Webdesign is in perpetual evolution, that's why we, webdesigners, must no longer work with an old-fashioned method! What would I call "old-fashioned method" in your opinion? The fact of working with one and the same tool, without any perspective of evolution, without the desire to learn more, to try something else, other webdesign tools among others.
It's true that I keep repeating that I work mainly on Webflow. But that doesn't prevent me from completing it with other webdesign tools. In this article, I let you discover 19 of the ones I use daily.
By the way, currently, how many tools do you use in a day?
Less than 10 (I can't stay concentrated with several tools, on the contrary, I scatter)
More than 10 (My job forces me to! And I'm trying as hard as I can to adapt to it)
Anything else? Feel free to give your opinion as a comment
- Spotify (its motivating 😅)
- Audible (books, THE best source from inspiration📚)
Webdesign tools : Finance & Admin
Freelancing is not just about the work itself. You have your own business, so you manage everything yourself. And I create my sites mainly on Webflow.
I'm only going to give you a short summary of Webflow, but if you want to know more, I advise you to read my complete guide on Webflow: everything there is to know. Simply put, Webflow is an original website design software, without having to use code.
It adopts a drag-and-drop system: you choose the functionality you need, drag and drop it to the appropriate place on the page of your website (the library of functionalities is diverse, especially in terms of customization of styles, fonts, colors ...).
The concept is a bit like Wix, Shopify... but its interface is mostly reminiscent of Photoshop, Illustrator... If Wix, Wordpress, Shopify, etc. are aimed at amateurs and professionals of website creation, Webflow has been designed for web designers. It therefore focuses on the design and marketing side of a website.
I have indicated Webflow in the Finance category because you can use the "customer billing" module which allows you to get a commission each year on the Webflow subscription your customer will need. A good way to have a passive income in the long term. 😏
The first year as a freelancer is not always easy. In administration alone, you risk getting lost if you don't have a good organization or if you don't use the right tools.
Simpleinvoice is one of the most powerful and simple tools available (by experience).
It is an invoicing software that allows you to send your invoices to your customers quickly. Once you have saved your customers' data on the platform, all they have to do is activate their automatic payment. Every month, you are sure to receive what you are owed!
Simpleinvoice specialises in invoice management. That is why it is also possible to export your invoices, to consider different currencies and to issue invoices in different languages (Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and French).
You need about $10 a month to be able to use it fully. In the meantime, make the most of your free trial period!
Not being lucky enough to be able to use it, because to date, the tool is only available in France. However, it would have greatly helped me to better manage the admin part of my freelance business.
Freebe's promise 'Freebe.me helps all freelancers out of the admin galley.
The proposed solutions: Your live VAT threshold, VAT overrun alert, Invoices to be reissued, Become a VAT professional.
You will only have to pay 84€ for 1 year! But you can also opt for the monthly payment which starts at 11€/month. It's easy to calculate.
The secret to success lies in good organization. So I don't hesitate when it comes to webdesign tools for organization. They are complementary.
Security webdesign tools : Dashlane
When you work with several people, and sometimes you have to share an account, it's not always easy. With one account, it's already complicated. So imagine what will happen with several applications (between social networks and other tools that you have to connect to every day). The best solution I've been able to find for this situation is Dashlane.
Dashlane is a popular password manager in the mac and iOS environment. Other operating systems are equally well suited for this software. It is also available online, via a web browser. Since I've been using it, I don't have to remember or type my different passwords when I log in.
It allows me today to share my passwords with my team in complete serenity.
It proposes 2 plans:
- a free
- one payer (from $5/month)
You often have to work in a team when you are a webdesigner. One day, you will lead your own team. In the meantime, you'll have to manage all your clients' projects. One of the most powerful tools to use is Basecamp.
This is not just a simple group chat software. All the tools that a team might need are gathered in there: forums, agenda, task list, file storage... We can then say that it centralizes EVERYTHING! The key to good organization, in my opinion.
Therefore, it only offers a free Personal plan and manage 3 projects and invite 20 people from your team. If you want to subscribe, you are entitled to a free trial, following which you will pay $99 per month.
One tool we've been hearing a lot about lately is of course Notion. Personally I have been able to test the tool, but Basecamp brings me much more. But Notion is, in my opinion, a great tool that deserves to be tested.
How many applications do you use on a daily basis? For me, there are 19 (at least). I don't know if you can imagine my days. It seems unmanageable, which is indeed the case. But then, how do I do it? Well, I get help from another application: Zapier. I use him as a go-between.
It consists of connecting different applications together, which greatly reduces my worries. Some actions are then automated. I'll just give you one example. Let's suppose I get an email on my account and it contains an attachment. So I have automated the download of these attachments. This way, they will automatically be saved in my cloud.
The 2 applications linked here are: my mailbox and my cloud.
This is just one of many examples. Knowing that Zapier is a partner with more than 500 applications, I'll let you imagine the number of possibilities available to you. Via a main dashboard, you can manage everything. It's good to know that the number of zaps (connection possibilities / automations) is unlimited.
