This is a collection of resources which I find useful and I hope you will as well.
- Passwords – A tutorial on why to use complex passwords and how to create ones you can actually remember.
I have a whole page devoted to WordPress plugins.
Free Stock Graphics & Photos
People like pictures, but some of the stock photo sites can get very expensive quickly. And while I love using google image search for inspiration, hunting down the copyright info there would be a nightmare.
I’ve together a blog post on this very topic with lots of links: Getting Free Images for Your Blog.
One of the best writing resources is CopyBlogger, especially their Content Marketing series of free ebooks.
Ever say to yourself that these fonts just aren’t working? No? Then just skip this section. If the answer is yes though, here are some great collections of free fonts — note though that not all fonts are free for both personal and commercial use. You need to check the individual font.
- Font Squirrel – These fonts are totally free for commercial use. Which is great. They also have great fonts. And a cute friendly squirrel.
- fontsbytes – Despite their charging bull icon, they have some very friendly fonts, most are free for commercial use.
- dafont – I love how their categories are right at the top for easy browsing. Fonts are mixed between free just for personal and free for commercial.
- Google Fonts – These are awesome for your website, and many content management systems have plug-ins to make using the fonts easier. Only downside is that they are only on the web, you can’t download the fonts.
Sometimes we could all use a little extra inspiration, or we just want to see some interesting. These are my favorite sites to visit when I’m not looking for something specific, but just want to be inspired.
- COLOURlovers – They specialize in user created color palettes. Great for seeing what others have come up with to go with green (or whatever other color you need).
- Adobe Kuler – Fun place to create and remix color palettes.
- Infographics from KISSmetrics – These guys are great at infographics. Great place to get some inspiration on the subject.
- CommandShift3 – They advertise themselves as the hot or not of websites. They show you two sites, you pick your favorite and then you get two more.
- CSSMania – A paid listing of beautiful websites. Even though it’s paid, it’s beautiful.
- Webdesign Inspiration – A listing of various sites for inspiration. Updated regularly.
- Web Creme – A curated collection of beautiful websites — they do favor the more sparse sites.
- siteInspire – Thousands of sites to search for inspiration or just browse their recent additions.
Image Editors & Creators
- Adobe CS2 Free – Yes, Adobe has released this older version of Creative Suite completely FREE.
- Pixlr is an online image editor and app for your tablet or smart phone. You can use images from your computer, from their library, or from a URL.
- Gimp – The open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Many of the same features, not quite as clean an interface (but hey, it’s free)
- Inkscape – The open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Great for vector files.
- Blender – Open source 3D rendering and animation.
Regarding mock-ups (and sometimes finished products too if I just need to deliver in PDF), I’m going to be honest and say I haven’t found a good free alternative to Apple’s Keynote. I can frequently throw layouts together faster in Keynote than anything else. That’s possibly because I’ve been using it for years, but also because most everything you need is immediately in front of you. More and more designers are starting to use this handy tool and finding they love it.
While we can work with pretty much any host that has cPanel (which is most hosts), not all hosts are created equal.
We’ve summarized our recommendations and given you a checklist for questions to ask:
Programming isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in learning then W3C writes most of the guidelines for the internet. They also have a free online school with lots of tutorials and reference information at W3Schools.com. Some people like to do a little of the basic HTML and/or CSS to just be able to read some of their website’s code.