3 Free Softwares Every Bootstrap Startup Needs

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Being a bootstrap start up is hard enough. While supplies, contractors, employees, advertisement, legal and bank fees and other logistics that shoot up expenses. Here’s making sure you don’t pay a dime to get your digital marketing up and going.

1) WordPress: 

Powering more than 20% of the web, this free, open source content management system can help you and your company save thousands. WordPress saves you thousands dollars on complex coding hours by using Themes and Plugins, whether you hire a website developer or invest a weekend and build one yourself. 

When you need a website topped with content, or simply need a static site for a photography studio or an e-commerce store, WordPress has some of the cheapest and best solutions. 

Also Read: 40+ Notable Big Name Brands that are using WordPress

With little coding tweaks, WordPress themes can be customized for every industry and landing pages are a drag and drop thanks to page-builders like the Visual Composer.

Creating landing pages, buyer journeys, A/B testing easy and don’t require any complex knowledge of coding. There are thousands of themes and millions of page templates to choose from, or even creating a completely new page from scratch. WordPress is free, but you are responsible for WordPress themes and plugins purchased from a third company like Envato. (most basic themes and plugins are free as well) All you are responsible for is a good, secured WordPress hosting company.

Here’s a website recently made by the team at Monks Bistro. The website saved the client over $5000 because he decided to go with WordPress instead of the traditional HTML site. We set up the site for him, provided a few hours of training and now the client manages the entire site on his own. Hence, saving him an average of $3100 a year in web support.

2) Mautic: Open source Marketing Automation 

If you are a bootstrap startup or are looking to invest your budget else where while still having the best marketing automation solutions, then Mautic is the best solution one can ask for. Mautic also has a hosted commercial enterprise solution, which makes it one of the open source technologies that are here to stay.

Mautic, has a built in CRM along with tools for Email Marketing, lead generating reports and social media management. The only con is that it has a fairly new but growing community, but the software in it is quite complete in its own.

UPDATE 12/1/2016: If you need some getting used to you can follow Mautic’s tutorials or take up this Udemy course. 

3) GIMP: open source Image Editor 

GIMP customized as Adobe Photoshop

GIMP is the most you are going to come close to a free Photoshop replacement, honestly. With using the open source cross-platform image editor, you cannot make-do without photoshop completely for complex graphic projects.

Firstly, it’s free (unlike Adobe CC where you need pay $10/month per user for Photoshop + Lightroom and $70+/month per user for businesses)  and has a growing community around which is making it as useful as possible, but it will be a while till they can overshadow Photoshop completely.

It’s a fantastic tool for to develop digital assets for inbound marketing like designing and editing banners, ebooks, letterheads, sketches and mockups. The tool sets are perfectly laid out and you can even open PSD files within the software, make it convenient for collaborative projects.  GIMP is available for Mac, Windows and Linux.  Existing Photoshop users pay take a while to change their habits, but you can also customize the dashboard to get it as close to Photoshop as possible.

For marketers, it’s a must have, especially for those who end up waiting on their designing teams can make simple tweaks themselves. Plus its free, so will not cost their businesses a dime.

I personally work on Adobe illustrator only until a specific photoshop task comes along, but the team at Monks Bistro used GIMP last year for a project that required a small team to deliver the graphics. Here are a few images made from scratch using GIMP for our client, Southern Exposure.

Copyright Southern Exposure and Monks Bistro | Graphic by Bhupinder Kumar
Copyright Southern Exposure Landscape Management
Copyright Southern Exposure Landscape Management



Featured Image Credit: Live Mint 

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