Below are a list of resources that I thought would be useful to others. None of the links below are affiliate links either. I just genuinely love everything listed here 🙂
- Siteground – I love Siteground so much. I was first introduced to Siteground when I was a student. It’s an amazing hosting company with excellent customer service. If you’re just starting out with your design business (or any business for that matter), Siteground is the hosting company to go with. I can’t recommend them enough.
- WPEngine – This seems to be an excellent hosting provider specifically for WordPress sites. Once you feel like your wordpress site is getting super popular, I would suggest switching to them. They are on the pricier side, but according to reviews online, you truly get what you pay for.
- Bluehost – I have never used Bluehost, but it’s an incredibly popular hosting provider, if not the most popular hosting provider. Their prices are competitive and they’ve been around for over 20 years as well. A very reliable hosting company that you should definitely consider.
Blogging Platforms & Website Builders
- WordPress.org – Not to be confused with WordPress.com, WordPress.org is an excellent free blogging platform and my absolute favourite (my whole business is built around it, so obviously I am bias towards this). You need to purchase a web hosting service in order to use it though, but if you are serious about blogging or starting a business, WordPress is the best content management system there is.
- Squarespace – Squarespace is a paid self hosting platform that offers curated templates designed and developed in house by their own staff. It’s a great option for those who want a beautiful website presence but don’t want to spend a long time learning how to use it. Squarespace’s user interface is highly intuitive, so learning how to update and manage your site won’t take longer than an hour. What a lot of people don’t know is that Squarespace has a developer mode to further customize your site. So if you’re in need of further customization on your Squarespace site, you can hire a professional to develop it further for you *cough* contact me about this *cough*.
- Shopify – If you want to start an online store and don’t really need a blog, then Shopify is an excellent place to get your store up and running. Shopify is self-hosted, beautiful and easy to customize. An excellent option for small business owners who want to sell their goods online.
- Google Fonts – This is my go to spot for free fonts. I think it’s an excellent resource of clean and simple legible fonts.
- Fonts Geek – An amazing resource for free fonts
- Font Bundles – This site is excellent for fonts. They offer a new free font every week. If you sign up for their newsletter, they will let you know when a new free font becomes available.
- Font Squirrel – Another awesome resource for free fonts.
- Behance – I love looking for fonts on here because Behance is a community filled with top designers, so you know you will find high quality fonts. You can usually find free versions of premium fonts on here as well for personal and non commercial use.
- Styled Stock – Great place if you want free feminine styled stock photography
- Pexels – I used this a lot while building my projects as a student. Excellent place to look for free photography when starting out.
- Kaboom Pics – A beautiful stock photography website that offers gorgeous free photos.
- Unsplash – Another beautiful stock photography website, filled with a community of photographers wanting to share their stock images.
- Burst by Shopify – I adore this site to look for stock photos. I like the navigation and the overall functionality of the site, as it makes it super easy to find what it is that you’re looking for.
- Negative Space – Photos are a little more generic, but there are great photos available on here as well.
- Creative Convex – You can get some very pretty free floral stock photos when you sign up with your email address.
- Create Her Stock – Sign up with your email address and you can gain access to some very pretty stock photos.
- CGS Creative – Free and pretty stock photos. All you have to do is sign up with your email address to gain access to these awesome resources.
SC Stockshop – Gorgeous paid premium stylized stock photography, but you can get 20 free photos if you sign up with your email address. Then every month, they will email you a free photo!
Graphics & Icons
- Creative Market – An excellent place for graphics, stock photos, fonts, templates and more.
- Freepik – An amazing resource for all things graphics related. I use graphics from here all the time.
- The Noun Project – If you need some icons, this website will be incredibly useful to you.
- Flaticon – Icons galore! An excellent place to get all of your icons!
- Atom – The text editor that I’m currently using and love so much that it kinda sorta hurts. I’m pretty sure you will love it too!
- Brackets – If you want an editor that is clean and sleek, then Brackets is definitely for you. If Atom wasn’t around, I would be using Brackets for sure.
- Notepad++ – The user interface definitely has an outdated sort of feel, but I wanted to mention this editor because it was the first editor that I ever used, and the functionality is still great. If you don’t care what your editor looks like, then Notepad++ is definitely one that you should consider downloading as it’s an excellent text editor.
- Filezilla – This is what I’m currently using. I love it because it’s very simple and easy to use, and mainly because it’s free 😀
- Cyberduck – I have honestly never used Cyberduck, but I hear a lot of great things about it. Check it out and see if you like it for yourself.
Blogs I Love
- Lavendaire – Aileen Xu is the person behind Lavendaire, and I absolutely adore everything she does. She advocates a life that is meaningful and authentic to yourself. If you want to practice self care but don’t know where to start, please visit her website. While you’re at it, listen to her podcast “The Lavendaire Lifestyle” and watch her youtube videos.
- Female Entrepreneur Association – Carrie Green is the woman behind this wonderful site. She gives valuable information on how to run your business. She also has an amazing book that I adore called “She Means Business”. Very inspiring and overall a must to read for those just starting up their businesses.
- 99u – Urgh, I love everything about this. If you’re a designer and want to find ways to become a better designer, this is the place to go. They talk about all things design, business and self care. Basically all the things you want to know about on becoming a great designer.
Workflow & Productivity
- Asana – Asana is incredibly useful to me. I currently use it to manage all of my tasks and to keep track of what I need to accomplish. It’s super easy to use. You can use it in the browser, on your desktop, and on your mobile device.
- Evernote – Evernote is my best friend. Seriously, I love Evernote so much. It’s my go to note taking app. I use it mainly to write drafts of all of my blog posts, ebooks, and ideas. It’s super handy because there’s an app for mobile phone, there’s a desktop version and a browser version. So you can write anytime and anywhere. I especially love the Evernote clipper extension for your browser (I use chrome). It’s also super handy that you can have multiple notebooks and you can also group notebooks into stacks for better organization.
- Google Calendar – This is definitely the most popular calendar app out there. I use it everyday to keep track of what I need to do and when I need to do them.