In an earlier article, we highlighted a few websites that we thought “might be useful for business, educationally valuable or just plain fun but otherwise useless.” This installment is our second round of recommended websites that you may find useful for business or educationally valuable (alas, nothing fun and useless this time around).
Secure Password Checker
Whenever you create a password for anything (bank account access, supplier website log-in, email, etc.) you should ensure that it is a strong password, making it harder to crack (no password will ever be 100% foolproof). Microsoft offers a free secure password checker. Simply type in the password you want to check and the analysis will tell you if it is weak, medium, strong, or best. All passwords that you use should be “strong” at the very least.
Creating Customized Forms
JotForm is a great website for creating unlimited forms with unlimited fields and unlimited reports. You can use it to create contact forms for your website, for individual customer satisfaction surveys, or as booking registration forms. If you will be requesting sensitive data (address, phone, date of birth, passport data, or credit card information) JotForm offers an SSL secure form option.
JotForm offers three plans, ranging from free to $49.95 per month. Which plan you chose determines the number of monthly submissions you can receive, and the amount of storage space you have for storing your submissions. There are no long term commitments required. From month to month you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your service – all without losing any past forms or submissions.
Creating Surveys & Polls
If you have a group of people that you want to survey, whether it is 20 or 2,000 people, SurveyMonkey is a robust survey tool that allows you to create, manage, and analyze surveys. Their free plan limits you to 10 questions per survey and 100 responses per survey, but they have three paid plan options that have unlimited questions and responses. The paid plans range from $23.99 to $64.99 per month (discounts may be available when paying for a full year in advance), and are differentiated by the creation tools, analyses tools, and brand control that is offered.
Another popular website for creating surveys and polls is Zoomerang . Their free plan allows up to 12 questions per survey, with a limit of 100 responses per survey. For unlimited questions and responses they offer two paid plans, for either $19 or $59 per month. Discounts are offered for annual subscriptions as well.
In a nutshell, Restaurant.com sells restaurant discount gift cards. This gift cards are excellent as thank you gifts or as give-away items at travel show booths. You can purchase a standard $25 gift card for $10. However if you sign up for their email list you will periodically receive discount codes allowing you to purchase $25 gift cards for $2 or $3 each. The cards do require a minimum food purchase, which is set by the individual restaurants. For example, a $25 gift card may require a $35 purchase (excluding tax, tips, and alcohol).
How Do You Say That?
Inevitably we run across a word or name that we do not know how to pronounce properly. Howjsay is a free online “talking dictionary” of English pronunciations (143,000 entries and growing). Simply type in the word that you need pronounced, and if it’s in their dictionary you will hear the pronunciation (obviously you’ll need to have your speakers on and volume turned up). Also for foreign cities, you will hear the English pronunciation as well as the local pronunciation (try “Paris” or “Capri” to hear an example).
These are just a few of the websites that we have run across that we feel may be useful to you in your business. Watch this column for future website recommendations!
(Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel (http://www.shipsntripstravel.com/) located in Brentwood, Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations (http://www.kickbuttvacations.com/) she focuses on travel for young adults under 35. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209).