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

This is where you create the link to your Itty Bitty. While it may not seem as though you’ve just created a website, you have!

Once you click the copy link option, you can paste the link into your browser to view the site. Also important to note: by default, Itty Bitty sites can be sent via QR code.

That allows for a slew of options, like attaching a physical reference for lost devices.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

Congrats, you now have a ready-to-link website that is server-less and free!

Shorten Your Itty Bitty Link Even Further

You can also create a clutter-free link using a link shortening tool. I’ll use Bitly, which not only allows you to shorten links but also allows you to customize the link with your own text if you sign up for a free account.

Our original Codepen example is too large to condense using Bitly, so here’s another fantastic project by JT Helms. I simply followed the process above to convert this Pen to an Itty Bitty site.

Once you have your link, head to Bitly. Paste your link into Bitly’s splash page, or sign into your account and select the Create button. Enter your link in the following prompt.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

Once you’ve pasted your link, it will automatically be converted. Then, adjust your link as you see fit using Bitly’s editor if you’re logged in.

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

I change the initial link to ITTYBITTYEXAMPLE. You can now head to bit.ly/ITTYBITTYEXAMPLE as you would any other site—except, of course, that it’s free and requires no web hosting or server maintenance.

Security for Itty Bitty Sites

Build a hosting free HTML website with Itty Bitty

While this is a cool and ingenious way to create small HTML sites, it’s not without its flaws. You can misuse an Itty Bitty site as easily as you can any other. That means sites can annoy you with features like alerts.

Since the site is still in an experimental phase, don’t necessarily rely on the site as a main method of establishing a safe web presence.

The Itty Bitty Possibilities Are Endless

Creativity found online is often impressive. Rarely, however, is it as simple, accessible, and easy to use as Itty Bitty. Want to showcase a small application? Messing around with div elements? It’s all readily doable using the Itty Bitty site.

Moreover, you’re not limited to a certain number or sites. Take a note from the site’s creator Nocholas Jitkoff and link a site within a site for a comprehensive, multi-page explanatory website. Or make an ASCII bulldog. The possibilities are small in size, but endless in scope, so try out this little online experiment today!

Go further and make even better sites by improving your knowledge of HTML and CSS before creating an Itty Bitty site!

Learn HTML and CSS with These Step by Step Tutorials Learn HTML and CSS with These Step by Step Tutorials Curious about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript? If you think that you have a knack for learning how to create websites from scratch — here are a few great step-by-step tutorials worth trying. Read More

Google’ın Daha Önce Duymadığınız, Hayat Kolaylaştıran 10 Hizmeti

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:47:43

İnternet dünyasının merkezinde olan Google’ın neredeyse internet kullanan herkesin aşina olduğu Gmail, Google Earth ve Google Maps gibi özelliklerinin faydaları hepimizin malumu. Her gün milyonlarca kişi tarafından kullanılan bu hizmetlere ek olaraksa, çok daha az kişinin bildiği pek çok servis daha sunuyor Google.

İşte dev yazı fontu kütüphanesinden, galaksimizin interaktif haritasına kadar pek çok alandaki Google hizmetleri:

1. Google Keep

Hep bilgisayarlarda, hem de akıllı telefonlarda çalışan bu uygulama, muhteşem bir not alma ve hatırlatma hizmeti. Buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.

2. Google Sky

Google Sky, evrenimizin derinliklerine doğru bir yolculuğa çıkmanıza imkan veren bir servis. NASA’dan, Hubble Teleskobu’ndan ve Sloan Digital Sky Survey’den alınan fotoğraflarla oluşturulan servise buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.

3. Google Books Ngram Viewer

Bu hizmet ise 1500’lü yıllardan 2008’li yıllara kadar yayınlanmış 5.2 milyon adet kitapta hangi kelimenin toplam ne kadar sayıda geçtiğini ve kullanım sayılarının zamanla değişimini gösteriyor. Göz atmak için buraya tıklayın.

4. Google Input Tools

Bu servis ise özel bir klavye indirmeden 80 farklı dilde yazı yazabilmenize imkan veriyor. Denemek için buradan.

5. Google Fonts

Google ücretsiz olarak yararlanabileceğiniz pek çok türde font sunuyor. Görmek için buraya tıklayın.

6. Google Scholar

Akademik dergilere ve makalelere ulaşmak için adres ise Google Scholar. Göz atmak için buraya tıklayınız.

7. Google Arts & Culture

Bu hizmet ise dünyadaki en önemli müzelerde yer alan eserlerin yüksek çözünürlüklü fotoğraflarını sunuyor ve bir nevi oraları dolaşmanızı sağlıyor. Ulaşmak için buraya tıklayınız.

8. Google Trends

İnsanların o an, o gün veya o hafta en çok neyi arattığını görebilmek için Google Trends, en iyi servis durumunda. Hatta aratılan konuların zaman içindeki aratılma sıklığına bile göz atabiliyorsunuz. Servisi denemek için buraya tıklayın.

9. Sound Search

Shazam gibi çalışan bu servis ise Google Asistan’ı kullanarak duyduğunuz bir şarkıyı bulmanıza yardımcı oluyor ve daha sonrasında şarkıya Youtube, Spotify gibi platformlardan ulaşabilmeniz için link veriyor. Buraya tıklayarak servise ulaşabilirsiniz.

10. Hayvan Sesleri

Google’a “animal sounds” yazdığında karşınıza çeşitli hayvanların seslerinin bulunduğu bir katalog çıkıyor.

