Canva: the best free alternative to Photoshop


Canva is not an image processing software like Photoshop, but it is a very powerful tool in its free version that will help you do many things.

If you need to create certain images for your online project and graphic design is not exactly your thing, today I bring you this Canva tutorial to help you create visual content for your blog.

Specifically: how to create a template for the images of your post for your blog.

But first, we are going to see the main features of this design tool.

What is Canva?

Canva is an online design tool focused on beginners with basic knowledge, where the way of working is comfortable and without having to resort to many technicalities or advanced techniques.

Unlike, for example, when we use more complex editing programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator.

It works by selecting and dragging the different elements onto the work canvas at the click of a button.

This makes it a really powerful and versatile tool to use, with a relatively easy learning curve.

Why do I recommend this tool?

First, because it is quite professional, it is free and you have a multitude of predefined templates that you can later customize.

You have the possibility to create banners, covers, logos, and much more for your personal brand and your online project.

Let’s see the main advantages and disadvantages that Canva has to improve the graphic design of your digital business.


1.- One of the main advantages of using Canva is that it has a very powerful free version since it has a multitude of templates to create the design you want.

2.- It is a fairly intuitive online tool to use and its learning curve is easy, so you will not require advanced knowledge to create magic.

3.- We start from the base of personalized sizes for each need. For example, if you want to make a cover for YouTube, you choose the template and you already have the exact dimensions required by this platform, so you save time because you don’t have to stop to find what size you need for your design.

4.- As I will explain later, the way to download your creations is quite comfortable and you have several format options to choose from, depending on whether you need to print or upload to your website or social networks.

5.- The palette of colors, elements, and fonts available is amazing. Regarding these last two elements, not all of them are free, you will find others that you can only use with the paid version.

6.- You can create mood boards or image boards to inspire you, get ideas or do design tests, either choosing fonts, colors to use on your website or compositions for your publications on networks.


1.- As I was saying, obviously we cannot access everything in the free version.

2.- Since we do not use rules or guides to place the components of our design, at most we can be guided by the indications that appear in a single color when we align elements with each other.

How to create a free Canva account

The first of all is to create your free account.

If you don’t have enough with the “free option” you can always opt for the premium version, since with the free version you have certain limitations when accessing certain templates, images, or icons.

You can try its PRO version for 30 days for free and then decide whether to keep this option:

To do this, you just have to click the ” Try free for 30 days ” button and fill in your credit card details, which you can cancel before the deadline:

As you can see, Canva gives you the choice between a monthly plan for € 11.99 / month, or an annual plan for € 8.99 / month (total payment of € 107.88).

What can you do with Canva Premium?

These are some of the advantages of having the paid version:

Canva, how does it work? First steps…

First of all, when you have your user account created, choose a base template to start creating a design from here:

Once you have your account ready to start and before you start creating and letting your imagination fly, I want to show you the possibilities that this online design tool offers.

These are some of the templates you can choose from when you create your free account by categories:

  1. eBooks and Blogs: record covers, banners, book covers, comics, infographics, magazine covers, photo collage, wallpapers, and backgrounds for Wattpad.
  2. Documents: certificates, letterheads, newsletters, and CV presentations.
  3. Education: curriculum and school yearbooks.
  4. Events: cards, event programs, identification cards, invitations, postcards, seating arrangements, tickets, and wedding invitations.
  5. Inspiration: inspiration panel, scrapbook, and storyboards.
  6. Marketing material: brochures, business cards, flyers, gift vouchers, labels, logos, posters, and menus for restaurants.
  7. Agendas and programs: calendars and weekly schedule. Headers for email and social networks: Etsy design, covers for Facebook, thumbnails, and covers for YouTube.
  8. Social media posts: meme generator, Snapchat geofilters, and images for social networks, Twitter posts, Linked In, Tumblr, among others.
  9. Ads: for Facebook and Instagram of different sizes.

On this page you can see that in the left sidebar, you have different options:

The most interesting thing in this sidebar is that if we click on the ” Create a design ” button, a search engine will appear to write and quickly locate what you need:

And if you need to create a design with a custom design, well, you can click on that option that will appear in the previous search engine: or, you can click on the button on the top right ” Custom dimensions “, you will find a button where You can indicate the dimensions of your next project in pixels (width and height):

Basic tools you should know about Canva

Before explaining how you can create a post template for your website, let’s do a brief review of the basic tools that Canva includes.

