Are you a web designer? Tools, Resources and Services To Use
There are many WordPress themes, page building tools, design element sources, and related services on the market today. With each having its unique features. Some of these products and services are for general use, while others serve a more dedicated purpose, or are intended for use in a specialized niche.
We have compiled a listing of several of the top-quality products and services in a number of different categories. You may find one or more of those listed here to be useful or of interest for your website or apt design work. Some are rather unique, while others appear on this list since they are among the best in their class.
X Theme Version 4 was recently released, and it is already causing quite a stir. At the center of attention is Cornerstone, X’s new page builder. This page builder’s innovative design is unique, and users of the latest version of this WordPress theme are raving about it.
X is the fastest selling of the Themeforest themes. It is has the features web designers look for, and with this new page building capability it will most likely become more popular than ever. All of the features and functionality offered are backed by a solid support team, user forums, and a dynamic community site. Purchasing X could be one of the smartest moves you will ever make as a web designer. You will receive free access to all Themeco plugins, plus you’ll automatically receive updates as they are released.
You only need to view one or two of Enfold’s demos to understand why this theme is a top seller. It is in fact Themeforest’s top-rated multipurpose theme, due in large part to its extremely user-friendly features. There are many who believe this is the easiest website building theme to use that is on the market today. The drag and drop page builder, which at times appears to function as if it can anticipate your next command, has much to do with Enfold’s overall ease of operation. You can start with a blank page, and rapidly build any layout you want at lightning speed. This highly-recommended theme is always kept to date, and you can expect to receive excellent user support.
Be Theme’s claim to be the biggest theme ever is true if you take the number of its high-quality features (more than 40) and the number its pre-made layouts (more than 100) into account, plus the fact that the user support this WordPress theme offers rates a perfect 10. Be may well be the most versatile responsive theme you will find anywhere, due in large part to the nearly 100 subthemes or categories that make up its idea-generating, fully-editable, pre-made layouts. To many, these layouts are this highly-recommended theme’s number one attraction, and the number one reason for its immense popularity.
Website Builders and platforms
XPRS is a code-free, responsive website builder. It’s unique pricing is something to be noted – they give out free licenses to students, artists and non-profit, and for professionals they have a great White Label package for $250 per year for unlimited licenses. That’s a lot less than its competitors.
XPRS templates and content blocks make it super easy to create a unique looking website in just a few minutes, and if you want to get to the fine details of design you can do that too. XPRS was recently featured on Product Hunt and people loved it.
With Webydo, professional designers work in a seamless design environment, managing and delivering pixel-perfect responsive sites. Webydo enables complete creative freedom with its robust built-in CMS, full White Label option, and pixel-perfect responsive design. With a single dashboard from which to manage sites and clients, this is the go-to platform for professional designers and web agencies. Led by its community of 175k+ designers and web agencies Webydo provides a powerful, professional & responsive code-free solution.
WordPress Page Builders
This page builder is not a typical drag, drop, and review page builder. Cornerstone is innovative in every sense of the word, and it is proving to be a very popular and exciting product due in large part to its 100% front end editing feature. Its editor and preview function are displayed side by side. You can see how the page you are working is taking shape while you are editing, and how it will look on your website at that particular moment in time. The need to check your editing later to make any necessary fixes is no longer a necessity. Users are falling in love with this page builder. Perhaps you will too.
Themify Flow is a page builder you can download and use on WordPress to build responsive themes for as many pages as you want using its page and post templates. This powerful framework is built with a modular coding system, and resource files are loaded only as needed so it is lightning fast whereas many online theme builders require considerable server resources, which slow their operations down. CSS or PHP coding is not necessary, and since Flow is open source, it is 100% free to use.
Project Management and Collaboration Tools
Track time, send invoices, and get paid; or team up, organize, track, and get paid. You can do either or both with Nutcache. This smart and simple project management tool is also one of the better collaborative solutions on the market. It makes organizing projects or collections of ideas with boards, lists, and cards a snap. It also provides graphical depictions of project status, and it enables you to easily track time spend on individual assignments, after which you can invoice your work and get paid with the click of a button.
Azendoo is an intuitive project planner/manager that displays tasks in a manner that makes it easy to prioritize your work and focus on what is most important. This project management tool was created to support design and marketing teams, but you will find it to be an excellent solution for sharing information and coordinating with team members and clients, while keeping you focused on the task at hand. Copy or share Photoshop or Sketch designs, share files using Google Drive or Dropbox, and go about your business without having to be confronted with the unnecessary clutter that can at times be associated with information sharing activity.