5 of the Best Websites to Create Your Own Android Apps without Coding

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:56:06

Have you ever wished you could create an app? Maybe you want one for your business or just for yourself? Apps are not only useful for all kinds of business situations but in day-to-day activities as well. For example, you could make an app to help plan a wedding or other event. Only a few people would need it.

There are a seemingly unlimited number of websites promising an easy way to make apps. Most of them will be fronted with the word “free.” And to be fair, most of them are free to start. After that is when it changes. Depending on your need for the app, whether for your business or party planning, your budget may not allow for an expensive app or a substantial monthly commitment.

So if you’re not looking to make a million dollars from your app (or spend a boatload of money to create it), these five sites will allow you to create your own Android apps and still have money in your pocket when it’s complete.

1. Andromo

Andromo is the most popular Android app-maker platform.

create-apps-adromo

It only require three steps to create your own app:

  1. Create an Andromo project.
  2. Fill out a few simple forms to add features, graphics, content and whatever makes your app unique.
  3. Click a button to build your app.

Unlike many of the other app builders, Andromo does not have a preview screen for you to see what your app will look like while adding items or changing formatting. After you create your app, they will email it to you. They do not support uploading of the app to the Play store. For free, you can create one app with ads. If you upgrade to the lowest cost plan for $8 a month, you can have up to fifty apps and monetize them.

2. AppsGeyser

create-apps-appsgeyser

AppsGeyser is totally free. They boast no fees, charges, subscription plans, or limits. There are over fifty different available templates to get you started and make creating the app even easier. The site uses a preview screen to show what your app looks like, but I had a little trouble getting that to work consistently. Because it’s free, they don’t support the publishing of the app to the stores. They will get fifty percent of any monetization you do to make up for the cost.

3. AppMachine

create-apps-appmachine

On the surface when you look at pricing, AppMachine seems more expensive, but you only need to pay if you plan on publishing the app to Google Play or another platform. There are 92 different templates available to choose from to begin making your app and a preview screen to keep up with the changes you make. They make it easier to imagine what you can place on a screen by comparing the building of the app to building with Legos. When you want to test out the app, they give you a QR code to scan which then opens it on your phone.

4. AppMakr

create-apps-appmakr

Appmakr charges $2 a month to have an app in the AppMakr market with their branding on the app. There is a free plan allowing you to publish mobile websites, but to have an app, you need at least that basic plan. Use their drag-and-drop interface and the preview pane to make as many apps as you want to for free. You choose a plan only when you decide to promote or publish an app. If you are only interested in creating an app to share with coworkers or friends, you can’t beat the price. It has tech support, a stats dashboard, and no charges or time limits for changes.

5. AppyPie

create-apps-appypie

AppyPie has a straightforward user interface with a preview screen which allows you to drag and drop items onto your app and see the results. They also offer video tutorials to help you along as you create a Progressive Web App (PWA), not an Android. They do have a free plan that only allows you forty-eight hours to edit your app. The next plan jumps to $15 per month to create Android apps. AppyPie branding is on every app unless you are using the highest-priced plan.

How would an app that you design, just for your needs, make something in your life better? Give one of these sites a try and see if you can make it a reality.

Image credit: Closeup of designers creating mobile app prototype by baranq/Shutterstock

The 10 Best Free Movie Streaming Websites

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:37:43

Although streaming movies for free might sound synonymous with piracy, there’s a bevy of free, legal streaming content on the internet. In fact, there’s almost an overabundance of streaming services.

Whether you’re looking for movies or television shows, finding streaming video is totally feasible. It just requires you to search in the right places. With that in mind, here are the best free movie streaming sites to check out.

What to Expect From These Streaming Sites

There’s a ton of free and legal video online, and as such you’ll find a real mix of content. A healthy portion of the movies available to stream for free are public domain works. Because these films have lapsed in ownership and fallen into common property, many sites host such video treasures. These are the sorts of films Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) used to watch and comment on.

Yes, You CAN Watch TV Online Legally & For Free Yes, You CAN Watch TV Online Legally & For Free Everyone knows that there are lots of illegal ways to watch your favorite shows online, but there are also plenty of perfectly legal (and free) ways. Here are some of the best… Read More

But it’s not just B-movies available to stream online. Rather, many big budget releases can also be found. Often, these are ad-supported. Like watching a movie on television, you’ll have to sit through limited commercials. Nevertheless, movies are usually presented uncut. Just don’t expect to see the latest releases.

Instead, you’ll mostly see movies dating back anywhere from a few months to many years. Additionally, you can find some original productions, such as the Snatch TV series on Crackle. Need help figuring out what to watch next? These sites will help you find what to watch next.

5 Sites to Find Anything Shown in Movies and TV Shows 5 Sites to Find Anything Shown in Movies and TV Shows Movies and TV shows have a big impact on what we like. They go beyond product placements. If you saw something in a movie or a TV show, you’ll find it on these sites. Read More

1. YouTube

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - YouTube

It’s no surprise that YouTube ranks among the best free movie streaming sites you can find. There’s a ton of free films to pick from, including many public domain films from channels such as the aptly titled Public Domain Films and Public Domain Cinema. Furthermore, sites such as Popcornflix host full movies via YouTube.

There’s a fantastic mix, from gems like Plan 9 From Outer Space, to action movies such as Recoil with Danny Trejo and Steven Austin, cult classics including Curse of the Puppet Master, and more. You may have to dig for what you most want to watch, but for those with patience, YouTube is a treasure trove of free, legal streaming cinema.

