10 Reasons to use Canva – UPDATED

10 Reasons to use Canva – UPDATED

I simply love technology! The amazing things we can now do with the click of a button still amazes me and graphic design is one of those areas that has long been only available to professionals. BUT, with online services such as Canva, all that has changed.

Now, before you pop me a nasty email telling me that graphic designers are awesome please note that I love them and direct clients to them when they are needed. They can create designs that I would never conceive and have creativity and skill that can never be replaced. But let’s face it, no-one is going to continually hire a professional every time they want to create a social media graphic – so I believe there is room in this world for BOTH.

With that said, here are my 10 reasons (plus 1 extra) why you should give Canva a go…

#1 It’s easy to use

Before I discovered Canva, creating images for my social media posts and websites could be a long and drawn-out process. You either needed specialist software or the online interface was slow and difficult to use.

Canva changed all of that! Their user interface is drag-and-drop and there are so many templates for you to use that you can create a gorgeous image in just minutes. Whether it’s for social media, a poster, invitation or even business cards – simplicity and speed are second-to-none.

#2 Image Library

With the free version of Canva you have access to 200,000 royalty-free images to use in your designs and that increases to over 2 million with Canva Pro. You can use the inbuilt search feature to find the perfect image for your design or upload your own images to create something completely bespoke.

#3 Awesome Templates

No matter what type of graphic you are creating, Canva has a template already set up for it. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest graphics? And, that list is growing just as quickly as the online world. You can create a post with the ideal dimensions in one click right from your homepage. And if you have the Pro version, you can even resize a design to another template instantly. It saves hours of work and is great for all types of social media campaigns you may wish to run across multiple platforms.

#4 Fonts Galore

The free version of Canva offers you a large range of fonts that you can use to personalise your designs. If you upgrade to Pro, you get an extra 500+ exclusive fonts AND you can upload your own and save them within your Brand Kit to access for all of your designs.

#5 Brand Kit

This is a feature of the Pro version and definitely one I am pleased that I have. Here you can upload your company logos, fonts and colour palettes so that they are always on hand when you create a new graphic. My palette for this website is pretty simple, but it still makes it quicker to find the right teal colour by having it at hand…

And, because you can have more that one palette, I also use this if I’m doing a large website job for a client that requires imagery so I don’t have to go searching around and manually add their details each time I need to creat something.

#6 Store your designs in Folders

This is another Canva Pro option and one that I love. I can create folders for my own work and a new folder for each of my clients. As I can create up to 100 images a week sometimes, being able to sort these and find them easily makes my job just SO much easier!

#7 Design School

A resource open to all Canva users, Design School is a series of video courses on everything from graphic design basics to branding your business. There are also short challenge videos and quick tip videos to make sure you are getting the most out of this online tool.

#8 Animations & GIFs

You can now create animated images, videos and GIFs! I simply love this and created a simple animation for my Facebook page – so much fun to do and it creates interest in a way that static images simply can’t do…

#9 Collaboration Tools

As a Canva Pro user you can add Team Members to your account and share specific designs and folders with them. This is great if you are working with a group or collaborating on designs within a business. It may not be something that everyone needs, but to have it as an option for future work is worth remembering.

#10 Transparent Backgrounds

Hate the white background that appears around each of your designs when you create a graphic? Again, Canva Pro allows you to remove the background and save your design as a transparent PNG file. This automatically removes any sections of your design that are colourless (basically the background if you haven’t used an image or a colour) so they show up on your website or over other designs without the annoying white area showing. Cool huh?!


Since I first wrote this blog post, Canva have added and continue to add amazing new features – like the ability to remove the background from photographs with one click if you have Canva Pro. Yes, you can now upload your images with crappy backgrounds, and in one click Canva will remove them from the image. 

With all of these reasons to give Canva a go, it only remains to say that every single graphic that I create for my own website and my clients is done in Canva Pro – my job would be A LOT more difficult without it!

