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 do lawyers market and advertise themselves?

Black male lawyer dressed in a suit is sitting on his sofa at home working on his laptop and viewing some paperwork that he's holding in his hand

The 21st century has seen an increase in competition within the legal sector. Whilst being a lawyer was once only seen as a profession for a small segment of people, now anyone can train to be a lawyer. Undoubtedly, this is a good thing, yet it means the legal field has now become oversaturated – it is much harder to appeal to clients then it used to be. Gone are the days when you could simply rely on billboards and TV adverts to market your law firm: with the rise of social media, more than 70% of your target audience will use online articles rather than ads to have their questions answered about your firm. 

Why do I need to market and advertise myself?

Marketing your services is therefore of the highest importance: if done correctly, you could be able to draw in endless numbers of potential clients to your site. And, luckily, with website builders such as our very own Go Sitebuilder around, advertising yourself is by no means an impossible task. We have comprised together a list of ways to help you build your online image, making your marketing strategy that little bit easier. 

Ensure you have an SEO strategy 

SEO – search engine optimisation – is key to increasing your online presence. SEO essentially maximises the traffic flow to your online website by making your site appear higher up in Google searches, and should be a key tool in your marketing strategy. Considering that 55% of all clicks go to the first three Google search results, being visible to users is of high importance. Investing in SEO is vital if you want to expand your client base, or even start from scratch – this Legal Trends Report revealed that 37% of legal consumers look for a lawyer via an online search. 

SEO is often improved through posting blogs, as the keywords that you use are picked up by Google, and thus your website is more likely to come up in search engine results. Other ways to optimise your site for SEO are having clear site navigation – with a call to action on the homepage -, using high-authority external links and making sure that your pages load quickly. It’s also crucial to make sure your site is optimised for mobile, as Google now has mobile-friendliness as a factor in how well your site ranks. If you’re new to SEO, check out our quick guide over on our blog.

Target your networking

This may seem obvious, but if you are just starting in the legal profession then you must choose a specific area of law to practice – remember, each client has a special, specific issue in mind. It could also be of benefit to pick a niche area of practice: for example, if you go into corporate law then you could specialise in trusts and bonds. 

Consider also whether or not you want to be a local, national, or global firm. Attending networking sessions is a fantastic way to get yourself out there, as it will give you the ability to advertise yourself in person, adding a more personal element to your online business. Perhaps if you want to have a strong local presence then doing some pro bono work could be an invaluable way to market your services. Word of mouth is not to be ignored, and if you are seen to be helping the community, then they are much more likely to want to help back by supporting your business. 

Don’t underestimate social media 

As mentioned previously, the Internet is practically a breeding ground for new clientele. Paid marketing through the likes of Facebook and Instagram means you can reach out to anyone, anywhere. Barry Walker, a Managing Partner at Walker Law has commented that “Social media marketing is the future of lawyers. Most people perform research on their smartphones.” 

Having a strong presence on social media can also help build your credibility. By posting updates about your services, as well as your achievements, you can create a strong image around your business which others can easily follow and access. It also gives people the chance to leave unfiltered reviews of your business: not only can this generate trust in others who are considering your services, but it also markets your business for you, completely free of charge! Sharing these reviews on your website is a fool-proof way for you to build a relationship with a client before either of you have ever met.

Where do I start?

Although you might succeed in drawing people to your site, you must entice them to stay. Having poor web design and shoddy content is a sure-fire way to dissuade people from wanting to use your services, and could prompt them to turn to another competitor in the same industry. Standing out from the crowd with modern, cutting edge web design and an easy-to-navigate site adds to your image as a professional who really knows what they’re doing.

Go Sitebuilder is a simple and easy to use website builder, giving you the ability to create one of the best online businesses in your field of work. Our 14-day free trial allows you to test this for yourself, giving you all the freedom to craft your own business website.

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.

What is the best free photo editing software?

What is the best free photo editing software?

Got an image that would be perfect for your site if only it wasn’t just a little too dark? Or are you looking to grayscale an image to have as a classy background? Either way, you’re going to need a photo editor, but if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee for Adobe Photoshop, then we’ve compiled a list of some of the best free editing software you can use to make your website look amazing. 

GIMP

The GNU Image Manipulation Programme (GIMP) is one of the best free photo editors you can find. It’s full of a multitude of tools that you’d find in paid alternatives like Adobe Photoshop, but without needing to spend a penny!

