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.
Paint.net is a free and open-source tool that only works on Windows computers. It’s local software, so it won’t necessarily sync up with all your devices, but it still does the job if you just want to make a few quick edits to your photos. The thing I like most about Paint.net is that the interface isn’t too confusing for those just getting started with photo editing.
It’s actually a powerful tool, with all 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, and it just slows down your computer and makes the overall software clunky.
Instead of using the regular Photoshop and spending way too much money, go with Photoshop Elements to quickly upload your photos, change some filters and make your photos look extremely professional within just a few seconds. I really like the fact that you can use Photoshop Elements on just about any device, because regular Photoshop does not allow you to do this.
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.
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, because 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 so they drop nicely into your website.
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.
LiveLuvCreate has been branded more towards women, but it works for anyone who simply wants to upload their own photos, implement a filter and drop some text on top of it. This is probably the easiest tool for changing your photos. The results don’t look all that professional, but if you run a personal blog it’s certainly worth a shot. Combine your photos into collages, include a border, and write whatever you want.
Share your thoughts in the comments section if you have any questions about the best tools to design images for your WordPress site. Most of these tools are extremely easy to use, but some of the other ones like Pixlr Editor take a little playing around with to get.
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!