Your Website

Buttons and Logos

  • CoolText Graphics Generator – Good site for making web buttons.  Haven’t tried out the logos and fonts part yet.
  • All-Free-Download.com – Good free graphics, art, Photoshop brushes, website backgrounds, etc.
  • GRSites.com – Make elaborate buttons and more.  (Thanks to Lena for finding this one!)

Convert Word to PDF

You can convert Word docs to .PDF files here:

CSS

Text

  • Textbox Creator – Use this tool for creating text boxes.   You can then create a class and attach it to whatever specific text elements you want to apply it to.  This tool doesn’t seem to work on Safari or Chrome.
  • Simple text boxes how-to – Shows how to create the code for doing text boxes.  You can then apply this code to specific text on your site.

Design

Colors

  • Kuler Color Creation – A great site for creating colors based on any number of approaches.  Also has popular and recommended colors.

Graphics

Programs and Websites for creating graphics

Images and Icons

Free Images

Make It Mobile

Can your website be easily viewed on mobile devices? If not, you’re losing business. These plug-ins make it your website viewable on iPhones, Androids, and even that almost extinct relic known as a Blackberry:

The best Plug-ins based on my initial research:

  • WP Mobile Detector – This is the official WordPress download page. Their description: ” … automatically detects if the visitor is using a standard mobile phone or a smart phone and loads a compatible WordPress mobile theme for each … With advanced mobile statistics, image resizing, automatically formatted content, and detection of 5,000+ mobile phones, the WP Mobile Detector gives your mobile visitors the experience they desire.”
  • WPtouch – Official WordPress download page for the plug-in.   From their description: “WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects, when viewed from iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch mobile devices. The admin panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance, and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your site to touch mobile visitors, without modifying a single bit of code (or affecting) your regular desktop theme.”

Stories

Music for Online Videos

Royalty Free Music

Type Fonts

  • My Fonts – Find, identify, try and store different fonts on this site.
  • Indentifont – Another good site for identifying and finding fonts

WordPress Audio Players

These audio players can be used for playing audio files on your WordPress website:

  • WP Audio Mp3 Player – (WordPress download page).  His words: “Play mp3s and podcasts in posts with the simplest, cleanest, easiest mp3 player. New HTML5 support for iPhone, iPad, Android & mobile browsers.”   The official player page is here.
  • Mp3-jPlayer – This is a really good looking audio player.  Lots of adjustments, different player configurations, etc.  Demo page is here.
  • Haiku Minimalist Audio Player – A very simple player that is also iPad/ iPhone compatible.  Html-5 based.

More info:

Good list of 15 audio players – This is the article where I found several of the players

Web Hosting

Recommended:

  •  InMotion Hosting – I’ve been through the gambit with web hosting companies.  I’ve finally settled with InMotion Hosting and I couldn’t be happier.  GREAT customer service, fast servers and more.  You simply can’t do better than InMotion for shared hosting.

NOT Recommended

  • BlueHost – I had nothing but problems with this company.  During one month, my site was down several times.  At one point it was so bad they couldn’t even tell me why, nor how long it would be before they could get it back up.  I won’t even run a link to them.  DO NOT USE THEM.
  • HostGator – They used to be perhaps the best shared-hosting company.  And then EIG bought them, gutted it, crammed as many sites onto a server as they could, and cut back on customer support.  DO NOT USE THEM.
  • GoDaddy – GoDaddy is fine for managing your domain names.  But they suck at web hosting.  Tales of their inept customer support and lack of quality control are rampant.  DO NOT USE THEM.
  • Any EIG-owned web hosting company – Before you decide on a web-hosting company, make sure they are not listed on this page. Like BlueHost and HostGator, these are companies that used to be good, got acquired by EIG – which then promptly gutted them and turned them into web-hosting nightmares.  DO NOT USE ANY OF THEM.

WordPress

Simply put, WordPress is the simplest, fastest, and most elegant way to create great websites.  Key to it is having a great theme.

Here are my favorites:

Premium Themes

  • Woothemes Canvas – This is simply the most versatile theme I’ve ever used.  You can make a website look like almost anything you want with this.  You can change fonts, layout, back and foreground colors, and pretty much everything else.  Most of it is accessible via the control panel.  But many more things can also be done through simple CSS additions.
  • WooThemes Fresh News – This is another great theme.  In fact, this website uses Fresh News.  Highly recommended if you don’t want to deal with the customization required in Canvas.

Free Themes

  • ThemesGuru – Found this site accidentally.  But it has a lot of nice, free themes.  Couldn’t find out much about who owns the site except for this info from “WhoIs”. But if you’re looking for a place with a lot of decent free themes, this is great.  When it comes to support, however, you’re on your own.

Plug-ins

  • Backup Buddy  This program is like insurance. You hope you never need it, but you’ll think it’s the greatest investment you ever made when you do.  Once it’s set up, it can automatically back up your WordPress website to Amazon S3, DropBox, or pretty much anywhere else you want.  It also enables you to either just save the data or the entire site, and to even migrate a site from one server to another.  There are free plugins that can do some of what this does.  But Backup Buddy is more flexible and easier to use than any of them.  Get it!

Lessons

  • How to Make a WordPress Website –  This is a really good overall video on how to build a WordPress website.  It’s an hour-long video that covers all the basics.  Also has some really good tips.