As you can see, you have a central area where the canvas is and you have a left sidebar, where you can select templates and a series of elements, which we are going to see below.

Top left menu

  • Add the name of the document,
  • Show margins and indentation,
  • Save to folder,
  • View the history,
  • Make a copy and,
  • Download

Left sidebar

As you can see, here you have different options:

  • Templates: from here you can select the template of the category you have chosen. How will you see there is free and another premium.

  • Photos: you can choose from the millions of images that you have available. Likewise, in all these options, you have some free and others paid.

  • Elements: this section is interesting since you can choose different types of icons and shapes for your images and designs.

  • Text: select fonts of all kinds and find them easily with the search engine.

  • Music: put music to your designs with this section, royalty-free.

  • Videos: if you have to add a video for your creation, you can also look for examples in the search engine.

  • Background: add background colors or textures to your designs.

  • Uploaded files: if you cannot find content for your design, you can upload your own images or videos to make your creations.

  • Folders: here you can organize the contents in folders that you have bought (yes, you can also buy certain items individually in Canva), things that you like, and create whatever you need.

  • More: this section is milk since you can select external sources to choose different elements. For example, if you take Pixabay, the search engine of this portal will appear to find images or vectors that you may need.

Tools for your image

Depending on the element that we have selected, Canva will show us a series of functionalities: fonts, colors, text size, spacing, etc.

For example, when choosing any template and clicking on the background image, these parameters appear that we can modify:

When you click on a phrase or word, these parameters that you can adjust concerning typography open in the upper central bar:

  • Font type: by clicking here, a drop-down will open with all kinds of fonts, both free and premium (if you have the PRO version ):

  • Size: increases or decreases the size of the font in pixels.

  • Text color: change the font color, try to find it, select from the range available in the default colors, or add new ones with the hexadecimal code.

  • Bold, Italic, and Underline.

  • Alignment: left, centered, or right.

  • Uppercase: change the font to all uppercase.

  • Paragraph: establishes different types of paragraphs.

  • Spacing: modifies the space between the letters, the line spacing and establishes the way to anchor the text box.

Extra tools

Depending on the element that we select on our canvas, these tools will appear in the upper-right part, which will allow you to make the following adjustments:

  • Ungroup/group items at the click of a button.

  • Duplicate: allows you to select items, copy and paste them automatically.

  • Position: place the elements where you want (front, back, up, down …).

  • Copy style: if you click on one element and then on another, it copies the style of the first one selected to the last.

  • Transparency: you can make certain elements transparent so that what is behind it can be seen using the range from 0 to 100.

  • Link: enter a URL in a word to redirect to a web page.

  • Lock any element with the padlock icon, so that it is not modified while you advance with your design.

  • Delete an item by clicking the trash can icon.

How to download your designs with Canva

Once you have your design ready, you can download them in PNG, JPG, and PDF formats (standard and for printing).

You also have the option to download your designs in video and GIF format (beta version). If you want to create animations you also have them available but for the premium version.

On the other hand, if you click on the arrow that you have just to the right of the word “ Download ”, a drop-down will open, asking you how you want to publish your design:

You can share the link, make a presentation or even send your design by email and publish it on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

If you click the ” show more ” button, you will see that you have a lot of extra options available (Google Drive, Slack, MailChimp, etc.)

Online photo editor with Canva

Be careful, everything I have explained to you above is not all.

These Canva folks, they leave us freaking out …

Certainly, in the main panel when designing, you have an option to add filters to the images you use, but thanks to this Canva online photo editor, we can edit our photos individually with more possibilities:

  • Resize our images for free without limitations.
  • Add amazing filters.
  • Crop and resize your photos.
  • Change the brightness, saturation, and contrast.
  • Download these edited images without watermarks.
  • You don’t need to download any program to do all this, you do it all from the browser.

IMPORTANT: before explaining how this tool works with images, let me clarify that this editor can be used independently of Canva.

It is true that some of the functionalities that we are going to see below (specifically: text, collage, and shape) to be able to use them you will have to go to the complete Canva tool, but if all you want is to add a filter and Crop or resize the image you will be able to do it without having to have a Canva account or access it.

