Make the most of your Imagen website without opening your wallet

Imagen takes the hassle out of building a website to host your videos. An easy-to-use content management system and intuitive automated features mean it’s easy to master. But while we’ve taken the trouble and expense out of building the site for you, you still need good quality content – both in your audio-visual material and for things like logos and backgrounds. Because, you might have the slickest website in the world, but if your branding’s shoddy or your videos are badly edited then no one’s going to stick around for long. Something that can be tough to do in these days of squeezed budgets and tight purse strings. Luckily there are loads of freebie bits of software out there to help. And because we’re nothing if not generous, we’ve had a trawl round the internet for editing and graphics applications. Here’s our list of the best ones out there.

Edit like a pro for peanuts

Even Martin Scorcese has to edit his footage. So good video editing software is essential to add that final bit of professional polish – no matter how good your directing skills are. Here are three of the best. Avidemux Avidemux is pretty basic – but if all you want to do is cut, trim or encode video, then it’s more than up to the task. It also supports loads of different file types. Windows Movie Maker 2012 We’ve picked this one because it’s so easy to use (and the fact that it’s a Microsoft product doesn’t hurt). It supports most formats and it’s simple to add soundtracks, trim or split clips, or even change their speed. And it has inbuilt themes to automatically add titles, credits, transitions and effects. Lightworks Billed as the ‘professional editor for everyone’, Lightworks’ many features might take you a little while to get your head round. But it’s Hollywood’s choice of editing software – according to the website it was used to edit LA Confidential, Pulp Fiction, Heat, Road to Perdition, Hugo and The King’s Speech. If it’s good enough for Tarantino then it’s good enough for us.

Gorgeous graphics for gratis

These three tools will help make sure the graphics on your website are up to scratch. Inkscape Inkscape’s a good alternative to expensive graphics packages (and quite a lot easier to use if you’re a beginner). There are lots of different options for creating and manipulating artwork and it’s compatible with loads of formats. Pixlr If you’d rather do your graphics editing on a tablet, then Pixlr might be for you. Available for both iOS and Android, it does everything you’d expect, including being able to add effects, borders and overlays. You can even make your photos look like drawings or sketches. Looking for a free alternative to Photoshop? Then could be a winner. The emphasis is on ease of use – but it also has lots of special effects available like blurring and embossing, as well as a curve tool.   So there you have it. Now there are no excuses for not having top-quality videos and graphics on your Imagen website. Don’t say we never give you anything.  

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