Not only does it save you a lot of time, but you save money. This customization costs thousands and hundreds if you use a developer. He's going to have to spend a lot of time writing lines of code, so there's nothing more understandable.
For all types of companies, there is a dedicated subscription. The free version (5 zaps that can be repeated 100 times a month) is a good start! It will not be enough over time. Paid plans then start at $20 per month.
I don't need to describe to you what he does and doesn't do. The name says it all: pCloud is a cloud storage service. But why him, and not another storage software? His "lifetime" offer is simply convincing. You only pay once (or you split the payment over 12 months), and the storage space is yours for life.
- Over 12 months, you need $48 a month...
- One-time pricing starts at $175 for 500GB lifetime
- In one go, the price starts at $350 for 2TB for life (that was my choice!).
pCloud is also easy to use. I use it on all my devices (computer, smartphone and tablets). In fact, when I connect it to my computer, it automatically creates a secure virtual space, so I get extra storage space.
Do you know Google Sheet, Excel and all those other spreadsheet and database software? Airtable is one of them, but better. For one, it allows a serene collaboration. Each member of your team, if you invite him or her, will have access to the document concerned.
Secondly, it is flexible (unlike those products I mentioned earlier). It doesn't just deal with numbers. It handles all kinds of information:
- telephone numbers
To this end, the tool in question is versatile: database, shared diary, code review (for developers), editorial planning...
Its free version gives you a taste of what you can already have by paying a subscription. But you need an amount starting at $12 per month if you want to subscribe.
Using an assistant to take care of your appointment is good! But having software that automates everything is even better. That's what Acuity allows you to do, an online agenda. But is it really necessary? I find that if you have a busy schedule, it's more than necessary, both for you and for your clients.
They will have access to this agenda without having to log in. Just integrate it on your website. Your customers will then be able to have an overview of your schedule, and then book the date (still available) that suits them, via the same platform. You will each receive a reminder notification when the time comes, in the form of a personalised message.
Suppose your clients have made an appointment. For one reason or another, they are forced to reschedule or cancel it. They don't need to make a phone call, send an email, or contact you in any way. Everything can be done on the platform (whether by computer or mobile phone).
When the time comes when your prospects and clients should pay a deposit, Acuity's presence is a real asset. Just drop by for payments (Stripe, Paypal and Authorize). As for you, if you want to benefit from a complete service, I advise you to pay a subscription starting at $15 per month. Anyway, there is a free version too.
Complementary webdesign tools: for teams
Since a designer often works with a team, you will need to think about specialized team tools.
Main webdesign tools : Figma
Like all webdesigners, you will find pleasure in using Figma. At least, that's how I feel. Even with several people, me and my team manage to maintain a smooth collaboration.
All changes are made in real time. This is shown by the presence of the cursors of different users, live. Whether it is for a simple control or if ever there is a manipulation error, a versionning system is available (which allows to see the history of the file).
I use it mainly for the creation of models and prototypes. Figma offers additional features for its paid version (starting at $12 per month). But if you want to try it, maybe you could start with the free version?
Creating a multilingual site is not at all easy, especially when you have to go through codes. Weglot remedies this situation! Indeed, it allows you to translate a website into different languages in just a few minutes.
3 types of translation are allowed on Weglot:
- manual translation
- an automatic translation
- professional translation
The goal is to create a professional, quality translation that is as accurate as possible. SEO is not left out in all this. Even the translated pages will be SEO-optimized.
The good news is that Weglot is available in a free version.
To ensure that a site really meets the expectations of your target, an important step not to be missed: the creation of models and prototypes. With Adobe XD, these 2 tasks are easier. The software is equipped with various features that are equally practical, for example :
- design creation
- prototyping (animation, transition, previews...)
- sharing (comments) and collaboration
These are only examples, but be aware that depending on your needs, you can use Adobe XD extensions.
You are fortunate to have easy access to Adobe XD if you are already a subscriber to Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe XD is included in the suite. Otherwise, you'll need to subscribe to an offer. A 30-day trial is still available, so take advantage of it!
Secondly, no activity can be carried out without marketing. Although you are a designer, you also sell a product: your services.
I often talk about SEO while stressing the importance of publishing content on a regular basis. Of course, I have focused on text content, but this rule also applies to audio content. You might as well use all traffic acquisition channels.
By often posting audio on specialist platforms like Spotify, you're giving yourself a good chance. Listening to a podcast while doing other things (driving, sports, etc.) is ideal. It's also an opportunity to discover new professionals through it.
In case you want to create a YouTube channel to talk about a particular topic, you can, for example, convert your videos to audio and then import them to Spotify. Fast, yet very efficient.
After a free 3-month trial, are you willing to pay $10 a month for all these benefits? It's up to you to answer.
Audible belongs to Amazon. Can you figure out what they have in common? As Amazon is known to be a leader in online sales, Audible is certainly focused on sales. However, it specializes in audio book sales.
