A Guide To Useful Links
Updated may 17 2020
So you have decided to build a homepage, either for personal use or for your company. Below I have compiled a bunch of links and information so you can get an easy start. Everything from hosting to finding the right images and videos.
But let us start from the beginning.
Choosing a hosting company can be tricky. What type of site are you about to build? Private or Commercial? Choosing the right hosting for your page can be crucial.
Most hosting companies offer several different types of deals. They vary in price and contain different features. If you, like me, have a small site with not much traffic, you can probably get away with the cheapest deal on offer. If you on the other hand is a company that will draw lots of traffic to your site, a professional deal is more appropriate. The hosting companies are generally good att recommending what type of hosting you need. Compare features and prices on their webpages. When you check out what they are offering, remember a few simple things:
- Is the hosting company specialized in WordPress?
- The number of databases (web pages) included in your price. The standard or cheapest deals often have just 1 while the pro one may have unlimited.
- What kind of security is included? Do they offer backups? Do you get an ssl-certificate for free?
- Does the hosting company offer c-panel as user interface? This might not sound important, but if you someday find yourself looking for help online for some reason, c-panel is often used as a reference.
- How much traffic is included? Best is of course unlimited. If you have a limited amount of traffic each month, you don´t want your site to “shut down” on the 25th.
- Disc space? How much information are you allowed to store on the server? For a small page a few Gb is enough, but for a larger company you will need more than that.
- Email? How many email addresses are included? Is there a web based mail client? I always try to use web bases mail clients. To include third party mail clients often create more problems than it solves. But that´s just me. For a larger company you might get another solution.
- And perhaps the most important of them all: Support. What kind of support is included? Will you be able to talk to a real person on the phone or do you have to fill out a form and wait for them to answer? Or maybe chat live with support? Can you get support 24/7?
So now you have chosen web hosting 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. High res images can be difficult. I do not recommend searching images on Google. They are usually copyrighted. Big no-no to use on a commercial website. Instead, there are a number of pages that offer 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 Subtle Patterns. Free to download, but you must credit the author.
What if I can not find the correct image on any of these pages? I want an image with transparent background. Gif and png are most common types online. Well, 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.
Once you’ve selected your images, you may want to make changes to them. If you do not have access to image editing software such as Photoshop, you can still make simpler changes before uploading them to your website. I do not recommend using WordPress image editing in the Media Library. The images will get a different name; image.jpg will be something like image-143895393.jpg. Not good for search engines.
But don´t despair. There are several places online where you can manipulate your images and download them to your computer before uploading them to your site.
Note that your browser must be able to run java and flash on these pages, otherwise they might not work.
Today video on websites is more common. A great video background on a page often attracts the visitor to read more. If you have your own video you want to show, kudos. Keep in mind, however, to avoid having videos on your page. A 10Mb video will slow down your page significantly. In addition, traffic will count every time someone visits the page. If you absolutely need to, use smart cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache or Autoptimize. It will speed up the page.
If you will show more videos on your site, get an account on, for example, Youtube or Vimeo. It is very easy to show videos from these pages in WordPress, all you need is to paste the link. However, keep in mind that if you have a commercial page, get the right type of license for your accounts on these pages.
Where can you find free videos to use?
Remember to read the user rights before using videos.
Sometimes you want to be able to present your image in a neat way. Here are some examples of websites where you can insert your image into a mockup, or download mockups for use in, for example, Photoshop or Illustrator.
Colours and general UI.
When I build a website, I always use the company logo when choosing colors. If the logo contains a red color, I use that color as an accent color. A good benchmark is to use four colors on your site:
- a light neutral colour (eg light grey)
- a darker neutral colour (eg middle grey), alternatively a dark colour (eg dark grey to black)
- an accent coulour (from logo)
- a lighter or darker shade of the accent colour
If your logo is black and white, you can use any color you want. Look at famous brand’s websites and see how they use colours. (Apple, Amazon, Tesla).
To find inspiration, there are several pages to help you. Want to know which colors match your accent color, for example? Check out these pages and get inspiration.
- Material Palette. Choose which colors you want and get examples of a complete palette and where to put what colors. Very helpful.
- Color Lovers. On this page users upload 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 matching palette. Easy for the beginner.
- 0to255. A brilliant site 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 just what shades are available for a specific color. As I said – brilliant.
- Coolors. Browse through finished color combinations, or choose your own color and get accented color suggestions.
- Color Hunt. A free and open source color inspiration platform with thousands of trendy hand-picked color palettes.
- Css Gradient. If you want to generate gradients, this site is for you. You will receive an automatic css code that you can use on your website.
As said, take inspiration from big corporate websites. They have certainly put a lot of money into making the page look awesome. So why should you spend a lot of money? All you have to do is look.
I will update this post with even (or uneven) intervals as information and links are constantly updated. If you miss anything, please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page.
Good luck 🙂