When was the last time you heard someone talking about Photoshop to design images for just about anything? Probably pretty recently. It might seem like the best solution for graphic design, but what if you haven’t got the slightest clue how to use Photoshop? Or what if you checked it out and felt a little inadequate because you couldn’t figure out how to use it?
Trust me – you’re not alone! Fortunately, there is another way. More than one actually.
If you want to create some beautiful and compelling images on your website, but you don’t want to spend the time or money it takes to become a trained Photoshop expert, you do have options. The internet is filled with alternative image design options for your WordPress site. The coolest part is that don’t need any design experience to use them. Let’s take a look.
Canva is my top choice for this list, because it makes pretty much everyone feel like a professional designer. It has a huge number of incredible designs, and many of them are free. Even if you can’t find something in their free section, the tool has thousands of additional components to throw in your images, and each of them are only $1.
My favorite part of Canva is the starting process. You simply choose what type of image you’re creating – like a Facebook post, blog post or Kindle cover – and Canva automatically generates the right size along with some suggestions to fit the category chosen.
GIMP is a local, open source alternative to Photoshop. It’s not the easiest tool to use on this list, but I like recommending it because it is completely free to use. If you want to take some time out of your day learning how to use GIMP, they have plenty of videos and tutorials online to get you started.
GIMP is like WordPress; it will be around for a very long time, so whatever time or money you invest into the tool won’t go wasted.
The free version of PicMonkey has a rather short process for combining multiple photos and making them more appealing for your website. This tool works best for creating collages, but you can also touch up the images and add some text if you want.
Simply walk through the four step process and you should be good to go with some new images within a few seconds. Similar to Canva, this tool also has an area to specify what type of image you plan on making, like a Facebook cover, and other designs with various dimensions.
Pixelmator only works for Mac, but it takes the complicated Photoshop format and breaks it down into a much simpler tool. You can use Pixelmator on your tablet or phone, and the tool comes with dozens of templates to get you started without much design knowledge.You can also try your hand at painting, since it provides some wonderful brushes.
5. Pixlr Editor
Pixlr Editor is my recommendation if you want a free online tool that works almost exactly like Photoshop. Pixlr also has two other products called Pixlr-o-matic and Pixlr Express. Choose from these nice depending on what you plan on doing.
If you want more power, go for Pixlr Editor, but you might have to take some time learning how to use the tool. If you just want to upload your photos and include a few filters and borders, go with Pixlr-o-matic. Finally, try out Pixlr Express if you want to make mild edits to your photos. Express is a little more advanced than the Pixlr-o-matic option.
bBeFunky is a free photo editor, collage creator and general design tool. For free. You can upgrade if you want to use premium effects. Though the basic free version still gets the job done if you just want to make a few quick edits to your photos. The thing I like most about BeFunky is that the interface isn’t too confusing for those just getting started with photo editing.
It’s actually a powerful tool, with most of the Photoshop features you would expect. But they don’t clutter the screen or make it too intimidating like you might see in Photoshop.
7. Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Photoshop Elements is Adobe’s response to the overwhelming amount of support that people show for simpler photo editing tools. Photoshop is a wonderful tool, but it really is too much. No one ever uses everything they pack in there. Plus it’s just overall clunky.
Instead of using the regular Photoshop and spending way too much money, go with Photoshop Elements. It an affordable and quick way to upload your photos, change some filters and make your them look extremely professional within just a few seconds. I really like the fact that you can use Photoshop Elements on just about any device. Something regular Photoshop does not allow you to do.
The Elements software even includes great inspiration such as design tips, ideas, and tricks for when you are struggling to find the perfect image for that blog post or products page.
PicCollage is an app that I would only use if I were trying to showcase a bunch of pictures in a collage. I’ve always thought that collages were a little tacky, especially for a more professional website, but this app makes them look pretty awesome. Try out PicCollage to includes stickers, frames, text, and more. It’s a little weird trying to edit your photos on a phone or tablet, but you get used to it.
Fotor is an online photo editing tool with tons of easy options to create images for your blog or social media in no time. There are tons of options for light, colors, size, photo effects, retouching and more. Want to get a quick start? There are tons of free templates. Plus there are hundreds of fonts, fun stickers, image shapes and plenty of online guides to get you editing like a professional.
Upgrade to Pro to support the project, as well as get access to exclusive editing tools and advanced features.
For some reason people always forget about PowerPoint when it comes to editing and designing images for websites. When you think about it, PowerPoint is a great way to design images. It’s a drag and drop editor, and most people learn how to use the software in grade school or high school.
You can draw on your images, change your borders, sizes, and more. They even have plenty of shapes and symbols to make your images more appealing. After you’re done editing your images in PowerPoint you can save them in an image format. Then just drop them nicely into your website.
11. Vecteezy Editor
Need a way to edit (or create) vectors? The Vecteezy Editor is a simple web-based design tool you can use for all of yoru vector design needs. If you find a vector graphic on Vecteezy that you want to use, but you need to change a few details (like the colors), you can simply open the file in the editor, make the change, and download the adapted version. Generally, it’s much quicker than downloading a stock resource, opening Illustrator, making the changes, and saving.
The Editor can also be used for creating your own vector designs from scratch, with no software needed. Add shapes and illustrations, use the pen tool, add text, and more. It’s a fairly simple tool and does not have all of the bells and whistles of a full-fledged vector design program like Illustrator, but it’s an excellent option for quick work or editing stock resources.
Ever miss the good old paint app? Well you’re in luck. SumoPaint is a free online version. While this isn’t really a photo editor, you can create your own images SumoPaint. Feel free to make them as kitschy as you please.
Most of these tools are extremely easy to use. But no matter which you choose you should be able to get the hang of things quickly just by playing around.
That said, we always hear about how people use Photoshop to design pictures, but you really don’t need such a complicated software to make your site look nice. Stick with the options discussed here and you will be just fine!
Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you have any questions about these tools to create images for your WordPress blog? Or a tool that you’d recommend?