Distributing shareware is as important as writing the software in the first place – if people can’t find your software titles they can’t buy them. If your website is new and doesn’t perform well in searches on Google, the easiest way to distribute your software online is via one of the numerous shareware sites.
Shareware sites will allow you to advertise your software for free. For each title, you will be able to post a short description and the shareware site will provide a link to your installable package.
The majority of shareware sites are based in the US and are used by US customers. If your software is targeted solely for the UK, you may find that you are wasting download bandwidth from your site – since people in the US will download your package but will soon find that it isn’t appropriate for them. This happened to me with one of my software titles – I had to upgrade my hosting package to cater for the extra downloads.
One of the best freeware/ shareware sites in the UK is SoftTester. SoftTester has been established for a number of years and receives up to several thousand visitors a day.
SoftTester goes a couple of steps beyond the usual shareware site in that it tries to build communities amongst software developers, encouraging reviewing and testing of each others software.
SoftTester accepts the submissions using the standard shareware PAD file and from personal experience I can say that the site owner is very friendly and helpful to new authors.