Disclosure: Head’s up…affiliate links below. If you click on a product link or banner on this page, or elsewhere on my site, I will receive a commission if you buy anything using that link. Just so you know, I wouldn’t recommend any web designer resources I am not using, haven’t used or wouldn’t feel comfortable having a family or close friend use. If you decide to buy anything through my links, I would really appreciate it. Seriously, my coffee fund could always use a boost;)
With all the choices out there, how does a web designer choose which product or service to use?
They ask another web designer! Every professional designer has acquired a unique arsenal of tools, products and services that they rely on to provide stable, quality and reliable results.
I have some go-to providers that I use regularly and some that I may not use, but can confidently recommend. I’ve been around for a while so I have “tasted” a lot of web and design related tools and services. When something doesn’t work, I chalk it up to experience and cut my losses. I have helped many clients transition from poor web hosts, rescued their sites from messy themes and fixed many issues caused by sub-par resources.
Now…let me show you what I use!
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
If I had to choose just one thing I couldn’t do without, this would be it! Adobe Creative Cloud has all the Design Tools a web designer will ever need…and then some! I literally use Adobe CC on a daily basis. I use Photoshop and Illustrator the most. Illustrator is awesome for creating vector logos. Almost anyone who creates anything can use something out of this suite of programs. Whether you are a photographer, animator, video producer or publisher, the monthly cost is minimal when you consider what you have at your disposal 24/7/365. Did I mention cloud storage and a portfolio feature? Check it out for yourself. It’s the most important resource I have.
WEB DESIGNER (this web designer) APPROVED HOSTING
As web designers, having a rock solid host is a must. A good host can prevent many headaches we inevitably encounter with poor hosting services. If you’ve ever worked on a client’s site hosted on a weak hosting provider, you know what I’m talking about!
I have tried MANY webhosts. Some have been mediocre and some disastrous. My most positive experience by far has been Siteground and I use them for this site. I also manage several client sites that are hosted with Siteground and have transferred clients over from other hosts with success. The few times I have had to contact support. the issue was addressed immediately. Their customer support specialists don’t use scripts to communicate with you. They truly know what they are doing.
SiteGround Hosting Packages (WordPress)
PHOTOS and CREATIVE ASSETS
As a web and graphic designer, it always helps to have access to images including photos & illustrations.
Pixabay (FREE) The tools photo, above, was sourced from a free photo site called pixabay.com. You can see the photo here. Note that at the top of the site, there are related stock photos that you have to pay for in order to use. Also note that they don’t have a limitless supply and some categories are lacking, but it’s still a great resource to have and I haven’t gotten to the point where I can no longer find images for use in design and website projects.
Creative Market is a favorite of designers and diy-ers. Many of the ever popular pinterest board typography projects, tutorials and etsy goods have been created with assets from Creative Market. Looking for something to post to social media? They have photos. There are also lightroom presets for food photographers and Photoshop brushes for artists. Don’t go browsing too late in the day or you may be in for an all-night binge!
By the way, Creative Market sends out an email every Monday which contains 6 of their assets for free download. I’ve gotten some great fonts and vector graphics. Click here for their current freebies!
Your turn…What do you use?