2. Crackle

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Crackle

Boasting a solid array of syndicated content and original productions, Crackle is a must for any film buff. Its rotating selection varies, but you’ll find quality movies such as action comedy Hot Fuzz, gothic horror flick Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the masterful 1988 remake of The Blob, Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School, and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Aside from films, Crackle features television shows such as Blue Exorcist, Seinfeld, and even original programming like its Snatch original series. With its robust lineup of movies and shows, we think Crackle is one of the best free Roku channels.

The 20 Best Free Roku Channels You Shouldn’t Miss The 20 Best Free Roku Channels You Shouldn’t Miss Having already recommended the best private Roku channels for you to install, here is our pick of the best public Roku channels you really shouldn’t miss. And even better, they’re all free. Read More

3. Viewster

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Viewster

Although it’s anime-centric, there’s a mix of movies you can find on Viewster. Notably, Viewster features a robust line up of documentaries, films like Street Fighter II, and Lily C.A.T. Plus, you can legally stream shorts and television series including Murder Princess.

4. Vudu Movies on Us

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Vudu Movies on Us

While Vudu is best known for its digital video rentals and sales, the Vudu Movies on Us section makes it one of the best free movie streaming sites. With a comprehensive array of movies such as Bull Durham, Showgirls, and Return of the Living Dead, it’s a fantastic service.

Vudu Movies on Us operates in a similar way to Crackle by providing full, uncut movies with limited commercials. Through hosting films with ads, Vudu is able to offer free movies and TV shows.

You still need to register for a Vudu account to use this service, but it’s totally worth doing so. Moreover, you can use your account to activate digital copies of movies and shows, as well as buy and rent movies from Vudu.

Vudu: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Vudu: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Vudu is a streaming service you have probably heard of, but maybe never used. In this article we’ll explain what Vudu is and help you get more out of it. Read More

5. SnagFilms

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - SnagFilms

For a free Netflix alternative, check out SnagFilms. With unique categories such as “Before they were stars” and “Athletes & their triumphs,” SnagFilms specializes in fresh content. The library of more than 2,000 videos includes films, shows, and documentaries. Additionally, there’s a portion of original comedy shorts.

There’s a fantastic classic movies category as well. Don’t expect a ton of well-known fare, but for under the radar movies and more, SnagFilms is a gem.

6. PopcornFlix

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Popcornflix

Like Crackle, PopcornFlix presents full movies with limited ads. Here, you’ll find a range of movies in a rotating selection, from Sunset Boulevard and A Clear and Present Danger to Murder on the Orient Express and There Will Be Blood.

Flicks are segmented into categories such as popularity, genre, new arrivals, and staff picks, making PopcornFlix easy to use. With a beefy lineup and excellent navigation, PopcornFlix is an awesome choice for free, legal movie streaming.

7. Tubi TV

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Tubi TV

Providing free movies and shows, Tubi TV is a fantastic service. Here, you’ll be able to view newer movies including Lords of Salem, A Most Wanted Man, and Bulletproof Monk, as well as older titles such as sci-fi cult classic The Running Man.

Helpfully, Tubi TV offers a “Leaving Soon” category so you can stream movies and shows before they become unavailable, and thus prioritize your streaming queue. You will need to register to watch mature content, but creating an account is painless enough.

8. Pluto TV

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Pluto TV

Because Pluto TV features a live TV section, it’s easily one of the best free movie streaming sites. You can stream from the likes of Pluto Movies, Fox Sports, and specialized channels like Classic Movies and Horror 24/7. Plus, there’s an on-demand video library for instant movie watching.

With the live television aspect, Pluto TV is a must-have for cord-cutters.

9. Classic Cinema Online

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Classic Cinema Online

As the name suggests, Classic Cinema Online focuses on older, classic content. Even its website aesthetic captures a decidedly retro vibe with a backdrop of red theater curtains. You can find classics such as Casablanca, Jane Eyre, and The Wasp Woman.

However, the inclusion of movies such as Muscle Beach Party does call into question the definition of “classic cinema.” Nevertheless, Classic Cinema Online is pure gold for old school movies.

10. Veoh

The Best Free Movie Streaming Sites - Veoh

On Veoh, you’ll be able to stream tons of movies and shows. There are a lot of older films, such as Nosferatu. It’s akin to YouTube in that Veoh hosts user-submitted content and videos from established sources like CBS.

Since Veoh boasts a solid filtering system, you can select options such as language and video length to find what you want to watch. Veoh ranks as one of the alternatives to YouTube. Just beware of the popups.

10 Video Sites That Are Better Than YouTube 10 Video Sites That Are Better Than YouTube Here are 10 great alternatives to YouTube, although the “better than” is obviously open to debate… Read More

You Just Need to Know Where to Look

If you know where to look, you can find loads of sites for (legal) free movie streaming. And if you’re looking to watch on something other than your computer these are the best media streaming devices worth considering.

What’s the Best Media Streaming Device? What’s the Best Media Streaming Device? Looking for the best streaming device? We’ve covered four different kinds of streaming devices: Budget, mid-range, high-end, and DIY. Read More

Note: Your internet provider can throttle your video streaming speed. In that case, a VPN can mask your traffic and restore full speed. You might also want to use a VPN if you want to download videos.

5 of the Best Self-Hosted URL-Shortener Scripts

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Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:38:59

URL shortener scripts are the latest buzz in the link-sharing business today. This niche has evolved over the years to become more than a simple service for sharing links. Now they can be used for analytics and more complicated stuff.

