When you start your own website, you’re confronted with so many choices: colors, fonts, how to lay out your pages, what to put on each page, etc. It can be overwhelming! The good news is that there are a lot of shortcuts to help you get going, so you don’t have to start from an entirely blank page.
Here are some of our best hacks to save you time on setting up pages, choosing colors and fonts, finding photographs, and more.
1. Choose a template quickly
Templates are important, but you don’t have to wade through all 40+ to find one that will work for you.If you’re having trouble deciding, y/ou might start with these tried-and-tested options that are pretty much guaranteed to look good on your website.
Our three most popular templates, Zurich, Berlin, and Rio, are the people’s choice for good reason. Zurich has a large header for a wide photo and a flexible design, perfect for portfolios and multilingual websites. Berlin’s large background image and easy-to-use navigation menu has made it a quick customer favorite. And If you really want to show off a prominent logo, then Rio is for you. These dynamic templates can work beautifully for your website whether you are setting up a small business, portfolio, or blog!
Pro Tip: Did you know that all updated Jimdo templates are now “responsive” which means they look great on any device. Make sure you have the latest version by updating to a new template, so you can enjoy our new features. If your template is named after a city, like “Miami,” then it’s one of our new templates!
2. Use Suggested Layouts to create pages
When you create a new page on your website, you get a blank space to play around with. But if all that empty space is a little intimidating, we’ve got a shortcut for you that will give you a guide to work with: Suggested Layouts.
Our designers created these pre-made pages to be well-organized and user-friendly. All you need to do is replace the default content with your own. You can then take out what you’re not interested in, or add some extras. So you can still be creative and customize your pages without starting from scratch!
3. Save time by copying pages
You wouldn’t restructure your whole CV for a different job, so why do the same for your website pages? If you’ve built a page that you like and you want to use that same structure somewhere else, JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness customers can make a copy of that page and then replace the content. This saves you time and gives your website a more consistent feel as the page structure stays the same. Simple, smart and easy!
Pro Tip: Use a similar shortcut to also copy your blog posts then just change the content.
4. Find a ready-made color palette
When you open the Style Editor, there is a rainbow of colors to choose from. But what if you’re not sure where to start? Fortunately, there are quite a few tools out there that recommend color combinations guaranteed to look good.
ColorHunt and DesignSeeds provide some amazing, ready-to-go color palettes to choose from. Or, if you already have a specific color or image that you want to use, you can upload it to a tool like Pictaculous or Adobe Color CC and they will give you ideas of colors to match.
The general rule is to stick to two or three colors to make up your color scheme.
Pro Tip: For color-matching inspiration check out our #MatchMonday posts on Facebook.
5. Use beautiful, free stock images
You know photos are important for your website, but maybe your camera is a bit dusty, or just don’t have the time to get that perfect shot. With the vast amount of free high-quality images available on the internet, there is no reason you can’t have spectacular photographs on your website.
These are just a few of the options out there that provide you with beautiful stock photos:
- Unsplash: Display all their latest high-resolution photos on their homepage so you can get inspired from the get-go!
- Death to the Stock Photo: If you are looking for a more artsy feel, this is your perfect choice.
- Pixabay: With over 730,000 free stock photos, art illustrations, and more, this is a great pick.
6. Get help with font combinations
It’s great that you can use any Google Web Font on your website, but then you see that endless list of 800+ fonts and it’s really hard to choose!
In general fancy fonts should only be used for titles or small amounts of text, as they can be strenuous on the eye and hard to read. A clearer, more modern “sans serif” font will work best for the main body of text.
Still confused? Fortunately, there’s a lot of people who spend a lot of time thinking about font combinations so that you don’t have to.
- Fontpair: has a pretty good list of font pair recommendations, sorted by type. Even better, you can type in your text to see how each font combo will look.
- 25×52 Initiative: This ongoing project offers beautiful font inspiration with passages from Aesop’s Fables set in different Google font combinations.
- Type.io: Type.io is like a museum of beautiful websites curated from around the web, with information on the fonts used in each. You can sort their library to only show you examples of Google web fonts. See one you like, then use it on your own website!
7. Ready-to-go icons
Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse—icons are an inescapable part of our society. They play an important role on websites too, as decoration and to help guide users. For example, no matter what language your website is in, people understand what that shopping cart icon means.
Fortunately, you don’t have to design your own icons to use them on your website. There are lots of sites that provide free, professionally drawn icons that you just need to download and then add to your own website as a Photo Element.
Pro Tip: Flaticon lets you change the icon color so you can match it to your website’s color scheme!
8. Get ideas from other Jimdo websites
Still having problems getting started? In our everyday life, we are inspired by the trends around us—whether it’s jumpsuits, man buns or beard oil. The same can apply to websites.
If you want some visual inspiration, you can browse these amazing examples of portfolios, small business websites and online stores to see the endless possibilities for your Jimdo website! Each one lists the template that they are using so you can try to recreate the same look yourself. Alternatively, you can browse these stories for some real-life examples of users who made their website a success.
Shortcuts get us to the place we want to be faster, so there is no shame in using them to get your website up and running with the look that you want. Over time as you play around with the different elements and gain more experience, you can start experimenting with your own twist on colors/fonts/designs/photos, etc. Maybe your website will be the next to appear on the Examples page!
Do you have any other shortcuts that you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section!