A Guide to useful links

Updated 17 may 2020

 

So you have decided to build a website, either for yourself or for your business. Here I have compiled a lot of different links and information on how to easily get started. Everything from choosing a web host to finding the right images or videos.

But let´s start from the beginning.

Hosting.

Choosing a web host can be difficult. What type of page should you build? Is it a private page or a page for your company? The Hosting company can play a big role here.

Most web hosts offer several different variants of hosting, often 3 or more. They vary in price and contain different things depending on the price, of course. If you are going to build a simple blog page, the simplest variant is often enough. But if you want to drive traffic to your site, you may want to invest in a more expensive option. These things you can often read about on every web host’s website, they are usually good at explaining what you will need.

A few things to consider are:
  • Does the web host specialize in WordPress? (if that is what you wanna use for your CMS)
  • Number of websites you get for your price. The cheapest option is usually 1 database, ie you can upload 1 WordPress page to your account.
  • How is security? For example, do you get an ssl certificate in your price? How does it work with backup?
  • Does your web host have a c-panel as an interface? This may not sound that important, but if you ever seek help online, c-panel is often used as a reference.
  • How much traffic is included? The best part is unlimited traffic, of course. If you get a lot of traffic and there is a restriction, your site may “stop working” on the 25th of each month.
  • Disk space? How much can you store on your website? For a small website, a few hundred Mb is often enough. But for a business, you may need to have significantly more.
  • E-mail? How many email addresses are included? Is there a web-based email client? I always try to use web-based email if I can. Mixing in third-party software to view your email often creates problems.
  • And perhaps most important of all: Support. What kind of support is included? Can you talk to a person on the phone or do you have to fill out a form to get in touch with them? Can you contact them 24/7?

Images.

So now you have chosen the web host and are ready to start building your website. What can be difficult if you have a tight budget is where you can find free material to download. Images in particular can be difficult. I do not recommend searching for images on Google. They are usually copyrighted. Big no-no to use on a commercial website. Instead, there are a number of pages with high-resolution images taken by professional photographers – completely free to use commercially.

Then there are pages with a larger selection of images where you can buy the rights to them. Some are:

If you want wallpapers or background patterns, I can recommend Subtlepatterns. Free to download, but you must credit the author.

What happens if I do not find the correct image on one of these pages? I want an image with a transparent background. Gifs and pngs are most common online. Yes, you can find such images too, here:

Here you can find, for example, logos for different companies, symbols, images of computers and so on, but without backgrounds. Smooth.

Image processing.

Once you have selected your images, you may want to make changes to them. If you do not have access to image processing software such as Photoshop, you can still make simple changes before uploading them to your website. I do not recommend using WordPress’ own clip and scaling tools built into the Media Library. The images will be renamed; image.jpg will be named something like image-143895393.jpg. Not good for search engines.

But do not be sad. There are several places where you can make changes to your images in a standard browser and save them on your computer.

Note that your browser must be able to run java and flash on these pages, otherwise they will not work.

Video.

Today, video is increasingly used on websites. A nice video background on a page often entices the visitor to read more. If you have your own video that you want to view, great. However, remember to avoid having it lying on the site itself. A 10Mb video will slow down your page considerably. In addition, traffic will be counted every time someone visits the site. If you absolutely must, make use of smart cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache or Autoptimize. It will speed up the page.

If you want to show more videos on your site, get an account on for example Youtube or Vimeo. WordPress is adapted to link videos from these pages, all you need is to paste the link. However, keep in mind that if you have a commercial site, get the right type of license for your accounts on those sites.

Where can you find free videos to use?

Remember to read the user rights before using videos.

Mockups.

Sometimes you want to be able to present your image in a nice way. Here are some examples of websites where you can insert your image into a mockup, or download mockups to use in, for example, Photoshop or Illustrator.

Vector images.

Colour and shape.

When I build a website, I always start from the company logo when I choose colors. If the logo contains a red color, it will be the accent color. A good benchmark is to use four colors on your page:

  • a light neutral color (eg light gray)
  • a darker neutral color (eg medium gray), alternatively a dark color (eg dark gray to black)
  • an accent color (take from the logo)
  • a lighter or darker color of the accent color

If your logo is black and white, you can use any color you want. Feel free to look at famous brands’ websites and see how they have used colors. (Apple, Amazon, Tesla).

To find inspiration, there are several sites that will help you. Do you want to know which colors match your accent color, for example? Check out these pages and get inspired.

  • Material Palette. Choose which colors you want and get examples of a complete palette and where you should put which colors. Helpfully worse.
  • Color Lovers. On this page, it is users who have uploaded their own color palettes. Over a million so far, and counting …
  • Canva. If you have an image that you like and want to see which colors match the image, you can upload it and get a palette that matches. Easy for the beginner.
  • 0to255. A brilliant page where you can accentuate different colors. You know, when you hover over a link, it changes color. A good benchmark here is to take the same color and add 3 to 5 shades lighter or darker. On this page you can see exactly what shades are available for a specific color. Brilliant, as I said.
  • Coolors. Browse ready-made color combinations, or choose your own color and get suggestions for accent colors.
  • Color Hunt. A free and open platform for color inspiration with thousands of trendy hand-picked color palettes.
  • Css Gradient. If you want to generate gradients, this is the page for you. You get an automatic css code that you can use on your website.

That said, take inspiration from big business websites. They have probably spent a lot of money on making their website look good. So why should you have to spend a lot of money? Just look at how they have done it.

I will probably update this post at regular (or irregular) intervals as information and links are constantly updated. If you are missing something, feel free to remind me in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Good luck 🙂