25 Creator-Friendly Apps and Websites That'll Save You Time + Money

The Rebel Kulture
January 23, 2022
Photo by @antoinedigital via Nappy.co

Last year, we emailed a list of our favorite content-creation resources through our weekly newsletter. They were a few websites and apps that could speed up the creation process and made publishing content a lot easier.

Before we knew it, the email had been forwarded around so much that the chain had become a mile long.

Since then, there have been some great additions to the list and it has developed into a mega-resource for creators at any skill level. For most people, a $0 budget is the ultimate dream killer. Imagine if Adobe Photoshop was the only way to make an Instagram post. But for the best creators, a lack of budget is an opportunity to think critically and work smarter to get the job done.

If you want to make quality content on a budget, you’ll need to dig deep. To help you save both time and money on research and labor, we put together this list of essential resources for creators — remember to save this article for later.

Design-it-Yourself (DIY)

When it comes to design tools, not everyone can afford the pros. As a result, these platforms will come as good news to creators on a tight budget. If you create your own social media posts, landing pages, YouTube thumbnails, or digital products, bookmark these sites for later.

Webflow

I’m not going to lie. Webflow has a pretty substantial learning curve. But once you understand the interface and the box system, it gets much easier to navigate. A part of the no-code movement, Webflow is changing the way designers and developers approach their websites. Whether you need to build a site for your business or a customer, Webflow could be just what you need.

Remove BG

Artificial intelligence has become a creator’s best friend. Instead of purchasing Adobe Photoshop to cut out the background from an image, a website like Remove BG will do it for you in seconds. Just click and drop your file onto the site and watch the magic. It is 100% free!

Canva

Half of the YouTube thumbnails and Facebook ads you see were probably created using Canva. Founded in 2013, Canva is an online graphic design platform for experienced creators and those who have never moved a pixel in their lives. With hundreds of thousands of free templates, you can create your own designs.

Accessible Brand Colors (ABC) by Use All Five

Not sure what colors to choose for your brand or if your current color palette makes sense? This tool determines how ADA-compliant your brand colors are in relation to one another. By entering your brand’s colors into the site, you can generate a chart that shows how they can be used together for accessibility, as well as other colors that may pair better.

Shotsnapp

Shotsnapp is a great free tool for creating device mockups tailored to your app design or website. Simply upload your design or screenshot, tweak the appearance, download, and you’re done.

Stock Photos and Videos You Can Use Anywhere

As any publication will tell you (including this one), your content pieces are not complete without some decent images accompanying them. Words are great, but bold photos and videos can be a nice complement to help get your point across. Remember to source and cite the original creators.

Nappy

A community-driven stock photo site, Nappy aims to address a lack of diversity in mainstream media. Offering a mix of beautiful photos of black and brown people. Nappy offers a free collection of professionally taken, candid photos that provide a better representation of the world today.

Moose

Offering stock images by a “movie-scale team,” Moose allows you to mix different options for people, style, fashion, and more. A simple category list and search box help you find what you’re looking for. With their Mega Creator tool, you can craft and customize your images from scratch with their selection of illustrations, images, and backgrounds.

Unsplash

Unsplash, one of the largest and still one of the best stock image sites, continues to enhance its selections. It’s always fun to watch which images are “trending.” At the time of writing this article, it appears that anything related to flowers, wallpapers, backgrounds, happiness, and love is popular among the creative community.

Pexels Photos and Videos

The first stock photo site I ever used, Pexels offers royalty-free stock photos and videos shared by other creators. Where most sites only provide the common 1920px by 1080px widescreen video dimensions, Pixel videos include 1080px by 1920px video dimensions perfect for social media sharing.

Check out the leaderboard to see which users’ photographs and videos have received the most views in the previous 30 days.

New Old Stock

You'll wish you knew about this site back in high school. It would have been perfect for history class. New Old Stock collects vintage photos from public archives. Images are free of copyright limitations. We guarantee not many creators know about this cool resource (until now).

Royalty-Free Music And Sound Effects

We are not living in the 1920s. That means no more silent movies. Whether you are a YouTuber or looking to add some pop to your TikTok videos, here are my top picks for royalty-free music, as well as sound effects to make them interesting.

