2020 Software Round-up.

A round-up of 5 of my favourite Software apps I currently use for; building website pages, creating social media and promotional assets, (CD) record covers and more.

1.WordPress.com / WordPress.org

Well, it goes without saying, WordPress has long been a favourite solution for building both full-blown websites and accompanying custom single page layouts, including landing pages.

Of course, without all the clever plugins available, WordPress may still offer a lot of milage in what you can do. However, it’s the WordPress plugins that really make WordPress such the powerful platform it is known as.

A typical first time encounter with WordPress often leads to the question; What’s the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?

In brief, WordPress.org is the option often chosen by designers, developers and businesses requiring specific website hosting needs, and web server access. This option has been known as Self-hosted.

Meanwhile, WordPress.com is a Managed-hosting solution. Which mostly means that you do not need to worry about all the technical webs server side of things.

2.WordPress Theme & Web Page Builders

Now, this is what really gets me excited, the Website Page Builders. And now there are even theme builders. Which allow you absolute control over how your website pages look.

Of course, there is always the problem of building a website that works across different formats and devices. So maybe some compromise…?

No, not really. There is a WordPress Website Page Builder that will deal with that issue for you. The easiest and most powerful WordPress Website Page Builder to get started with is perhaps Elementor. Which, now also provides full-site-editing capability.

As for exploring an all new Theme Builder, that is currently attracting a fair amount of interest, you’ll need to join the community with a membership account first.

3. Luminar 4

Well, I do bang on a bit regarding Luminar, but that’s only because I find it to be so handy. And it’s really good and achieving satisfying results fast.

However, as I always say, don’t over do it. There is a tendency for both experienced and inexperienced photo-editors to push their photo editing treatments a little too far.

You can even use Luminar 4 as a plugin (or extension) with Adobe Photoshop or Photos for MacOs. So, if you feel Photos for MacOs is a little “Wack” then boost your photo editing artillery with Luminar 4, you’ll be amazed by the results you can achieve in less time than usual.

To get the full skinny on Luminar throughout the years, check out my Photography Editing 101. (Skylum software)

4. Affinity Photo

For me, Affinity Photo is the definitive Photoshop alternative. It allows me to do most of the things I would use Adobe Photoshop for. Although, I have to say that once you’ve used Photoshop anything else is a step backwards.

Fortunately, the compromises aren’t that great for the majority of tasks, and if you are already familiar with Photoshop, you’ll pick-up Affinity Photo pretty fast.

5. Easil (Design-it-Yourself)

Okay, so to complete the list, I thought perhaps something that will help you pull together all your beautiful art into one place. So you can prepare, manage and ensure that your creative assets are shared and promoted consistently on Social Media and Adverting platforms. Vital for brands…

Now, Easil may remind you of Canva. However, I find that Easil’s approach and direction straight out the gate show an understanding of what creators really want from a Design-it-Yourself solution.

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