A benefit of GIMP over other photo editors is that it allows you to create layers of edits, and has a smart selection tool if there are specific areas you think need enhancing. It is open-source software, which means there is a large community of users and developers who are constantly creating new features for you to use, but it does involve quite a steep learning curve if you’re completely new to editing images.

InPixio Free

If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to edit your images, then InPixio is the software you’re looking for! It boasts hundreds of one-click filters that you can use to instantly make your image stand out from the crowd. 

It also has automatic online sharing capabilities, which means you can send images to clients or customers with one click, rather than exporting the file first. It also supports all image formats, so from .png to .jpeg, you’re ready to edit!

Adobe Photoshop Express

You’ll have noticed from the name – this is Adobe Photoshop, but pared down to make it available without having to pay a monthly subscription. Designed for easy and fast editing, the software has a one-click auto-fix option, as well as filters, creative borders, and automatic red-eye removal. 

If you want more of a hands-on approach though, there are more intricate tools that can help you edit your image precisely how you want it. 

If you’re planning to build a website and you want it to look as impressive as possible, then why not check out our 14-day free trial? Our own photo editor is easy-to-use with stylish filters, options for stickers, text overlay and much, much more!

How to overcome common obstacles to selling online

A caucasian female potter leaning over a workbench adding finishing touches to a piece of pottery. She is wearing a white strap top with a black apron on top

Being able to satisfy your retail therapy needs from the comfort of your own home is one of the joys of the modern age. This is why having an online business is now of high importance: selling online reaches customers worldwide and thus your potential target market is endless. If you’re nervous about selling online then read on – we’ve shown you how to overcome some of the barriers to starting an ecommerce business.

You have visitors to your site but they’re not buying!

A problem with selling online is that you are setting an expectation for your product. This means customers cannot tell the quality or fit of your product until they have purchased it. If what you’re selling is highly-priced, then some may be worried about handing over their money to your business. 

However, offering free delivery to new customers or free returns is a great way to soothe these fears. According to research by Barclaycard, 47% of shoppers said they wouldn’t order an item if they had to pay for the return and 30% admitted to deliberately overbuying products, knowing they would return the unwanted items. Not only does this stress the importance of having a free returns scheme, but it also means you’re able to send out more products. Even if items are returned, your visibility is improved.

Similar products to yours are already sold online 

This one is a toughie, as whilst it shows your product is in high demand, it also means that there are a lot of other business competitors out there. However, don’t let this sway you away from online selling: offering discounts is a great way to draw in users to your site, as the consumer will often look for the most cost-effective item. 

Putting a time limit on your discount is also an effective solution, as it pushes the customer into making a decision about whether they want to try your product. If you make these discounts seasonal then it is likely that you will create returning customers, who can then improve your online visibility by leaving good customer reviews. 

Setting up an ecommerce site is too tricky

Whilst the internet may seem like a daunting prospect, it is important to remember that setting up an ecommerce website is not as difficult as it used to be. Nowadays, website builders like ours can do all the hard stuff for you, making that transition into selling online all the more smoother. Our free 14-day trial allows you to create a website in minutes, and even have extra ecommerce features if you do decide to take the leap. Give it a go 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!

Can I host my own website?

Young female sitting on a mattress in a trendy bedroom on her laptop and listening to music through headphones

Hosting your own website is possible. It can be quite an entertaining and rewarding experience, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  All you need is a Windows or Linux machine, and you can upload some HTML files to a folder and host them on the internet all by yourself! 

Now, if all of that already sounds a bit too complicated – you have absolutely nothing to worry about. There are some alternatives and professionals who have taken care of all of this for you already! At Go Sitebuilder, you can easily design, host and launch a professional website without any of the hassle.

Getting everything right

To host your own website, you’ll need a server. A server is a machine that stores data and sends it out to the internet, allowing your site to be accessed from anywhere in the world. That is what web hosting is, in a nutshell. 

It can take a very long time to get everything set up correctly but have no fear – here at Go Sitebuilder we’ve already taken care of all of that for you. 

For a small business owner, or someone trying to get their website running and performing at exceptional quality, it’s always a good idea to go with a professional and experienced hosting service. You won’t ever have to worry about accidentally flipping off the wrong switch or randomly having the whole shut website down! And, the best part is, it’s super simple to do and can be up and running in no time.

Energy and Efficiency

To host a website, you’ll need your server working 24/7. All-day and all night this little guy will be sending and storing data – forever. For anyone to see this data (your website), you’ll need to have some energy running to it. This can be a great way to run up a huge energy bill! 

