Handy Tools For Website Design

Website tool kit (image: tool box & laptop)

Here are great website design tools and informational links that I hope you’ll find useful.

If you ever come across any that you feel might be of benefit to others, I hope you’ll take a moment and send them to me. Also, if you experience issues with any of the following links, let me know! – Edward


FREE Brass Ring Toolkits

Brass Ring badge logo BrassRingMultimedia.com

DOWNLOAD: 17 Fixes For Why Your Website Isn’t Performing
How to get a more effective website, in as little as three days. The shortcut to getting more leads! Identify the golden keys to a more effective website. STOP freaking out about an ineffective website that gets ignored.

DOWNLOAD: 42 Lead Magnet Ideas To Build Your Email List

Building and nurturing an engaged email list is a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies. Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience, drive conversions and establish lasting relationships with potential customers. This list gives you a ton of creative and proven lead magnet ideas that will capture the attention of your target audience.

Web Hosting Providers

Article: “PC Magazine’s Best Web Hosting Services for 2024”

Read the article HERE on PC Magazine’s website

hosting


Security

GeneratePrivacyPolicy.com – The internet is a risky place. An important tool to help allay any trust or security concerns by your visitors expecially if you are conducting eCommerce, is to create and publish your own privacy policy. A privacy policy is a document that discloses some or all of the ways to your website vistors about what you will do with information gathered from them, how you are gathering that information and how the information will be stored and managed.

GeneratePrivacyPolicy.com allows you to create professional privacy policies with their user friendly tools. (First one’s free! Most folks only need one.)

Two female IT professionals w computer monitors (image)

Business Internet Safety Guide – Keep your business safe by maintaining a secure Wi-Fi network, using strong passwords and updating software regularly.

Cybersecurity is important for everyone, and businesses are no exception. 61% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) were victims of cyberattacks last year and 87% of IT ‘decision makers’ claim they experienced two or more successful attacks in the past year.


Information Resources

Browser Statistics, W3Schools – The internet evolves, as you know, at blistering speed. So much information, so many analytics to consider in web design. Knowing what browsers, operating systems and platforms people are using can give you insight needed to make sure your website looks and works great, no matter what hardware and settings your visitors use.

What Is HTML5? (Video from Lynda.com)
)

Inspiration & Showcases

ASnnouncing WebAward Winners (image: happy winner)

27th Annual WebAward Winners for 2023 – The Web Marketing Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 27th annual WebAward Competition for website development. Entries from around the world were adjudicated in 86 industry categories during this year’s competition. Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, and use of technology.

” The digital landscape continually transforms, adapting to emerging technologies and better aligning with online user preferences,” noted William Rice, President of the Web Marketing Association. “In this year’s WebAwards competition, we were thrilled to see exceptional contributions from across the globe, embodying innovation and user-centric design. A hearty congratulations to our winners for shaping web experiences that genuinely resonate with their audiences. We congratulate all of our winners for developing websites that deliver for their audiences.”

NASA's new website (HOME pg screen capture)

WordPress Showcase – Visit WordPress’ own website and view a lot of great examples of how the great WordPress website design platform is being used by businesses throughout the world. A great site to tour to get a sense of what’s state of the art in web design. Use it to gain inspiration as you plan your online marketing presence.

NASA, LeBron James, Harvard University, TED, James Bond 007, Ray Charles Museum, Rolling Stone, New York Times, LL Cool J, The White House, The Obama Foundation, The Village Voice, The Jane Goodall Institute, New York Post, TIME and PlayStation are but a few of the websites you’ll find featured here.


Best Website Designs To Inspire You In 2023 (Adobe Experience Cloud Team) – Web designers, marketers, business owners, and executives need to ensure that their websites provide a positive customer experience that encourages repeat visits and maximizes conversions. You can take inspiration from the great web design examples in this guide to meet your customer experience and conversion goals.

These sites have received recognition from professional web design and development bodies like Awwwards and the Webby Awards. Look through our list of outstanding web design examples to see how your site compares and if it needs a refresh to stay competitive.

Copywriting

Jon Wuebben – Author of “Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web” & “Content Is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile.” Great resources for SEO & copywriting. For those of you who wish to increase your capabilities in these two important areas, give these books a try.

Karen Thackston’s Website (“Marketing Words”) – Karen Thackston is a heavy-hitter in the copywriting world. Her YouTube Channel is very useful too! She offers a bunch of videos that can help raise your game as a copywriter. If you want to write your own website copy, visit Karen!

banner300x250C

iWriterHave web & blog content written for you affordably. Here’s their About statement: “The fastest, easiest and most reliable way to have content written for your website. You’ll be able to post a project and 1000s of freelance writers frojm across the globe will have instant access to write your article quickly, professionally, and cheaply.” Content is king…give ’em a try!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google Analytics – A FREE tool (although premium levels exist at additional cost) which you ought to be using. What good does it do to have a website or spend a lot of effort directing traffic to it if you haven’t a clue what’s going on once your visitors get there? Google Analytics shows you the full customer picture across ads and videos, websites and social tools, tablets and smartphones. That makes it easier to serve your current customers and win new ones.

