Tackling a website redesign is a great way to improve your company’s inbound marketing strategy and overall digital presence. But whether you decide to redesign your website yourself (and we have great respect for you if you do) or you hire an outside company, utilizing online resources for web design and development will help immensely. Today nearly everything is online, from articles, to search engine optimization (SEO) checkers, to fonts, to free beautiful stock photos. But with an abundance of resources, how do you know which ones are best?
We’ve broken down some of our favorite resources for helpful articles, SEO and website scores, and design assets. See what 10 online resources you could be utilizing for your website redesign:
Smashing Magazine was founded back in 2006 but always strives to keep up with technology and website best practices. This online publication is a great resources for learning web design news, but they also include information about web design and development techniques and tips within their interesting articles. In addition, they have books, events, job listings, and a membership option that includes webinars and early access to new products and information. Smashing Magazine is definitely worth checking out for all-around good web information.
Search Engine Land
Another great website for all web design and development information, Search Engine Land provides copious amounts of information on a wide array of topics. Most of their news revolves around search marketing and search engines. While this might seem a little dull at first, all their articles provide hints and tips about improving your sites SEO. They also have divisions on their site for topics like Mobile, Retail, Google, and Social, making it easy to find tons of information in the field you’re interested in.
BuiltWith is a website profiler and and lead generation tool, great for anyone looking to amp up their website and digital presence. When DCDS first started using BuiltWith, we used their lookup tool, which allows users to search any website URL and find out what technology and software they use on their website. This is great for web design because if you love the theme another website uses, you can use BuiltWith to find out what theme it is, along with any other add-ons they might have. You make a free account on BuiltWith to make general reports for lead generation, as keyword and e-commerce lists.
Moz is technically a marketing tool but their main focus is digital marketing through SEO. With Moz you can make an account for free and get access to a keyword explorer and link explorer. You also get the “MozBar”, which allows you to examine the search, social, and page metrics of any webpage, even your own. This is a great resource for understanding SEO and what aspects improve SEO. Moz also has a blog with some great articles and information.
Adobe Color CC
Some argue that one of the most stressful parts of web and graphic design is coming up with a color palette. But a great free source to help you with that is Adobe Color CC. With Adobe Color, you can use a color wheel to create a color palette right before your eyes, including all RGB and hex values. You can also take an existing logo or image and import it to find the top 5 dominant colors in the image. This is great for finding the exact hex values you should incorporate in your website without opening Photoshop.
Creative Market is an online marketplace for all things design. On Creative Market you can purchase anything from fonts, images, illustrations, templates, themes, etc. But the best part about Creative Market is you can make a free account and once a week get sent the 6 free goods of the week. This often is a mix of fonts, patterns, images, and themes, but you are allowed to download these goods and use them as if you had purchased them. While this might not be great if you’re trying to find something specific, if your a new designer or just want to build up potential digital assets, it’s worth getting some free ones every week.
Websites don’t always need images to spruce them up. Sometimes an icon is all you need to add a little visual interest to a blurb or paragraph. To get some great free icons, check out Flaticon. Without even making an account, you can search through over a million icons for a variety of topics and fields. When you find one you like, you can download it in a variety of sizes and formats. The icons also work in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Sketch, so they can be edited as well.
Google Web Fonts
Fonts are a huge part of any web design project and can make a huge difference in the appearance and personality of your site and company brand. For information about popular and trending fonts, use Google Web Fonts. It’s free to use and you can download some of the best fonts on the Internet. You can also search for fonts based of what type you want, including san serif, handwriting, monospace, etc.
To find a wider array of fonts that maybe you don’t typically see, you need to check out Font Squirrel. On Font Squirrel you can download hundreds of thousands of fonts in all different languages. The site is an OG for any designer dealing with typography and gives you so many options in can be hard to pick. Just note that while Google Web Fonts features the best fonts for graphic and web design, Font Squirrel has pretty much everything, meaning a font doesn’t always display the way you think it will.
Sometimes you need to add visual interest to a website but you might not want to through bright photographs or more text. For this background patterns are great and there is no better place to find them than Subtle Patterns. This site is full of free patterns submitted by other other designers, all of which are very light and monochromatic. This makes them perfect for background patterns that add a visual element without distracting the user too much. New patterns are being submitted all the time so you can always get new, fresh patterns that are completely free to use for your design projects.
Can You Get Everything You Need Online?
While you can get a lot of resources for free online, for some website redesigns you need professional software and professional services. Platforms like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch are great for creating visual assets for any graphic or web design project, and nothing available for free can compete with it. And while you can learn a lot about SEO and website best practices from online publications and tools, sometimes having help from an experienced web professional is of better value to you and your business. Make the call on what you need for your website redesign.
When your ready for a website update from an experienced design agency, make sure to reach out to DC Dev Shop! We offer services in WordPress development, website design, and inbound marketing, helping you to optimize your digital presence!