Uppbeat

Great for YouTubers, streamers, podcasters, vloggers, and social media creators, Uppbeat provides tracks from trending beatmakers. The platform brings together makers and musicians in a way that elevates and empowers both. Unlike other music services, Uppbeat’s artists retain 100% ownership of their work and are compensated through their revenue share approach.

YouTube Sound Library

Although it’s very well-known, the YouTube Sound Library is still a go-to for creators. You can spend hours searching through their library of music and sound effects trying to find the perfect track. My advice: Make use of filters to save time and star your favorite tracks.

Tunetank

It is not the most expansive source of music files, but Tunetank makes up for it with distinct production and sounds. Where the bigger players may have millions of downloads to choose from, Tunetank has thousands. Where they lack in selection size, they make up for in their actual selection of music. No generic sounds or songs you have heard before.

Free Music Archive

In addition to offering free to download and royalty-free music, Free Music Archive guarantees “not just free music, but good music”. If you download a track, make sure it is not on their Past Week, Past Month, or All-Time charts. If over a million people have listened to a song, they’ve probably downloaded and used it. Keep your music unique to you.

MixKit

When they say “free assets for your next video project”, they mean it. MixKit doesn’t just have free tracks and sound effects, but they also provide stock video. It’s a free library that is growing fast, with new content added every week from creators worldwide.

Illustrations to Enhance Your Content

Illustrations and visuals are important. They improve user experience, enhance social media engagement, and can increase your call-to-action clicks! A little creative imagery helps to tell the story of your brand and what you offer, which in turn helps to build trust with your customers.

Having a talented designer on hand is ideal (and not a bad idea if you have the budget). However, there are some free options out there that can help you to communicate your message and share your content with added impact.

Ouch

When you want quality and quantity in choices, you go to Ouch. Sourced from top Dribbble artists, download free PNG and SVG illustrations to enhance your projects. Select your design style of choice from 3D to cartoonish.

Humaaans

If you don’t know Pablo Stanley by name, you have probably seen his work. Humaaans is a Pablo Stanley brainchild. The flat, no face illustrations are popular amongst startup company websites. Choose from a wide variety of images in different actions or customize each image to get the look you desire.

unDraw

The great thing about unDraw is that it allows you to choose your base color before you generate the images. Now you can match the illustrations you download to the rest of your brand.

DrawKit

Gorgeous illustrations, hand-drawn vectors, and icons that are ideal for your next project. Signup for Drawkit’s newsletter to get free illustration packs delivered to your inbox every week.

Open Peeps

A hand-drawn illustration library, Open Peeps is another awesome resource by Pablo Stanley, allowing you to mix and match different characters with various elements to build your unique illustrations. With creations for all occasions, the assets can be used in Blush, too.

Finding Your Type

They say fonts can make or break your design. Not true. Sure they can complement your work, but they are not the end all be all. It helps to have your go-to fonts and a few places where you can find unique styles for specific projects. This curated selection of libraries will keep you within budget.

Google Fonts

When in doubt, try Google! With over 1300 type families, you can find the one that’s right for you. Make use of the categories and filters to save time.

FontFabric

When they are not working with brands like Nike, Hyundai, or Nestlé, FontFabric is releasing free fonts and custom typography for anyone to use. I’m a Sans Serif kind of guy, but there are so many more to sample.

Use & Modify

For those occasions when you need a weird or “funky” typeface, try Use & Modify. All open-source, these fonts are free to use. Selections are created by software enthusiast Raphaël Bastide.

Font Zone

Quite honestly if you are looking to spend the next three hours going down a rabbit hole of font choices, Font Zone will take up the next five. With over 50,000 free fonts you’ve got to find one that fits.

DaFont

A massive collection of freely downloaded fonts. Browse Dafonts archives by alphabetical order, style, author, or popularity.

So there you have it. A collection of resources I’ve gathered over the years that are geared to every creative skill level and budget. If you’re looking for a new resource, run it through this list to see how it compares.

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