Google Keyword Tool – Another FREE tool which can be incredibly useful in developing and honing the keywords which are integral to your online marketing efforts. If you choose to allow Brass Ring Web Design to assist you in your search engine optimization (SEO), this will be an incredible tool as we collaborate to establish or improve your website’s ranking in the search engines.

WordPress Products (Themes, Plugins, etc.)

Great Premium WordPress Products from ThemeForest – Part of Envato, ThemeForest provides a huge selection of great internet tools including a lot of excellent WordPress themes by reputable developers. Unlock the potential of your WordPress website by utilizing one of their themes, plugins, sliders and other tools.

FREE WordPress Themes – One of the great aspects of WordPress is that, due to it’s “open-code” nature, there is a LOT of development going on: themes, plug-ins & widgets (yes, they call ’em that…plug-ins & widgets are modules of functionality if you will, that add great and useful features to your WordPress site). Many of these are FREE or at relatively low cost.  All of the ones you’ll find here are, in fact, FREE! (My favorite price.) If you allow Brass Ring Web Design to create or assist you with your WordPress website, you’ll find this an invaluable resource in the collaborative process of creating your great website!

Browser Tools

Window Resizer (for Google Chrome) – A FREE download. Resize your Chrome browser window to emulate various screen resolutions. This is very handy, so you can see what your website will look like on different size screen resolutions.

Most people don’t realize that in web design, we are tasked with having websites appear in a variety of platforms (PC, Mac, numerous mobile) and browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. etc.) along with the fact that users can customize their individual computer & internet settings to display to their liking. To make things worse, not everyone keeps their systems, browsers and software up to date, which can add all kinds of potential complications to the equation as technology marches on.

Color Palettes & Tools

Color Scheme Designer – A FREE cloud-based color wheel software which allows you to come up with different color combinations to coordinate & complement. Using a tool like this can greatly affect the appeal and, therefore, effectiveness of your website design.

Color Hunter – Another great FREE resource. This website is a place to find and make color palettes created from images. One technique I like is to take a key or signature image I plan on using on the Home page and select colors directly from it to put together the website’s color scheme. This makes it easy for you to do that too.

Online Collaboration

DropBox – A free “cloud” service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. You can use it in two main ways. 1) Download and install their free software and you can use DropBox as a drive. 2) You can just log in and upload, download, share, etc. without the software being installed on your system.

I use DropBox to receive content from clients for their website design projects. Allows us to share big files without the much smaller limitations of email.

Photography

DepositPhotos – Great affordable stock photography source. Their website “allows everyone to buy and sell high-quality stock photos, vector images, and videos.” Check them out…their prices are very decent.

Yay Images – AFFORDABLE stock photo source. Stock photography is a great way to increase the visual appeal of your website. Let’s face it, everyone has a camera nowadays, even if it’s on their phone. This does not equate to people take great pictures…most don’t. Much of the photography I receive from clients is just that, mediocre amateur photography, usually poorly composed, usually somewhat blurry, almost always the color ain’t great! Often, stock photography sites can be prohibitive for the modest budget, Yay isn’t! Yay!

PhotoVenture.com – Tips, ideas and inspiration for making the most of your pictures once you’ve taken them. Photoventure focuses on everything post-capture, from improving photos to image management, sharing and more.

Article: 10 Camera Settings You Don’t Use (But Probably Should)

Typography (Fonts, etc.)

Google Fonts – “A web with web fonts is more beautiful, readable, accessible and open.” – Google. These are FREE fonts that can be used for website design providing a lot of styling choices. On this page you can easily view and try out different fonts so you can choose the perfect one to customize your website.

Design Elements & Tools

Creative Market – A platform for handcrafted, mousemade design content from independent creatives around the world. We’re passionate about making beautiful design simple and accessible to everyone. I’ve linked to their “FREE GOODS OF THE WEEK” page which allows you to download (free) design elements that you’ll find handy for your website work.

Gimp – Not everyone can own Adobe Photoshop, usually because of the cost involved. Gimp is a FREE program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

Logo Lounge – Find information on the latest trends, Get inspiration, see where logo design is currently and see how your logo sits in terms of modern effectiveness. Mind you, I’m not a fan of having to change your logo every year to “keep up,” but your logo needs to be strong, convey what you do and make your brand look good!

LogoAI – An A.I. (artificial intelligence) driven engine that not only understands logo data but also design best practices for beautiful unique designs. You can download an attractive, usable logo in just a few minutes. It’s free to use and a high-resolution download is remarkably inexpensive.

Their tool is easy to use and you’ll be designing logos in no time. Once you give it some basic information, you’ll be off to the races. Give it more information and it’ll do an even better job for you. Their handy preview feature allows you to quickly and easily see how your choices look in a variety of applications such as onscreen, monochromatic, on apparel, billboards even!