With so much business being done online, a slick and well functioning website should be key to your online presence. In recent years, many free web tools have launched that make it easier than ever to build a professional website very cheaply. All you have to do is know where to find them. Here are six of my favorites. There’s no excuse for having a terrible website anymore!
Still using generic stock images? Unsplash is a great source of “anti-stock” photos that will bring authenticity and character to your website. Ten new photos are added every 10 days, all of which can be used for web design projects royalty free.It’s great for crafting a professional web presence on a tight budget.
A jarring or unsuitable color scheme can send the wrong message to potential clients and stop them from wanting to work with you. The Coolors web app is a great way to come up with color scheme ideas for a new project quickly. It’s really easy to use: just hit the space bar to generate new color schemes and lock colors you like in place with the padlock icon.
Business assets, like brochures and catalogues, never look as good in PDF as in print. FlipSnack changes all that by converting standard PDF files into stylish online magazines. These “flip books” are fully embeddable on your website and enable users to turn the pages as they would a real magazine. You can also add sound and video to increase engagement.
The Noun Project
Icons are great for communicating ideas and explaining things in a visual way. The Noun Project is a repository of icons made by creators around the world that anyone can use on their web design projects for free. All you have to do is attribute the creator, or you can pay a small fee for royalty-free use.
Nothing says “don’t do business with me” like a glaring typo on your website. Typosaurus is a web app that makes it possible to check your copy for spelling mistakes once it has gone live. You can paste in up to 100 URLs and Typosaurus will flag any errors within seconds. A Chrome extension makes the tool even easier to use.
Large file sizes can take a long time to load and put off users. TinyPNG will compress PNG images while preserving transparency, with virtually no loss in image quality. This will make your website load faster and provide a better experience for customers and clients. TinyPNG can also now compress JPEG files, and there’s a free extension available for Magento and WordPress.
So, if you’re ready to add some oomph to your website, any of these applications will do the trick. Have fun!
Matt Lindley is a senior outreach executive at Verve Search in London. He is also a writer and creator of visual content. He speaks one foreign language (Polish) and would love to learn another (Spanish). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Business Practices” will alternate in this space with “The Entrepreneurial Linguist.” This column is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or other business advice. Each individual or company should make its own independent business decisions and consult its own legal, financial, or other advisors as appropriate. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of ATA or its Board of Directors.