You will never find two websites that are exactly alike; every project is unique. And when it comes to designers, the same holds true. They all have their own preferences, talents, skills and style. However, strangely enough, just about every designer I come across thinks they know where to get all the best design tools online. If that were true, then articles like this wouldn’t need to be written. I’m here to help you and designers everywhere to find the best online resources and tools. We’ll be looking at WordPress themes, website builders and hosting providers, as well as resources like fonts, vector images, stock photos and icons. We’ll also cover project management tools, Photoshop to HTML conversion services, and e-commerce solutions. Let’s take a look, shall we?
The right portfolio building service will allow you maximum creativity without having to resort to complicated HTML coding. One of the best resources for this is ALLYOU. They offer a professional web-building tool that is easy to use and possible to master with just a little practice. Originally founded in 2011, their target is composed by creative such as you and me. Their drag and drop editor will allow you to really dig into each template and make it your own. Best of all, their service is 100% free. However, if you are looking for more advanced features, they do offer two premium options, “Carbon” and “Titanium”, for a fee starting at $8 a month.
Webydo is a web suite for profesional graphic designers that want to create stunning websites without the need to outsource coding to someone else. This complex online software has a friendly CMS that can help designers to unleash their creativity. There is no limit of what you can do with Webydo and their recently launched parallax scrolling animator raises the bar even higher.
Although Moonfruit can be a little more difficult to learn than some of its competitors, if you give it a chance, you won’t be disappointed. Their clever service allows you to unlock your creativity and create beautiful websites. You’ll be able to design unique, comprehensive websites for your clients with them. They also have a few unique features not found on any other web-building site like built-in SEO calibrating tools, among others.
When you are building a website, versatility is critical. No matter what type of site you are looking to build – a blog, online shop, or personal portfolio -X-Theme is the right resource for you. I realize there are a lot of excellent website building tools out there, but you must not let X-Theme pass you by; they are excellent. Furthermore, their unique Stacks (multiple designs in one) allow you to build an endless number of unique websites. Another cool is their live editor which helps you quickly make changes and improvements to your work in real time. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to build an amazing website with X.
Let’s face it; there are a lot of WordPress themes out there. They are not always good, and you can spend a lot of time searching from a merchant to another, hoping to find the template that’s just right for you. I’d recommend you save the time you’ll waste site hoping and instead go straight to the biggest selection of website templates out there: Template Monster. They Wwill have the solution for you in their huge collection of over 40,000 templates ranging from WordPress all the way to Magento or WooCommerce. No matter what format you are looking for, HTML, CSS with built in flash, or Photoshop templates, you will find it on Template Monster. They offer two unique options when you select their service. The first is a limited use license, which allows anyone free use of that specific template. Or, you can purchase a unique license.
Another name that you don’t want to miss Crocoblock. Their database is extensive: it includes over eighty responsive WP Themes and you can get them by paying as little as 0.65 per theme. They provide fantastic support and their themes are based on the Cherry Framework. No matter what type of website you are looking to create, Crocoblock will have a Theme for you. They are frequently upgrading their site as well and offering you useful add-ons like built-in SEO tools, widgets, and short codes with integrated plugins. Currently, they are giving away three themes for each person that signs up and tries their service.
Once you’ve found the right template and built your website, you will need a trustworthy web hosting company to host it. A good hosting company will also host your emails and applications along with your website. An excellent solution for hosting is Hearthinternet. No matter how big or small your client’s site is they have a hosting solution for you. Their service is top notch and available to help you 24/7. Additionally, they do all their work in the United Kingdom; none of it is outsourced.
Another excellent UK based hosting company I recommend you look up is Pixeno. Their hosting is very user friendly and they even offer a thirty-day free trial so you can test them out before you commit. You’ll also find their re-seller program is able to work with clients of all sizes, which means as your company grows, their service grows with you. Their hosting tools are top notch and easy to use. Each web host manager comes equipped with its own comprehensive CPanel account. They are also presently expanding into the US. To try them out, enter the promo-code “DESIGN15” at the checkout and receive 15% off their service.
Searching the web for a great deal? Hoping to find a huge selection of special offers all in one easy to find and navigate place? It sounds like what you are looking for is Mighty Deals! They have some fantastic deals for you, with deep discounts ranging from 50% to 90% off. When you subscribe to their newsletter you will be updated on all their fantastic deals right away. They have discounts on things like website development lessons, professional templates, and even tools like software and royalty-free art files and images. Although you pay for the offers you find on Mighty Deals, registration is absolutely free. You have to act quickly though, because their deals are only available for a limited time.
Although there is large range of great resources online that are free to use, some of the best are not. Although free is of course preferred, many times we designers have to pay in order to unlock a really good resource. One of those good resources worth paying for is Medialoot. For only $14 a month or $99 a year, you can access their vast collection. You will find they are worth every penny of your hard earned cash. Each member of their website will get unlimited access to everything they have to offer, including web, UI, vector and illustration kits, mobile friendly design kits, tons of icons, fonts, and hundreds of Photoshop add-ons! Their work is top notch; you won’t be disappointed with Medialoot.