After Google decided to end their Goo.gl URL-shortening service, many people started looking for self-hosted alternatives to host their links. The following self-hosted URL shortener scripts grant you absolute control and allow you to tweak and adjust your links to suit your peculiar taste.

The following are five of the best URL shortener scripts available.

1. YOURLS

The ingenious creators of this excellent script prefer a more relatable name. YOURLS stands for “Your Own URL Shortener.” It is a set of optimized PHP scripts that allow you to run your URL shortener on any server of your choosing.

url-shortener-scripts-yourls

Unlike most of the competition, YOURLS is unique for a few reasons. First, it is open source, which has increased the level of refinement the PHP script has undergone over time.

It’s also bundled with features that allow you to decide how accessible your shortened links will be. Now you can set your links to “Private” or “Public” at your discretion.

Other features include the ability to check impressive link statistics. Some of these stats are click rate, the location of visitors and referrals tracking.

url-shortener-scripts-yourls-working

If you are seeking a solidly-coded PHP URL-shortener script, then you should check YOURLS out.

2. POLR

Another excellent solution for a URL-shortening service is POLR. Like YOURLS, it is also open source. The creators tout this tool as lightweight and fast. You’ll be shocked to find out that it is no hype at all.

url-shortener-scripts-polr

POLR is one of the neatest self-hosted URL shortener scripts available on the Web today. It is straightforward to install and takes next to no time to understand.

Its modern interface ensures that managing and controlling your links are a walk in the park. You have the option to tweak and brand it to your taste with minimal effort.

Its robust API is one of the best in the business. Now you can integrate this tool into your other services without any hassle.

If you are looking for a simple yet powerful URL shortener script, look no further. You have POLR!

3. Wurlie

In the business of shortening URLs, simplicity is a real virtue. The makers of Wurlie understand this rule, and they incorporate it into their URL shortener better than the competition. Wurlie is a simple, but incredibly powerful, PHP script.

url-shortener-scripts-wurlie

Despite its simplicity, it offers more features than most other solutions. It is very secure, with provisions for fighting off phishing and malware attacks.

It is also built for heavy site traffic, so if your website needs a tool that can take the onslaught, go for Wurlie. Other features include its robust support for Google Ads as well as social media sharing.

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The process of installation is painless, too. There is enough documentation to guide a complete novice without much trouble.

4. Z.ips.Me

This self-hosted URL shortener script is one of the simplest to install and run on your website. It is an entirely open-source script that is continuously improved upon by a large community of users.

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Z.ips.ME greatly emphasizes privacy. It provides the feature to ensure that your links remain as private as you would want.

Other powerful features include statistics view. Z.ips.ME allows you to view and analyze your links for clicks and referrals. You also get to know which browsers they use to access your links and many more.

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Its responsive design on both mobile and tablet devices is a huge relief. This feature means you can use it without qualms on any screen size.

5. Lessn More

This URL shortening script has been around the block for quite a while now. In fact, it is a modified version of another shortening script – Lessn – but way better.

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Lessn More comes bundled with some of the best features that you’ll need for a self-hosted URL-shortening script. It also comes with an impressive simplicity that allows you to focus on what you need while ignoring everything else.

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It also incorporates smart features to ensure that your links are not getting skipped over. One of these features prevents two similarly-styled alphabets from being used side by side. Another feature screens and blocks offensive words from your shortened URL. It uses a block list that you can edit.

Its support for custom URLs lets you edit your link for your peculiar purpose. Its rich API supports give you the flexibility to leverage multiple services.

Conclusion

URL-shortening scripts have gone past being simple tools used for social media-sharing purposes. Marketers now employ them for sophisticated marketing campaigns as well as data analytics. Whatever solution you decide to adopt, ensure that it suits your purpose well.

4 Classic Websites to Scratch Your Retro Gaming Itch

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/retro-gam…8Make+Tech+Easier%29
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:40:41

The recent spat of “classic” consoles offer nostalgic gamers an easy way to experience their favorite titles from the 8- and 16-bit eras. Unfortunately, finding one can be a bit of a pain, not to mention they can command more coin than you might be willing to part with.

Of course, one could always install RetroPie or RecallBox, but configuring them can be time-consuming. Luckily, if you’ve got a retro gaming itch you can scratch it immediately. In recent years a number of websites have popped up that are dedicated to preserving old video games. The best part is all of the games are playable directly within your browser.

1. Archive.org

The mission of Archive.org is to keep an online repository of all things for posterity. From music to magazines to movies to everything in between, Archive.org has an extensive collection of artifacts on a wide variety of subjects in its database. Gamers young and old will be happy to learn that Archive.org also maintains libraries of classic video games.

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Archive.org organizes its collection of games into two libraries called Console Living Room and Internet Arcade. Console Living Room is home to the game libraries of numerous consoles. Here you’ll find favorites like the Sega Genesis and the Atari 2600. In addition, you’ll find more obscure consoles like the Bally Astrocade. Just pick your favorite console, select a game and play it in your browser, no emulators or roms necessary.

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If you’ve got a desire to revisit the arcade, you’re in luck. Archive.org’s Internet Arcade has a huge library of coin-operated games from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The best part is, no quarters needed! Finally, if you were more of a PC gamer, you can check out Archive.org’s DOS Collection. The downside to Archive.org’s massive collection is that the emulation can be a bit hit or miss. Additionally, control documentation is noticeably absent from a lot of the games. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll be tapping keys on your keyboard until you can work out which ones work with the game you’re trying to play.