By the way, I highly recommend it! Thanks to him, I was able to listen to some very well-known audio books, but above all, I discovered many others. From another point of view, this is very important for you as a professional. Who knows, your future customers will probably discover you in this way (the same principle as with Spotify, you create visibility in this world).
You have two choices:
- buy the books separately (à la carte if I may)
- Subscribe to a subscription starting at $10 (this second option ensures great savings)
Anyway, you get 2 free books to start with. And then, a 30-day trial is possible!
As a freelancer, you need to convert your prospects and build customer loyalty. From my point of view, it's a little complicated. You will have to write 2 different emails, but still, sort your contacts and send the emails little by little.
Autopilot saves you all that work. This software allows you to automate the emails. They are not simple mails (lifeless and unattractive). They are dynamic, targeted, etc. Moreover, this tool works with different CRM and CMS.
Its main asset is its ease of use. To automate tasks, no code is required. On the contrary, all you have to do is draw and connect the drawings to each other, using arrows.
Although there is no free version, you are entitled to a free trial for your first use. After that, a subscription costs $49 per month.
How do you evaluate your work? There's nothing simpler than asking the opinions of the people you've worked for, i.e. conducting surveys. There is now an easier way to do this: the use of automated webdesign tools such as Typeform.
His name says a lot about him already. Survey forms are not the only thing he can do. He takes care of everything concerning the 'forms' (satisfaction surveys, market research, registration...). The list is so diverse, and for a very specific reason:
The tool provides you with several options to compose a personalized form, according to your objectives and expectations, as well as those of your clients. Since you are a webdesigner, like me, I guess you would be interested in the fact that with Typeform, form designs are at the top! They can be customized to your website design or brand.
Typeform is available as a free version. To go further in the functionalities, you have to pay $25 per month (or more).
When I first started on SEMRush, I got lost easily. So many possibilities. As time went by, I quickly became familiar with it so that it became my main ally in terms of SEO (keyword choice, blacklinks analysis, etc.).
One of the things I particularly love is being able to analyze my competitors' sites. I can then improve the SEO based on this data, and thus have a better ranking in Google's search engines.
It is true that SEMRush is a leader in SEO, but it is not the only field in which it specializes. I use it for its other facets, especially for social networks and paid advertising. A real webdesign toolbox.
This tool does not exist in a free version. Before taking the big step, you are entitled to a 7-day free trial. In any case, I really recommend it! Its price is worth it.
Storychief is compatible with several CMS, including Webflow. It allows especially the management of content for websites. I've been using it for a few years now to write my blog articles, publish them or plan them, and most importantly, to optimize SEO.
Once you finish your article, Storychief gives you two scores:
- The readability of the text in general. Clearly, Storychief pays particular attention to the user experience. There is nothing like a well-ventilated and structured text.
- The SEO level of the text. So you don't have to bother with that part anymore. Storychief does it for you. He even gives you tips on how to improve it.
As soon as you manage to get a green light for these 2 parameters, it is already enough. This means that your article is both well structured and SEO optimized.
On the other hand, when the light stays orange, Storychief gives you tips for improvement. For example:
- a paragraph or title should be shortened
- it would be better to add links
- the density of the keyword is still insufficient
Storychief isn't free. Given all these advantages, the fact that it is paid for (at $90 per month) is understandable. A free trial is also available in case you want to try it.
I didn't limit myself to my job as a webdesigner. I also offer 2 webdesign trainings: one free and the other paid. Only, I could never have succeeded in these 2 projects without these 2 main webdesign tools:
It's already been a year since I launched my Webflow training. Before deciding which tool is the most suitable to give online training, I obviously took the care to inform myself about it. Teachable being the lucky one!
It is a very simple to use training hosting platform. Anyone can use it since no special skills are required. For example, the payment options are automated.
Also, via a single dashboard, you can control the data of your different students, your mailbox, the rates you apply, etc. The design of the interface presentation can even be customized.
Well, there is no free version. Once you've registered (and that's the only thing that's free), you'll have to choose a subscription before you can take full advantage of the platform. Rates start at $39 per month.
Have you ever talked to someone by email and explained something quite complicated to them? Maybe you thought at the time about the simplest way to convey the idea.
It's happened to me before. After a little research, I came across Loom, a video communication tool. More specifically, it's a screen capture video. Very useful for tutorials, this tool saves precious time! Even better, it can be integrated with various communication tools, including Gmail. Once the video is shot, it is immediately ready to be sent.
How to install it? It is presented as a Chrome extension. A simple click on the icon is enough to launch the registration. 2 versions are available:
- one for free
- the other, paid, starting at $5 per month
If I listed these webdesign tools, it's not for you to use them absolutely! It's just a guide to help you to see more clearly in the webdesign business and what it implies. Especially since everyone has their own budgets, needs, expectations and objectives. There's no point in wasting money on something you won't exploit to the fullest.