What are the best free tools available for web design?

Female sat at a coffee shop high table using her laptop to update her Go Sitebuilder website. She is wearing a sleeveless white blouse and has curly hair

Why is web design important?

In the modern age, it is vital to have a website with high-quality design. Shoddy web design will no longer cut it with users: according to Stanford’s Web Credibility Research report, 75% of us will judge a business’ credibility based on their web design alone. It is also important to have an original and unique design: there is an endless number of online websites, and thus standing out from the crowd is a great way to distinguish yourself from others.

Can I design my own website?

Yes! Whilst you may believe that you need to be a whiz at coding or a professional web designer, this is simply a misconception. The brilliant thing about the internet is that there are lots of free tools out there to help you craft your website into your envisaged design. 

Furthermore, your site doesn’t have to have an intricate and complicated design to blossom. In fact, the Interaction Design Federation has written about the importance of Hick’s Law in web development. The idea of Hick’s Law is that if you present your users with a lower amount of choices then they reach a decision about your website faster. In other words, when it comes to web design, simplicity is key. 

Where do I start?

When creating a website for your online business it is crucial to nail the design of the main aspects of the site. Logaster is a good resource to use when creating your logo. If you want a bit of inspiration for a new colour scheme then Coolors is a handy tool as it comes up with a new colour scheme every time you refresh the page. Vector icons are also a great way to add a personal touch to your website: we suggest Flaticon, the world’s largest search base for free icons, all created by graphic designers.  

Is there an easier alternative?

If you still feel daunted at the prospect of designing your own website then Go Sitebuilder has you covered. Its knowledge and expertise in this field means there couldn’t be a simpler way to build a website for your online business. It has a whole range of customisable ready to go web designs, providing you with the right materials to design your website. Their 14-day free trial allows you to test this for yourself – why not try it today?

How to edit the images you use for your website

How to edit the images you use for your website

The visual aspect of website design can attract or turn away visitors, therefore when creating your website it is important to choose images that create an impact and relate to your brand.  Rather than just focusing on the content of the images, however, it’s vital to make sure that you take into account other aspects, such as file type and quality to really highlight your website and make it stand out from your competitors. Here are some considerations we think are really important when ensuring your website leaves a lasting impression.

Think about the quality of your images 

The quality of your images can significantly impact the way customers view your website and your brand. High-quality images imply a professional service and instil more trust in your brand for customers than images of low quality. The best ways to achieve high-quality images is either by taking them yourself (see our article on How to Take Great Product Photos) or by using stock images to ensure the quality is high. 

Know the type of file you need to use

When adding images to your website it is important to know the type of file you need to use. Generally, this is a choice between a PNG file and a JPG/JPEG file. A PNG file is a larger file, which creates higher quality images than a JPG but can slow your site speed down if used too often. A JPG file, however, is used more frequently as the file size is smaller; the only compromise is that its image quality is slightly lessened. 

Think about composition  

A good website will have images which engage the visitor and mean something to the brand or subject matter. Therefore the composition (how the image is ‘staged’ and shown to the viewer) should be taken into account when selecting your final images. A simple crop can change the focus of an image and make it more relevant when building your website. The built-in image editor on Go Sitebuilder is a perfect addition when cropping your images as you can visualise how small changes can impact how the image is shown on your website.

What about colours, filters and stickers?

Depending on your brand image, aspects such as colours, filters and stickers can portray the personality of your brand. For example, a travel website may benefit from brightly coloured images to show locations in the best light. Whereas a beauty website may have more use for filters.

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder! Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and we even have an image editor built into our website editor. Try our 14-day free trial today!

How to edit the images you use for your website

Caucasian male with a long beard is sat at a desk in front of a laptop editing photos with camera equipment surrounding the laptop

The visual aspect of website design can attract or turn away visitors, therefore when creating your website it is important to choose images that create an impact and relate to your brand.  Rather than just focusing on the content of the images, however, it’s vital to make sure that you take into account other aspects, such as file type and quality to really highlight your website and make it stand out from your competitors. Here are some considerations we think are really important to take into account to make your website leave a lasting impression.

