Expert Tools we use for designing websites at swicdigital
So you want us to design and develop a website that will appeal to your client base, get you more leads, and increase your profit. But you wonder what sets of tools we use for our premium designs.
We have got your back once again, in this article you will learn and understand in details the tools we use and why we use them.
Meanwhile, we may or may not use the entire set of tools while designing your website. Different websites require different website design tools.
Let’s get started.
1.Wireframes and User interface design
Wireframes are a collection of placeholders (black and white outlined shapes) that represent how a portion of a website product could be designed. When designing wireframes, we use no colours, no real images and no actual Html elements.
Essentially, every type of structure that we will include, whether visual or textual, warrants a stage in your design process that focusses exclusively on its sizing, layout, and proximity to its surrounding page elements.
Wireframing is one of the many stages of designing a great website. Some of the tools include:
Paper and pen
Although there are millions of ways to arrange a website layout, nothing beats a simple grid layout. Every website is made up of simple building blocks or components.
To get your requirement clearly and get the initial position of elements on your website, we define these blocks using pen and paper. Some of these blocks include the container, logo, navigation, content, footer and whitespaces.
This tool enables us to draw vector-based wireframe on the fly. Think of it google doc for wireframes. It works perfectly for desktop, mobile, tablet and even custom devices. Also, both you and we can collaborate in real-time making suggestions, comment and iterations.
Among other features, whimsical enables us to quickly include buttons, images, video & text placeholder, links, icons and much more.
Another great tool for designing user interfaces. Figma is a vector-based tool for designing web and mobile UI for any type of device. Figma allow us both design high-quality interface and also collaborate with our clients at the same time without jumping on a zoom call.
Apart from that, we can have up to three persons working on a project at the same time ensuring we deliver projects on time. At the time of writing, Figma is free for up to three team members.
One of the best tool we always recommend to any business owner looking to creating awesome graphic designs fast. It has a free version with a lot of functionality and a paid version that allows you to do more with the tool. It works fine if you want to create outstanding images for your social media handles and websites too.
Imagery is an important part of every website, hence the reason why it’s important to get very high-quality photos. Unsplash is our go-to place for stock images. This website allows you to scan through thousands of images to find one that suits your intent. You know the most interesting part of it, It’s all free. But you must acknowledge the owner of the image especially when you are using it for website display.
Many a time, we want our images to be transparent so it fits on every type of background. Removing image background can be a hassle, so we use remove dot bg an AI tool that helps remove bg seamlessly within a few seconds.
As at the time of writing, it cost only 0.20 cent per image. Trust us, it’s way less stressful and cheap using remove dot bg than Photoshop.
2 Videos hosting and editing
Website users are spending so much time watching video on the internet. 70% of the content online are videos. Video is a great tool to improve user experience, educate and build trust with your audience.
Your users spend longer on a page when watching videos and this tells Google and other search engines that your page is worth indexing.
There are different ways you can use video on your website and also different tools for recording excellent presentations. Irrespective of what you want to achieve, here are some tools you should try and places you should host your videos.
Want a tool for producing smart and high-quality videos, then Camtasia should be your first choice. After designing a website for our client, we make recordings of the key walkthrough, so they know how to use the admin dashboard and make edits themselves.
This tool allows us to record our screen, edit videos, and produce a high-quality video of up to 1024px.
A regular choice for us at swicdigital. We host most of our videos here. It’s free, incredibly fast and easy to set up. You just create an account, upload your videos and you’re done.
Nonetheless, you need to be aware of the fact that after playing your videos, YouTube will advertise other content that may or may not be appropriate or relevant to your audience or your business. Though it’s not such a bad thing, just bear in mind that you’re not 100 per cent in control of the user experience you’re providing through your website.
Unlike YouTube, Vimeo won’t advertise other content on your website. It’s a great alternative to YouTube if you want more control over your video content. They have a free plan that only allows you to upload a few contents a week. If you need more space, select a plan that fit your business from the Vimeo website.
Making wireframes using whimsical and mockups using Figma is the first step to delivering a good website. After approval, we turn these designs into website pages using tools like WordPress and web page builder like Elementor.
WordPress is an opensource platform that allows us to build great websites from a simple blog to advance eCommerce marketplace. Among other advantages, WordPress is secure, scalable, has a large community, powering up to 60million websites etc.
We have written a detailed WordPress definitive guide detailing its pros and cons, and also why it’s our choice tool.
One of the most powerful website builders in the world, page builders allows us to build on existing theme or template with drag and drop functionality. Designs can be amended
Elementor is a paid WordPress plugin that allows us to design websites that works great across all platform. With this tool, we design websites with complex animations, colours, layouts and more. When teaching entrepreneurs to design their website, we use elementor since its fast, affordable and quick to pick up.
Other alternatives to Elementor include Thrive themes and Beaver Builder.
4. Lead generation and Email marketing
For small and medium scale enterprise, lead generation is an active part of the entire business because there is a huge chance first-time visitors to your site won’t buy from you or use your service. So it’s important to integrate tools for collecting user emails and other important details.
Through email marketing, you can build better relationships with your customers or prospects, build trust and contact them regularly.
Some tools we are proud of!
Only a few email service providers can boost of same functionalities as MailChimp. It used to be a complete solution for us before we switch to a more affordable tool. The functionality of the free version is very limited. But if you are starting out this software, has everything you need.
A free customer relationship management system, website design publisher, email automation software, analytics and payment gateway integration.
We now use sendFox a product of Apsumo. It comes with a $49 lifetime price tag with an additional $10 for every additional 1000 email address added to your list. We learnt about this tool from a sister agency and we have been using it ever since.
It enables us to segment our users into lists. So we know whether people might be interested in our website design services, joining our membership or going through our transformational programs.
perform email automation, embed forms on our website, send thousands of mail daily, and get real-time analytics.
5. Taking books on our website
Most of our clients go through our free discovery call. Calendly helps us keep our schedule clean, block time out and allocate times to certain appointments. So prospects can book directly into our calendar without hassle.
Calendly integrates well with other calendars and third party video calling app like google meet and zoom. If gives you full control over your calendar.
6. Take payment on our site
When it comes to online payments in Nigeria Paystack and FlutterWave leads the park. Our choice tool for receiving payment in Nigeria is Paystack. Its simplicity speaks for itself.
Easy to integrate, test and move your company from a different payment gateway to PayStack. For our clients in other African countries, we use Flutter. As at the time of writing, Flutterwave can process payment from over 153 countries.
And finally, you can install a shopping cart plugin to your website, like WooCommerce, which allows you to set up virtual products through your website shop.
We have written about our choice Nigeria payment gateway in this article
Would you like us to help you with your website?
If you’re ready to design a new website or improve the experience you provide to your existing and prospective customers, position yourself as an expert in your field, we have plenty more advice and tips to share with you!. If you’re after WordPress website that ranks, gets you traffic, and delivers you more sales, we’ve got what you need.
It’s time to stop the faffing about with your website and make changes that will help you close more sales. If this sounds like music to your ears, come and book twenty minutes call with us. Here’s our calendar.
With our easy to use website design and lead generation framework, we will be able to help you get results through your website. Check out our contact details.