Design and Blog Tools
On this page, I’ve listed the design and blog tools I currently use most, or have used and found valuable at one point or another.
There are so many online resources related to building a website, DIY crafting, design, and more. When I visit a blog, the resources tab is one of the first I click. I want to know which tools they use so that I can test out which resources might work best on my website.
I expect this list to grow over time, but if I’ve excluded something you’re curious about, feel free to contact me, and I’ll add it to the list for you.
Please note: Some blog posts and pages may contain affiliate links which help support the creation of this blog’s free content. If you were to make a purchase using one of these links, I might earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. But I’ll only recommend products I’ve used or feel would be of benefit to you.
Creative Market: Stock photography, mock-ups, fonts, and more are offered by independent artists on this website. Oh and if you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll receive six free design goodies per week.
Canva: Create designs for business or personal use. They’ve added the option of creating documents as well. Many of their templates, icons, photos, fonts, and shapes are free, but there are some paid options as well. If you’re a business owner, Canva for Work is a new service.
Pixlr: Create layered files for free using the web edition of this software.
Graphic Stock: Download stock photos, mock-ups, vectors and more. They offer a free 7-day trial.
Free Design Resources: Lot’s of great mock-ups, fonts, add-ons, graphics, icons, and more are available for download. They’ll send you a weekly reminder about new downloads if you sign up for their newsletter.
Adobe: Last, but not least, is Adobe. I use their Creative Cloud software, most frequently Adobe Illustrator. If you’re interested in learning how to create repeat patterns for surface pattern design, Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard software. They offer a 30-day free trial, which is what I used to get familiar with the program before purchasing it. Find out more, here.
But Adobe’s creative suite isn’t limited to Illustrator. Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat, and more software options are available. They also have a lot of stock photography and template options. Below are links to more information:
Domains & Web Hosting
NameCheap: I’ve been purchasing domains from NameCheap without any problems since 2009. Name cheap also offers inexpensive hosting. But if you’re planning for the long-term, I’d suggest one of the hosting options below.
BlueHost: This is an inexpensive, but good hosting option.
SiteSell: I learned the basics of website building from SiteSell. I’m certain that I would have no clue as to how to set up a WordPress website had it not been for my early training through this company. SBI is specially designed for those with absolutely no experience building a website.
SiteGround: I’ve recently transitioned to SiteGround for more reliable hosting, and it’s been a great experience thus far. You get a free domain upon registering for a hosting account. To make payment using you PayPal account, just give them a call, and they’ll set it up for you.
Divi Theme: If you’re looking for the flexibility to design your website to your specific likings, the Divi Theme is one of your best options. This website is built using the Divi Theme, and I’m in the process of transitioning all of my websites to this theme. I have total freedom to make them all unique using this one theme.
Creative Market Themes: You’ll see me write about CreativeMarket.com quite often. I love this website for many reasons, but in this section I’ll just mention that you can purchase blog themes directly from the designers who create them. They offer themes for use with Joomla, Magento, Tumblr, WordPress, and more.
Envato Market: Find a ton of themes through ThemeForest.net. You’ll see the number downloads, customer ratings, and detailed demos of each theme.
WordPress: WordPress offers a bank of free, open source website themes that you can upload directly from your WordPress dashboard. By clicking on any given theme, you can view customer reviews, features, and specifications for each theme.