Think about the quality of your images 

The quality of your images can significantly impact the way customers view your website and your brand. High-quality images imply a professional service and instil more trust in your brand for customers than images of low quality. The best ways to achieve high-quality images is either by taking them yourself (see our article on How to Take Great Product Photos) or by using stock images to ensure the quality is high. 

Know the type of file you need to use

When adding images to your website it is important to know the type of file you need to use, generally, this is a choice between a PNG file and a JPG/JPEG file. A PNG file is a larger file, which creates higher quality images than a JPG but can slow your site speed down if used for every image. A JPG file, however, is used more frequently as the file size is smaller; the only compromise is that its image quality is slightly lessened. 

Think about composition  

A good website will have images which engage the visitor and mean something to the brand or subject matter. Therefore the composition (how the image is ‘staged’ and shown to the viewer) should be taken into account when selecting your final images. A simple crop can change the focus of an image and make it more relevant when building your website. The built-in image editor on Go Sitebuilder is a perfect addition when cropping your images as you can visualise how small changes can impact how the image is shown on your website.

Aspects such as colours, filters and stickers

Depending on your brand image, aspects such as colours, filters and stickers can portray the personality of your brand. For example, a travel website may benefit from brightly coloured images to show locations in the best light, whereas a beauty website may have more use for filters.

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder! Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and we even have an image editor incorporated in our software. Try our 14-day free trial today!

The best tools or websites to create images with text

A male photographer wearing a loose, casual white shirt is stood at a desktop computer editing images whilst a photoshoot is going on in the background

Often an image can portray everything you want to show for your brand, a concise way to represent an idea or a product. With high levels of competition for views on your website it is important to have features that stand out and may be different from other brands similar to yours. 

The technique of combining your images with text can create impactful designs which pull visitors into your website or catch their eye on Instagram. According to GraphicMama, bolod typography and text masking are going to be some of the hottest graphic design trends of 2020. In this article, we will show you the best tools to use when adding text to your images.

The Most User-Friendly: Canva

Canva is a website and an app that allows users to use their own images (as well as canva’s own images) and layer text on top of those images. There is a wide variety of fonts, styles and layouts, allowing a full scope image types. The basic version of Canva is also free, allowing you to try out your design talents before paying. 

The Widest Range of Features: Adobe Photoshop

One of the biggest names in the photo editing business, Photoshop can do it all – at a price. If your website is focused heavily on image quality or maybe you run a photography business and you are familiar with the software this may be for you. With a range of features, including layering text over images, Photoshop is a great tool. However, for most websites, it may be an unnecessary cost considering the other options available. 

For the Aspiring Influencers: BeFunky

BeFunky is an online photo editing tool that allows you to add text to images, and now has a super simple text and image masking tool. This is where you don’t choose a font for your colour; instead, you choose an image. One of 2020’s new graphic design crazes, this technique adds texture to your designs, is perfect for social media campaigns and ensures that you are bang on-trend.

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder. Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and we even have an image editor incorporated in our easy to use platform. Try our 14-day free trial today!

Do I need to know Photoshop to build a website?

Female's hands resting on the edge of a desk editing images for her Go Sitebuilder website. A coffee is also on the desk

You’re probably aware that Adobe Photoshop is commonly used to touch up pictures of celebs in magazines or selfies for social media. However, Photoshop isn’t just a tool for vanity, it can also play a role in building your website’s design. Photoshop is a graphics editor, and it can also be used to optimise images and construct page layouts.

However, Adobe Photoshop is both an expensive tool and a daunting prospect if you’re new to editing images. Best of all – you don’t need it! A successful website can be created without Photoshop. Read on to discover how!

Photoshop is used for complex website developing tasks

Photoshop is used by web developers for a variety of reasons. They can use it to create a mock-up of a web design so that they can send PDFs to their clients for approval, or to integrate different ideas into one design. You can create a beautiful website design in Photoshop, but it is complicated, time-consuming and difficult to export if you’re inexperienced. 

Even now, Photoshop for professional web development is falling by the wayside as modern website design and creation is written directly in code. 

