8 Resources for Outstanding Free Stock Photography

Every website needs high-quality images, period. Headers, article and cover images, social media, icons – the list is endless. Even if you’re a photographer, you probably don’t have time to take a photo every time you need one. You could hire a professional photographer, but that costs a lot of money.

One great alternative is using free photography. Stock images have a bad reputation for being distracting and unhelpful, but there are plenty of beautiful, professional and entirely free photos available for use by web designers. And we’ve already found them for you – here are some of the best free photography resources out there.

Unsplash

With over 1,000,000 images, all free for commercial or noncommercial use, Unsplash is one of the best websites to find pictures. Photos are submitted by a massive community of open photographers and semi-strict guidelines ensure quality. If you need nature or portrait photography in particular, Unsplash has plenty of those to choose from.

Pixabay

Pixabay is all about variety. In categories where other free resources may be lacking, such as in abstract works, illustrations and vectors, or technology/internet-related concepts, Pixabay photographers have you covered. There are quality guidelines, but anyone can submit.

Also check out the free stock videos, licensed under the same rules, and with the same variety of content!

StockSnap

StockSnap is another massive collection of free CC0 photos that includes business, nature, people, food, and a huge variety of other topics. StockSnap also has a good selection of more artistic content, such as flat-lay scenes and abstract wallpapers. With new photos every day, this is a great resource for stock images.

Pexels

Pexels gets right to the point: Free stock photos and videos, for use anywhere, any time. Portrait photos seem especially popular. For photographers, photo challenges with prizes and PayPal donations are great incentives to participate, so you’ll see many high-quality photos here.

Burst

Burst is a project by Shopify that brings free photos to everyone – even people who don’t use Shopify. The photos are contributed by the community and categorized for easy searching. Portraits, animals, textures, nature photos and backgrounds are Burst’s specialty – especially ones that are made with business and e-commerce in mind.

ISO Republic

ISO Republic has a strong mix of trendy stock photos with high quality resolutions. The site also includes free stock video footage with easy-to-use search to filter what type of media you’re looking for. ISO Republic’s photo and videos are released under the same CC0 license.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a great place to find free photographs, videos and even sounds that depict nearly any topic you can imagine. …

Free Website Templates for Online Stores

Online CMSes like WordPress, Shopify, and Joomla have popularized the use of templates and themes. With them, you can choose a look for your website and configure it without any knowledge of coding.

But did you know that you can also find HTML and Bootstrap templates that can be used on any website? What’s more, many of these templates are free. If you’re looking to start an online store and need a base to work off of, try one of these free eCommerce templates.

UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: Email, admin, landing page & website templates




Fashion Hub

Example of Fashion Hub

Looking to make an elegant fashion boutique? Fashion Hub has everything you’ll need in this Bootstrap template. The homepage comes with a slider, service list, Instagram hub, and plenty of links pointing to your store. There’s also plenty of product pages, a blog, and even checkout/order screens.

eShopper

Example of eShopper

 

Made for all types of eCommerce websites, eShopper is a simple and clean design that comes with 11 pages. These include product listings, checkout pages, and a blog. This one’s a great all-purpose template with plenty of functionality and pages.

Sell Anything

Example of Sell Anything

With all the pages you’ll need to start building an online store, Sell Anything allows you to do just that. There’s a clean homepage with various product sliders, plenty of other pages you’ll need, and a topology page that shows you the various elements this template uses and explains how to use them to build your own pages.

Shop

Example of Shop

If you love elegant animations, you should try this HTML5 template. There’s plenty of scrolling animations, beautiful hover effects, and more in this stylish design. You get a few pages from this one, including a product, about, and services page. This one is perfect for a small shop that sells a few products.

Boighor

Example of Boighor

Light design and beautiful animations define this eCommerce design made just for online bookstores. But with such a nice design, you might want to repurpose this for any type of shop. The free version comes with twelve pages, while the pro version gives you a few extra pages and some variations on the available ones.

Toys Shop

Example of Toys Shop

With a bright and colorful design, this template is perfect for anyone selling toys or products for children. You get a product view and store page among many others, and the footer includes a Google Map and subscription form.

