Links to Design Resources
Your shortcuts to the best resources for designing and building your own WordPress site.
Over the years I have designed and built many WordPress websites, as well as crafting my own logos, branding and marketing materials. There are certain sites that I visit over and over again - because their resources are either fantastic value, or better still free. But one thing I never compromise on is quality - products, services or support, I would never recommend anything to my friends or colleagues that I haven't used and found to be outstanding.
I hope you find these useful...
...click on each logo to find out more.
Domain Names & Website Hosting
The starting point for your online adventure - you will need a domain name (web address) and have your site hosted on the internet. Hosting is comparable to renting a home or a piece of land, it is your property for as long as you continue to pay the rent.
You can purchase your domain name and hosting together from both these companies - they have WordPress specific hosting, great customer service and they make the process simple, quick and easy.
TSO Host may not be a company you are familiar with - but I have used them over the last few years and have been seriously impressed by their great service and support. They are a UK based company offering dedicated WordPress hosting at very competitive prices. If you are a complete WordPress newbie then I would thoroughly recommend them purely upon their help and support.
Once you have your website name and hosting sorted you can get started the first exciting steps towards creating your online kingdom. The first thing you want to do is to choose a theme for your website. A theme is a pre-formatted website template, usually with plenty of customisable options. Choose layout, fonts and colours and you are ready to start adding content.
There are plenty of free themes available directly via the WordPress.com website - but if you choose this route beware that not all are rigorously tested, compatible with all plugins or offer support. By all means play around with a free template to begin with - it can serve as a great introduction for the WordPress newbie. Once you get a feel for how templates operate and exactly the kind of functionality and customisation you are looking for you are far better off purchasing a premium theme. This will give you the added security of technical support should you require it.
Elegant Themes do not offer free themes, and only have pay per theme (no club pricing) but you get excellent, quality and robust themes suitable for the most professional of sites and projects. They are also home to the Divi theme and builder - their own website and theme editor - read more about that on their site.
Happy Themes is another good place to find free and premium themes - they offer a 'club' price effectively giving you access to all paid-for themes for a one-off fee. ThemeIsle and Themify offer this too by the way! Themes from Happy Themes are strong and robust, and probably best suited to blogs and affiliate marketers websites.
Colour & Images
Your website needs to be visually appealing - and the best way to do this is by having a unified colour scheme and using professional standard images. To help you with this you're going to love these next two recommendations...
Coolors is a fantastic free online tool and resource. Use it to generate palettes of up to five complimentary colours - either randomly or starting with one or more colours you have already chosen. There is a handy colour picker tool that identifies the exact colour from any image on your screen, so you can take inspiration from almost anything or anywhere. Lock colours into your palette when you see ones you like and carry on generating schemes until you are happy. Save your favourite schemes, download or print, and discover the RGB or hex codes needed.
Pixabay is my go-to resource for completely free photos, images and vectors for all my online and marketing projects. Simply register and start searching. Save as many favourites as you like, and download those you wish to use. All images are completely free to use for personal and commercial projects - you just can't sell them on to others - and available in a variety of image sizes, depending upon your needs. All their pictures are of professional quality - I thoroughly recommend you check them out.
Other Design Assets
In addition to specific colour schemes and featured images there are other design elements that you are going to need depending on your purpose. Here are two further recommended resources that are on my list of favourite sites.
Creative Market is a marketplace site where independent professional artists and designers sell their design assets. From fancy fonts to backgrounds, textures, graphic elements, mock-ups and scene creators, what ever you are looking for you are bound to find it here. Sign up for a free account and you will also receive a weekly email with 6 free design assets. I always download them each week, and that way I continue to build up a bank of design resources for future projects.
Click HERE for our Done-For-You collections of the top Creative Market products - fonts, graphics. templates and more...
EnvatoMarket is another marketplace site - split into 7 'shops' offering everything from website themes and plugins to images, video files, audio tracks and more. The site is vast and will have something to suit everyone whatever their requirements. Just set aside a little time to explore and enjoy. You can also sign up here to receive a monthly email of free downloads - very useful.
More Useful Resources
Yep, there's more...
I'm ending this round-up with two more of my go-to sites. Both free to use, every online marketer and web-builder should have these bookmarked.
Almost every website theme will give you the option to pick your fonts from a pre-programmed list. Sometimes the list is comprehensive, sometimes less so. Your font choices are actually pretty important. You will want to use them consistently across all aspects of your project - so it is best to choose from ones that are readily available and universally used.
Google Fonts is a list of 800+ recognised and freely available fonts. Most are available in multiple weights and formats - and I would recommend that you pick from these for any typed website text. (Typed as opposed to being part of a graphic or image - that is where you can use your fancier design fonts.) If your chosen theme does not support your desired font there are plugins you can install to allow you to use any Google Font you choose.
Vectr is another free-to-use tool that I could not manage without. Either use it online, or download to your PC. It allows you to create vector images that are scalable without loss of quality.
Upload your own digital assets - photos, images, graphics, whatever you want to incorporate - and add text if required. You can also pick from the full compliment of Google Fonts. Move the elements around, resize them or flip them as desired, and then simply download for your project. You can also save them online - no messing around with resolutions or layers. Done. Quick and easy.
Please leave any feedback you have about the resources mentioned above - or feel free to mention your own recommendations in the Comments section below 🙂