There are easier ways to edit your images

Photoshop is mainly used to edit photos, and it’s no secret that good images are paramount when they are to be used on your website. If you’re worried about your pictures not standing out, worry not – nowadays, there are much easier ways to edit your photos; countless apps offer similar services to Photoshop.

Online photo editors such as Fotor and Canva are a great alternative to Photoshop, and you can also download free image editing software to be able to edit offline. Another huge plus is that they are completely free, whereas Photoshop comes with a fairly steep price tag. 

There are website builders that already have the answers

If you want to build a website but don’t think you’ve got the technical know-how – we’ve got you covered! Go Sitebuilder has ready to go, customisable websites at your fingertips. Don’t let a lack of Photoshop or coding knowledge put you off building an online business – Go Sitebuilder also has an image editor to help you build the best website. Our 14-day free trial gives you all the freedom needed to create the perfect online business.

How to make your first online sale

How to make your first online sale

If you’ve already set up your online store, congratulations! You’re ready to start selling. We’ve come up with a few ways for you to get your store out there and make your all-important first sale.  

Haven’t set up your store yet? Take a look at how easy it is!

So, whether it’s in real life, with social media and online communities, or through advertising, here are a few ideas to help make your first sale…

How to promote your eCommerce store in real life

Even though your store is online, there are lots of ways to share it offline too:

  • Friends and family – Once you’ve set up your online store, tell your friends and family about it. Ask them to spread the word and share it with their own personal and online networks.
  • Sign-written vehicle – A little unusual, but stick with us! This is especially good if you have a strong online presence – which you will do now your beautiful site is ready! Have your web address, unique hashtags or social media handles made into a sticker. Put it in the rear window of your vehicle and you’ll have an easy way to direct people to your online presence.
  • Physical presence – If there are local places where your ideal customers regularly hang out, why not drop off some flyers? Leave them there for people to find and they can navigate to your store in their own time.
  • Pass on printed material – If you’re already attending things like makers’ fairs, local events or marketplaces, have business cards printed. Include your store details and hand out cards when somebody makes a purchase. That way, customers can share your store with their own friends and family. Who knows, they might even come back online and make a repeat purchase!

Leverage the power of online communities and social media

It couldn’t be easier to share your store online. However you choose to connect, be genuine and make it easy for customers to find you.

  • Share a link to your store on social media – Once your site is set up, you can share it to your online channels directly from the store itself. Click the social buttons and off you go!
  • Keep a link to your store in your bio – Whether you’re an Instagram person, a Twitter devotee, or you’ve set a Facebook business page, the bio section is prime real estate. The text ‘about you’ at the top of the page is highly visible. Put your store link there. If people are looking at your social feeds and they like what they see, they can explore your eCommerce site with a click.
  • Online communities – Join small business groups or residents’ groups local to you. There are communities of makers, side hustlers and business owners across the internet. A small word of warning: be sure to genuinely engage. Often communities will have rules about when, or if, you can post promotional material. Not only will people remember you better if you’re genuine, you might find that the support of a community is valuable in its own right.
  • Write a blog – Your blog is a great place to keep your followers up to date with everything that you’ve been up to. Sharing your store on your blog can be particularly useful, especially if you’ve got an engaged following. So, let your readers know your store is ready for business!

Don’t be afraid of online advertising

It might sound scary, but don’t worry! With the tools available to small businesses today, it’s easy to start advertising.

  • Google ads – You can drive traffic to your store in a few simple steps. Land the right customers on your website with clever targeting or take people to whichever product page you want to promote.
  • Facebook ads – If your ideal customer is on Facebook, then Facebook’s targeted advertising allows you to reach them.
  • Competitions and giveaways – These are different to the structured advertising on platforms like Facebook or Google. Social posts, where you offer a giveaway or hold a competition can help raise awareness of your products. Even if your followers don’t win the competition, you will at least have made them aware of your store. And you never know… they may go on and buy from you anyway.

