There are so many resources out there to help you with the design of your own website. Just a little customization of your website (imagery, background, colors, fonts) will go a long way towards making your site look like your site.

Images

  • Pixabay – stock photos that don’t require attribution.
  • Pexels – stock photos that don’t require attribution. Pexel has also focused on being more inclusive in its representation of different racial groups.
  • Unsplash – stock photos organized by category (e.g. film, animals, work, etc.)
  • Reshot – stock photos you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Skitterphoto – another offbeat stock photo site.

Textures, patterns

  • Subtle Patterns – exactly what it sounds like – subtle patterns that make for sophisticated website backgrounds. This website uses one.
  • Pexel Textures – colorful textures suitable for bold website design.
  • Pattern8 – provides thematic patterns – use them with caution!
  • Free Stock Textures – another place to go for backgrounds!
  • UIGradients – looking for something very subtle? You might want a gradient instead.
  • Cool Backgrounds – you will love these options!

Colors

  • Coolors – gives a variety of options to construct a palette (photo upload, random generator, customization, saving to portfolio). Also allows you to create palettes for the colorblind.
  • Adobe Color – I recommend the “explore” feature.
  • Colormind – gives you a custom palette based on any photo you upload and gives you helpful preview options.
  • Canva – search for color palettes by keyword

Fonts

  • Google Fonts – a lot of WordPress themes rely on Google fonts, so this is a good place to test them out.
  • FontPair – helps you figure out how to pair Google fonts.
  • Fontjoy – randomly generates font pairings.
  • Typewolf – gives font recommendations.

Content

  • Grammarly – the browser add-on catches typos and grammar issues before you will.
  • Hemingway – copy/paste your text to identify instances of the passive voice, jargon, and overuse of adjectives and adverbs.
  • Word Count – a Chrome extension that makes it easy to see how long your posts are.
  • Cliche Finder – copy/paste in text to identify cliches that take away from the precision of your writing.
  • De-jargonizer – upload or copy/paste text to determine how accessible it is to outsiders to your field.

*Thanks to Jessica Greene’s 2019 article for many of the items on this list.

Other

  • Balsamiq – wireframing software that helps you plan out the layout of your site.
  • Trello – allows you to card sort electronically all day long.
  • WAVE – another Chrome extension that allows you to check your web content for accessibility issues.
  • UsabilityHub – provides a great set of free UX research tools.