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Tools & Resources

The Easy Way to Apply Church Website Color Schemes

Successfully picking and combining colors to produce beautiful palettes for visual design projects is both an art and science. Color pickers and palette (or color scheme) generators like COLOURLovers, ColorZilla, and EasyRGB can make easy work of the task.

A quick Google search yields pages and pages of tools.

I have quite a few bookmarked in my browser of choice. And, they do make easy work of creating balanced schemes for my graphic design work.

Using these tools to generate gorgeous church website color schemes, is also easy. But, I’ve always been challenged at effectively applying the schemes across the many interface components of a website design.

For web development, I’ve longed for a tool that enabled me to

  1. Quickly and easily generate church website color schemes,
  2. Sample the scheme, by automatically applying it to common interface components, and
  3. Customize the scheme, and how it’s applied, if I wished.

So, when I came across these two free generators, I did my happy dance!

Use Lavish Bootstrap to Sample Church Website Color Schemes

Lavish Bootstrap is an open source, Rails application that generates Bootstrap color schemes from an image.

Best of all, the app automatically applies the generated palette to the header, text, buttons, tabs, links, body background, and more. You can tweak and swap and customize both the color scheme and how it’s applied, to your heart’s content.

Once you’re satisfied, simply download the Bootstrap.css file.

While the app was created for Bootstrap development, you’re not restricted to using it with that framework.

Simply rename and edit the Bootstrap.css file to apply your church website color schemes to any development project framework.

Use Paintstrap to Sample Church Website Color Schemes

PaintStrap can generate beautiful Bootstrap themes using color schemes from COLOURlovers or Adobe Color CC (formerly Adobe Kuler).

To get started, generate a color scheme using either COLOURlovers or Adobe Color CC. Then, input either the color scheme theme ID or a permalink URL.

[note title=”TIP:” align=”right” width=”250″]Click the link labeled “Open the large preview” above the small preview pane, to see a full screen version of your color scheme applied to a web page.[/note]

Next, set the colors for interface components like text, navigation, buttons, background, and links.

Finally, generate the resulting CSS as a ZIP of all the files. Download them individually or as a theme. As with Lavish, you’re not restricted to using your color scheme with Bootstrap.

You can share your color scheme in the PaintStrap Gallery, making it available for anyone to download. You can also browse, preview, and download existing theme files from the Gallery.

Categories
Tools & Resources

Church Website Design Tools: 3 Cool Finds

Church website design and content creation is made so much easier with the right tools.

It’s been awhile since a post was published here pointing to some cool and useful church website design tools. Well, the last couple weeks I’ve come across a few services I’ve added to my own toolbox. What I love most about these tools is:

  • they’re made with non-techy, non-designer peeps in mind, and
  • they offer creative techs a quick, easy option for squaring away design tasks.

I hope my new cool finds help make your church website design and content creation work easier and a lot more fun!

Church Website Design + Content Creation Tools

Get Web Font Information

WhatFont Tool

While doing some research online last week, I ran across a couple great looking blogs. The designer’s font choices were fantastic! I just had to know what fonts they were using.

Now, I’m a huge fan of Web Fonts. So, I was excited to find a cool tool that makes fast and easy work of chasing them down.

WhatFont Tool in action
WhatFont Tool in action

The WhatFont Tool (in no way affiliated with MyFonts or WhatTheFont) enables you to quickly and easily find out what fonts are being used in a Web page.

Once installed, in literally one click you’ll get the font’s information. Web Font service detection is also available. And, you can share your favorite discoveries on Twitter.

The tool is available as a Bookmarklet (which I tested in Firefox). Chrome and Safari extensions are also available. At the time of this writing, Adobe Typekit and Google Font API Web Font services were supported.

When I tested the tool on a Web page where Web Fonts weren’t present, the tool simply didn’t activate.

