Looking for a way to add more zeal to the website and keep visitors coming back for more? The Internet puts a grand selection of resources and tools within reach of anyone’s mouse pointer. All it takes is a bit of patience and some imagination to create a website that can lure and entertain the masses.
From widget development to graphics, there is a plethora of ways any website can deliver a unique experience. Some may even inspire new ways to create a layout or be insightful about what can be modified.
Below are three must-have resources when it comes to developing a website. Don’t merely settle for default templates or basic stock images when it comes to website development. These tools will deliver more to the experience while adding a bit of zest to the site.
- Content Management Systems
Content management systems, or CMS, are some of the most popular ways to build a website today. A developer can create a fan page, personal blog or even an eCommerce powerhouse with the right platform. The best part is that most of them are very easy to use and have excellent support from forums and communities.
Here are only a few systems that are often seen online when visiting a website:
When it comes to CMS usage, WordPress is by far the leader. This system is easy to use, can be modified through a myriad of ways and can host everything from a blog to eCommerce.
Although Joomla! is arguably a bit more difficult to manage than WordPress, it does offer an excellent backbone for building a website. It, too, is often a system for blogging and eCommerce.
While Drupal is not as popular as WordPress or Joomla, it can be considered along the same lines as an easy-to-use system. Like its counterparts, Drupal can be modified through various modules and templates.
Magento is a popular system for to those building eCommerce sites. It’s used in platforms for some of the biggest brands in the world and comes with a wide selection of tools. It also has an open source, free version for beginning online stores.
For those looking for a strong system that is free to use, Prestashop may be worth considering. It has all of the tools needed to get started selling right away. However, it does offer a way to purchase extensions to add more to the shopping experience.
Users can find a CMS for just about any purpose. Whether it’s educational tools, creating Wiki pages or hosting a forum, most of them can be installed and running within the hour.
- Images, Graphics and Fonts
The overall visual appearance of a site is important when engaging an audience. Not everyone has access to all of the tools necessary when they want to create a website. Images, vector graphics and even fonts can add a completely different look and feel to the most basic of layouts.
Whether it’s a featured image or a thumbnail within the content, pictures can set the tone for an article. Getting images and other graphics that are not copyright protected can be a pain. Here are a few sites users may find of use:
- Pexels: Pexels is a free site that has a number of images that can be used without licensing or copyright issues. Its database grows on a daily basis.
- FreePik: This site is loaded with all kinds of vector images, PSD files for Photoshop, icons and stock photos. Free and Premium accounts are available.
- Pixabay: Like Pexels, Pixabay has a continuously growing database of free photos, vectors and illustrations across many different topics and genres.
Once an image is selected, optimizing it is a necessity for site performance. However, not everyone has access to image editing tools. As a result, many people will trust Pixlr for their creative needs. This web-based application is similar to Photoshop in many ways while offering a way to adjust an image without a login account or a subscription fee.
- Speed Testing
One of the most important factors for any website is that of speed. A slow site cannot only lead to visitors abandoning the pages, but it will affect SEO as well. This is why optimization is very important to the success of a website.
Speed test tools can be very informative when it comes to the data regarding a website. Some will offer tips on how to improve while others will show exactly what segments are slowing the system down. Below are some of the most trusted around the Internet.
- PageSpeed Tools
Google’s PageSpeed Tools Insights is a quick and easy way to gauge how a website performs on the Internet. The system gives a report on where problems lie and also gives suggestions on how to fix them.
The testing system at Pingdom.com shows the performance of a website on a grading scale. The free test will show what files and coding issues are potentially slowing the site such as queries to external sources.
GTMetrix offers a similar system to Pingdom and will show results in the same grading fashion. It will also give suggestions regarding how to fix problem areas as well as deliver in-depth tips for improving performance
It’s not all that difficult to create a website. However, a well-developed site has greater potential for engaging visitors. The right image here or the perfect widget there can inspire others to share pages. Don’t assume that a default layout and theme is all that’s needed to build a popular website. Use the above resources to enhance the content and show something that is memorable to the target audience.