I am asked often what type of tools I use to run my website design business – CheDesigns.com.au. A lot of people that are not in my profession believe all you need is a laptop and an internet connection, if only :(
When you first start out building websites all you really need is Microsoft Office, Photoshop & Dreamweaver, all 3 products will provide you with the basic tools you need to run a freelance web design business.
But once that you start to get more clients and your time is taken up dealing with your workload you will soon realise that more tools are needed to help you run your small web design business.
So, I have put together a list of my top 10 web designer tools for running an efficient website design business, these tools will get you started on the road to success.
Adobe Creative Cloud
This is my number 1 tool for creating websites, without it, I would be lost! Adobe Creative Cloud is a cloud-based subscription software with a collection of different apps that allow you to manage and share assets. Apps that I use daily are Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and Lightroom. Pricing starts from $14.29 AUD a month, I currently pay for the use of all apps and this costs me $72.59 a month.
If like me you decide that you are going to manage your client's web hosting and domain name registration then you are going to need WHMCS because it will help automate signups, billing, provisioning and offers a built-in support system. Pricing starts from $20.00 AUD a month.
Office for me is still a big day to day use and yes you could instead use tools like Google suite, but I prefer office and this is the reason I pay an annual renewal fee of $110. There are many pricing plan options that range from yearly, monthly and even student.
If you want to start compiling an email list, then MailChimp is a great tool to start with and its free up to 2000 subscribers.
CloudFlare is a great tool to help protect your websites from hackers and will also help increase the speed of your website. CloudFlare offers a free plan, I currently use their paid plan option for CheDesigns.com.au.
Quuu / Buffer
Quuu is a great tool that can provide you excellent content for your social media websites and Buffer is a tool that helps push content to different social media platforms. Both are a great way to automate your social media. Both offer free plans, but I have upgraded and pay a small amount for each tool per month.
Google Search Console
Google’s Search Console is a web designer best mate and allows you to have your websites indexed quickly and it will also inform you of any issues that any of your websites might be having.
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting tool for small businesses, It enables small business owners to free up to time by taking care of all your accounting needs. QuickBooks Online is a great tool and I recommend it to any small business owner.
Trello is a sticky note type online tool that will help keep you organised. I use this online tool all the time and it saves me hours of time weekly. This is a fully automated tool with a downloadable app and the best bit is that its FREE!
At some point, you are going to need to employ freelancers and Skype is a great tool to communicate and is widely used.
The tools that I have mentioned above are a great way to start developing your web design business or a small business, if you think I have missed anything please let me know by using the comment box below.
About the Author
I am Che the founder and owner of CheDesigns. I started the business in Albany, Western Australia over 5 years ago with an aim to make professional website design cost effective to small businesses and to equip them with the education and tools they need to succeed online.
I am passionate about all things tech and internet related and can be found browsing the net at strange times of the day and night! I hope you find something of interest that will help your small business online.