Therefore, as a conclusion, this tool will come in handy if you just want to edit a photo quickly without necessarily having to log in or register in Canva.

How to edit our photos with Canva’s free editor

We are going to see a practical example, so that you know the interface and what this online photo editing tool is capable of.

As soon as we access it, we find this main user panel :

We see from the outset that we can use some of the images that are proposed to us in the ” Photo Gallery “, or we can upload our own images by clicking the ” + Upload ” button.

1.- Add filter: here we can add the filter that we want from all the ones we have available and even modify the brightness, contrast, and saturation values.

2.- Edit the image: crop, resize, rotate and rotate.

3.- Text: add certain texts to your image through Canva.

4.- Create a Collage with Canva’s online editor.

5.- Add shapes.

6.- Finally, when we have our image ready, we just have to click the “Save” button that we have on the top right to download our already modified photograph.

It will give us the option to access the complete free Canva editor, or ” Download only your photo “.

Now you decide if you want to continue trying everything I have explained so far to make the most of this powerful graphic design tool.

Digging deeper with everything we can do with Canva

The truth is that today and thanks to Canva, you can make any design you can think of.

Striking images for publications on your social networks, quotes or posts to inspire, infographics to facilitate the understanding of information through an image making it more comfortable than writing an explanatory text, visual tutorials …

Does it seem little to you?

We are going to see one by one, all the possibilities that Canva offers us to create content and covers for these social networks:

What are the advantages of creating attractive headers for your social networks?

Here are some of the reasons you can create attractive designs with Canva to boost your online business and personal branding:

Now we are going to see some practical examples of things applicable to your digital business.

Read more: Advertising on Facebook for a blog is no-nonsense

Image sizes for social media

We are going to see all the types of sizes that we can apply to the images of our social networks, and on top of that, you can design them with Canva.

Images for Facebook

1.- The profile photo of your page has a resolution of:

  • 170 × 170 pixels on computers
  • 128 × 128 on smartphones
  • 36 × 36 on most basic phones.

2.- The cover photo of your page has a resolution of:

  • 820 pixels wide by 312 tall on computers
  • 640 pixels wide by 360 high on smartphones.
  • It must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 high.
  • It loads faster if you upload it as an sRGB JPG that is 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels high, and less than 100 kilobytes. If you are going to upload images with your logo or text for the profile or cover photos, better in PNG format since it will be seen with higher quality.

3.- The photo of your publications must be 1200 x 900 px.

4.- The photo for the covers of Events: 784 x 295 px

5.- The photo for Facebook ads: 1200 x 628 px

Images for YouTube

  1. The icon photo must have a resolution of 800 x 800 px.
  2. The header photo must be 2560 x 1440 px
  3. The picture for video : 1920 x 1080 px
  4. The photo for the thumbnail: 1280 x 720 px

If you are going to want the format (16: 9), you will have to encode the video with these resolutions:

  • 2160p: 3840 × 2160
  • 1440p: 2560 × 1440
  • 1080p: 1920 × 1080
  • 720p: 1280 × 720
  • 480p: 854 × 480
  • 360p: 640 × 360
  • 240p: 426 × 240

Images for Instagram

  1. The photo for the stories must have a resolution of 1080 x 1920 px.
  2. The photo for the post has to be 1080 x 1080 px
  3. The picture for the profile: 110 x 110 px
  4. The photo for the thumbnail: 161 x 161 px

Images for Twitter

  1. The picture for the profile: 400 x 400 px
  2. The photo for the header: 1500 x 500 px
  3. The photo for the posts: 1024 x 512 px

Images for LinkedIn

  1. The photo for the personal profile: 500 x 500 px
  2. The photo for the header: 1400 x 425 px

Images for Pinterest

  1. The profile picture: 165 x 165 px
  2. The board thumbnail photo: 222 x 150 px
  3. The photo pin: 1000 x 1500 px

If you have doubts I leave you these official data of each of the networks:

  • Help Facebook
  • Youtube Help
  • Instagram Help
  • Twitter Help
  • Linkedin Help

It is interesting to have all these measurements, since with this tool you can create custom designs, so if you don’t find what you want, you can manually adapt the size for each of the social networks you need.

