A collection of web design tools and resources.
I may receive a commission when you use the links in this post, but I'll never recommend anything I don't use.
It’s not easy to run a design service-based business, but using the right web design tools can make it easier. There’s not a day that I don’t use every one of these bad boys in my workflow.
#1 – Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is a powerful application that creates images in vector format. Vector is so important because you can resize your design without losing quality. Photoshop (and Canva) create images in Raster format. Raster means your design will be blurry when resized.
I use Illustrator for everything from logos, brand boards, social images, and layouts. Most of my web designing happens in-browser these days, but I start out with a basic layout and elements in Illustrator.
#2 – WordPress
WordPress powers a quarter of the internet these days, (including all my own websites). With so many users it’s easy to find help and support. And it’s regularly updated to keep your site secure from the latest threats.
It’s not as beginner friendly as Squarespace, and that’s okay. WordPress more than makes up for it with plugins and themes to make your website work exactly the way you want. It’s also more SEO friendly than DIY website builders like Squarespace and Wix.
#3 – Trello
Holy organization, Batman! I don’t know what I did before Trello.
Trello keeps track of everything. I have a board for posts, Whimsy development, and for House Cozad (grocery list, home repair list). I connect my post board to Google Drive so I can go right to the master document. All my planning, sales copy, and social blurbs are available right from the card within Trello.
#4 – Namecheap
#5 – SiteGround
I’m currently moving my websites and clients to SiteGround. So far it’s a reliable, high-quality host with excellent support. The speed of my sites has also made a marked jump. Woohoo!
My previous host, MediaTemple, was once a shining beacon in the land of web hosting. Then GoDaddy bought them (UGH) and now they’re awful. AWFUL. Their servers are oversold and packed full of slow websites now, just like GoDaddy likes to do. 🙁
#6 – Brackets
Brackets makes it easy to manage different projects. Import the folder of the project you’re working on and it organizes the folders and files in a tree. I just open the folder for the theme or plugin instead of the entire WordPress file structure. Being able to switch between projects like that has improved my development time. Win.
#7 – MailerLite
MailerLite is a free alternative to MailChimp. It’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers and has features that MailChimp charges extra for.
MailerLite also features landing pages and many opt-in form options. The biggest perk? Advanced automation rules for sales funnels and opt-in offers. For free.