Bootstrapping a Web Design Business with a Few Basic Tools


Web design has traditionally been an expensive affair.

In building a website, a designer works hand-in-hand with front-end and back-end developers. Some teams have included more, but this was the basic minimum required for a website that isn’t too shabby.

As a result, designers often have to contend with cuts in their share from projects, in order to gain a competitive advantage in offering their services.

Design has often been associated with a labor-intensive process that ends up in ripped out strands of hair and lots of caffeine.

Web design does not necessarily have to be a complex process that involves such an enormous amount of coordination and expense. True, you might need a dream team for a highly-specialized high-end project. But when it comes to designing a product or business website, things have become a lot easier.

By reducing the workload, you reduce your costs of production and ultimately end up with more flexibility in executing your project. For design agencies or independent designers, this is probably the best time to be in this particular line of work. There are many businesses hoping to go online or revamp their aging websites and you might just be able to design a very flashy resource-friendly website in a significantly shorter amount of time with less resources.

You’re going to need an armory with the right weapons. Over time, you will acquire a sense of what works for you.

Bootstrapping a Web Design Business

In the meantime, here are some tools that best work for small design outfits and businesses with in-house geek squads:

No-Nonsense Design

In its prime, the one thing that made Adobe Photoshop successful as a tool for photo editing was its versatility and the intuitive way in which its tools were organized. Its learning curve wasn’t horrible, and everything it offered helped users maintain complete control over their work.



A similar thing can be said about Webydo, a publishing platform built with Web designers in mind. Its interface comes with a great variety of tools and a broad set of features that other website building applications lack.

While there are many tools that are reliable and easy to use for Web design, these lack the fluidity necessary to make something truly unique. Webydo fills the void and yet makes a good balance between complexity and ease of use.

As the platform is created by designers for designers, Webydo is meant to cut the role of the middleman. Designers can directly publish their creations without the need to have the design spliced and encoded into HTML. The platform also includes a fully-integrated content management system for managing client content, plus tools that enable design agencies to manage client projects and invoicing.

To address the trend that half of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, Webydo also has a special canvas for this right out of the box that helps you integrate your existing desktop-oriented design and quickly snap it into a smaller frame fit for smartphones’ screens.

What’s My Browser Size?

Now that you have an adequate platform for Web design, you need to test your product on a variety of different resolutions. Usually, you can do this by either switching the resolution on your monitor or simply resizing the browser.

The latter option, despite being easier to use, leaves you with very little in the way of precision since you can’t really make out the dimensions of the window.

What’s My Browser Size is a very simple but important application that solves this problem. As you resize your browser window, it tells you exactly how many pixels each axis measures. This lets you easily understand the conditions with which you are testing your designs.

Without such a tool, you have no way of really gauging the look of a 1024 x 768 resolution unless you are a machine yourself.

Place It!

If you’re making a site for a product or service, it’s sometimes appropriate to capture it in motion. For sites that offer software, product placement in an advertisement video is actually pretty easy now with something called Place It.

You can record the website in action and this little tool does the rest. It’s really that easy and it produces a professional-quality mockup or product placement video or photo for applications that would have otherwise required hiring an actor and getting the setting just right.

Web design is now simpler than painting on a canvas. Simple tools and design platforms have made it more accessible to designers who would rather not fiddle with HTML or those without programming experience. This is good news for small businesses and freelance Web artists who want exploit their full potential in terms of productivity and profitability.

Image: Webydo.com

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William Johnson


William Johnson William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media - web design. He is currently an Editor at Big Eye Deers and he is obsessed with the latest trends in ecommerce, SEO and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, Small Business Trends and SocialMediaToday.

3 Reactions

  1. I would add that designing websites from scratch just isn’t common anymore. The more common path would be to take an existing CMS like WordPress and then customize a theme to fit your needs. With the roster of available plugins to add functionality many businesses would find this a very practical route to a new website that is awesome.

  2. I agree with Robert that there;’s a lot of other easy to use CMS systems that handle responsive design and layout seamlessly. WordPress is certainly one of the most popular.

    Even with an incredible CMS, designing a good custom website still requires a great eye for design and plenty of technical skill.

    • WordPress is great for developers and those that know how to code and while these CMS systems might be comparatively easy to use, those without this type of background will need to look for other solutions, be it professional designers turning to professional platforms such as the above-mentioned Webydo or amateurs building a DIY site for their business on website builders off of templates found on sites such as Wix and Weebly.

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