 A quick word on advertising…

The key thing to remember with any kind of advertising is to know your audience. Have a clear idea of the kind of people that buy from you, where they like to spend time, what appeals to them and what doesn’t. For example, don’t advertise on Google, if people won’t be searching for your products on a search engine. Or, if you know that the kind of people that buy your products don’t use Facebook, you’ll probably be disappointed if you advertise there. So, bear your audience in mind when you plan your advertising.  

Good luck with your new store…

We hope this blog is helpful; these are a few ideas to help you on your way to your very first sale. Remember to be creative and keep letting people know that your store’s ready and open for business.

Excited? So are we… 😄 🎉

Set up your store today! Register for a free 14-day trial and you’ll be one step closer to selling your products online…

How to start selling things online

Male dressed in blue fixing a bicycle in a bicycle shop

Have you been thinking of setting up an online shop but not sure where to start? We’re here to help, with a handy guide on what you need to think about before you take the plunge into e-commerce.

Decide on your niche 

This is the first hurdle – what are you going to sell, and who are you going to sell it to? It’s a good idea to start with your niche, or the area that you are interested in. Think of this as an area rather than a product; ‘gardening’ rather than ‘trowels,’ and be strategic in your choice. 

The best niches are ones that sell expensive products (£80-100 per product), that occupy a sector that is steadily growing in popularity and hasn’t already developed a lot of brand loyalty. Do your market research to get information on your competitors and understand how the industry functions. Most importantly, don’t go into a niche that you know nothing about!

Choose a business model

This depends on whether you are selling items that you have created yourself, or if you are going to use a supplier. If you are using a supplier, you can choose between dropshipping – where the supplier holds the stock – or holding your own products, where you have to pay for warehouse costs and packaging. 

Holding your own products that you’ve shipped in or selling your own unique handmade items gives you an advantage when you’re looking to create and grow a brand. You are in full control of the customer experience, so you can design your own packaging, send it yourself and handle returns and customer enquiries personally.

If you are a small, local business that is just starting to sell your own products, capitalise on your ability to make each item personal. Include hand-written notes thanking them for their purchase and asking them to follow you on social media, and make sure your customer service is both personable and competent. Creating a great customer experience makes it more likely for them to recommend your service to others.

Choose a supplier

You’ve got your niche, and a good idea of what you want to sell; but if you’re ordering in your products or materials, how do you choose what products to stock? Search the best-sellers in your niche on Amazon and Ebay to compare prices, and look to AliExpress and AliBaba for good supplier sites. If you don’t want to start shipping in products internationally and you don’t need a huge supply, do some research in your area to see if you can create any deals with local suppliers instead.

Create a website

Now you’ve got the foundations laid, it’s time to craft a beautiful website! Choose a domain name that aligns with your brand, upload your products and start advertising your site. Go Sitebuilder is one of the best ecommerce website builders, and offers a 14-day free trial where you can make an easy-to-use and professional website, even if you have no experience in web design!

Where can I find stickers to put on photos

A group of three young entrepreneurs at a desk looking at a tablet device the male is standing and looking over the shoulders of the two females sat down

Adding stickers to your photos can be a fun and quirky way to liven up your image. Whether you’re starting up a blog or building your own online business, stickers add a contemporary and relatable edge to any image, making it individual to you. And the best thing about customising your photos with stickers is that it is completely free and super easy to do!

For social media fans

The easiest way to add stickers onto your image is via social media apps such as Facebook Messenger or Snapchat. Snapchat stickers are our personal favourite as they let you create add your own bitmoji stickers (a cartoon avatar of yourself which you can create via Bitmoji). This helps viewers identify you as the content creator and makes your online presence slightly more human. 

For iOS and Android users

Downloading an app is a really convenient way to put stickers onto photos. Pics Art Photo Editor provides you with a step-by-step guide to follow. It gives you complete flexibility to personalise your own images by syncing photos from your camera roll to the app. What’s more, it has a huge range of stickers to choose from, although don’t let its sheer variety deter you: its search bar lets you find the perfect sticker quickly and effortlessly. Another app you can download is FotoRus. Their addition of Emoticon stickers means your images can become expressive and fun to view. 

