Website annotation is helpful for professionals who use online resources for teaching, design, content creation, product development, debugging, and more.

However, finding the right tool from an ocean of many website annotation apps is not that easy.

You need to invest a lot of your and the team’s time to discover an appropriate app that you can use for many projects. On top of that, some will charge a hefty fee for the usage. 

Stop wasting your time! Read this article till the end to find some handpicked website annotation tools. We have also clearly identified the paid and free ones for your convenience. 

What Is Website Annotation?

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Readers often highlight texts, circle sections, or put comments in the margins of printed content like newspapers, study material, design blueprints, etc. However, that option is not available out of the box on websites.

To solve this issue, the Web Annotation Working Group of W3C has developed a Web Annotation Architecture.

Under the security guidelines of this group, software developers have come up with programs that can highlight, write, comment, crop, and do more on live websites. The website annotation does not make any changes to the actual website.

You can also share links to annotated web pages, collaborate virtually, discover web annotations, and store them for future use.

In a nutshell, webpage annotation brings a new layer of content creation, linking, and interactivity on top of a live website markup.    

Why Do You Need Website Annotation? 

Website annotation helps you to highlight content on a website and perform proofreading before the availability of webpage annotators; users need to take a printout of the website and write comments or highlight issues physically. Then they needed to scan the paper to send the annotation to the designer or developer.

Alternatively, users would take screenshots of a web page they need to annotate. Then, save the screenshot as an image on the Windows Paint app. And only afterward would adding texts, highlights, circles, comments, etc., be possible.

This prep work used to consume a lot of time. Project stakeholders, content creators, editors, designers, and developers were losing thousands of hours of productivity.

As soon as website annotation apps appeared in the market, users switched to such tools for annotating online resources. It saves time and makes the annotation work live, collaborative, and reproducible.        

Use Cases of Website Annotation

#1. Improving User Experience

You can use webpage annotation to map your website’s content and features. New visitors can rely on it to navigate through the website effortlessly. 

#2. Creating a Visual Site Map

Mostly, websites use various flowchart symbols to create a wireframe-type site map. Instead, you can use real web pages and content to draw a relationship between them in a website annotator app.

#3. Website Debugging

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On-site and remote website debugging is challenging without an annotation tool. You can solve the web page debugging bottleneck using a web annotation app. 

#4. Online Teaching

Teachers can easily refer to online resources and show those to their students effortlessly through annotations like highlights, texts, attention, etc.   

#5. Customer Support

Customer care agents from several industries who offer remote customer support can use this feature to highlight actions, content, troubleshooting steps, etc. 

#6. Improve the Website Content

Content editors and proofreaders can annotate various content errors and issues in real-time and explain their needs to the content team. 

How to Collaborate on Website Annotation?

While annotating a web page, you will need a screen-sharing app for online collaboration. You can use any of the below-mentioned tools for the annotation task with the following steps:

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  • Click on the Markup Hero Chrome Extension.
  • The Markup Hero app will open.
  • Now, click on Scrolling Screenshot Tab.  
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  • The app will take screenshots of all the screens from the top to the bottom of the current page.
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  • Then, it will open the workspace where you can use annotation tools like Markup, Highlight, Multiselect, Crop Canvas, etc.
  • While performing the actual annotation, start a screen sharing with your team using Google Meet or any other app.
  • Also, invite them to collaborate by sharing a link to the annotation workspace.     

Next, let’s discuss the tips for choosing website annotation tools.

Tips to Choose the Best Website Annotation Tool

Before selecting a web page annotation tool for your upcoming project, consider the following tips:

  • The application should offer online collaboration in the annotation workspace through link sharing.
  • It should also let you store the annotations in the cloud or as downloaded images for future use.
  • Choose a cloud app over a standalone app since they are convenient.
  • The website annotator should offer a range of annotation tools like lines, arrows, highlighter, shapes, blurring, image overlays, eSignatures, and more.
  • The web app and browser extension provide SSL encryption for intellectual property security.    

So, now you know what website annotation is. Perfect! Now is the time to check out some outstanding website annotation apps below that expert web developers, debuggers, designers, and teachers use. 

Pastel 

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Pastel converts websites into a visual workspace where you can add comments, images, videos, and more. You need to add the URL to a website that you want to annotate. The tool will open the website in a new tab in the same browser.

While posting comments, you can use @mentions to notify a teammate to whom you assign the task. Also, you can integrate the tool with project management apps like Trello, Asana, monday.com, etc., for updating tasks or creating new tasks.

If you are reviewing a mobile-facing web page, you can switch the annotation workspace to a mobile view to visualize how the mobile version will show up. When your reviewing and commenting are done, you can save the state. The application offers a 14-day free trial to freemium users.    