Darklook

Example of Darklook

Looking for something a little darker than all these bright, light designs? Darklook is great for technology and fashion shops. You’ll find cart, checkout, product detail, and blog post pages. The wide, large design puts a big emphasis on photography, so …

The 17 Coolest Fonts of 2019

Whether you prefer serif or sans serif, new fonts are coming out all the time. And they’re going in and out of style all the time, as well. 2019 is a year of bold designs that make a statement, so each of our featured fonts in this post will focus on the emotional response they can create, as well their artistic statement.

UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: 400,000+ Fonts & Design Assets




Helios

Example of Helios

Helios is a sans-serif font with a futuristic touch. On first glance (and thanks to the accompanying sample image) it makes one think of space. Really, this font could find a home on a video game cover, a tech company’s homepage, or as a trendy sticker. Helios feels simultaneously as clean and sterile as a spaceship’s airlock and as packed with personality as any other decorative font.

Summer Loving

Example of Summer Loving

Handwritten fonts have been popular for a long time. There are a lot of situations that call for this style. But in 2019, authenticity is valued higher than ever, and nothing looks more authentic in design that a handwritten typeface. The Summer Loving font looks painted – some variants are hastily scribbled, and others look stenciled. Either way, it is full of bubbly personality.

While the name would suggest using this for summer designs, it could work during any season. It does lend itself to bright color palettes, but can definitely be used as a legible graffiti.

Bobby Jones

Example of Bobby Jones

The Bobby Jones font checks a couple of the boxes for font trends in 2019. Namely, it has a certain sense of nostalgia and whimsy, which is in style. It can also easily be used in a brutalist-style piece, given the somewhat gritty styles available. It’s a little bit quirky, a little bit bold, and definitely versatile. If 2019 is about standing out and being different, then this is a great font to try out.

Quinta

Example of Quinta

Another trend in 2019 is a smaller font size within hero images. With this decrease in font size, it’s important to find an easy-to-read type. A sans serif font is a great place to start, because they tend to look great on various backgrounds.

Self-described as “friendly and quirky”, Quinta is very readable. It has subtle rounded corners, which does make it inviting and lighthearted. A perfect choice for a corporate website header that wants to be a little more friendly and less cold.

Object Sans

Example of Object Sans

Looking for something even more simple and clean? Whether you’re looking for a font to read on screen or in print, this easy-to-read font is great for any need. Its versatility and ubiquity will make it perfect for …

The Secrets to Keeping Your Clients Happy

When you start a web design business, there are so many unknowns and things you may not have even considered. Maybe you’re a talented designer or developer – but that’s only part of the equation.

After all, even the most talented among us aren’t going to be successful without the ability to recruit and retain paying customers. Otherwise, you career becomes one endless side project. It may sound fun, but it also leaves you wondering how you’ll pay the bills.

The future of your business depends on creating solid working relationships with your clients. In other words: You need to keep them happy. But how?

In my 20+ years as a freelance designer, I’ve had a number of experiences – both good and not-so-good. Here are a few things I’ve learned about retaining clients over the long haul.

Communication is Key

Having good communication skills is essential in this business – especially if you’re working directly with clients. But there are some misconceptions about what this entails.

First and foremost, communication during a project’s development phase is of the utmost importance. Keep in mind that no one wants to be left in the dark. Clients need to be kept abreast of progress and aware of any challenges you see in achieving project goals.

Once the project is launched, you still need to keep up with your clients. However, some designers take this to mean inundating them with upsells and other marketing. While it’s OK to send an occasional newsletter or social media post, don’t overdo it. Someone who just paid a good bit of money for your services doesn’t want be bothered with constant “offers”.

More important is to be proactive about things like software updates, security and third-party subscriptions. For example, if they’re using a commercial plugin on their website, you’ll want to let your client know when a license renewal is coming. Or perhaps a change to a search engine algorithm means that some adjustments to their content may be in order.

These may seem like little things, but they mean a lot. They show clients that you are looking out for them and aren’t simply out to take their money. In turn, this establishes a level of trust between you that bodes well for the future of your relationship.

A woman and man having a discussion.

Be Honest

Communication is only as good as its actual content. Just as it’s not wise to send a constant stream of sales pitches, dishonesty is also a huge turnoff (and, sooner or later, a deal-breaker).

