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Resources

Tools and Free Downloads To Help Your Business

Please kindly note that some of these links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission with no additional cost to you. I only recommend tools I have used and believe are genuinely beneficial, not because of the small commissions I earn if you decide to purchase them. Most importantly, I would never ask you to buy something that you cannot afford or that you are not yet ready to adopt.

WEB HOSTING

Siteground

After using JustHost as my main shared web host, I have decided it it time to switch to Siteground instead. Reason is that JustHost is getting slow during peak hours at times. My sites would come to a crawl. This problem is evident and apparent when there are too many websites being hosted on a single server. And if there are other websites that are gobbling too much bandwidth on the server, this will affect the performance of other sites on the same server.

After I switched to Siteground, I do not have anymore of such issues. And the best thing is that my sites are hosted on servers using SSD technologies and super caches. Hence, if you are looking for reliability and reasonably above average speed performance, then I would strongly recommend Siteground for your web hosting. Well, feel free to explore many other web host options. But, most importantly, you have to strike a balance between cost vs performance. You would not want to get a super deal on cheapest web hosting but end up a chore to maintain and update your sites though.

EMAIL MARKETING

ConvertKit

ConvertKit

While there are plenty of such email marketing software available on the market, this new kid on the block actually stands up from the rest. I am currently using it, and I like the simple user interface and total ease of use of the software. I can easily create an opt-in form and link it to my website within minutes, and the integration is done. All I need is to edit the form and graphics content, and ConvertKit will be automatically updates the changes of the form immediately. Best of all, the standard monthly subscription of US$29 comes with tagging feature that allows you to segment existing subscribers by tagging them in different email lists. And that’s a powerful feature you can only find in higher-end email marketing software like Infusionsoft.

VECTORS, INFOGRAPHICS & ICONS

Again, there are huge amounts of choices on the internet. However, having an eye to selectively choose the best of all will usually be a challenge. Sometimes, I can also get lost in the middle of these selections. But I always stick to a few which I regard them as the de facto.

Icons8.com (Free Downloads + Paid)

This site offers 39,900 free icons for download. Most of the icons are trendy and updated in terms of style, aesthetics and formats for iOS, Windows and Android platforms. It even comes with free apps that can be installed on your desktop taskbar, and you can drag and drop icons directly into Illustrator, Photoshop and Visual Studio. I am been using Icons8 for my designs and they are by far the best in terms of quality and choice.

Freepik.com (Free Downloads + Premium)

Freepik is another good site to download free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos for using in websites, banners, presentations, magazines. The premium version offers you more high quality graphics that you cannot find under the free categories. Usually, this is my 2nd choice for icons and graphics.

Vectorstock.com (Paid with Credits system)

Also another site for your infographics and vectors (mathematically drawn line art) needs. No matter which vector art you choose and buy, each costs only a dollar. You just have to buy and top up a certain amount of credits to your account in Vectorstock, and then download your favorites from there. Hence, the pricing offers by Vectorstock is very affordable. Do note that the choices may not be as wide and selective compared to others such as Shutterstock or iStock.

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY

iStock.com (Paid with Credits system)

iStock used to be one of my favorites in the yesterday years, and still is. Just that I do not use it frequently nowadays due to cost issues. In fact, the prices for premium royalty-free images and photos have risen over the years. Nevertheless, the selections have increased ever since for iStock. It offers even more now; there are readily videos and audios for downloads as well. It also equips with a large selections of varied styles of stock photos for you to choose from. Almost comparable to Shutterstock.

 Unsplash (Free)

Unsplash is a free license photo image site. You can download free of charge, high resolution images posted by professional photographers. I am amazed to find some of the artistic and beautiful images available at this site. You should explore and see for yourself. It is often updated with new photo entries. Who knows you can find a perfect photo if you look hard enough.

VIDEO & AUDIO

The Stocks (FREE)

I manage to come across The Stocks that lists free videos and audio sites. What a treasure! Simply subscribe to their newsletter, and you will receive some of the best free videos and audios in addition to stock photos for downloads. If you are looking for moving background images as backdrops for your videos, this may be a good choice for you as you do not have to spend a dime on subscriptions.

WORDPRESS THEMES & PLUGINS

If you have been trying to start a wordpress blog for your online business, you will definitely need a wordpress theme. The following themes’ sites are my recommendations:

Themify (Paid  Subscription)

Themify sells WordPress themes and plugins. I have been their loyal customer for some years. I have used their plugins and themes. I must admit though they are not perfect, but they do serve my needs well. Themify Builder that comes with each theme allows you to customize the look and feel of your blog through drag and drop method instead of starting off with code. Of course, you can still customize the preset layouts further to tweak to your liking.

MyThemeShop (Paid Subscription or Sold Separately)

This site also offers a variety of useful themes and plugins as well. You can either be a member or buy off a theme or plugin separately on one time off. To enjoy some perks and great discounts, you may want to consider subscribing to MyThemeShop’s email list. Because you can get super discounts offered through emails that is way better deals than the standard retail prices stated on the site.

Elegant Themes (Paid Subscription)

This is one of the pioneer themes that have been around since 2010 (I think). Elegant Themes are still relatively fine to use, though the level of customization is restricted in certain ways. Plus, some of the themes are already dated. However, the author and his team, Nick have developed and revamped a theme called the Divi theme which is easy to use, and it comes with the Divi Builder, similar to Themify Builder. For your information, this site has utilized the same theme for the layout. I basically just need to drag and drop features into a preset or empty layout box.

FREE DOWNLOADS

Creative Market

This site offers free goodies for free every week. If you are looking for free fonts, graphics, web templates, you should explore this site and subscribe for free updates. Enter your email and receive these freebies every now and then in your email inbox. I personally have benefited a lot from getting freebies from Creative Market. I am sure you will love it!

MyThemeShop – Themes & Plugins (Free)

You can download free themes here. Kindly note that free themes may not come with help documentation and tech support. Hence, if you are looking for assistance to tweak the look and feel of your blogs quickly, they may not be suitable for your needs.

You can download free plugins here. Again, no support for free plugins.

Themify – Plugins (Free)

You can download free plugins here. Again, no support for free plugins.

FREE Photoshop Training

Photoshop CC Tutorials for Beginners

This is an absolute beginners guide to Photoshop, which I have discovered recently while doing some software training research. If you are an online marketer who is keen to do some of your own graphics editing yourself, then it will prove extremely useful to learn and master some basic skills in Photoshop. So, I believe this free resource will help you greatly. Hence, I am including it here for your reference.

 

This page content has been updated as at December 2017. Note that these content shall be constantly updated to reflect the most accurate information and trends available.