Websites are important and useful for just about any purpose in the digital age. Businesses of all sizes need them in particular. However, individuals may be interested in creating their own websites for a number of reasons, including as a self-promotional tool or just to host your blog. Perhaps you are an aspiring web designer looking for some resources that can help you learn your craft. Whatever your reason for wanting to learn how to build a better website, these web design resources will likely be of use to you.
Free Website Builders
If you are a small business or wanting to create a personal site or blog without getting into the nitty gritty programming of web design, these website builders make creating a professional-looking site simple and easy. Examples of popular free website builders include WordPress, Weebly and SquareSpace.
These services are not without their drawbacks. When using templates, your site will not be wholly unique and will likely look like other sites out there where the designers used the same template. They will also not be as customizable as an individually-designed site. You will want to upgrade to a paid custom domain, as the wholly free sites give your site a subdomain which is disadvantaged in the search engines. Nonetheless, they are a good resource for small businesses and individuals with little web design knowledge to create an attractive site.
Dribbble is a good resource for an aspiring web designer, as you can both learn and teach in its extensive community. It is also helpful if you have perfected your skills enough to be looking for web design work. Clients find web designers on Dribbble, making it a good place to both grow your skills and start your web design career.
Fribbble is an offshoot of the massive online design community Dribbble. It offers a number of free designs, including free fonts, mockups, UI kits, icons, website templates, patterns and textures, and more.
Public Domain Archive is an excellent source of high quality free stock photography. All photos featured on the site are in the public domain and therefore free to use on your site for any purpose, including commercial.
StockSnap has a large and varied library of stock photos to choose from. The photos hosted on this site are not only free to use but high quality. It also offers a simple search and tag feature so you can find the photos you are looking for.
This website has colors of all shades to help you decide which ones to use in your design project. It shows them to you clearly so you can use your color picker to pick them up. The right colors will really make your website come alive and be far more attractive.
UI Cloud is where you want to go for user interfaces. It is the largest UI design interface database in the world. With it, you can find the right buttons, progress bars, text input boxes, password inputs, search bars and more for your design project.
Would you like to see some examples to get your creative juices flowing? Take a trip to SiteInspire to look at hundreds of examples of other sites. Do note that most of the designs featured on this site are not free to use without the permission of the original designer or current copyright holder.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress. It makes it easy to optimize your WordPress site for search engines in order to draw more traffic.
CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that lets you customize WordPress themes without needing to write code. This comes in handy particularly if you don’t yet know enough CSS, or you don’t want to bother altering the source code of a template you are already using.
For business websites, testimonials are an important design element. They help convince customers that this is a reputable business with a successful history. The Testimonials Widget for WordPress sites makes adding testimonials to a site easy.
Fonts are an important part of web design, but when looking at a site you don’t always know what font they are using. FontFaceNinja is a browser extension that will tell you what font a particular site is using. Once you know, you can add that font to your repertoire and use it in your own projects, so long as it is not under copyright protection. FontFaceNinja also offers the ability to buy available fonts.
On Font Squirrel, you can be 100% sure that the fonts you see are free for commercial use. The site has hundreds of fonts to choose from as well as an easy search and tag system to make it easier to find the fonts you are looking for. It also has a handy font identifier tool.
No matter the website you are trying to build, you will no doubt find these resources helpful. Remember, practice makes perfect. The longer you work at designing websites, the better you will get. With the right resources for your skill level, needs and ambitions, you will soon be able to design quality websites.
Craig is the editor for DesignrFix, a resource site dedicated to helping you create the best designs possible. When he is not at his computer he is outside on a bike or hiking a trail.