It’s not that we necessarily start out with the intention of being dishonest. Often it can come from the fear of letting …

An Introduction to Color Fonts + 16 Beautiful Examples

Are you ready to add some color to your website? Color fonts are revolutionizing web and graphic design spaces by bringing in effects that before required advanced editing to achieve.

Traditional fonts tend to be vectors; they sit on one layer and are made up of simple strokes and shapes. You can resize them, and add effects like colors and drop shadows using HTML or CSS, but that’s all. Bitmap fonts work similarly, except they can’t be resized.

Color fonts, also known as chromatic or OpenType-SVG fonts, are breaking those barriers. These fonts can contain shading, textures, bitmap images, and of course colors – even more than one color!

The results are a wide diversity of new typefaces, ranging from highly-detailed brush stroke fonts to multi-colored or gradient text to fonts that look metallic and shiny.

What’s the Big Deal?

Adding effects to text is nothing new for designers. Overlaying textures, images, or adding shading can be done in Photoshop. But what if you could just download a color font, type, and all those effects were right there in the first place?

The problem with simply adding effects to text in Photoshop is that the result must be displayed as an image online. That means that it can’t be highlighted, searched for, or indexed by search engines.

With OpenType-SVG fonts, it looks as fancy as anything you can make in an image editor, but it’s actual text on the page – not a PNG image. It can be resized if it’s a vector font, interacted with, and edited with HTML and CSS. This has huge implications for web designers and developers.

It also saves time. Instead of taking a normal font and adding effects to it, you can just find a color font that fits your needs.

While support for color fonts is currently spotty, most of these typefaces do come with fallback fonts. These are black and white versions of the font that will work on almost any browser or program.

Currently, color fonts are supported on Edge, Safari, and Firefox with Windows-only support for Opera and Internet Explorer. They’re also supported by most major image editors and design tools, except for Adobe XD, Premiere Pro, and After Effects.

The lack of Chrome support might make you wary, but it should be safe to use color fonts with fallbacks on your website.

Color Font Examples

Ready to add some color to your sites or graphic designs? We’ve compiled sixteen gorgeous color fonts here for you. All of these make full use of OpenType-SVG technology to create artistic type. See for yourself!

Bixa Color

Example of Bixa Color

Trend by Latinotype

Example of Trend by Latinotype

Pure Heart

Boost Your Brand with a .design Domain

In a crowded marketplace, web designers need to take advantage of every opportunity to stand out. And the right domain name can play a significant role. However, the traditional .com, .net or .biz extensions aren’t necessarily the best options for those of us in the industry. They lack the context that really hits home for potential clients.

But that’s all changing, thanks to the growing popularity of .design domain names. They offer a novel and unique way to promote your business. Why, just imagine the brand synergy of using one in your printed materials and email address. It sends a clear message to potential clients about you and your business.

And to make this a truly amazing opportunity, you can now register your own .design domain name for free! That’s right, a free .design domain that you can use in any way you like. Point it to your existing website or use the available site builder to start something new.

Get your free .design domain name from Porkbun.

Stand Out in Style

.design is unique from other domain extensions in that it so easily identifies with the core of your business. They provide a perfect complement to your new or existing brand.

Plus, you’ll find a number of additional benefits to owning one:

Find the Right Name (While They Last)
Since it’s fairly new to the market, there are still a number of great .design domain names available. But they are going fast! Therefore, you’ll want to reserve your name in short order.

Need more proof? Companies such as Adobe, Facebook and Uber are using .design domain names right now.

Make Your Brand Memorable
In general, shorter domains are easier to remember. And an industry-specific option such as .design creates an opportunity to shorten your name in some unique ways.

For example, johnsmithdesigncompany.com could be shortened to just johnsmith.design. In this case, the domain is both shorter and more memorable.

Redirect Anywhere
You may consider using your .design domain name for your main business website. It’s a great strategy and can be very effective. But you also have the flexibility to redirect it to other valuable resources. For example, you might consider pointing it towards your Dribbble portfolio or LinkedIn profile. It makes sharing that much easier, while looking highly-professional.

Register your FREE .design Domain Today

We at 1stWebDesigner have teamed up with Porkbun to offer our readers a FREE .design domain name. The first year is free, and yearly renewals are just $35 – a bargain compared to the $70 offered at some registrars.