Convert HTML to WordPress INSTANTLY

Theme Matcher

So here’s the problem: your church has a static website. You want to add a blog to it to increase traffic and engage your visitors.

Naturally, you want to use WordPress to manage it. But, you have neither the desire nor the budget to completely redesign your website in WordPress. On top of that, there aren’t any WordPress themes that even come close to matching your current static site.

Your only option is to settle for adding a blog that looks completely different from your main website, right? Wrong!

In three easy steps, Theme Matcher will take your static website and automatically generate a WordPress theme that matches your existing church website design.

[content_box title=”Watch Theme Matcher in action!” align=”center”][tvideo type=”youtube” clip_id=”8zRk71K2SUY” width=”632″ autoplay=”false” controls=”false” fs=”true” rel=”false” modestbranding=”false”] [/content_box]

The target users for this service are:

  • Non-technical webmasters wanting to add a WordPress blog to an existing site
  • WordPress developers looking to save time and get a head-start on client projects
  • Designers who create HTML templates, and want to fast-track creating WordPress themes from them
  • Freelancers migrating websites from another system to WordPress

There’s no cost to use the service to generate a theme. You’ll pay only when you’re ready to download the theme you generated. Here are your options:

Theme Matcher Pricing Options for Church Website Design
Theme Matcher Pricing Options

One thing to note: in a perfect world, all automatic HTML-to-Wordpress conversions would be absolutely perfect and require no additional revisions. But, since we don’t live in a perfect world, how well a website converts depends in large part on how well the existing site’s HTML code is written.

Theme Matcher doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility when it comes to selecting content and optional sidebar regions for conversion. So, the better the code in the existing site, the fewer the tweaks in the new theme.

On several websites I tested, the service worked brilliantly. On others, where the code was poorly written, I was able to generate a good working theme. But, a bit of CSS editing would have been in order.

Amazingly Simple Graphic Design

Canva

The fun starts when you sign up! A 23-second tutorial shows you how to use the service. And, it’s insanely simple!

After that, you can take the Starter Challenges (there are five of them to get you warmed up). Or, you can jump right in and begin creating your first masterpiece.

Even if you think you’re not creative, you’ll have one whiz-bang of a time with this tool! You can create graphics for podcasts, Twitter and social media, presentations, posters, Facebook covers, blog post graphics…the list goes on.

Start with a design template and edit, or roll your own from scratch with an image or colored background and text. When you’re all done, you can share it on Twitter or Facebook, download it, or send a link.

Many elements are free to use. Premium images are $1 each or you can upload your own.

[tvideo type=”youtube” clip_id=”XqYti78riU8″ width=”632″ autoplay=”false” controls=”false” disablekb=”false” fs=”true” loop=”false” rel=”false” showinfo=”false” modestbranding=”false”]

For me, the most difficult part of using this tool was choosing from among all the options. Gracious! With more than 1 million imagesĀ  and more than 100 fonts, you could really go buggy mixing and matching (perfectionists, you’ve been warned!).

Got any cool church website design tools in your toolbox?

Tell me about them. Share a link in the comments below!

Image Credit: Florian Richter | Flickr cc

Categories
Tools & Resources

I Love Subtle Patterns

[icon style=”calendar” color=”blue”]Last updated on Jul 7, 2015 @ 7:12 pm[/icon]

This site is my new favorite. I am always looking for nice, clean, high quality patterns for my designs. Subtle Patterns gives you the ability to test out a pattern before you download it. It is awesome and you should check them out.

Update 10/1/2013: Be sure to check out the “do’s and don’ts” for use on their FAQs page.

Subtle Patterns

Subtle Patterns

Image Credit: fuzzy jr. | flickr

Categories
Tools & Resources

Simple CMS: A Preview of a Simple CMS

This is our first in a series of content management system previews. Church Website Ideas is taking time to highlight content management systems that we come across that might work for your church website. Today we take a look at Simple CMS, a basic but very powerful CMS that offers some unique features!