My 12 Favourite Website Resources for Church Media (Both free and paid)
The internet is full of great free and paid resources for basically anything you want to design. However, there’s so much out there, that it’s often hard to sort through the average websites to find the really good ones.
iStockphoto is probably the biggest and best collection of high quality photos, vectors, videos and more that you will find on the web. Because of the high standards in their quality control process, it’s rare to find anything average on istock. The resources on istock aren’t free, but for only a few dollars you are given a full commercial licence to use their images for your projects. If you need a photo and have a small budget to work with, istock is definitely the first place to look.
Shutterstock is very similar to istock in what it has to offer. The biggest difference is that instead of purchasing images as you go, Shutterstock has subscription options, so you subscribe for a certain amount of time and you can download 25 images a day during that time. If you have a big project that requires lots of images, this works out much cheaper in the long run, however it’s probably not ideal if you only need one or two images at a time.
Both iStock and Shutterstock are also worth looking at if you are a photographer or artist and would like to make some extra money from your work by selling it to others to use. You can use these links to find out more about how to become a contributor: istockphoto and shutterstock
There are also other sites that are not as big as iStock and Shutterstock, but if you’re interested in selling photos in more than one place, I would recommend checking these out too:
Stock.xchng is the leading free stock photography site on the web. When you’ve got no money to spend, you can still find some great photos or illustrations here. They’re not always the best quality compared to paid sites and some of the photos have licensing restrictions, but there are a suprising number of great photos still available. Definitely a good starting point!
If you are more involved in video production and media, I highly recommend checking out some of the fantastic tutorials and resources on Video Copilot. These are some of the best After Effects tutorials that I have ever seen- they are easy to follow and help you to create amazing videos! This website also offers some great paid resources and video/audio packs that can dramatically enhance the quality of your videos.
DaFont is my favourite website to find free fonts for every project. They have hundreds of fonts sorted by theme or title, and they are all free to download and use on your computer. You can spend hours sometimes just looking through some of the great collections they have and downloading everything! I never bother to look at any other font sites anymore.
Digital Pigeon is a useful site that allows you to send large files as emails. I use this all the time to send videos or projects to others for conferences or to get flyers printed. There are other similar sites available on the web, however I love Digital Pigeon because it allows you to send up to 2GB for free, you can send multiple files at once, you can change the expiry date on your files, it has a desktop app, and I really appreciate the little details such as the drag and drop from your desktop feature. All up, this is the best site I’ve seen when it comes to sending large files.
The 99 Percent is a great place to look for articles and tips to help you build your creativity and create an environment and patterns in your life to help you achieve your creative goals. Taking its name from Thomas Edison’s famous quote that “genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration,” this site has articles, tips, videos, and events to help you transform your ideas into reality.
From the same creators as the 99 percent, The Behance Network is a massive portfolio website where creative professionals showcase their work to the world.With a constant collection of some of the best creative projects from around the world, this is a site worth checking out. Whenever I’m short of ideas or need some extra inspiration, I love browsing through some of the artwork on this site and letting it inspire me.
Sermon Spice offers downloadable videos, illustrations, countdowns, backgrounds and more for you to use during your services. Because it is specifically created for churches, there are some great videos that you can use to build your message or help deliver a point to your audience. From animated or funny to dramatic or inspirational videos, you’ll find some great resources here. Most videos range from $10-15.
For anything and everything you would like to print for your minstry, Zazzle probably has it! They print on anything from skateboards to t-shirts to shoes! While they are not the cheapest printing option around, I love Zazzle because they allow you to print even just one item- so it’s great for prizes or gifts. You can either upload your own designs or buy something that has already been designed by someone else. Even more- when you design your own items, you can sell them in the Zazzle marketplace, without having to worry about the costs of printing before making a profit- they print everything as items are sold and you can choose the amount you would like to earn from your product.
Animation Factory is a massive collection of videos and animated files that you can use in your media or on a website. The videos are fantastic for things like backgrounds for song lyrics- there is a huge variety and you can download unlimited videos and resources for a small annual fee (depending on which level membership you choose). We’ve used this on several video projects and I would definitely recommend it if you work with video.
Active Den has some fantastic flash and web resources for a very low price. You can download flash files, templates, galleries, music players, animations, menus, preloaders, games and more from $1. This is a great resource for anyone building their own website or working on a flash or web project. Some very nice effects and resources that are already coded for you!
There are many other useful sites out there but these are just a few of my personal favourites that I use frequently. I would definitely recommend checking them all out and adding them to your bookmarks!
What are some of your favourite web resources?