Every Web Designer Should Check Out These Great Resources
August 13, 2014
There are no two web designers alike. Every designer has its own taste, style and preferences. And just like there are no two designers alike, there are no two websites quite a like either. And yet despite this, almost every web designer thinks he knows the best tools and resources, but most likely doesn’t know enough resources.
Sit back and enjoy as I share with you all the best tools online for designers, the ones that I consider best, the ones that I use.
We’ll be exploring WordPress themes and website builders, hosting providers, font resources that you will surely use, vector images, stock photos and icons, as well as project management services, PSD to HTML conversion sites, and even e-commerce solutions. So let’s see what’s out there!
One rapidly growing option in the web building business you should consider is Wix.com. Their cloud-based tools are incredibly easy to use and will unlock your creativity without digging into complicated HTML coding in order to express your talents. What’s great about wix.com as well is that they work with many third party developers to bring you additional features beyond their offering like social media plug-ins, e-commerce, contact forms, and even email marketing!
The most important thing when building a website is finding a tool that allows you to maximize your creativity without requiring you to delve deep into the world of complicated HTML coding. For this reason, I recommend you check out ALLYOU.net. This site is flush with professional and stylish web templates for you to enjoy.
Their service is incredibly easy and straightforward to use. Founded in 2011, their tools are really geared towards beginners and not for the advanced web developer, which means their site very easy to navigate and get comfortable with. Their products will work great for you. ALLYOU’s services are completely free unless you choose to upgrade to either their “Carbon” or “Titanium” pricing plans, which are available starting at $8 a month.
It can be difficult to learn how to use Moonfruit, however, once you dig in, you will be hooked! Their excellent web building tools are well worth the extra effort it takes to learn how to navigate their products. With them you’ll be able to create really awesome websites for your clients. One unique feature Moonfruit offers that is not found on their competitor’s sites is the ability to calibrate your site for SEO. They have lots of other unique features you don’t want to miss out on.
CrocoBlock has an outstanding database that offers you a wide variety of templates, including over eighty responsive websites! You can also count on their excellent support. You will find that their themes are so easy and quick to setup. You won’t have any problems using their straightforward admin panel.
No matter what type of website you need a theme for, whether it be a portfolio or blog, you’ll find their service works well for you. They also have some advanced features that cannot be found on any of their competitor’s sites. CrocoBlock frequently updates their services with powerful and relevant upgrades and other great stuff like built-in SEO tools, widgets, and short codes with integrated plugins.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of WordPress themes out there. It can be hard to tell which are the winners and which are the losers! Well, I’m here to tell you, one big winner is X-Theme. They are the number one name in versatility for WordPress themes. Regardless of what type of site you are looking to build (blog, professional website, online shop or personal portfolio), X-Theme has the solution for you!
Their products are made by top notch developers, and are equipped with tons of unique functions like their “stacks” feature. Your first step with X-Theme is to choose the perfect stack for you, and then build your site from there! Another great feature X-Theme offers is a live preview editor that allows you to see changes to your site instantly.
For the biggest selection of website templates around, look no further than Template Monster. They have the solution for you! It would be impossible not to find the right template for you on their site – they have over 30,000 templates to choose from. No matter what format you are looking for, they have a large range, from HMTL to CSS with built in flash, all the way to Photoshop templates.
No matter what size has company you are designing for, they will have the best tools for you! With their service they have two options for you to choose from. The first is to setup an account with a limited use license. The second, and more exclusive option, is to purchase a unique license that keeps anyone else from using your specific template EVER!
One more name in hosting you need to know is Pixeno. They offer excellent and reasonably priced hosting services. Their site is incredibly user friendly, not to mention they offer a thirty days free trial for all their potential and future customers. They can handle hosting for websites of all sizes – big and small. They provide you with the tools you need, like a web host manager and an extensive cPanel account. Their company is rapidly growing – they are presently expanding into the US, although they are based exclusively in the United Kingdom now.
Once you’ve built an awesome site you need to find the best place to host it. It can be a challenge to find a reliable and affordable hosting service, which is why Hearthinternet is such a valuable resource for web designers. No matter what the size of your website, they can provide you with excellent hosting services. Their service is also top notch – they are always available to help you out. Additionally, they handle all of their work in the United Kingdom, they don’t outsource any of their services.
If you are looking for the best deals online then look no further than Mighty Deals. They have a huge selection of incredible offers for you. All you have to do is sign up for their daily newsletter in order to be notified of their upcoming deals. Their deals range anywhere from 50% all the way up to an amazing 90% off.
They have deals on tools for web developers like lessons and professional templates, as well as art files and images. The only draw back is their offers are available for a limited time, so you must act quickly to take advantage of them.
We all prefer to get things for free, but sometimes we need to shell out a little cold hard cash for something good. One of these good things worth your money is Medialoot. They provide access to their excellent selection for $14 a month – or $99 a year – and they are worth EVERY penny!
Your membership provides you will unlimited access to all of their resources, created by the talented team at Medialoot. You will find their quality is really first rate. They have available a huge selection for you to browse through and use. They have items for web and UI, they have vector and illustration kits, mobile friendly design kits, as well as tons of icons, fonts and literally hundreds and hundreds of Photoshop add-ons.
