The Admin Bar

15 Free Hidden Gem Design and Development Resources

Dec 13, 2021

By: Kyle Van Deusen

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As designers and developers, we use a lot of tools — and we especially love the free ones!

Of course, we're all running our businesses off of free tools like Google Docs or Zoom, but it's time to show some love to the lesser-known tools that help us get the job done.

Here is a list of some of my favorites, in no particular order...

Inspiration

SaaS Pages

SaaSPages.xyz is a huge collection of design inspiration from my favorite types of websites — SaaS websites! What I love most about this website is the ability to filter the designs down by section, like; headers, navbars, team, pricing, etc.

UTILITY

Web Page Word Counter

I love a good utility that has one job and does it well — and this site does just that! Web Page Word Counter will not only tell many how many words you have on your page, but what words show up the most frequently which can come in handy too!

DESIGN

Smooth Shadows

The standard, single layer shadows that come straight out of page builders will do the trick, but if you really want to make your shadows look more life-like, then this tool is a must-try! It makes it simple to preview the shadow as your building it, and easily copy and paste the CSS you need to replicate it!

DESIGN

Vivid Gradient Generator

Ever notice how some gradients just look "blah"? Well, this tool fixes that by creating gradients that avoid the "gray dead zone" — leaving your gradients vibrant and smooth!

UTILITY

Wave Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Accessibility is hard — but Wave makes it easier to find mistakes and make your websites more accessible! No automated tool will catch everything, but using this on your builds will surely help you avoid the common mistakes!

DESIGN

Stylify Me

Simply enter a website URL and this tool will scrape all the website colors and typography. This comes in handy when rebuilding a site or when you find the perfect site for inspiration!

DESIGN

Get Waves

Avoid "stripy" layouts by using unique row separators with this awesome little generator! Chose the complexity, style, and colors, then instantly download the .svg file or copy the svg path!

UTILITY

Bulk Resize Photos

If you ever need to resize photos in bulk, then this is your tool! It comes with tons of options on how to size and crop your photos and even convert them to other file types. Works almost instantly, and provides you with a perfect little zip file so you can be on your way!

DESIGN

Color Shades Generator

10015.io is a website that's chalked full of useful little tools, but the one I find myself using the most is the color shades generator. This utility allows you to enter a hex value and get multiple shades for your color with complete control over the number of shades and the percentage difference between them.

DEVELOPMENT

CSS Autoprefixer

Browser compatibility can be a pain in the butt — but this tool makes life a little easier by providing you all the prefixes you need to give your CSS a fighting chance!

UTILITY

Character Codes

Looking for that exact arrow, HTML symbol or ASCII character code? Quit your Googling, and check out this site! Search for the symbols you're after and easily copy over all the symbols you need in a flash!

DESIGN

Feather Icons

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of looking at the same ol' Font Awesome icons. Feather Icons are beautiful, minimalistic, and (most importantly!) open-source! Their utility allows you to search, change the color, size, and stroke with all before you download the svg icon!

UTILITY

Emojipedia

Take your emoji game to the next level with the Wikipedia of emojis! Quick search, find, and copy any of the emojis in existence!

Development

Skip DNS

Make editing your machine's host files a thing of the past with Skip DNS, which will allow you to preview a site on your server even when you haven't pointed the DNS records yet! This little tool has saved me hours of frustration!

Utility

Reveal It!

Reveal It makes it easy to share sensitive information by providing you a one-time access link to share information. Simply type what you need to in the box, press the button and this tool will give you a unique link that self-destructs after one use!

Tell me what I missed!

There are likely hundreds of tools out there I haven't discovered yet, so lets crowd-source our favorites inside The Admin Bar Community!

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Kyle Van Deusen
@kylevandeusen

Kyle is the co-host of The Admin Bar, the owner of a agency of one called OGAL Web Design and the co-founder of Docket WP. You’ll likely find him trolling The Admin Bar community.

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