Unless you can invest in a powerful server and the necessary connections to back it up, the only reason to host your own website is for fun.

The smart choice

A great and trusted option is to build your website and get it live in no time at all with Go Sitebuilder. We make it easy to design and launch a professional-looking website with all the functionality you need to make it work for you. The hosting is handled at our end and included in your subscription fee, and you have access to powerful tools to help market your website and make it into a powerhouse for your business. Get started today, and you’ll be ready to launch in no time.

If you haven’t got your own website up and running yet, what are you waiting for? With Go Sitebuilder, you can have an ecommerce site online in just a few hours, with no experience needed. Try them out now with a 14-day free trial.

How can I sell things online for free?

Female business owner accepting a package from a delivery person.

Maybe you already have an online store where you sell your products, or maybe you’re just starting out in the ecommerce world. Either way, online marketplaces are a great option to diversify your customer base and increase your income, as you can capitalise on the site’s already-existing loyal audience. 

If you’re just starting out, it’s not worth paying the fees for high-traffic sites like Amazon and Ebay, so we’ve had a look at two of the best online marketplaces that don’t cost a penny.

Craigslist

Created in San Francisco during the early days of the internet, Craigslist is now the world’s largest online classifieds website where you can advertise anything from houses to plant pots. According to SimilarWeb, the marketplace is ranked 15th in the United States and 48th worldwide, so the site has a large and loyal audience. 

Craigslist is good for selling items locally, as the buyer usually picks up the item in person and hands over the payment in cash. This can help you develop a good relationship and trust with your customers, but isn’t so good for expanding your customer base beyond your immediate area. If you do want to send your products further afield, you will have to handle everything from the point of sale, including the delivery and any after-sales issues. 

Facebook Marketplace

Using the ever-popular social media platform, Facebook Marketplace is a simple and easy way to sell your products. Just upload a picture and description of the item, and people can contact you directly through Facebook messenger. One of the benefits that this platform has over Craigslist is that you can look at the profile of the person you’re selling to by checking out their Facebook profile, which can help you identify scammers or bots. 

Being part of a social media site, Facebook Marketplace is also a good way to expand your audience, as content is easily shareable, either by you or by happy customers. Similar to Craigslist, this platform works better on a local scale, unless you’re prepared to handle delivery and online payment yourself. 

If you’re based in the United States, LetGo and Geebo are also good alternatives for free online marketplaces, but they are not yet available in the UK. 

Free online marketplaces are useful for local sales, but they are often limited if you’re looking to expand your reach beyond your city. If you want to set up your own ecommerce website, why not try out Go Sitebuilder’s 14-day free trial? Their online store has unlimited products, a variety of payment options and you can even create customised discount codes! 

How to choose the perfect domain name for your online store

Female small business owner stood in the middle of her shop updating her online store via a tablet device. She is wearing dark green clothing and glasses

Your domain name is the first time your users will connect with your brand, and it’s important that you get it right. We’ve put together some tips to help you create a memorable and unique domain name for your online store. 

Does it reflect your brand and product?

If you’ve already developed and established a brand name, then use this for your domain. If that isn’t available, brainstorm words related to your core brand and values that are relevant to your business, and think about your potential customers; does this evoke the concepts and feelings your business represents? If you’re not sure, show some examples to friends and ask them what they think the website is selling and what kind of brand it is – if it’s way off, consider changing it to make it clearer. 

Can you optimise it for SEO?

Including keywords in your domain name will help your site rank higher on search engines and be more visible to potential clients, so pick a name that is specific to your product. However, be aware that this could make your site sound generic (cottontshirts.com) and could also limit what you can offer in the future. You can also use the domain extension .store as it both shows that you’re an ecommerce brand and helps you get that keyword into your domain name.

Is it simple and easy to understand?

You want your domain to be unique, but also memorable. Keep it short (17 characters max) and avoid unnecessary characters, abbreviations and numbers. Avoid unusual spellings and make it easy to say out loud, as then it’s easier to remember. 

When you’re starting out, brainstorm lots of ideas! Choose 10 words that represent your brand personality and your product, and play with different variations until you find one that sounds right. Check if it’s available and remember to buy it quickly; there are bots that buy up domains that have been recently searched to sell that at a profit later. 

A domain name should represent you and your brand, but you need a high-quality website as well! Go Sitebuilder has ecommerce capability, personalised domain names and offers five email addresses with that domain. Try out their 14-day free trial, and use their pre-built themes and designs to create a website that your customers will love.