Sometimes you get stuck on a font. You’ve found the perfect one, but where oh where do you download it from? Has this happened to you? If it has, you know the pain of not being able to get your dream font. That’s where WhatFontIs steps in! Their service is unique and will save the day! All you have to do is type in the URL of the font or upload a simple screen shot and they will find your font, or at least something very close. Check out this time and website saving tool today.
There are few things on your website as important as a good font. Of course graphics and images will always be eye-catching, but a good font is what really holds your websites together. A good font will grab your viewer’s attention. In order to do that, it must be of the highest quality – crisp, clear, and cool! For the best in fonts, check out UrbanFonts – they have one of the best collections of fonts around! They offer over 8,000 free fonts. But if this isn’t enough for you, they also offer more with their premium subscription!
In addition to the great images you can pay for online, there are some excellent free options as well. One of the best is Vector Open Stock. They are a superior destination for all things images – they have over 7,000 freebies waiting for you. One word of warning is that some of their items are subject to a Creative Commons license, which means there are some limitations on how they can be used. However most of their images are available with an Open Stock license, which means there have no limitations on them. One unique feature of Vector Open Stock is that they have a social element built in to their site, which allows you to like and follow contributors whose work you enjoy.
Like I mentioned, a good images plays just as an important role in capturing your viewer’s attention as the right font does. And for one of the best sources online to find awesome vector images is Shutterstock. Although their service isn’t free, it’s probably the best destination for all things images. They’ve been a favorite of mine for a long time. Their site is constantly being updated so you will find fresh new content all the time. They have a vast among of contributors who are always adding new content to their site, a big benefit for those of us lucky enough to use it.
One last excellent source for images you MUST check out is PicJumbo – I would be remiss to leave them off this list. They have some of the most unique, high quality and creative images available online. They provide the majority of their images free of charge, but if that’s not enough for you, you can always upgrade to their premium service for $6 a month.
It’s not always easy to find the right images for your site. Frankly, there is a lot of art out there that just isn’t good. Instead of wasting your time with all that, go right to the source of excellent stock images: Unsplash. Their site has a huge selection of high quality stock images, and they keep their content fresh by uploading new images every ten days. And best of all, their images are available license free, which means you can use the images however you like.
When managing your website project, there are few things as important as organization. Without good organization, you can count on your project being more difficult and taking longer than you would like. To solve this issue I recommend you try one of my favorite online services, Azendoo.
Azendoo is very easy to use and offers both a desktop and mobile version of their service. You can use their site for free, or you can upgrade to their paid version, which offers some additional features and additional storage capacity. Best of all, their service integrates seamlessly with other applications you might need to use like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote.
Let’s face it – web designers don’t make the best project managers. If they did, we wouldn’t need services like Casual. Although some project management sites fail to make the grade, Casual will not disappoint.
Their service is so easy to use, it’s really no problem to get the hang of it and get it working for you quickly. One of their best features I know you will enjoy is their “MindMap” feature, which will allow you to really get an excellent visual on your project and take total control. Check them out today!
For the best source of icons online, visit Picons.me. Their site has a huge selection of excellent icons that you can use for any occasion, whether your working on a website, desktop, mobile app, or beyond! All of their icons are created in Adobe Illustrator, which means they are all vectorized and therefore can be re-sized easily. For absolutely no charge, you can access this excellent and easy to use collection. You can also keep up with them by following them on Twitter
The other excellent name in icons you need to know is roundicons.com. They have over 5,000 icons for your viewing and using pleasure. Not only is their collection comprehensive, but the variety is also excellent – there’s no way you won’t be able to find what you are looking for on their site. To help you enjoy their icons, they even offer them in a variety of formats. And to really help you out, all of their icons have an extended license, which means you have unlimited use of them. They also add new icons to their collection all the time – so when an icon is added to a set you have purchased, they email you that icon at no additional charge. Cool!
PSD to HTML services
The other name you need to know in PSD to HTML conversion is XHTMLized. With over ten years industry experience, their professionalism is unmatched. There’s nothing about their work that doesn’t show that they live and breath quality. When you sign up with them, your property and data are protected by their non-disclosure agreement. When you work with XHTMLized, you’ll be on a first name basis with their support team – their focus is on first-rate quality customer service. There’s no shortage to the excellent service you will receive from the 24/7. Check them out!
If all you need is the right e-commerce plug in for your WordPress site, then you are looking for WooCommerce. Free of charge, they will build for you an excellent e-commerce solution, no matter what type of shop you are looking to setup – clothing, music, software – anything! It can be hard to find a solution as versatile as this one, so save yourself time and check them out today!
If you are building an online shop, there’s really only one name you need to know: Shopify! For a very affordable price, you will receive access to a huge selection of templates to use to craft the best e-commerce site around. Their platform is exactly what e-retailers are looking for. Their selection is unmatched and their service is incredibly easy to use. Many large companies like Encyclopedia Britannica and Amnesty International work with Shopify, isn’t time you did too?
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