2. Classic Reload

Speaking of classic computer games, Classic Reload is home to over 5,000 DOS and Windows titles. You’ll find games from the 80s and 90s in a variety of different genres. There’s something for everyone here, from real-time strategy games like “Command and Conquer” to first-person shooters like “Duke Nukem 3D” and “Doom.” The emulation is pretty spot on, and unlike Archive.org, the controls for each game are documented, so you can jump right in without hassle.

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One of the more interesting features of Classic Reload is the ability to change sound cards, graphics cards and more when emulating a game. This is because the games on Classic Reload come from a time when games ran on different PCs with vastly different hardware specifications. This allows users to truly capture what their individual gaming experience was like from back in the day!

3. RetroGames.cc

Retrogames.cc isn’t the prettiest website out there, as it is riddled with somewhat intrusive ads. However, the site does have a fairly large collection of games. Most of the titles featured on Retrogames hail from the 8- and 16-bit era; however, you will find some newer games from consoles like the Playstation 1 and Atari Jaguar. In addition, Retrogames has an impressive library of coin-operated arcade games. They even have multiple versions of arcade games so you can see what the game was like in other regions around the world.

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An interesting feature of Retrogames is the ability to embed a game directly within your own website. It’s not a feature everyone would use, but it’s a welcome addition. Finally, it should be noted that the in-browser emulation of the more demanding consoles can be spotty. During testing we found that some of the games crashed, while others simply wouldn’t load.

4. Retro Games Online

Retro Games Online does not categorize its library of playable games as well as the other sites on this list. You can search by system, new additions, most played and top rated. Unfortunately, the titles in each category are not listed in alphabetical order, making browsing the games a bit tedious. Luckily, there is a manual search bar you can use to find specific games that you want to play.

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Like Retrogames.cc, Retro Games Online has quite a few ads peppered throughout the site. In addition, you’ll have to sit through an ad or two before you can start the emulation of your chosen game. One unique feature of Retro Games Online is that it gives users the option to emulate the games using Flash or HTML5. Most of the other sites require the use of Flash, so it’s nice to have the option.

Do you know of any other websites that allow you to play your favourite games of yesteryear directly in the browser? Let us know in the comments!

Image credit: Super Mario Wallpaper

The Best Google Online Courses You Aren’t Taking

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-google-online-courses/
Capture Date: 27.03.2018 23:54:39

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Did you know that Google offers a vast array of online courses? They cover everything from digital marketing to Android app development. Some even come with a certification.

Despite the impressive breadth of topics, Google doesn’t make it particularly easy to find the courses it offers. There’s no centralized dashboard or list of links. To complicate matters further, some courses are accessible through Google’s portals, whereas others require you to register with a massive open online course (MOOC) service such as Udacity.

Which are the best online Google courses? We’re going to take a closer look. This list looks at seven great options. For each one, we’ve looked at real-world benefits such as median pay and employer demand.

1. Digital Marketing

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Cost: Free
Timeline: Self-paced

The Digital Marketing course teaches students the concepts of clickthrough rates, landing page experience, campaign optimization, and return on investment.

They’ll also learn about the benefits of targeted advertising and understand the technical and cultural challenges that can impact on the success of an online advertising campaign.

The course came in the form of the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC). Students formed teams of three to six members and devised an online advertising strategy for a client business or a non-profit organization. Google won’t host the GOMC for 2017-18 though all educational materials remain free on the site.

At the end of the course, students will need to need to pass 2 of the AdWords certification exams to become an AdWords certified professionals. The exam is optional but encouraged.

According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a digital marketing professional in 2018 is $67,230 per year. Better yet, according to a Left Bank report, demand for digital marketing talent is at 56 percent, but active supply is only at 24 percent.

2. Android Development for Beginners

best google online courses

Cost: Free
Timeline: Approximately 2 weeks

The Android operating system controls around 85 percent of the global smartphone market share. Given its popularity, and given we’re increasingly moving towards an app-driven economy, knowing how to create content for the Android platform is a fantastic skill to develop. 6 Awesome YouTube Videos To Help You Learn Android Development 6 Awesome YouTube Videos To Help You Learn Android Development Want to learn how to develop Android apps? Then these YouTube videos are perfect for you. Read More

The free Android Development for Beginners course is only available on Udacity. It’s a self-study course aimed at people with no prior experience of coding. If you have a personal blog or small online store that you’d like to make an app for, this is the course for you.

It consists of five modules: User Interface, User Input, Multi-Screen Apps, Networking, and Data Storage. Over the course of the five modules, you will build a complete and functioning Android app.

If you’re willing to pay Udacity’s $199 per month fees, you can upgrade the free course into a “nanodegree.”

Glassdoor lists the average annual salary for an Android developer as $97,986. Obviously, this course alone won’t be enough to get you a high paid job; you also need experience. It will, however, get you started on track towards a well-paid career.

3. App Monetization

best google online courses

Cost: Free
Timeline: Approximately 1 month

Having a business idea, creating a company, and marketing your product is only half the battle. You also need to monetize your concept in a sustainable way. 10 Low-Cost Ideas for Online Businesses You Can Start 10 Low-Cost Ideas for Online Businesses You Can Start If you’ve ever wanted to start a business, now is the time! Here are 10 ideas for free or low-cost business you can start online to make your fortune. Read More

In the digital world, that’s easier said than done. Traditional sources of income—such as online ad revenues—are falling for many organizations. And the lack of a successful monetization strategy continues to hamper several tech giants, with Twitter perhaps the most noteworthy.

This course, which is free on Udacity, mixes theory with real-world examples. It aims to help to develop, implement, and measure your monetization strategy.

