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25 Killer Websites & Web Services for Business

By Julie King |

The most recent evolution of the business web has taken place in two areas: in the creation of online applications (apps) and integration of online data with mobile devices.

You can now use web tools to manage your business, from sales and lead development to project management, invoicing and accounting. With mobile phones getting smarter, the next wave is reaching out and pinpointing us in time and space, so that our use of the Internet can be synched to where we are at a given moment.

cNet's Webware award winners showcase some of the very best sites and applications online, as chosen by Internet users. We have combed through the 2009 list of 100 sites to identify the top 25 choices for business. Here is the short-list we came up with:

    Making it Easier to Earn a Living

  1. Making Sales Easier: DimDim is an open-source conference and screen sharing application that lets users deliver presentations, whiteboards, webpages as well as audio and video recordings over the Internet, without having to download and install a piece of software. There is a free version that lets you meet with up to 20 people and a pro version that lets you connect with up to 50 for $19 a month.
  2. Finding Professionals: ELance helps businesses hire freelancers and outsource work. The site helps employers find professionals, manage their project and can even help you manage payments to the people you hire.
  3. Invoicing Made Easy: Freshbooks is a Canadian application that lets users track time and invoice clients.
  4. Taking Control of Your Time: Google Calendar is another free tool from Google that offers powerful calendaring features and integration with popular programs like Microsoft Outlook or the built in Blackberry calendar . Google Calendar makes it easy to schedule meetings and share your calendar with work colleagues; you can also get notices by text messages or email.
  5. Bringing in the Money: Paypal has been around for a long time, but it is still one of the best websites for smaller companies. Compared to the banks, Paypal offers a much easier way to accept credit card payments online. They also offer other payment options, such as the ability to invoice customers by email.

  6. Networking in a Web World

  7. Connecting: Twitter is a popular micro-blogging site that lets you tell people what you are doing in 140 characters or less. Unlike many other social networking sites, which focus on the personal side of life, Twitter can be a useful business networking tool.

  8. Telephony Trimmed & Transformed

  9. Just 1 Number: Google Voice, which says it will roll out in the coming weeks, will give you a single phone number that rings all your phones and a single voicemail box. It also includes many advanced calling features from call blocking and screening to voicemail transcripts and call conferencing. Watch out telephony companies; cNet's editors have given this new technology the Oncoming Train award, which goes to the product most likely to disturb existing products and businesses.
  10. Don't Pay for 411 Lookups: Goog411 is a like a 411 call, without the cost. You simply dial 1-800-466-4411, say the location and business name (or type) you are looking for and it will search listings. It will let you know the top listing found and give you the option to connect or to hear more options.
  11. One Line, Many Locations: RingCentral lets businesses use a single phone line in multiple locations.
  12. Talk & Conference, Online or Landline: Skype is a well known Internet phone. Calls to other Skype users are free and the service can also be used to phone landlines and cell phones around the world for pennies a minute. There is a video conferencing option as well and the Skype store offers a variety of accessories.

  13. Creating & Sharing Documents Online

  14. Store & Share Files: Dropbox lets users access a virtual folder to share and manage files. Documents are synchronized across multiple machines and group collaboration settings ensure that everyone is working on the most current file. As a particularly useful feature, users can also retrieve older versions of a file.
  15. Collaborate on Large Files: Dropio is designed to let users share and collaborate on large files, which are stored online. A free version lets users share files up to 100 Mb in size, while a professional version lets users work on files up to 25 Gb in size with the files being maintained online for up to three years.
  16. Why Pay for Office Software? Google Docs lets users create and collaborate on documents. The service is free, which includes storage and documents can be exported in a format for use on your local machine in Microsoft Office.
  17. Making Document Collaboration Easy: Microsoft Office Live Workspace is an online collaboration tool that lets you share Office documents amongst users. There is currently a Microsoft Office plugin that links to Live Workspace and Microsoft plans to include web-based versions of their Office apps with the next release of office.
  18. Don't Send Large Files by Email: lets you send large files online, when they are too big to send by mail and you want to avoid the hassle of using an FTP server. Sending a file is easy and you can send files up to 100 Mb free of charge.
  19. Over 20 Business Apps: Zoho has over 20 applications, including some useful small business apps like CRM, Meeting and Invoice, that can help you run your business. Most applications are free at a very simple level, but if you surpass the limits of the free offerings you may want to compare pricing to competing stand-alone offerings like DimDim for meetings or Freshbooks for invoicing.

  20. Keeping Your Data Safe

  21. Don't Risk Your Data! Carbonite provides an online backup using a simple program installed on your local computer. Carbonite charges an annual fee (currently USD $54.95 / year) but has no limit on the size of your backup.
  22. An Alternative File Backup Option: Mozy provides an online backup using a simple program installed on your local computer. Mozy has a free home version with a 2 Gb backup limit and an unlimited version that costs $4.95 / month ($59.40 / year).

  23. Helpful Sites for Business Travel

  24. Travel On-Time: FlightStats lets you find out if your flight is on time and can search airports in both Canada and the US. There is also a mobile site for travelers on the go.
  25. Book It, Plan It, Live It: TripIt help individuals and businesses organize and share their travel plans.

  26. Making & Managing a Blog or Website

  27. A Free, Simple Website: Microsoft Office Live Small Business helps businesses get a website, both for front-end promotion and on the back-end as an intranet. The basic service is free, but you can add services for a fee.
  28. To Blog or Not to Blog … : Wordpress is a free program that makes it easy for you to create your own blog. There are currently over 200,000 bloggers who publish their blogs on The software can also be installed on your own servers. This version is still free and provides more advanced features (visit for the downloadable version). Some web developers are using the server installation to build more traditional websites, with Wordpress's publishing platform providing content management tools to the end-user.

  29. Other Useful Apps

  30. Remote Computer Access: LogMeIn lets you access and use a remote computer, with both free and paid versions available. The paid version enables remote printing, file drag and drop and will also allow several people to control a single PC at the same time.
  31. Edit Your Photos Online: Picnik is a photo editor that lets you resize and make simple adjustments to photos. The program runs in a web browser and has both free and paid versions available.
  32. To-Do Lists that are Available at Home, at Work and on your Mobile: Remember the Milk is a handy reminder service that lets you build to-do lists and then access your lists in a variety of locations. Free and pro (currently $25 / year) versions are available.

To see full list visit the complete 2009 List of WebWare 100 Winners.

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