This article which is the second instalment in the series ‘Web Design Online Tools and Resources’ will focus on free resources that could give your website a professional edge over your competitors – in both appearance and function.
Smart web design involves more than just colour, images, fonts and layout. Other elements and features can add personality, and improve branding and usability to enhance your online presence.
Helpful Free Web Design Online Tools
Create and customise maps using the free design online tool Scribble Maps – handy for both personal and business use.
Features of Scribble Maps include:
- Personalise maps with stylish colours and icons that reflect your branding.
- Add photo overlays of your business and/or products – to add authenticity increasing user confidence and business recognition.
- Draw on maps, with shapes, texts or markers to highlight important locations for you and your clients.
- Search locations and save them to your customised map.
- Analyse and measure distances to plan travel times for business or pleasure.
- Export maps in a format that suits your needs – exports are available in PDF, KML, DXF, GPX, SHP
Scribble Maps: www.scribblemaps.com
Broken Link Check
Have you ever visited a website, clicked on a hyperlink, and received an error message? Frustrating, isn’t it? These are dead or broken links, or because of the serious issues they can cause, they are often referred to as ‘link rot problem’ or ‘rotten’ weblink.
Broken hyperlinks are not just annoying, they can cause damage to your business and online reputation, with clients and search engines, for the following reasons:
- Your site will seem unprofessional and neglected, which can be interpreted by users as incompetent and a reflection of your business.
- Existing or long-term customers could become irritated, eventually to the point of leaving your site and possibly checking out your competitors.
- First-time users will be put off and click away never to return, restricting your chances of attracting new clients.
- Your site will suffer in the rankings as major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing penalise for broken links.
So how do you know if you have broken links?
To check your web design online, you can use the Broken Links Check which tells you if any of your hyperlinks are dead and where those stale references are located in your HTML code.
Broken Link Checker: http://brokenlinkcheck.com
Quality photos on your website add credibility and help attract and engage users. However, when using photos, you need to be aware of ownership and copyright laws. With the great online design resource ‘Unsplash’ you can access free, high-resolution images and use them for commercial or non-commercial use without seeking permission or copyright.
‘Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers’ is the tagline for this site, and it’s true. Choose from over 200 000 beautiful photos covering different categories, and not breach copyright laws.
‘Unsplash’ grants permission for the non-exclusive copyright licence to download, modify, distribute, and use photos from Unsplash for free. There is no legal or moral obligation to credit the photographer, though it is appreciated if possible. The licence does not include compiling photos from Unsplash to replicate sites that are similar or a competing online stock photo service.
While these web design online tools are simple to use, they cannot replace the expertise of a web designer. F1RST keep up to date with the latest resources and can advise and implement the best online design tools for your Coffs Harbour business. We also offer Website Management Plans to manage and update your website so you can focus on running your day to day business.