Another important element of a good website is fonts. Sometimes with all the flashy images a font can be forgotten. This must not happen. For the best free fonts around, check out UrbanFonts; there is no way you will not find the perfect font for you on their website. Their collection is one of the biggest online and of the highest quality; they have over 8,000 free fonts to choose from. If that’s not enough for you and you need even more, you can pay a small fee for their premium service and unlock even more terrific fonts.
Ever have trouble finding the font you need? It can be tragic to fall in love with the perfect font, but have no idea where to find it. That’s where WhatFontIs comes in. They are able to locate the font you are looking for right away. All you have to do is enter the URL where the font is located, or upload a simple screen shot, and they will take care of the rest. You will really be impressed by how accurately and quickly their service works for finding you the font you are looking for, or a very close match to it.
For excellent vectors, make Shutterstock your first destination. Their collection is endless; there is no way you won’t find what you are looking for on their comprehensive site. It’s been one of my personal favorites for years. They have a large range of contributors who are frequently adding to the site, keeping the content fresh. Take a look at what they have to offer, you will be happy with what you find on their site.
For the best source of free vector images around, look no further than Vector Open Stock. Their collection of over 7,000 free vector images is waiting you. Be aware, however, that unfortunately some of their items are limited in how you can use them due to their Creative Commons license. However, the majority of their images are available under an Open Stock license, which means you have more flexibility when using them. In addition to having great images, a feature that is unique to Vector Open Stock is their social network platform. This platform allows you to follow users as well as like their projects when you are interested in their work.
When you are looking for images for your website, you really want to make sure they are just right. You can’t settle just because good images are hard to find. For some of the best art around, let me point you towards Unsplash. They really have a wide range of free images for you to choose from, and their quality is very good. They even help you out by uploading fresh content every ten days, so you constantly have new material to work with. Additionally, the majority of their images are license free, so they can be used by anyone. Make them your go to site for images; you won’t be sorry you did.
On more sources for excellent images you don’t want to miss is PicJumbo. With a wide variety of images to choose from, you will be happy you found them when you explore their site. Their images are really one of a kind; you can find some really cool stuff there. Even better, the majority of their images are free. If you find that their free selections are not enough for you to work with, you can upgrade to their premium service for only $6 a month, and unlock their entire collection.
It can be hard to find good project management services, which is why we are so lucky to have tried Azendoo. Like their motto says, they provide teamwork: simplified. We can all use a project management tool made easy, right? They offer you both a desktop and mobile version to choose from. The free version of their service has a lot of great features, but if you need a little more storage space, you can upgrade to their paid service. Best of all, both options fully integrate with other programs like Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote, which allows for easy access to your important data and files for your whole team. You’ll get everyone on the same page and working in synergy with Azendoo.
It would be very hard to make it through your web design project without a little help from a professional project management service. For the creatively inclined, Casual is the best project management service around, and the solution to your organizational woes. It’s simple, visually orientated, and intuitive. Their service makes project management easy and fun. You’ll find yourself quickly navigating this tool and enjoy its many features, including “MindMap”, which allows you to visualize your project and plan your tasks easily.
There are a few unique sources for great icons online, and one of our favorites is picons.me. Their collection of icons is crisp and cool; you’ll find what you need, no matter what the occasion. You could be designing print materials, a desktop website, or a mobile app, and chances are you would still find what you are looking for on their site. What’s really excellent about picons.me is that all of their icons are vectorized. This means that they adjust to any size you need without losing their quality. Most of their icons are available free of charge, and you can follow them on Twitter to keep up with them and their latest promotions.
Another name you need to know in icons online is RoundIcons. With over 5,000 icons to choose from, you are sure to find what you need on their site. Their collection is not only large, but it also spans a huge variety of genres. Their icons are also available in a variety of styles, from flat and line icons to outlines and filled icons. Their icons are also available in an array of file formats. All of them are offered under an extended license. Finally, another great thing about them is that they are frequently adding to their icon sets, and when they add something to a set you have purchased, they send it to you at no additional charge.
PSD to HTML services
Once you’ve created a beautiful website in PSD, the last thing you want to do is convert it. That’s why companies like Direct Basing exist, to take away this burdensome task. They are without a doubt one of the best PSD to HTML services around. They can easily convert you any file that is related to WordPress, Joomla, and Magento eCommerce. Their experience and professionalism is close to none Lastly, Direct Basing will optimize your website for search engines and ensure it works on all browsers.
Another industry leader in PSD to HTML conversion is HTMLized. Their service is first rate and they have over ten years of experience in both front and back-end development. When you sign up with them, you and your data are protected by their non-disclosure agreement. When you work with HTMLized, you’ll enjoy a service that’s focused on the customer first. You can count on them to be available to you 24/7.
For the best name in the game, there’s only one destination for e-commerce online: Shopify. Their platform is versatile and comprehensive, their tools are easy to use, and their service is first rate. With a wide variety of templates to choose from, you are sure to find the right one for you, no matter what type of shop you are looking to build. Be sure to make them your first stop when you are looking to open an online shop.
When all you need is to plug-in the right e-commerce solution to your WordPress site, the only name you need to know is WooCommerce. Their service is free and flexible; you’ll be able to find the right option no matter what type of shop you are looking to open. With so many different options to choose from and a platform that’s easy to use, you can’t go wrong with WooCommerce.