Our main site and several of the sites we build utilize the incredibly powerful WordPress platform. With a basic hosting package (less than $70 a year with domain name), anyone can use WordPress to create a website. The platform is Open Source, meaning many of the tools are built by the development community and are provided at no cost to users.
We use a GoDaddy reseller program (branded Wild West Domains) for all of our domain name registrations and website hosting. While we prefer working with local businesses as much as possible, unfortunately web hosting is simply too critical to the general operation of our business to not use a big guy. Many of our customers have had great success with local hosting, but many also have run into issues with down-time or worse.
Site provides ability to create a log in and manage the sites where a directory listing has been submitted. The process is incredibly time-consuming, but with over 3000 directories the potential to gain one-way backlinks is tremendous.
We use the Open Office Suite for all of our word processing, spreadsheet and productivity needs. The free, open source software suite is available for download on their site. The Suite is an incredible resource for any individual or business and is more powerful than similar paid solutions from Microsoft.
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Did we mention that it was FREE?