A web-based alternative

If you prefer to edit your computers on your laptop, Fotor is a tool you can use to add stickers to your photo via the computer. It adds a professional look to your image by creating a theme specific to the sticker you select. It also provides you with the opportunity to create collages for your images, giving you full reign to be as creative as you want when customising your picture. 

By putting stickers onto your images, your online business becomes more identifiable – the first step in creating an online brand! This is of particular importance when building your own online website. Go Sitebuilder makes this all the easier, with ready to go websites for you to use to boost your online presence. Try our free 14-day trial to start building your online business today!

How difficult is it to build a stock photo website?

Female photographer sat in front of her laptop holding her camera uploading her new photos to her Go Sitebuilder website

What is stock photography?

As a beginner, building a stock photo website may seem like a daunting prospect. Yet it is not as difficult as it seems. Stock photography is essentially commercially sold photography. As the demand for photography is so varied, your potential client list is limitless. This guide will show you that you don’t need to be a professional to build a stock photo website. You can be successful without any prior knowledge of the stock photo market by following these tips!

How to make your stock market website unique

Ok, so whilst anyone can build a stock photography website, you still must be offering valuable content. Don’t publish any old stock photo: make sure the image is well lit and clear so that people want to purchase your image. Also, it is important to make sure your photos are of high resolution, meaning it is probably a bad idea to advertise images taken on a mobile phone. Ensuring your images are from a high quality camera means your website will be taken seriously by potential clients – here are some stock photography tips that might come in handy!. Finally, don’t be afraid to be bold with your images – eye catching, statement pieces are much more likely to stand out and become a marketable item. 

How to make money from your stock photo website

The two main types of stock photography which you want to focus on are Macrostock photography and Microstock photography. As the latter suggests, you won’t be making big bucks with this type of photography – you earn a small sum of money per every image downloaded. However, given how easy it is for anyone to download a photo, you are pretty much guaranteed an income this way, especially if the image goes viral. In contrast, Macrostock photography gives you the opportunity to license and sell exclusive images to clients for a much higher price, although it may take some time before you have a solid client base.

What next?

A great way to start building your stock photo website would be to use Go Sitebuilder. Our online website builder is one of the best ways to begin your stock photography website business: it is easy to use and has all the necessary knowledge to help you build a successful website. Why not give it a go – our 14-day free trial means you have nothing to lose! 

How to stamp the copyright logo to my images

Black female food blogger taking a photo in a cafe wearing a light blue shirt and red hair bandana

Imagine: you’ve spent lots of time creating the perfect image to upload onto your soon-to-be website. It is eye-catching, unique and perfect for your online business. But, although this image is legally owned by you, the internet is a dark place and someone snatches up your image for their own purposes. Suddenly, your image is no longer identified with your online business. All that time and effort spent sourcing this image is wasted. 

So, how do you avoid this case of online theft? Well, the answer is pretty simple. By stamping a copyright logo onto your images, keyboard thieves will fail to pass off your content as their own. 

Step 1: Choose your software 

Adobe photoshop, Inkscape or Paintshop are the most obvious editing softwares to do this. However, if you don’t fancy spending your money on these, then there are multiple free photo editing softwares which you can use to watermark your image instead.    Alamoon Watermark, WatermarkLib and Kigo Image Converter can all be used to stamp your copyright logo onto your image. 

Step 2: Where to put the copyright

Open your image in one of these programmes and select the section of the image where you want to add your copyright stamp. Make sure your text goes in a place which is visible. This ensures would-be users cannot get rid of your logo without destroying the image itself. This is important – strategically picking a location for your text to go into means digital thieves cannot steal your image without shooting themselves in the foot.

Step 3: What information do you need to add?

When applying a copyright stamp, you need to make sure you include your name/business name, the year your image was created and the copyright symbol ‘©’ into your text. This way you are solidly safeguarding your image from being swiped up by someone else. Although you can’t stop people from downloading your image free of charge, your name will now always be affiliated with this image. Remember, it is important that you lower the opacity of the text so that people can still see your image!

Now that your image is protected and associated with you, it is important you have a website that people can visit if they want to access your material. Check out our 14-week free trial of Go Sitebuilder and see just how easy it is to get your business online!