Web Goddess


Note: this post contains affiliate links to Canva Pro and I may receive a commission when you click one of these and make a purchase. However, as with everything I recommend this does not impact my review of this product. My 10 reasons listed above are based on my own continued use of this product and this post is written to help you make the best decision for your own business.

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7 Free Tools to Grow Your Business Online

7 Free Tools to Grow Your Business Online

Running a small business (or any business for that matter) can require costly investment in everything from premises to products – not to mention the costs of being online and running a website. But, there are TONNES of awesome free resources out there to help you get the message out to potential customers and keep existing customers happy. Here is my list of 7 Awesome Free Tools that you can use NOW:

#1 Google My Business

Even if you don’t have a physical location that customers can visit, registering for Google My Business is a must. As you keep your listing updated your online ranking will improve and your clients can add Google Reviews straight to your profile. This helps you appear in map searches too.

#2 Facebook

Facebook is still alive and kicking and is a great place to build a community for your business – as long as you post and interact consistently. Try giving 80% information and only promote products or services 20% of the time so your customers aren’t constantly bombarded with icky sales messages!

#3 Instagram

I recommend upgrading from a personal account to a business one (it’s still free) if you are using Instagram for business. You can use your Insta feed to update your Facebook page as well as your website so your images are always online in multiple places.

#4 Email Marketing

Social media is amazing, but you have no control over your online reach or when the platform algorithms change. So, having an email newsletter is still one of the best ways of getting news out to your clients. I use MailerLite now and can track insights for all of my email campaigns. It’s important to set a schedule and figure out your reason & vision before sending emails but it can be a wonderful way of connecting for free.

#5 Blogging

Don’t have your own website yet? No problem (although I would recommend that you have one). You can’t use that as an excuse not to start writing & sharing it online NOW. Sign up for a free account with a Blogging site such as Medium or Blogger and start writing. You can always move and update your posts later when you have a website!

#6 Google Search Console

This option is only available if you already have your own domain and website, but being able to track your visits and search queries is a great way of understanding your online reach. You can sign up to Google Search Console for free and improve your online ranking.

#7 Canva

This online graphic design platform is my favourite tool of all! You can sign up for free to create any type of graphic you can think of – from social media to posters to ebooks – Canva lets you do it all. And, if you need a little more (like extra stock images, premium fonts or a brand kit) then you can upgrade to Canva Pro at any time. I create all of my graphics (including the infographic for this post) using Canva and use them for my website, social media, business cards and even presentations.
With all of these tools, all that remains to be done is to learn how to use them! Set aside some time and choose ONE to work on first. Give it some time and energy (and have a PLAN) and see how you can improve your online reach without spending a penny. And, if you need help, pop along to one of my Digital Workshops to help you get started! Web Goddess Note: this post contains an affiliate link to Canva Pro and I may receive a commission if you sign up through the link. However, as with everything I recommend, I do so because I use it and bloody love it!
Choosing the right font for your business

Choosing the right font for your business

A client of mine recently had her logo redesigned as part of rebranding her business. The new logo is bright and in colours that suit her and her brand. However, the designer has chosen a font that really doesn’t suit her or her business and has made it very clear in the branding guidelines that she needs to stick to it.

So, why is this such a problem?

Well, the fonts you choose for your brand and, therefore, all of your marketing materials and website help convey your vision and your message. It’s not that the font was a bad one, it’s just that it didn’t match her vision or her business. As someone who designs websites with my client’s vision at the forefront of all that I do, it felt like a massive oversight to me.

Which font should I use?

The first thing you really need to do is figure out who your ideal client is; if your business is pitched at high-end clients, then choose a font that oozes style and class; if your brand is modern and funky, choose fonts that convey this.

There are so many wonderful fonts available now that there is no excuse using Comic Sans for everything (don’t get me started on how much I hate that font), and there is no excuse for selecting something random without putting some thought into how it matches your brand.