You’ll also get:

Free Email Hosting Trial
Your domain comes with three months of free email hosting. Using your .design …

Visual Composer Hub Lets You Create WordPress Pages with Ease

You can be working with a first-class drag-and -drop website builder, but the results will only be as good as the content you can access. On the other hand, if you’re using the top-rated Visual Composer Website Builder, you have access to the Visual Composer Hub. As we shall see, the combination is a potent one.

The Hub’s massive library of content elements and templates makes anything possible, and in tandem with the Visual Composer builder, web design is faster and easier than ever.

As enormous as the library is, you don’t have to settle for “what’s there”, because every element and template is editable and customizable. With respect to what you want to build, the sky is literally the limit.

What is Visual Composer Hub?

The Visual Composer Hub is a cloud-based marketplace of web design goodies. It’s connected to your Visual Composer account, so you can use it to search for the content elements, page and block templates, and images you need.

Using the Hub is a much better deal than having to rely on a selection of plugins, or worse yet, custom code to get the results you’re looking for. It’s simply a matter of finding ready content and downloading it directly to your Visual Composer Website Builder account.

Screen from Visual Composer Hub.

Pick what you want and once it’s downloaded it will be sitting in your account waiting to be put to good use.

The Visual Composer Hub Library

The Visual Composer Hub library content is huge. Its content elements and templates work with any theme and can be used on any project. You’re free to view all the content, but a Visual Composer Premium account is required for total access to the content and unlimited downloads.

To make things easy, access to the cloud-based Hub and downloading is built right into the live-preview Visual Composer Website Builder.

What’s Inside the Visual Composer Hub

There 4 main types of Hub content:

  • Content Elements
  • Page templates
  • Block templates, and
  • Stock Images

1. Content Elements

With these content elements you can build your site without coding. With Visual Composer Premium the number of downloads you have is unlimited, and the Hub’s Content Elements are constantly updated.

Visual Composer Hub Content Elements screen.

Content Elements consist of the following:

  • Buttons
  • Media
  • Post Grids
  • Social Compatibility Elements that can be integrated with MailChimp,Ninja Forms, Envira Gallery and more.
  • Advanced Elements including logo sliders, tabs, hover boxes, and more.
  • and, an E-Commerce Plugin

With Content Elements:

  • You can edit any element and there are multiple editing options, including editing Element CSS Animations to create exciting transitions.
  • You can easily replace elements and switch between them as well. With

Getting Clients to Work Your Way

They say that “the customer is always right”. And while that may be true (most of the time), it certainly doesn’t mean that we have to bend over backwards for them in every instance. I should know, as I spent years attempting to contort myself to fit whatever clients wanted.

One area that is particularly tough to manage is when it comes to our process for getting things done. If you deal with multiple clients, each one of them has their own distinct way of working. Some are night owls and feel the need to send email when the moon is out. Others expect a lot of in-person meetings – something difficult for a busy web designer to fit into their schedule.

Trying to accommodate each and every client’s way of working often leads to chaos. It makes getting things done more difficult and will leave you scrambling to find some level of consistency in your workflow.

Sound terrible? Sound familiar? If you’re banging your head against the wall, know that change is possible! Let’s take a look at some ideas for getting clients to work in a way that benefits you.

Create Processes That Work for You

During the early part of my career as a freelancer, I really had no process for getting things done. That is, unless you count waking up and walking over to the home office. There wasn’t any real organization to speak of and I haphazardly went back-and-forth between tasks. Sort of like a single-player game of table tennis.

Not only that, I was often running out to meetings and taking a seemingly endless number of phone calls. This led to a lot of stress, and a pile of work that I couldn’t seem to get through. Eventually, I realized that a change was needed.

So, I started putting some processes in place. Each one acts as a bit of a boundary for both my clients and myself. They’re not perfect, but have produced some positive results. Among them:

Limit Meetings

I now avoid going out to meetings when possible, and they are usually reserved for higher-revenue clients. As most of my clients are based at least a half hour from my office, I found that, when accounting for travel, even a short meeting tended to take up several hours of work time. Replacing meetings with phone calls or video chats (which I limit to specific hours) has saved a ton of time, while keeping the lines of communication open.

Reserve Time for Each Task

Understandably, clients tend to want things done “as soon as possible”. At the same time, it’s not always …