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
Quickly and easily generate church website color schemes,
Sample the scheme, by automatically applying it to common interface components, and
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
For me, the most difficult part of using this tool was choosing from among all the options. Gracious! With more than 1 million images 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!
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.
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!
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