BugHerd

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BugHerd makes website debugging, task creation, and collaboration super convenient. It comes with a Chrome Extension to annotate directly on the live website.

When the annotation is complete, the tool will ask you to create a task with details like assignee, severity, backlog, tags, screenshots of the issue, etc. 

Once you create the task, it will appear on the BugHerd dashboard. Furthermore, you can invite team members so that they can pick up website debugging tasks from the BugHerd dashboard and start working on those. 

Moreover, you can create video feedback on a website bug or content issue so that your team can easily understand what changes you are looking for.

The tool is currently offering a limited free trial for 14-days. After this period, you need to sign up for a paid plan.  

Marker.io

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Are you a website developer who needs to collect feedback on a website from your colleagues, management, clients, and users? Marker.io lets you send feedback straight from the website. 

For every annotation, you can add a title, describe the issue, and put it under a label for easy sorting and searching. Its toolbar includes various features, such as adding arrows, text, shapes, emoticons, and images. 

Also, one can blur sections, change color, undo, and redo the actions. For collaborative communication, it allows you to make comments, add attachments, and update the task status. Before buying any of its plans, you can also try its free trial.

Nimbus Capture

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Nimbus Capture is a collaboration tool with a web annotation feature. When you create videos with this app, you can also use the toolbar attributes, such as adding arrows, texts, shapes, underlines, and watermarks.

You can also download its Windows app or use the Chrome extension. Those who want to opt for the Business plan of this tool can opt for the free trial that does not need credit card information.

Instacap (Free)

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Use Instacap and spare your team unnecessary back-and-forth communications. Now, you do not need to open multiple apps to share a full-scrolling webpage that contains annotations and comments. It also has a simple UI that does not need any learning curve. 

With this app, collecting and sharing visual feedback becomes seamless. Users can add text, circles, drawings, arrows, and many more elements for annotation. This tool has a free plan and can be added to your Google Chrome as an extension.

DISBUG

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Do you want to review your website design by collaborating with the developers? Check out DISBUG, a tool that lets you directly edit the text, font, color, and spacing of web objects through live website annotation. 

You do not have to take screenshots or record videos as it allows you to annotate web objects directly to narrate the problems visually. Though it is a paid tool, you can try out its functionalities using its 7-day free trial.

Snagit

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Projects involving collaboration between a remote team require annotation tools like Snagit. You can share information with this application that the other parties can understand easily. Now, do not just capture what you see on your screen but add additional context for faster workflow.

This tool can recognize the text and edit it quickly with font, color, and size changes. Additionally, the app allows you to annotate screenshots using professional markup tools, stamps, and smart moves. Snagit has a free trial option for new users. 

Page Marker (Free)

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Page Marker is a Google Chrome extension allowing you to draw or highlight any website. Users can instantly add text, lines, and shapes before saving their work. One can use the cursor or finger (for touchscreen devices) to write annotations before saving those on the computer. 

During annotation, you can select the text or marker color, draw straight lines, highlight text lines, choose line thickness, undo/redo, and more. It also offers several shortcuts to make your task easier.

Markup Hero (Free)

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Those looking for an annotation tool available on the web and as downloadable software should try Markup Hero.

Whether you use Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome, you can use this tool without difficulties. With features that enable fast idea capturing and clear communication, it helps you stay organized and speed up your workflow.

Markup Hero has a colorful and versatile toolbar that contains tools to communicate messages on websites, images, or PDFs. It lets you access all your annotations from one place and modify those on the go.

To keep all these organized, you can add titles and put them in collections. You can also determine who can access them with customized privacy settings. Developers can also use its annotation API for their apps.

Ruttl (Free)

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Ruttl is a tool that facilitates quick website annotation service for sharing thoughts. With its assistance, you can leave comments on the website and share feedback with your developers and designers. 

You can enlist any website URL as a project and start annotating its parts with text comments. It also lets you leave detailed feedback on live web pages with video recordings. 

Moreover, one can tag colleagues, assign tasks to teammates with comments, set deadlines, and mark the task as completed with one click. By sharing links, you can also allow guests to comment without logging in.

Comments on this tool can also be exported to Asana, Slack, and Trello. It also offers a free plan for its users with some feature limitations. 

Final Words

So far, you have gone through an in-depth article on website annotation explaining its definition, benefits, use cases, collaborative use, and some tips to choose the best tool for your business.

The article has also outlined some of the best website annotation applications with the best features, functionalities, and convenience. 

So, choose the one that fits your business or personal needs and start annotating websites easily and staying productive.

Next are some outstanding website builders for non-designers and non-techies that you can use for business or personal needs.