A Senior Monetization Manager at a well-known tech company like Twitter or Facebook can expect to earn at least $120,000 per year. Some roles offer as much as $180,000.

4. Mobile Web Specialist

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Cost: Free
Timeline: Self-paced

The days when everyone used to access the web using a desktop monitor are long gone. Today, you can access websites using everything from your smartwatch to your television.

The vast array of devices we use to go online cause headaches for web developers. Sites and web apps need to be flexible and responsive.

If you take the Mobile Web Specialist course, you’ll learn how to write code to create offline-first experiences, audit an app’s performance, debug problems and a whole lot more.

At the end of the course, you will receive an official Google certification. The exam for the final certificate consists of coding challenges and an interview. The course and exam combined cost $99 to undertake.

Glassdoor’s research suggests you will earn an average salary of $88,488 per year if you’re a mobile web developer in 2018.

5. E-Commerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions

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Cost: Free
Timeline: 2 to 4 hours to complete

E-commerce Analytics introduces you to reporting and analysis techniques for online e-commerce businesses. In the business world, e-commerce analytics is a sought-after skill. Glassdoor says the average salary is $110,232 per year.

The self-study course is divided into three units and a total of 15 lessons. Unit One offers an introduction to e-commerce analytics, Unit Two looks at how to understand your customers, and Unit Three is about understanding shopping behavior.

The course assumes that students have a good understanding of Google Analytics, so it’s not for complete beginners. If you’re new to Google Analytics, you should take Google Analytics for Beginners first.

An e-commerce manager can earn about $110,000 per year.

6. Google Analytics Individual Qualification

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Cost: Free
Timeline: Self-paced. The exam is 90 minutes long.

It’s quite easy to learn the basics of Google Analytics, but it’s an enormously powerful tool when in the hands of a more knowledgeable user.

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam is part of the Academy for Ads. It covers all aspects of the Google Analytics app, including planning, implementation and data collection, configuration and administration, conversion and attribution, and reports, metrics, and dimensions.

To undertake the exam, you first need to complete Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics.

The exam is free to take. When you complete it, you will get a certification that’s valid for 18 months from the date that you pass. Also, the Google Analytics certification assessments are available in 19 languages. Check out the bundle of courses from Google Analytics Academy.

A web analytics manager is a vital role within any company that has a significant web presence. Salaries are often around $110,000 per year.

7. Localization Essentials

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Cost: Free
Timeline: Approximately 2 weeks

It’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world of web content out there that’s not in your native language. English is responsible for about 40 percent of all web pages, but only 25 percent of web users speak English as their first language.

If you’ve successfully created an app or product, you might want to try and break into the non-English markets. And for that, you need localization skills.

Localization is about more than translating an app into another language (though that is part of it). It’s also about adapting your product to be a cultural fit for another geographic market.

Localization Essentials will teach you about the importance of intangible things such as language tone, but also about technical issues such as date and time formats, alphabetization, and the direction of reading. The course is free.

A localization specialist earns $61,263 per year, according to Glassdoor.

The Best Google Courses to Take Now

We’ve introduced you to seven of the best Google online course. But there are hundreds more out there. Some only take a few hours to complete. Check out the lists on Udacity and Class Central to get a flavor of what else is available.

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10 Highest Performing Google AdSense Banner Sizes & Formats for Your WordPress Site

Source: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guid…anner-sizes-formats/
Capture Date: 25.03.2018 15:55:51

One of the most common questions beginners ask after signing up with Google AdSense is which are the highest performing Google AdSense banner sizes? Some Google AdSense ad formats are more noticeable which means they get more clicks and bring more revenue. In this article, we will show you the highest performing Google AdSense banner sizes and formats, and where to place them for best results.

Google AdSense Banner Sizes

How to Properly Setup Google AdSense Ads in WordPress?

Before getting started, you will need to sign up for a Google AdSense account. Once you have signed up, see our guide on how to properly add Google AdSense in WordPress.

By default, you can easily place AdSense ads in your website’s sidebar. Some WordPress themes may also have dedicated areas to display ads.

However, the best way to manage your Google AdSense ads in WordPress is by using an ad management plugin. We recommend using AdSanity, it is super easy to use and allows you to easily insert ads into sidebars, post content, and anywhere else you want.

Why Some Google AdSense Banner Sizes and Formats Work Better?

Google AdSense comes with several banner sizes and ad formats that you can add on your website. However, not all of them produce the same level of results.

Ads that are closer to the content and easily visible upon page load will get you a higher CTR (click through rate). You need to make sure that you choose the ad size that is easily noticeable. Some of the Google AdSense ad sizes are too small and some could be too large to affect user experience.

Next, factor that affects ad performance on your website is how many advertisers are running ads for that format. Some ad formats and banners are more popular among advertisers which means using them gets you a larger inventory and better paying ads.

Lastly, some ad formats are optimized for mobile devices. If mobile users make the most of your traffic, then these ads are going to perform better on your website than other sizes.

Top Performing Google AdSense Banner Sizes and Formats

Most website owners try different banner sizes to determine which formats work best for their websites. Google AdSense engineers also continuously run their own tests to see how ads are performing on participating websites.

We have done several testing with Google AdSense over the years on our own websites. Below are the top performing Google AdSense banner sizes and ad formats that offer the best value for your advertising real estate.

1. The Medium Rectangle (300×250)

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This ad format supports both display / text ads, and it can also be used on mobile layouts. The best part about this ad size is that it’s easy to fit in the sidebar or inside the content area without annoying users.

