Ever since the Internet really took off, it’s been used to help us get things done, find out information and connect with others. Since then, websites have been serving us with information and utility, but what about today? In the last few years some truly useful websites and services have been born and this trend will only continue throughout 2014.
What about the sites available right now? There are lots of websites and services you should consider using this year, even if you’ve never heard of them. Below are the top 20 websites you should be using in 2014.
It may just be the nerd in me but I love this site. It’s so much more than just a dictionary. This site has words of the day, interesting and thought provoking blog posts, awesome interactive word mapping, quotes and even games!
Wunderlist is yet another to-do list available online – also syncs with your smartphone, too – but it’s one of the best-looking to-do lists there is. With an elegant web app, Wunderlist will get you ticking things off your list in style.
With Google Reader now dead and gone, there was a gap left to be filled for those in the need of a complete news reader. Feedly was the platform to rise to the occasion and they even came up with tweaks to make their web app feel more like Google Reader. It’s now gone from a curious experiment to one of the best news reading sites on the Internet.
This free program will make sure you don’t forget another password online again. Once installed, LastPass can help you create passwords and automatically remembers your username, passwords and any notes you want to go with it whenever you log into a site for the first time. LastPass is completely secure with top of the line encryption technology and even a premium account for those who want to add multifactor authentication.
Aside from a difficult to pronounce name, Coffitivity aims to fulfill one simple aim; bring the buzz of a coffee shop to you. It’s a simple website allowing visitors to hear the sound of a typical coffee shop, which is great for those who work from home or in quiet spaces. It’s a creative ambiance that will get your creative juices flowing in the morning. And if you don’t like the coffee shop feel try Focus@Will.
Here’s a great website for those who lead a busy life online, My Permissions essentially takes a look at the websites around the web that have access to your credentials and then asks you whether or not you want to remove them. So, maybe now you can finally get rid of the MySpace account you had back in high school.
Whether you’re just starting out investing or if you don’t have lots of time to manage investments, check out SigFig. This handy site will make sure your investment portfolio is right on target to get the most money back into your pocket.
Pocket has been around for a while now and it’s only getting better. The service allows you to bring your favorite reading or research together from around the web. From there, it gives their users a better reading experience on a mobile device or any computer in the world. It’s a great way to save and ingest those great articles found around the web – like this one!
Commonly known as GOG, this website allows you to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the PC games of your past. They’re cheap enough to buy on a whim, and you don’t need a super-powerful laptop to run them. If you’re fed up with Farmville and all the Facebook game invites, why not fire up SimCity 4 one last time?
From teaching kids about animals to painting in Illustrator, Curious will teach you just about anything you want to know. This site allows you to learn, teach and even share knowledge around the web. All lessons are very applicable and taught by experts in that field. Signing up is free and so are most lessons but there are a few that cost $1.
Pinterest is one of the newer social networks out there. It basically lets users collect things they like online. It is a great way for users to keep on top of the great content out there in the web and it’s a good way for businesses to connect with consumers, too.
If you haven’t discovered TED talks yet prepare your next few weekends to be filled with genius from experts around the world. This non-profit site started as a conference in 1984 and is all about sharing ideas worth spreading. You can find short TED talks on a variety of subjects though they do focus on mostly technology, entertainment and design (hence, T.E.D.)
You can think of Upworthy as a modern incarnation of Digg. It’s a site promoting some provocative videos and articles from around the web and pushes them based on their popularity. In fact, it’s a great way of watching some of the most popular videos on the web right now. For coffee breaks and thought-provoking watching, Upworthy is great.
Trello is a fairly new website that can help you keep on top of projects with teams or by yourself. You can think of it as a digital whiteboard you might find in yesterday’s office. It brings together people’s e-mails and their set tasks together in one place so you can easily bring a project together.
Planning a holiday? GetGoing is the latest thing for flight searches, allowing you to pick the best deal on your tickets to get you to where you need to go. While it’s not a new concept, it’s always good to have one of these sites in your head, especially if you’re a business traveler.
For the creative types who love to plan their dream home, this site is for you. Peruse through the thousands of images in each category from kitchen to lighting. You can put together your own ideabook or even find a pro who can renovate your house with the ideas you collected on Houzz.
Again, this is perhaps more of a service but, Google+ is definitely going places. It’s growing in popularity day-by-day and it’s a more efficient way of connecting with your audience from a marketing standpoint, and it’s definitely going to be the future for Google. Google+ is also a valuable part of ranking well in Google’s search engine results page whether you’re a local business or even a blogger!
Skitch may be owned by Evernote, but it’s still a great place to store a lot of your images. It’s also a great service that allows you to capture certain parts of websites and add them to your Evernote folder.
Looking to create a new website? Look no further than Flavors.me, which offers the easiest way to design something truly creative online. It’s super-easy and it’s free to get started, so you can let your creative side run wild without having to worry about anything too much.
Having just launched this week at CES, Yahoo Tech is a technology site for humans, spoken in human. Instead of bogging those interested down with Gigabytes and Megahertz, Yahoo Tech aims to make things easy and understandable for anyone interested in smartphones or technology on the whole – it’s also a very good looking site, too.
The Internet is an ever-growing community, with new websites made faster than anyone can keep up with. Try out a few of these useful websites this year, maybe one of them will score a spot in your most visited list!