I have just a handful of plugins that I always or almost always use on my sites WordPress. For a long time now, this has included Stencil. Although I have many similar applications, including some that give more possibilities in the field of graphic creation, it is Stencil that I interact with every day. It is able to become a part of WordPress and it perfectly optimizes my working time, which cannot be overestimated.
But let's start with a general description of Stencil's capabilities.
How does Stencil work?
A long time ago I mentioned this in an article How to prepare graphics for a website. Stencil is mentioned at the end of this text, but I have also made a video related to it, so those interested are invited to watch it.
The interface has looked and worked the same for years, although there have of course been a few innovations. In general, however, the principle of operation remains the same. Someone may say that it is poor that everything should change, but in fact I do not see the need to turn everything upside down especially when the tool works without any objections.
If you know Canva or CrelloStencil is a slightly reduced version of these combiners. However, this does not mean that it becomes less useful. In many situations more is not better 🙂 .
What the Stencil interface looks like
Here you will find everything you need to create your own graphics for your blog, an illustration for an entry or a cover (a stand-out image) for an article.
The interface consists of two main areas. On the left side, we have a library of objects we can use, so the photo database, icon database, ready-made arrangements, quotes (English) and account settings. The right part, on the other hand, is the main workspace, where you decide the size of the graphics, the position of the components, colours, etc.
Personally, I very rarely use ready-made graphic arrangements because, as you may know from looking at JZS, I take a rather minimalist approach, although I have experimented more in this area before 🙂
This is my choice, but usually the blogger wants the images on the page to attract the attention of readers, intrigue, maybe even shock. You have to constantly look for such a form of expression, which will be best for your website/blog and content.
In addition to a library of images and icons, Stencil also has a large database of templates ready for modification.
The templates are grouped into categories, making it easier for you to find the theme you're looking for, and then just click, upload and modify the template in literally every way. Replace images, change content, change colours, add or remove anything you want.
Integration with WordPress
And now for the most important part. The capabilities of the tool itself are nothing exciting, we know it well from Canva and similar solutions, but what I loved and find hard to part with is the simple integration with WordPress, how much easier it makes my work!
Simply install the Stencil plugin from the WordPress repository, log in and...
Seemingly nothing changes. There are no additional tools in the WordPress cockpit. So where to look? If, while working on an entry, you want to place an image, you will reach into the media library and there you will see an additional tab, and inside it you will be welcomed by Stencil 🙂 .
It's not a poorer version of what we've seen before, it's exactly the same tool, but accessible instantly from within WordPress.
What changes are the action buttons. If you run Stencil inside WordPress you have buttons available that allow you to save the image you create to your media library with a single click and instantly select it for placement on a page or post.
Personally, I got so used to it that sometimes it seems impossible to give it up. I get goosebumps just thinking that if I wanted to prepare a picture I would have to log in somewhere or run a graphics program on my computer, from which I would upload the saved files 🙂 🙂 I have to use it.
If you choose to use Stencil, I'm pretty sure that, like me, you will love this simple and useful tool.
Is Stencil free?
Yes, Stencil is available in both free and paid plans. If you publish very little content, perhaps the free version allowing you to save 10 graphics per month will suffice, but if you want to follow my advice on this how often to publish on the blogthen I am afraid the free version will not be enough.
The PRO version with a limit of 50 images per month costs $15 per month, while the unlimited version is only $5 more expensive. These are very decent prices, but if you are hunting for a bargain, don't rush because I have good news for you.
Stencil in the LifeTime offer
I can't remember anymore when I bought Stencil in a lifetime offer by paying once and forgetting about subsequent fees. Maybe it was about 2 years ago. Anyway, there was such an offer and it has currently appeared again on AppSumo. I have the impression that it disappears for a short time and then comes back, but I don't keep track of it, so maybe it's just my impression.
Be that as it may, Stencil at the time I am writing this article is again available for $49 in an unlimited version with no future renewals required. If indeed my memory isn't wrong and I'm using this tool for the second year, it's easy to calculate that I've paid $49. Normally using subscription access I would incur a cost of around $500 and every month this amount would increase.
That's why I love the LTD offers and share them with you if I think a solution might be useful (why I encourage the use of LTD offers).
Stencil isn't the only graphical tool that runs in the browser, but its simplicity yet sufficient capabilities in most situations and cool connection to WordPress gives me no reason to change my mind.
I'm just waiting for one feature that, if it appears and works well, will make me use other graphic tools practically on holidays. I mean the ability to separate objects from the background. This is in fact already a standard, so in my opinion it is only a matter of time and you will be able to do this also with Stencil.
Take advantage of the LTD opportunity as this is one group of these investments that I consider 100% a shot in the arm. If I had to decide again now after 2 years, I would spend that $49 once again with my eyes closed.
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