That’s why this ad format gets a larger ad inventory which means more and better paying ads for your site. Since it’s perfectly-sized for in-content ads, it is also reported to have the best CTR for most websites.

2. Large Rectangle (336×280)

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Large rectangle takes the second position on our list. It is larger and more noticeable than the medium rectangle ad above, but it may not fit in all website sidebars and is not mobile optimized.

If your website’s sidebar or content area is a bit narrow, then the ad could squeeze the content which is not good for user experience.

That being said, the large rectangle could easily outperform medium rectangle on your website if placed inside the content area in between paragraphs. It supports both image and text ads.

Due to its size and ideal placement next to content, this ad size gets a better ad inventory as well.

3. The Leaderboard (728×90)

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The leaderboard is a traditional banner ad size that is perfect for website header. It supports both text and image ad formats but doesn’t support mobile ads.

Since the leaderboard is ideal to be placed on top (inside or immediately after the website header), it gets more ads which means better ads for your website. Due to its size and prominent placement, it performs fairly well on most websites.

4. Half Page aka Large Skyscraper (300×600)

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Large Skyscraper is a wide vertical banner also known as half page due to its size. It gets attention from advertisers who want more ad space to effectively communicate their message during retargeting.

It is becoming more popular among publishers because it tends to give more exposure for brands which means better paying ads.

You can place the large skyscraper in the sidebar or next to the content. However, due to its size it may not be a good fit for all websites.

5. Large Mobile Banner (320×100)

Mobile banner

Large mobile banner is a mobile ad format, and it is an equivalent of the leaderboard ad format in terms of effectiveness but for mobile devices. Ideally it works best when placed on top just below the header.

Since mobile traffic makes up a good chunk of users for most websites, this ad format gets a better ad inventory.

It can be placed as a less intrusive ad and as an alternate to the medium rectangle ad format.

6. Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)

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Mobile leaderboard is half in height compared to the large mobile banner ad format. It is slightly less effective but also less intrusive and offers even better ad experience on smaller mobile devices.

Mobile ads are popular among advertisers which means it gets a sizable ad inventory. With proper placement, it can work really well with your mobile traffic.

7. Wide Skyscraper (160×600)

Skyscraper

The wide skyscraper is a vertical banner ad that is designed specifically for narrow sidebars. It supports both image and text ad formats and is popular among advertisers.

It is a less intrusive ad option and can easily blend in with your website design. However, it is less effective than wider half page banner ads which tends to draw more user attention towards ad.

8. Portrait (300×1050)

Portrait

Portrait is a slightly wider and longer vertical banner. Due to its size, this ad format attracts brand-centric advertisers who want more ad space for their message.

It is ideally placed next to the content or in the sidebar where it is more noticeable as your users scan the contents of your page. The tricky part is to implement it without affecting user experience on your website.

9. The Billboard (970×250)

Billboard

The billboard is another brand-centric ad format. It is a wide horizontal banner ad that can be ideally placed on top or bottom of your pages. It tends to get better ads due to the space it offers to the advertisers, but it has a smaller ad inventory.

Depending on the content and keywords of your website, it could be a hit or a miss if it fails to attract enough ads for your website.

10. The Square (250×250)

Generally larger ads are considered more noticeable. However, not all websites are designed in the same fashion. If you are using a minimalist WordPress theme, then this small square ad format could beautifully fit in your layout and still be noticeable.

The downside is that it has a smaller ad inventory which could result into low paying ads. However, if your website is in a competitive industry, then it can work really well without affecting user experience.

More Tips to Make the Most out of Your Ad Space

We are often asked by users how they can make more money with Google AdSense? Since each website is different, there is no single perfect answer to this question.

Here are some tips to make sure that you are fully utilizing your website’s potential when using Google AdSense to generate revenue.

  • Test different ad placements – Try different ad formats to figure out which formats give you a better CTR and which formats give you better ads.
  • Display multiple ads – Google AdSense allows you to display multiple ad units on a page. Try different placements and ad formats to test which combinations work best for you.
  • Think of users first – While ad revenue is important for the survival of many websites, you also need to think of your users. Placing ads in a way that affects user experience would affect your website’s user engagement as well as your WordPress SEO.
  • Optimize website performance – Research shows that faster websites usually get more engaged audience which means higher CTR for your ads. See how to speed up WordPress and boost performance.

We hope this article helped you find the highest performing Google AdSense banner sizes and formats. You may also want to check out our comprehensive guide on other ways to make money online to supplement your Google AdSense income.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Build Your Own App If You Don’t Know How to Code

Source: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-build-your…w-to-code-1822376541
Capture Date: 16.03.2018 00:02:33
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Illustration by Angelica Alzona / GMG

In our series Getting It , we’ll give you all you need to know to get started with and excel at a wide range of technology, both on and offline. Here, we’re walking you through the process of creating your own app by examining five software tools to get the job done.

There was a time when creating your own website, starting your own online store, or launching your own app would have required either advanced coding skills or enough money to hire someone with said skills. These days, though, enough companies have tools and business that make the process as speedy as an hour in some cases, and at minimal cost.

Sites like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace make drag-and-drop website creation a breeze, while Shopify and Woocommerce let you pop up a web store during your lunch break. Easy app creation has lagged a bit behind in this field, but that has changed dramatically over the course of the last few years. You can now use a range of sites to whip up an app in no time, without having extensive computer skills, and we’ll take a look at five of those sites below.