Secondly, it has to be readable on every type of media – from business cards and letters to websites and social media. It will become a huge part of your brand identity so choose wisely.

Sans Serif or Serif?


Sans Serif fonts, like Helvetica, convey a modern feel and lack the extra strokes at the ends of letters (hence ‘sans’ Serif), whereas Serif fonts, such as the classic Times New Roman, are more traditional and professional. Each family of fonts has hundreds of choices so once you have decided which family to choose there are endless possibilities.

You may even choose to use both – a Serif for headings and a Sans Serif for content. As long as you stick to these throughout your materials then your brand will be consistent. It’s important to avoid font overload though, so sticking to two or three fonts at most is recommended.

What next?

Well. for my client this means a redesign of her new logo to better suit her vision. For you, it means getting clear on your own vision so that you can choose fonts that match it right from the start. A great place to have a play with fonts and see how they look together is Canva – it’s free to register an account and they have some great design tutorials to help you put fonts and colours together.

And my final advice is that you have to like the font you choose! There is no point going with someone else’s choice then realising a month or two down the line that you hate it! Trust your intuition and have fun choosing your fonts!

Web Goddess

Choosing Images for your Website

Choosing Images for your Website

I’ve been creating websites since 2003 and thankfully a lot has moved on since then. So it astonishes me that businesses are still creating websites (or having them built for them) with little thought about images and graphics. Simply relying on stock photography is not the solution.

So here are my 5 top tips to help you choose and display your website images:

1 Use your own photographs

I get it. We all have budgets to stick to and bespoke images may seem too expensive. But PLEASE invest some time and money in getting some professional photographs done for your website. For example, a photographer I know takes headshots of her clients as well as shots of their hands typing and writing, etc, to use on their websites. So even though there are the standard ‘hand’ shots that appear on other sites, they are HER hands and HER stationery. Now that’s got to be better, doesn’t it?

2 Use photos that match your Brand

One of my friends had some headshots taken once and although the photos were good, they didn’t represent her or her business at all. To be honest she looked like a real estate agent instead of a life coach whose speciality is ‘Walk and Talk’ sessions in the great British countryside. Spend some time researching photographers, look at their work and decide which one suits YOUR style. You’ll be glad you did. Oh, and her photos now look AWESOME because she teamed up with another photographer who really captured her personality.

3 Keep images consistent

The current design trend is for ‘flat’ websites and images are a huge part of that look. The term refers to how images sit on the page; minimising the use of features such as drop shadows. I recently saw a website with images looking like they had been taped to the page. Very retro and not at all in keeping with their business. However, if you do use an effect for your images – use it across the site.

4 Resize your images properly

Take the time to learn how to add images to your site without distorting them and make sure they look great on any device. Your web designer should be able to do this for you and if they can’t, I would be asking some pretty serious questions! You can also use a program such as Canva to keep all of your images consistent and to brand them with your logo and colours.

5 Pay someone who does it for a living

Now I love a bit of amateur photography but I am no Annie Leibovitz. So I too will be using a photographer for my new headshots. Although I have warned her that if she takes photos of me under a tree I will shoot her! Spending a little money now is an investment that will help my business in the long run and stand me apart from those who don’t think it’s important.

So, there are just a few considerations when it comes to sourcing pics for your website. If you could give just one tip about creating images what would it be? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Web Goddess


3 Simple Online Graphics Tools

3 Simple Online Graphics Tools

We’ve all seen them – website after website sharing the same stock images over and over again.

Why do they do it? Because it’s easy. Because they don’t care. Because they don’t think it matters. Because someone built the site for them and that’s what they use… There are tonnes of different reasons.

But, here’s the thing – it doesn’t tell your clients who YOU are. It just sells them the same clichéd image of your business that they see everywhere else. If I mention an IT company or a complementary therapist I bet you can already picture the types of stock images that might appear for these?! It’s not that I’m asking you to use images that don’t fit with your profession, but simply to use images that show how YOU work in your profession.

