As an owner of an online business? then you will probably want to ensure that your computer is kitted out with a plethora of software to ensure that your company runs as smoothly as possible. However, there is so much software out there, it really is a game to know which ones to use. In this article I am going to highlight some of the best software in the world for your business, and where possible, I will name a couple of alternative free versions as well.

Microsoft Office Business Edition

Say what you want about Microsoft, but they do know how to make a pretty good suite of office applications. You have a lot of options with the business edition, of course you have your standard word processor to knock out those letters or write copy for your website. You have a spreadsheet program for basic accounts and budgeting. A publishing program for making advertising campaigns, and of course an email program for receiving your emails. There are also a lot more features packed on top of this. If you are a business owner, you need Office. If you want an alternative that is free then check out OpenOffice, although it doesn’t quite have the same versatility as Office.

Adobe Photoshop

It always baffled me how popular this piece of software is considering the price tag it commands, although that is by the by. This really is the best software in the world for creating graphics and manipulating images. I cannot imagine running a business without it. If you want an alternative version that doesn’t command quite a high price tag, then you can opt for either ‘Gimp’ or ‘Paint.Net’.


Dreamweaver was originally a Macromedia creation, but after they were purchased by Adobe it became part of their arsenal. This is without a doubt one of the most popular WYSIWYG editors out there on the market. It is perfect for editing code in your website as well, and includes a lot of helpful tutorials if you get stuck. Alternative software which is free includes Kompozer.

Dragon Dictation

We all get a bit lazy from time to time, and thus would want to do things in the simplest possible way. So why not read out the words that we want to appear on the screen? We can do this with Dragon Dictation, a line of speech to text software. It makes everything happen so quickly. There is no alternative version here as I haven’t found anything that can match the quality.


This piece of software allows you to compress your creations for ‘easy distribution’. It is much better than WinZip as you can get your files much smaller. Many people have yet to wake up to WinRar however, so you may find that WinZip is just as good for your needs.


This is by far my favorite FTP Program, although there are plenty of competitors out there which may snag your vote. You need a way in which to get your files online, and this offers the best solution for doing so. Quick and hassle free, and you can have multiple profiles available so you can upload to any of your websites.


Running an online business doesn’t exclude you from filing a Tax return. This fantastic piece of software enables you to do it quickly and with the minimum amount of hassle, it only applies to US business owners however. If you are in the United Kingdom then you may want to check out the Sage range of software.

This is just a brief highlight of the software that you must have. There are of course plenty of other things you may need, for example an invoice generator or a bookkeeping program. However, everything listed above should provide you with a good start.