Of course, the kind of apps you get from these tools tend to be on the relatively simple side. You’ll still need to be able to code or hire an app-development company to create more complex apps and games. But for simple form- or information-based apps, these services will do just fine. Specifically, you’ll be able to create an app that might not make you millions, but they will add value to existing businesses or websites. If you have a content-based site or an online store, for example, you can create an app that lets people shop more easily or sort through your articles with a press of the screen.

Getting Started

Before we get on to comparing the services you can use to create your own app, you’ll need credentials as an app publisher, so that you can distribute and/or sell your creations.

To be able to distribute apps made for Android through the Google Play store, you need to sign in here with your Google account, accept the terms and pay a $25 registration fee. To become an app seller for the iOS platform through the iTunes store, you’ll need to head here, pay a $99 annual fee and sign in using your Apple credentials. After those initial fees, both Google and Apple take 30 percent of sales once your app is published.

Five App Development Platforms

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AppyPie. The tagline for this web-based app builder is: “Make an app, easy as pie.” Say what you will about the slogan, but it’s accurate; you really can whip up an app on this site without too many clicks, or design knowledge. You start by choosing your app’s category, and then a basic layout. Then, by clicking through a demo of the app on a sample on-screen phone, you can adjust text, and add pages, colors, photos, media, links and more. You have pretty robust control over the flow and architecture of the app, and the site is extremely responsive.

Pricing ranges from a free plan that embeds AppyPie advertising in your app and only lets you tweak your creation for 48 hours, to $15, $30 and $50 monthly plans that offer unlimited app editing and stepped-up platform distribution. The $15 plan, for instance, allows you to build apps for Android only, while the $50 plan will cover all the major platforms including Microsoft and Apple.

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AppMakr. With a decidedly less-slick interface than AppyPie, AppMakr is nonetheless easy to use. It excels in making icon-based apps. Just like AppyPie, you’re given a mock-up of a smartphone and you’re able to drag icons directly onto its face from a menu of choices at the right. Unlike AppyPie however, apps built through this tool are better at linking to content rather than providing native content. Drag the “blog” icon over for example, and you’ll be asked to enter your blog’s RSS feed address. Same for the “news” function. But if you have an existing blog or website, this provides an easy way to take it mobile. You can also change the look of each icon and customize the background image. Changes to architecture, however, aren’t as robust as they are with AppyPie.

Using the free version of AppMakr will let you create an ad-free mobile website. Two dollars per month lets you develop an Android-only app with AppMakr branding; $39 per month lets you create up to ten Android apps with no branding and lets you publish your app wherever you’d like, as you get the source code; and $99 per year lets you publish an Android app in the Google Play store or an iOS app on iTunes with no branding.

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AppInstitute. This is another extremely user-friendly online app builder. One differentiating factor is that when you begin your app-building process on this site, you’ll be asked to choose a template based on your goals, such as: “Sell Stuff,” “Get Bookings” or “Earn Loyalty.” After clicking on the tab that best represents your needs, you can further hone your app by choosing the proper category such as “church,” “coffee shop,” or “good cause.”

Another unique feature of AppInstitute is that after you choose your basic template, you can enter your phone number and you’ll be instantly sent a link to your pre-made app. Of course, you’ll want to spend some time making it your own, but it’s a fun feature to get the instant gratification of a working app in seconds. (Of course, it’s also a clever way by which AppInstitute gets ahold of your phone number.)

While AppInstitute is generally well-regarded, in our testing we did find that it was slow to respond, often glitchy and a bit counterintuitive in terms of customizing your app. Still, there are good videos and a live chat service that can help you get rolling fairly quickly.

This service is also by far the most expensive we tested, with monthly plans ranging from $40 to $115 per month. In order to publish an Android-friendly app, you’ll need to shell out $70 per month, with the $115 price point gaining you access to an iOS version of your app as well.

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GoodBarber. Despite its strange name, GoodBarber is a solid choice for online app building. It puts the smartphone mock-up front and center in its design ontology, so you can click through the app as if it were live and see your changes take effect immediately. While this makes understanding the logic of your app quite easy, it makes designing it a little more difficult.

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Say you wanted to change a block of text in the app. It would make sense that all you would need to do would be to click on it. This, however, doesn’t work. Because the app is “live,” clicking on anything takes you to the relevant section of the app. To make changes to sections, you need to use the navigation tools at the right which break the design process into different chunks such as menus, icons and sections. This takes a little getting used to, and requires more clicking around than the other apps mentioned here, but once you get the hang of it, the level of customization possible is truly impressive.

GoodBarber also offers app checking tools, so that before you are ready to publish an Android version of your app for instance, it would give you a checklist of completed items and those that still need to be fixed (such as naming your app). The site offers a 30-day trial after which it costs $32 per month for an Android app and $96 per month for Android and iOS.

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GameSalad. While information-based apps can help add value to your business, games offer you a chance to create an app that truly holds the potential to earn money. A quick look at the top-grossing iOS apps on website AppAnnie, shows that over half are games, with other top spots largely occupied by free entertainment and social media apps like Hulu, Netflix and Facebook.

If you want to make your own game and try to sell it through iTunes or Google Play, GameSalad offers a great way to give it a go. Unlike the other app creators in this list, GameSalad consists of software you need to download to your desktop. The company says that you could create a game in as little time as an hour, but in reality, it will take a bit longer—even if you start with one of their pre-made but customizable games. The software isn’t quite drag and drop, so you’ll want to spend some time going through the video tutorials to get a hang for the system.

When you are ready to publish your game, a fee of $29 per month will get the job done and let you publish to all the major platforms including Android and iOS.