5 Of the best websites and free online tools for web & graphic designers – Part II:
Well here is as promised another 5 great resources. Im sure if you are a web or graphic designer you have heard of some of these, hopefully I will post some new ones for you. I use all of these links on a weekly basis.
Feel free to share your favorite sites/tools by commenting below!
Delivr QR Code Generator:
Not just your average QR Generator
I must of spent over and hour and passed through two dozen QR generator websites until I found one that had all the features I wanted. Delivr has by far the best (IMO) QR generator out there. I like the fact there are so many different formats you can use for a QR code and I love the fact that you can download them as .png or .eps which no other site that I know of has! The main feature I wanted was a “memo” for a VCard/Contact Information QR Code, that way when someone scans the QR code with their iphone lets say, it will automatically fill in all my contact details, website, email, address etc as well as have a memo where I can say something like “thanks for scanning me, enjoy 10% off my services.” If you sign up for a free account there are other goodies that come with it as well, like an API and tracking!
Great free photoshop ready tillable patterns
We are always wanting some quick patterns for projects. I personally love photoshop for laying out websites etc and the best thing about this site is you can download all their patterns in one .pat (photoshop pattern) file. All their patterns are great because their subtle, as the name says. They add a lot to areas on a design that feel like they need a little more pop or texture, I generally use them as a pattern overlay then tone down the opacity to about 20% so they are barely noticeable but add a nice feeling to a normal plain color block.
Test websites in a rage of resolutions
Surprisingly there are not many good resolution testers out there, most of them simply just reduce the size of your browser window to simulate a lower resolution which really does not work well. You can choose from a number of the most popular screen resolutions to test what your website will look like to those on higher or lower resolutions and it even has Iphone and Wii resolution testers!
Google Page Speed Labs:
Optimize your website for speed & SEO
If you dont already know of it, google has a great tool that you can enter your website and google will give it a rank out of 100 based on speed, which we all know plays a part in SEO. It will suggest what files should be compressed or optimized, and it ranks them by priority and even shows you how much they should be reduced in size by. To help you compress and optimize your images, the quick, painless and easy way read my next tip!
Image Optim (MAC/OSX):
Optimize & compress your images
To relate to the above Google Page Speed Labs, This is probably one of my favorite tools and a must have! Simply drag images onto the programs window and it will compress the image without a loss of quality. There are so many of these tools for windows users but none for mac. It works for all image types but really excels in PNG files. PNG are by far my favorite format to use on websites because they have transparency and generally look 10X better then a jpg. On average this tool will save you about 10-15% per image, which is huge and thats even after optimizing in fireworks.
To optimize my site what I did was simply download all the images from my images folder used on my website, dragged them all into ImageOptim then simply re-upped them and my site ranking via google page speed labs increased from 60/100 to 85/100.
Well there you go, another 5 great resources for web/graphic designers. Check back soon, or follow me on twitter to keep up to date on MY LIST of the best websites and free online tools for web & graphic designers.
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