No matter if you run a startup or an enterprise company, everyone should have a website. It’s your business’ calling card and the first point of contact for the majority of your prospects. Depending on the type of business you run as well as the impression you want to make, you will create a different website presentation, by yourself or hiring a team of designers.
Whichever option you choose, your website needs to be done professionally and with utmost attention to detail. Even though you may be wondering how much does it cost to run a website monthly, design needs to be addressed first.
There is no great website built with shoddy tools. In order to build a successful presentation, you need the best tools for the job. Here are some that you might find useful when building your own website. Whether someone is building it for you or you’re doing it yourself, these are the tools you don’t want to miss.
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Of all the design tools, this is by far the first you need to use to build your website. Although technically not a design tool per se, it is absolutely necessary for the design stage of any website’s creation.
WordPress is a platform for building websites, and it’s the number one choice of many business owners in the world. In fact, almost 30% of all websites online are made on WordPress.
It has a lot going for it, and there’s a good reason so many people choose it over the competition. First and most importantly – it’s free, you can download it and set up your website free of charge. So, how much does it cost to run a website monthly? With WordPress, nothing. Second, it’s very simple to use, compared to using custom coding and learning a programming language. Third, it comes with a range of pre-defined themes that you can alter and get a beautifully designed website very quickly.
Finally, because WordPress is so widespread, there are lots of resources for it online. This includes plugins, tutorials, guides, help docs – whatever you can think of. While there are some alternatives to WordPress such as Wix or Squarespace, they all lack the overall capabilities of WordPress. In other words, you absolutely need it to set the foundations for a great website.
I know, you were kind of expecting this one. In a world where new software comes out every month and people keep finding new ways to improve their design, PhotoShop is a relic of the past. However, is that really so?
While it may be a bit old and some may consider it outdated, Adobe PhotoShop is still the absolute king of design tools. Thanks to its versatility, you can use it for anything from adjusting the hue on a background image to designing completely new graphic elements for your website layout.
One of the main benefits of PhotoShop is just how pervasive it is. The majority of files you download from the web or get from your designer are created in precisely this tool and there’s no need to convert or tinker with the format. On the other hand, there is a steep learning curve – if you’ve never used design software, you’ll have at least a few hours of learning to learn the basics of PhotoShop.
At only $19.99 per month, you’d be hard pressed to find better value for money when it comes to a design tool. Alternatively, you can buy a lifetime license for several hundred dollars, depending on the version. The return on investment is excellent, as PhotoShop is a gift that keeps on giving, as you’re only limited by your creativity.
At some point in time, a group of smart people thought – hey, why not come up with a tool that does exactly what PhotoShop does, but for websites only? And that’s how Sketch came to life, almost 10 years ago.
Although some might think that this is a niche user base, Sketch quickly found its way to hundreds of thousands of web designers, who swear by it as their go-to tool for whipping up a website design with ease.
The upsides to Sketch are pretty easy to see. First, it only costs $99 for a lifetime license – any designer can pay that off within a day. Second, it’s specialized for use with websites specifically. As for the downsides, there’s only one – Sketch works on Mac only. Sorry, Windows users.
When you ask anybody how they feel about a website (or many other objects in life), many people will talk about the colors as the main element. This is no coincidence, as colors guide our emotions and choosing the right ones for your website will make users stick around. On the other hands, the wrong ones will drive people off quicker than you can say virus.
Adobe Color Wheel is one of the most essential web design tools you can use, as it helps you make the right decisions when it comes to colors. Simply choose your basic colors, and the color wheel will help you create a great color scheme. It’s one of the best ways of telling whether a site was built by a pro or someone who started designing websites yesterday – the colors speak more than words.
What’s so great about the Adobe Color Wheel? First, it lets you design without giving much thought to colors. Second, you can select some of many pre-set color schemes if you have no idea where to start. Finally, perhaps the best part – it’s completely free. Downsides? There are none. This is a tool you must use, no matter what kind of website you’re designing.
So how much does it cost to run a website monthly? With tools like these, it can be practically free.
Persuaded by success of Sketch, lots of companies started coming up with alternatives for PhotoShop that do website design great. One of them is Figma, a relatively new tool whose main strength is its versatility.
