essential web design tools, web design tools, wordpress

5 Essential Web Design Tools for WordPress

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WordPress Web Design Tools We Grew To Love

Over the years you tend to come across a wide variety of useful web design tools when researching problems or trying find more productive ways to spin up projects. Often times you find little gems that you will use again and again going forward, saving you time and more often than not making your life as a web designer or developer so much easier. Here are some essential Web Design Tools I have curated throughout my tenure as a Web Developer at Opus and how we have used these tools to build award winning websites.

#1 – Picular

I love this web app. Looking for some inspiration to drive your brand or web design project? Then try Picular and see what unimaged splashes of colour jump out at you. A really nice tool for discovering new colour variants or for theming your web design project around a certain concept or idea.

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#2 – Pexels

Pexels is a great resource if you plan to write a lot of dynamic content on your website. It has a large pool of stock imagery to cover a wide variety of topics making it a great first stop when procuring some visual content for your blog.

Pexels has recently also added video content to their repository, so you can utilise cross-platform media if you are keen to explore delivering your content on socials and conversation based websites. Better yet, you can register as a content creator and get paid for your images if that’s the sort of direction you want to take. Definitely worth a bookmark.

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#3 – Font Awesome

During your journey as a web designer you will come across many ocassions where you need specific visual iconography to communicate actions within your web design project. Spending the time to curate bespoke icons is time consuming and costly and may not always been an option. That’s why Font Awesome is #3 on my list. A superb collection of web icons spanning many styles and genres.

Perfect for websites that need to communicate user actions quickly and efficiently with their light weight integration through CDN and code snippet set-up. Can’t reccommend enough!

web design tools for wordpress

#4 – Advanced Custom Fields

This was a game changer for us when I stumbled upon ACF – at the time we were building bespoke WordPress Websites and you would often (bare in mind this was 2014-2018) have large functionality requests and convoluted WordPress management systems clashing making it a really difficulty and cumbersome user experience for the client.

With ACF we were able to build pixel perfect designs and match that design to a user input and content management system that was easy to use and visually intuitive. It opened up a lot of doors for us and offered a large leap in capability for a 2-man team. With ACF we built websites that gave the clients to power and confidence to manage their web design projects without having to refer back to us for updates. Some of our ACF based WordPress Web Design projects are still moving forwards today – businesses such as Employflex and Holden (Soon to be updated however) continue to use their platforms.

ACF is an amazing web design tool for projects that need very specific designs to be managed and populated by the end-user clients and crucially, it offers a great alternative to page builders such as Elementor for those who want to build and deploy bespoke WordPress projects.

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#5 – Bootstrap

Much like ACF, Bootstrap liberated us from the darkest of time sinks in our web projects. Namely responsive web design, asset generation and templating. I mentioned above that ACF gave use the power to build custom functionality and enabled the user to affect change on these websites without having to revert back to us – Bootstrap was another discovery that enabled us as a 2-man team to achieve award winning web design projects and also build to scopes that would have previously put projects way beyond budget.

With Bootstrap we were able to cut out so much development time translating our designs to code through a templating structure that once learned offered great freedoms and speed through a set of pre-defined snippets and in-line css making layouts extremely quick and easy to render.

I’d actually like to come back to this in another topic, I’ve quite a lot to say about those years which saw some extremely popular quality of life web design tools for WordPress come to light in web design – for now though these are some great web design tools that we used during our time designing and building bespoke WordPress themes.

Hope you enjoyed these essential web design tools, they certainly changed how we developed our websites over the years – hopefully they will bring some value to your work-flow.

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