17 lesser known but useful websites

the internet is awesome. Here is a small list of awesomeness

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Saw a similar question on Quora and thought it would be good to share a few website that I find very useful, that not everyone knows about.

Immediately I thought, but what if everyone already knows about these and things this is a waste of time?

What is interesting is we think everyone experience is the same as ours. If we know something, we assume everyone knows something. As usual there is an xkcd comic about this.

10,000 people are hearing about something you think everyone knows about first the first time today. If you know all these sites, well done. If not, you are one of the 10,000, and I hope you find one of them useful.

  1. Copypastecharacter.com — Lets you copy and paste to get those weird characters that you can’t figure out how to type. ☼ ☂ ☃

2. Downforeveryoneorjustme.com — When a website is not working, it can be useful to check this website. I will check the site from a variety of servers so you know if the site is down, or you just need to reset your wifi router. If a website is not working, I always check here first.

3. Whatfontis.com — Upload a screenshot of a font, and this site will try to tell you what it is. Surprisingly effective at finding similar looking fonts at least. You might not find the exact name of the font, but you can find a close substitute.

4. Geoguessr.com — Google Map view of a random location on earth, and you have to guess where you are. Surprisingly fun. I always look for signage clues. Which side of the road people are driving on. The climate and terrain. Also fun to play with groups.

5. Archive.org/web aka Wayback Machine — A super useful website to see what a URL looked like in the past. If a website you used to visit or need is gone, the Wayback Machine might have saved a copy of it. I have used this to find old sites, and get info off them that I needed. Can be fun to see the history of a particular URL as well. Click here to see what Apple’s earliest website in the machine looked like in Oct 1996. Images often break as they are sometimes hosted elsewhere but the text usually works on all site.

6. Canva.com — Online photoshop with a bunch of free and paid elements already loaded in. You can make a pretty good looking flyer, poster etc by using their templates. I use Canva whenever someone just needs something, and they want it to look pretty good. I also tell them about it so maybe they can be empowered to make their own the next time.

7. Unsplash.com — Free high quality stock photos. If you have read a Medium article (like this one!) you have seen these photos. There are a few photos that are used waaayyy too often, but you can find some great stuff on there.

8. Camelcamelcamel.com — Set a price watch on an Amazon product and get alerts when the price drops. Pick a few things you really want and then wait for the magic of sales to happen. You can set multiple alerts for yourself.


9. Everytimezone.com — see all the timezones in the world laid out graphically. Useful for keeping them all straight.

10. Autodraw.com — Draw a handmade doodle, and ML will take it, recognize it, and give you a nice drawing. Can be useful, can be magical.

11. Whatruns.com — want to see the technology a site is using? WhatRuns can detect a bunch of major technologies. Fun to see what sites are using Wordpress, Tumblr, Shopify, or what coding pieces they use.

12. Duolingo.com — learn to speak another language. Your progress is tracked, and owl will constantly remind you to keep learning.

13. TheWirecutter.com — This site does extensive researching into products to recommend you the best one. If I am looking for something, I often just look at their top pick, see if it fits my budget and buy it.

14. Midomi.com — sing or hum a song and it will try to guess it. Shazam for humming.

15. Giphy.com — the best gif search out there. PS it ipronounceded gif as in ‘gift’. 😉

16. Trends.google.com — Google Trends. Search a term and see the search trends on it. Google doesn’t give numbers but it is fun to compare terms. Click here to see a fun graph showing a certain Christmas carol search interest spiking each December.

17. Imgur.com — Need to give someone a URL to an image. Just throw it up on Imgur and grab the URL. Free image hosting. Take a bit of care browsing the site. Mostly harmless but there are weird people on the internet, and weird pictures.

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.