Web and digital technology changes so often, by the time a book is published about the newest, best thing, it's pretty close to being obsolete. Everyone who makes their living building websites uses online resources and an amazing network of other professionals. Here's my 2014 round up of helpful resources:
- WordPress.org – Robust web development platform which can be used build a full featured website, with or without a blog.
- More interested in a blog than a business-based website? Check out WordPress' blogging software at WordPress.com
Security & Maintenance
- How Fast Does Your Website Load? You may be losing visitors if your site takes too long to come up. This tool gives you a ranking, and lists the sizes of all the graphics on your page.
Accessibility , search engine optimization and analysis
- Google Analytics is the industry standard for monitoring website traffic
- Evaluating Site Accessibility – Discusses web site accessibility issues.
- Search Engine Simulator – Tool to give you an idea how search engine see your page.
- Web Developer Toolbar – Extension adds a menu and a toolbar to Firefox of Chrome with various web developer tools
- Who Links to Me? – A fun and useful tool which gives you a quick way to find out what other sites link to yours. You can do this in any search engine, but this is a handy way to check on more than one at a time.
Design Techniques, Theory & Inspiration
- Website Design Checklist – from a site called “web pages that suck”; includes links to tools you can use to facilitate making these changes
- Web Design Features – Is your web site good or bad? This is an oldie, but goodie, which outlines the do's and don'ts for web design.
- Colour Lovers – Great resource for color inspiration
- Background designs – Nice roundup of background design websites and tools
- iStockphoto – high quality stock art and photos for purchase