Resources

Here are some information on what you need to think about when launching a new website. There are links to sites I’ve used as reference to cite my sources where applicable.

Website Building Resources

When you need a website, you need these to have your custom name URL and where your website will be installed.

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Domain

Domain is the name of your website- www.yourbusinessname.ca- for example. Ideally this is the name of your business but it doesn’t have to be the same. I chose monicadesigns.ca because my business is in Canada and my last name may be difficult to remember.
WHERE TO GET DOMAINS: If you are in Canada, head to GoDaddy Canada and use their search function to find a domain. Other popular providers are NameCheap Google Domain, even Shopify. They all have a search bar where you can check if the domain name you want is available or not.
PRICE: Price varies but typical price for a domain is around US$ 15.00. This needs to be renewed every year so be sure to renew or use the automatic renewal setting somewhere in your account. So you don’t lose your domain! They usually have some promotion going on so you can get these for maybe $1. Yes that’s one dollar. But only for the first year. Get it cheaper if you register for two years.
PRIVACY: Make sure to check if the price of the domain includes domain privacy. This is VERY important. This hides your personal information on the domain registration. Go to ICANN website for example and search for a domain. If there is domain privacy, your name and other information is hidden.
WHAT I USE: GoDaddy, WHC, Porkbun

Website Hosting

There are so many website hosts out there. And just as many comparison articles which one is the best.
WHAT I USE: I use Web Hosting Canada because I want the server location for my website to be in Canada. Why? If the website server (location of the site) is located in Canada, your data is protected under Canadian laws. I’ve been with WHC for around 6 years and so far I am happy with them. Other popular hosts are Flywheel, Siteground, Bluehost, Dreamhost, PlanetHoster and many others.
NOTE: The link to WHC above is an affiliate link. If you use it to signup, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is the only affiliate link on this page.
PRICE: For simple websites, the cost for the initial year will be about $5/month. WHC GO plan should be enough at $3.89/month the first year. But check the plan features to see if that is enough for your needs like email accounts and storage capacity. If you think your site will get hundreds of thousands of visitors, consider getting a dedicated server to avoid the site from loading slowly.

Cloud Storage

Dropbox is cloud storage. Access your files using any computer or by app in your phone. The Free Dropbox account lets you store up to 2GB storage. Convenient if you need to share files with your team or family. If you need more, the next plan up is $15.99/month.
If you are an Apple user in Canada, their starter iCloud paid plan lets you store up to 50GB at $1.29/month. If you have a Google account, you get a Google Drive. Free account allows 15GB in storage.
WHAT I USE: I use Dropbox all the time for sharing files with clients during and after completion of projects. And iCloud so I can take as many pictures and videos and not run out of space. Some clients prefer Google Drive, which I also use so I can easily share files with them.

Business Resources

As a business owner, time is your most important resource. Saving time to work on other important things like going out for a run, enjoying hobbies, or spend time with your puppy. 🙂

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Online Design Tool – Canva

Everybody loves Canva! Canva is a free online design tool that you can use through your browser. They have a free account plan and it’s very easy to use! Maybe you need social media post, banner, flyer, presentation, they have it. Create an account for free or get their paid plan if you need more resources available to you. Select the type of project you want and then add text and graphics- drag and drop what you want then download the file. Voila! Social media posts, done!

Typography

Google Fonts is the best place to get free fonts. It’s an open source library of 1,451 font families. Great selection and easy to download and install. It’s also free! Check out Google Noto fonts includes Japanese, Arabic, Balinese, Thai, so many international fonts.
WHAT I USE: Aside from Google Fonts, I use Adobe Fonts included in my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and Font Squirrel. If I need to identify a font, Font Squirrel has Font Identifier called Matcherate, which tries to identify the font from an image you upload. Not 100% but gives me an idea where to look next.

Colour Palette Picker

If you need help choosing a colour palette, there are plenty of online colour palette generators for you. Coolors.co will generate random colour combinations. No need to create an account, just press the spacebar to generate a palette or explore trending colours.
WHAT I USE: I use Adobe Color because I can save the palette into an Adobe library which I can access while using any Adobe app. Talking about colours make me so happy. If you are the same, head to Google’s Material Design and geek away. 🙂

Scheduling Software – Calendly

If you need a tool for your clients to book your time on a calendar, look no further than Calendly. Create 45-minute meeting, set the time clients can book on a calendar. You can set yourself unavailable during holidays or vacation, of course! They have a free plan you can use to try it out. Acuity is another tool similar to Calendly. If you’re curious, this is my Calendly booking page for meetings. You will get an email notification when someone schedules a call. You can connect your Zoom account if you’re on a paid plan so your Zoom links will be automatically sent.

Free Graphics

There are so many free icons and graphics shared by artists around the world. A lot of them are free but needs some attribution. I’ve used two here on this page from IconScout. It takes design skill and time to make these icons and graphics. If you decide to use these freebies, please give the designer some credit love. I shared more free resources on my post on Free Photography and Graphics.

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