Figma is a website design tool that you can use across platforms – on your browser or using any operating system you can think of. Not only can you access it from any device, Figma also allows multiple users to collaborate on one design.
The best part of Figma is that it allows virtually anyone to collaborate with you, regardless of what they’re running in terms of OS. There’s a free and paid version, depending on how much you need from the tool.
Having a beautifully designed website is certainly something to strive for. While we all need amazing sliders and page buttons, sometimes all you need is a simple graphic to promote your newest blog post. This is exactly what Canva is for. Even the biggest laymen can use it, and you can create stunning graphics within minutes. To top it all off, it’s free to use.
Even though we all prefer building websites with WordPress and themes, sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty and write some code. However, it’s not that easy to get into code if you’re used to design tools such as Sketch or PhotoShop. This is where Avocode comes in.
Built as a way to bridge the two worlds, Avocode allows you to sync graphics files with your existing code. Using a simple interface, it literally translates images into code that you or your developer can use to complete a website design. The best part is that that the developer doesn’t even need to know how to use Sketch or PhotoShop – so they can just get the files from the graphics designer and do their magic.
If you’re working in a larger team of designers and developers, Avocode can save countless hours (and dollars). The basic pricing starts at $14 per month per user, which is a small price to pay for the functionality it offers.
Here’s a common situation – you only have one image to work with, and you have to base the entire website page (or sometimes even the website) based on this on photo. If this sounds like a designer’s nightmare, it truly is. Luckily, Pictaculous is here to save the day.
Simply upload an image to this wonderful app, and it will choose the appropriate color palette for the page. Best part – something amazing as this comes completely free. And as an added bonus, you can use it outside of the online world as well – when decorating a room, for example.
You ever notice a girl walking down the street, wearing an amazing pair of pants, thinking – I really need a pair of those? As web designers, it often happens to us with fonts. Sometimes you run into something that is pure gold and you want it for your next design. This is where What the Font comes in.
Simply load up the image to What The Font website and let it runs it algorithm and find the exact font you’ve been looking for. The tool is completely free and it’s a necessary part of any experienced designer’s toolkit.
When people think about designing websites, most have an image of fancy design elements coming together to form beautiful pages. In reality, it takes a lot of careful planning and thinking before any website reaches this stage. Before a website comes to life, it first needs to be visualized in a wireframe, and this is exactly what Balsamiq does.
Before you begin using PhotoShop or Sketch or whatever your tool of choice, it’s useful to create a site wireframe in Balsamiq first. You get to set the foundations, making the rest of the design process super simple to do.
The upside to Balsamiq is that it speeds up the bulk of the website design process, and that you can get it on Windows and Mac. It’s also pretty affordable, as you can get it for as low as $89. It really is a no-brainer.
One of the most common reasons why people leave your website is speed. A site that loads slowly will put off even the most interested of visitors, and they may never come back. Fortunately, it’s easy to track the biggest culprit for slow loading speeds – it’s the images.
TinyPNG allows you to compress your existing images so that they are smaller in size and take less time to load. What’s amazing is that you will not lose any of the image quality in the process. However, the most amazing thing is that TinyPNG is completely free to use.
If you’re designing a website for the first time, you may run into some roadblocks. One of them is the following – you’ve finished your website design, but now you need to test it out, either by yourself or giving someone else access. Problem is, your website needs to be live for this to happen. The more expensive solution to the problem is getting a hosting account just to test the website. While this is the easiest thing to do, it’s not exactly cost-effective, especially if you’re building websites all the time.
Alternatively, you can check out WAMP. It’s a pretty simple tool that lets you install a web server locally so you can test out your website before it goes live. WAMP lets you check out all of the aspects of your website instead of letting your visitors find bugs and errors. It’s free to use in its bare-bones version, but you’ll have to pay to get the full features.
Do you feel overwhelmed and don’t want to build a website on your own? You need a professional to take care of the job. At Adspirine, we already know which tools you need for your website to look and function amazingly. We have a range of plans with monthly subscriptions that fits companies of all sizes and budgets. If you’re looking for a reliable partner in your digital marketing journey, come to Adspirine so we can build you a beautiful and functional website that turns visitors into customers!