Converting Designs to Code
Once you have finished your web design, it is a simple matter to have PSDGator turn it into code. PSD Gator is a small team that offers some very impressive services. They make conversions quickly, saving you the time of doing so yourself. Their specialty is converting Photoshop designs into SEO-optimized, responsive, and hand-coded HTML/CSS that is optimized for speed as well. They will review and consult with you on your project for free before beginning any conversion activity.
Direct Basing’s specialty is slicing. Their services range from HTML5 slicings to complete Magento or WordPress realizations, and include PSD to Email slicing and Responsive slicing as well. Your design will be converted to SEO-friendly and cross-browser compatible HTML/CSS. Direct Basing is well known for its fast delivery service, and you may want to consider this design conversion service if a rapid turnaround time is important to you.
40 Dollar Markup will take your design and convert it into pixel-perfect HTML/CSS, and if you need to have an entire PC website converted to responsive code, they will do that for you as well. The code you receive will be hand-coded. This service provider does not employ automated coding tools, so your code will be clean and optimized for speed. This conversion service fully supports its deliverables.
GlowHost has the right plan for you, whether your need is that of a Virtual Dedicated Server, a shared hosting plan, or a managed hosting plan for WordPress. This service provider’s servers are located in 16 datacenters around the world. GlowHost is a large scale operation and its specialties are managed cloud and complex server clusters and managed dedicated servers. Their hosting fees are very affordable, and setup and activation will take place the moment you sign up.
A Small Orange has a hosting plan to fit your shared hosting or business hosting needs. Their managed servers can be customized for to provide optimal service. This service offers 4 different hosting plans based on your storage and bandwidth needs. All except the lowest-price plan allow for unlimited domains, and once you sign up email + live chat support is available 24/7.
Stock Photo Agencies
Bigstock has an impressive array of stock photos, vectors, and illustrations to share with its customers. Its total inventory runs into the millions of images, and there is a variety of subscription plans to choose from. Searching for the royalty-free image you want is easy, and once purchased it can be re-downloaded at any time free of charge. Bigstock offers a free trial with 35 free images to help you get started.
Whatever the type of image you are looking for, Stockfresh has in abundance. Its inventory of photos, vectors, and illustrations are neatly categorized to keep your search time to a minimum. You can make pre-paid purchases, or you can sign up for a subscription plan, which is a less expensive alternative. Since their website is responsive, you can do your searches and make selections from your mobile device.
If you are in need of an email marketing and marketing automation web app, Sendloop would be an ideal choice. Its drag and drop editor allows you to create mobile device ready emails in a matter of minutes, and there are more than 60 responsive email templates that cover a wide range of topics to choose from. Sendloop’s RSS-to-email feature makes it as simple as possible to automate email content generation and delivery. Take advantage of Sendloop’s real time reporting metrics to track usage metrics from your PC or on your mobile device for your email marketing campaigns.
Most websites use forms to collect data such as sign-ups and contact information. Interacting with forms tends to be the least sexy part from your customers point of view. But not with Typeform.
Typeform created mobile-ready, interactive forms that are not only attractive, but can give your customers the impression you’re speaking to them personally. You can use Typeform’s core platform for free, or check into their Pro plan to access advanced features.
The Ghost Ship Mobile IU Kit, with its 100 retina-ready PSD templates and drag and drop functionality, is a real time saver. These UI templates have been placed in 7 topical categories, plus an 8th category featuring vector shapes and 180 Budicon icons. This UI kit is Photoshop CS6+ compatible, and it can be used for both personal and commercial purposes.
The Basement iOS Ecommerce UI Kit is an ideal tool for your app design prototyping needs, or if you need to prototype a mobile version of your existing Ecommerce website. It features 50 well-organized, totally customized screens for iPhone6. The screens are organized in 6 shopping related categories, with 8 to 12 screens in each category. This UI kit is designed to be used with Photoshop S56+ and Sketch.
Icons and Fonts
Icons Responsive has a library of over 1000 different icons of picture perfect quality and are easily scalable. Each icon comes in 4 responsive sizes (16×16 to 128×128 pixels) and 3 different styles (line, flat, and filled glyphs). The icons are presented in vector format and they can be edited. New icon selections are continuously being added.
For a different look to your web pages or promotions, or for use in establishing a brand identity, check out this Handcrafted Font Bundle by Visual Hierarchy. It features 18 multilingual, Mac and PC compatible fonts in four font families; Jovial, Tallow Uppercase, Troia Serif, and TrueSketch. A variety of Stylistic Alternatives are included in the package, and there a bonus section of symbol fonts is has been included as well.
There is much to choose from in this listing of premium themes, website and page builders, PSD to code converting and hosting services, and specialty tools. We hope you have found something that will prove useful to you, but if you haven’t, there will be more to review in future listings.
In any event, we always like to hear what our readers like or what they feel was missing. Please feel free to share your comments with us.