Free/Cheap Webmaster Resources that Give Your Online Community Sizzle

In a small business, you are often an “army of one.”  And when it comes to your online community, sometimes it’s even harder to get resources to help make it attractive and vibrant.  This post is a roundup of some of our favorite online resources for free and/or cheap graphic design and editing tools.  (We assume you’ve already enabled the Halloween Graemlins. )

Before you plunge into the list, though, one tip: ask your community members!  Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, your own members might be thrilled to contribute free graphics or photos that will enhance the site.  You could even have a contest.  Who knows, one of your members might be a design pro who wants to contribute!

If you have a favorite resources, please feel free to suggest it in the comments.


Article: 15 Best places for stock photography by SixRevisions

Fotolia - inexpensive photos, vector, & video

Color Palettes

DeGraeve color palette generator - put any URL and it will show you matching color swatches with hex codes
Upload an image or enter a tag, hex code, or URL to get a matching color palette - Help with color shades for theming


Article: Sources for Free Icon Sets from Smashing Magazine (includes social media icons)

Vector art

Icon Eden - inexpensive icon sets

Icon Archive - free and inexpensive icons

Favicon Maker

Upload a graphic and it will convert it to a favicon for you

Design Projects

99Designs - offer your project and get bids from designers

File Conversion - free, it will convert video, audio, graphic files, images, etc., to different formats

Domain Search - a fast search for all domain extensions, not just dot com...offers creative alternative suggestions too

Browser Stats

What browsers you need to optimize for, with breakdown by version


Online Image Editing

The Aviary -
Free suite of powerful online editing tools - free, turns images into round shapes

Fonts & Type Optimization - best source for free fonts - inexpensive fonts  - compare screen types and various fonts/sizes

Button Maker - generate buttons online, cheap yearly subscription


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

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