Welcome to my design resources page. This is where I share the tools and resources I recommend to streamline your graphic design and web design business. I plan on updating this page on a regular basis as I discover new design resources for our arsenal. I recommend you bookmark it for your convenience.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links. All the design resources mentioned on this page are here because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I may make if you purchase them. I have experience with all of these companies and tools. Please do not spend your money on these design resources unless you believe you need them and they will help you achieve your goals.
BackupBuddy is the easiest way to backup, restore, migrate, relocate a WordPress website. With BackupBuddy you always have peace of mind knowing that your website is safe and if ever the need arises, can be restored with just a few simple clicks. Do you design client websites locally or in a designated sandbox? BackupBuddy makes it easy to move and deploy the website to its permanent domain once it's complete. BackupBuddy is the first plugin I install on every WordPress site I work on.
Backblaze is a great way to get all your files backed up automatically. It's easy. It's secure. And if you ever lose data for any reason, you will be glad you have Backblaze backing up all of your files on the cloud. Just install and forget about it. I've been using Backblaze for a few years and the piece of mind it gives me is well worth the nominal price. I no longer worry about what would happen if I was to lose all my data. To see if Backblaze is right for you, start by installing the free 15-day trial.
Most of my websites are hosted on Hostgator. Why? because they are so easy to use. They have easy 1-click WordPress installation and allow multiple domains on one hosting account. They offer free migrations from your old host, have cPanel and their customer support is rated # 1. Hostgator is a Green Web Hosting company generating all of their energy consumption through wind power. Use the coupon code RESOURCEFUL25 to receive a 25% discount on your hosting plan.
NamesPro is the first and longest hosting company I've been with and the first one I recommend when asked about hosting. My own design business and most of my client websites are hosted through them. NamesPro is one of the top registrars in Canada offering complete domain name and hosting services. NamesPro offers lifetime Private WHOIS per registrant, not per domain. This means you pay one low price and all your domains are protected for life.
Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 55,000 courses taught by expert instructors. Learn web design, illustration, coding, design techniques and so much more. All courses are divided into easily consumed modules to make learning a breeze.
CreativeLive is a great place to learn from industry professionals. People like Debbie Millman and Dina Rodriguez. Courses range from the practical such as learning how to use the various Adobe Creative Cloud applications to the more fundamentals such as colour theory or working with typography. CreativeLive courses are expertly produced and are well worth checking out.
Lynda.com is one of the oldest online training sites around and is a leading online learning platform to help anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Members have access to a video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.
87 beautiful premium themes and top class plugins all for the price of one regular theme. I have been using Elegant Themes for years on both my own and my clients' websites. I am thoroughly pleased with the products and support they offer. Resourceful Designer is built on their Divi theme, arguably one of the most versatile WordPress themes available. I've signed up for their Lifetime Access plan which gives me unlimited access to all their themes and plugins for one low price but they do offer yearly plans if you want to give them a try.
Divi is one of the 87 themes you get when you sign up with Elegant Themes. However, Divi is such a powerful theme that it merits its own mention here. Resourceful Designer is built using Divi. Since it's launch Divi has become the most popular premium WordPress theme in the world, used by hundreds of thousands of WordPress freelancers and agencies. Divi's power comes from the Divi Builder, a fast and intuitive front-end editor, that will change the way you build websites. It's the ultimate tool for web designers.
Themify themes & plugins help you create beautifully responsive WordPress sites, faster and easier than ever before. Themify's drag and drop Builder lets you build any kind of layout you can dream up. And with so many themes to choose from, they are sure to have the perfect one for your next web project. Purchase themes individually or join the Club and get access to all current and future Themify theme.
Formally known as iStockPhoto, its' one of the leading sources for quality stock photography, illustrations and images on the internet. I've used iStockPhoto for years. Over 90% of all my stock image purchases have come from iStock and I still purchase from them on a regular basis.
(Mac Only) Whether you own a bunch of domains yourself or you manage those of your clients, DomainBrain is a must. So many people are responsible for several domains but don't have a good way to manage them. DomainBrain will assist you in storing all of your domains' related data in a central location: FTP, SSH, database, registrar data, CMS Admin, etc. I have been using DomainBrain for several years and it has saved me so much time from searching through client files to find access info. This small, simple application is a must for anyone that manages multiple domains
Suitcase Fusion by Extensis has been my font management software of choice since before I started my own business. I love the way it incorporates with programs like the Adobe CC suite and QuarkXpress to automatically activate all the fonts used in your projects. Suitcase Fusion allows you to tag, manage, sort and organize your fonts into a way that suits you best. Stop wasting time fiddling with fonts and let Suitcase Fusion help you.
The internet's easiest Next Generation lead generation platform. LeadPages is my favourite tool for creating landing pages and squeeze pages on my and my client's sites. LeadPages works with both WordPress and non-WordPress sites and helps you convert viewers into buyers or subscribers. Their simple A/B split testing helps you determine what works best for your audience and their built-in analytics lets you stay on top of your conversion stats.
More traffic for your website. Less hassle with social media. Missinglettr creates strategic, automated social media campaigns that drive traffic for an entire year. Leaving you to focus on what's really important, creating great content With Missinglettr it's easy to promote your content consistently across your social channels. Simply connect your accounts and let them do the rest.
Working with colour (color)
A macOS color picker app for designers & developers which makes it easy to collect, adjust, organize and export colors of any pixel of the screen. It is activated via a system-wide hotkey, giving you a magnifying glass to easily pick any pixel you need, even from retina displays. The resulting color is copied to c the clipboard in a format of your preference.
Spectrum is an app for easily and intuitively creating beautiful colour schemes.
Inspired by the principles of colour theory, Spectrum allows you to create aesthetically pleasing colour schemes based on harmony rules, explore tints and shades for colours in your palette. It can also automatically generate colour schemes from images and so much more.
Colors Palette Generator lets you upload an image to generate a colour palette based on the image's primary colours. Useful for quickly grabbing a particular colour within an image for inspiration, or for generating an entire colour pallet for your next design project.
Adobe Color CC is a great resource for exploring different colour pallets for your design projects. You can choose to explore the hundreds of ready-made pallets or you can make your own based on popular colour rules. The site lets you fine-tune your colours and find the perfect matches to your existing colours. When your pallet is complete you can save it to your themes for future access.
(Mac Only) Impress your clients not only with the awesome work you do but by how well you present yourself after the work is finished. A professionally designed invoice communicates your attention to detail and quality of work. I have been using Billings for several years and find it a valuable part of my workflow. The built-in time tracker allows me to keep logs of precise times I spend on each project and I have the choice to bill an hourly or fixed rate. With the ability to sync data between your Mac and iOS devices you always have all your information at your fingertip.
More design resources to come…
Do you have any graphic design resources or web design resources you think should be added to this page? Send me a note using my feedback form and tell me. I would love to know what they are.