Web design with Canva

In addition, you can make these creations with this online tool.

This is very powerful to sketch the web that you want to design and then translate it into your WordPress to finish designing with Elementor.

In addition, you can create designs optimized for mobile.

If you need to create a mind map of your website, you also have this option available in Canva.

How to customize your template for your blog posts

Once we have reviewed the interface and seen the different types of publications that we can create with their different sizes, I am going to explain to you with a practical step-by-step example how to create a template for your blog entries, so that you can see the power of this tool.

First of all, once you have created your free account in Canva you have to choose the type of template that you are going to select for your design, for we put in the search engine “banner”:

As you can see, you have different types of banners available:

  • Banner for LinkedIn
  • Banner for SoundCloud
  • Banner for Tumblr
  • Banner for Twitch Blog Banner

In our case, we are going to choose ” Banner for Blog “.

We have a few templates available to choose from and start as a starting point, although also if you prefer, you can start with the blank canvas from scratch if you are not an expert in graphic design, I recommend that you opt for the first option.

For example: if your blog is about technology, you can select the template “The 20 Best Mobile APPS”, to create a banner as a header for a post on your blog, and from here you can modify it to your liking.

In my case, I am going to explain to you how to reproduce a banner like the covers of Haciaelautoempleo blog posts.

Steps in Canva to create this template

Before starting, you have to be very clear about these points to make a template design according to your personal brand and the rest of the post:

  1. Choose the same font for the text you use on your website (titles and body).
  2. Use the colors of your personal branding project and translate them into the banner design.
  3. Put a good quality image that is striking and logically related to the topic of the post.
  4. Create a clean yet eye-catching design to entice your visitors to read your blog posts.
  5. You have to be consistent and use the same banner format for the rest of the post, since this way your followers will easily identify your brand.

Well, looking at the more theoretical part, as I said before, either we choose a template to design the banner or we start from scratch, in my case I am going to start with a blank canvas.

These are the steps that we are going to carry out the preparation of our design:

  1. We upload the image that we want to add to our template:
  2. We click twice on the uploaded image to place it on our canvas and adapt it as we want in size.
  • We add a square with a background color for the main title.
  1. We select the “square” element in the left sidebar and incorporate it into our canvas:
  2. We modify the size of the rectangle to adapt it as a frame above our image where the title of our post will be incorporated and we put the base yellow color.
  • We insert our logo or favicon that identifies our web project.
  1. Likewise, we upload the logo that represents our personal brand and inserts it into the rectangle that we have created:
  1. We add the text element and select the typography according to the one we use on our website to bring harmony and coherence with our project:
  2. In this case, I am going to use the font “Montserrat Extra-Bold” with a size of 16, I put the line spacing of 1 point and the characteristic dark blue color of my blog and I align it with the logo and that’s it!

I add the title of the post, the last image that I have uploaded with the Titanes WordPress logo above the image below in the center… and Voilà !!

We already have our template ready to download and use in our blog posts.

In addition, Canva will automatically save this design you have made for when you publish new posts, go directly to the online tool and modify it on the fly without having to do it from scratch each time.


As you have seen, if you have little experience in the subject of graphic design, Canva is an option that is more than recommended, since only all the templates and options provided by the free version, it is enough for you to create the designs you need. for your professional project.

Without a doubt, this free option is very powerful, but with the premium, you have many more possibilities and you can go further.

Taking into account that the price is quite cheap and you save having to use and pay for professional tools where their complexity of use is high and the price gets a bit out of hand.

Canva PRO is a very good alternative to consider when working with the visual contents of our online project.

¿ And why is it’s worth the premium version ?

Well, summarizing all this you can do about the free version:

  • You can design whatever you want for less than € 10 / month.
  • It allows you to download your images in PNG with a transparent background.
  • This is essential to use later on the web, for example, if you capture the image on top of a section with a background color and you don’t want it to have that white box by default.
  • You will have the use of more than 60 million photos and graphic elements, so you save on having to pay for premium image banks.
  • You can choose from more than 1000 fonts for the fonts, or even upload your own.
  • Access the Brands Kit.
  • The ability to organize your designs in unlimited folders.
  • You can resize your designs.
  • Access premium animations.
  • Priority in Help.


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