Business + Design Tools

Recommended tools for web designers + web design agencies

Upgrading your web design software will make client projects go smoother and give you back some of your time being eaten up by your business. Here’s what I recommend using to upgrade your web design workflow. 💻

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Need some help with that business you're building?

I hear you. Loud and clear. 

I struggle-bussed it big time for a long time. Let me help you skip all of that. Here are the tools and resources I used to build my business from absolutely nothing to “Hey, this thing is actually working!”

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links. That means that at no extra cost to you, I’ll get a small percentage of the price for referring you as a customer. I’d never recommend any tools that I don’t personally use and get my money’s worth out of. If you use one of these links – thank you!

Recommended tools for building websites

Hosting

Siteground

Siteground is a web host that it pretty great all around, especially for small and medium websites. If the sites you build have less than 10k sessions per month, this is a great choice.

If you are a content creator with multiple websites or domains, I’d recommend the GrowBig plan and if you’re a designer, developer, or an agency, I’d go with GoGeek for the extra space and easy staging site setup.

Cloudways

Cloudways is a hosting company that is great for more advanced users. It’s a scalable cloud hosting platform that allows a lot more control.

If you plan to host customer websites or you have quite a few websites that you run no matter how big they are, check this one out. They have the top of the line tech in terms of speed, security, and scalability. It’s a pay-as-you-go situation, so that’s great, too – you only pay for what you use.

Domain Names

Choosing a registrar to buy and keep domains on isn’t as in-depth of a process as choosing hosting is, so once you find one you like, you can just stick with that one! If you want an in-depth breakdown of what to look for when choosing a domain registrar, here’s a post I wrote about that.

namecheap

Namecheap is a pretty well-known registrar and I recommend them if you feel better buying from a bigger brand than something that you haven’t heard of.

dynadot

This is where most of my domain names are. They have a nice user interface and you can easily see how much you’re spending per year on domains. Code 7e8F6ah7n8d7I5 to get a $5 credit after spending $10.

Page Builder

Elementor

Price: Free

Elementor is a drag-and-drop page builder that makes putting together WordPress websites a lot simpler. You’ll find it useful whether you’re just DIY-ing your website or you want to do web design as a career.

In terms of WordPress page builders, you have a few different options, but I think Elementor is a solid choice because they have a good balance between performance and ease of use.

Also, they are one of the only major page builders to offer a free version so you can fully try it before committing to it. And the free version is faily robust, too – you can build a whole website with it.

elementor pro

Price: $49/yr

Elementor Pro gives you quite a few more features out of the box when compared to the free version. If you end up loving the free version and want everything Elementor has to offer, definitely take a look at this.

As a web designer, I get a lot out of Elementor and it’s paid for itself dozens of times over. I also use it on a few different blogs I have. Highly recommend!

It’s $49/year for a single site license, but you also have the option of buying a license for more sites. I have the biggest plan, which allows me to use it on up to 1,000 sites.

Project Management

Clickup

Price: Free or up to $19/mo

ClickUp is a new(er) project management tool that literally does it all. I’m not the kind of person who believes that there’s one project management tool to rule them all, but I think it’s smart to try them all out and stick with the one that works the best for you.

For me, that was ClickUp, especially because of the automation potential and the amount of tools that integrate with it.

ClickUp is my business command center at this point and I think it’s highly worth checking out as a business owner at any level of experience, whether you have a team of 100 or you’re a solopreneur.

MarkUp.io

Price: Free

This is a tool you can use to gather feedback from your customers on websites or other designs you’ve built for them I recommend it for designers who are just starting out and need something to streamline their revisions process.

I used this for the first couple years and the only problem I had with it is that sometimes the websites take a lot longer than normal to load, which can leave some clients frustrated.

When you can switch to something more robust, I’d recommend checking out Project Huddle or Volley, which is what I use.

Automation

Integrately

Integrately is an automation tool that’s similar to Zapier except for the fact that you get 6,000 free automations per month instead of 100.

Yep! It’s amazing. And it integrates with so, so many other tools. I use it to automate tasks and save so much time in my business, for example, every time someone fills out my contact form, Integrately automatically creates a task in ClickUp assigned to me, reminding me to respond.

Website Maintenance + Security

manage wp

Siteground is a web host that it pretty great all around, especially for small and medium websites. If the sites you build have less than 10k sessions per month, this is a great choice.

If you are a content creator with multiple websites or domains, I’d recommend the GrowBig plan and if you’re a designer, developer, or an agency, I’d go with GoGeek for the extra space and easy staging site setup.

malcare

Cloudways is a hosting company that is great for more advanced users. It’s a scalable cloud hosting platform that allows a lot more control.

If you plan to host customer websites or you have quite a few websites that you run no matter how big they are, check this one out. They have the top of the line tech in terms of speed, security, and scalability. It’s a pay-as-you-go situation, so that’s great, too – you only pay for what you use.