In my opinion, all great website design uses original images and design – from using your own photos and having a professional logo, to having your own colour scheme and fonts. It’s called branding and it’s an important part of running a business. You can employ people to do this for you and I would really recommend it, but when you are starting out it can feel like just another cost you can’t justify.

GraphicsWebsiteSo, what’s the alternative? Do it yourself… I know, I know. I can hear graphic designers yelling at me from here – please read the previous paragraph where I recommend people using designers – I love you guys!

But here’s the thing. There are some pretty cool things you can do with your own photos and your own graphics FOR FREE. If you are in any way creative then you can save yourself a load of moolah by doing it yourself – at least to begin with.

So, here are three simple-but-amazing free online tools that you can use to optimize, modify and create graphics for your website…

#1.  Canva

This is my favourite free tool (although I now use their Pro version) and I must admit that I am ever so slightly obsessed with it. It’s not an optimizer so you’ll need to have your photos ready first, but you can create all sorts of graphics for websites and social media here – including website headers. You just select one of the pre-made sizes or enter your own dimensions and you’re away. It’s so simple to create graphics using your own photos (you can upload these for free), text and icons – most of which are free. You get your own account and can save all of your designs there as well as sharing them with the Canva community if you wish. Just head over to Canva to check it out.*

You can also read my Top 10 Reasons to use Canva blog post if you need even more convincing!

#2.  Image Optimizer

The clue is in the name… what else can I say. It’s the simplest of tools to use and allows you to reduce the size, and therefore the file size, of any image you have before you upload it to your website. You can find it here: www.imageoptimizer.net and follow the instructions online or download a copy to your PC to use whenever you want.

#3.  PicMonkey

I love this website. You can sign up if you want to use all of the features, but for simply cropping and resizing images it’s free to use. Simply click the ‘Edit’ link at the top of the screen when you go to www.picmonkey.com and you’re away. You can also add some text and effects to your image using the free version and I use it to crop parts of larger images or to save images for social media.

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So, there you have it. Three free tools to help you make the most of your own photos and really make your website your own. Oh, and if you need some help, you know where I am – and I know some pretty cool graphic designers and photographers who can help you take the next step if you’re ready for that too.

*This is an Affiliate Link and if you sign up for Canva Pro then I receive a commission – but I promote this because I believe that Canva is THE BEST graphic maker out there!

What Do Your Website Colours Say About You?

What Do Your Website Colours Say About You?

If you have ever studied colour in detail or know about colour psychology, then you will know that individual colours can evoke specific feelings and each colour has a different meaning. As a former crystal therapist (yes, I’m a bit woo-woo) I use the colours in crystals to link to the chakras and colours are just as important within websites.

There are many great sources for colour therapy and colour meanings online, but below you will find a list of colours and some of their meanings:

Red – grabs your attention, is a call to action and is energetic but can also be provocative and represent danger

Orange – is associated with abundance, fun and vitality and using peach tones can be a softer way of introducing this colour to your site

Yellow – is joyful and optimistic and can give a lively sunny feel to your website

Green – can be associated with nature as well as balance, serenity and wealth depending on the shade you use

Blue – suggests honesty, trustworthiness and dependability

Purple – is a creative colour also suggesting spirituality and mystery

Pink – is associated with youth and fun, it can also depict compassion and love

Brown – is a very earthy colour suggesting stability and durability

Black – gives a website a classy and sophisticated feel and can be used well with an accent of another colour

White – denotes simplicity and a pure nature and is a great background colour for most websites to make the other colours really pop

Keeping the colour meanings in mind, remember that it is just as important to choose colours that mean something to YOU as it is to pick a colour scheme to suit your mood or meaning – your website will not reflect who you are if you choose a colour that doesn’t match your personality. After all, it’s YOUR website so make sure the colours you choose are a reflection of your personality, not what you think they ‘should’ be for a specific industry.

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