Web design is not a simple process, but fortunately there are hundreds of tools around to help make our life easier.
It's now been more than 25 years since the first website was created and the days of having to write the whole code yourself are well and truly over. Over the years, we've tried and tested these various new ways of creating websites and decided on some of our favourites.
Just like how every web design platform is different, so is every client. That's why when we come to working on a new project, we pick the platform which is most suitable to meeting our client's needs.
This blog post hopes to inform you a little bit about the differences between each platform/tool so you can hopefully understand why we choose to work with different tools on different projects.
Wordpress is one of the most popular website management and blogging platforms. You can select from a number of themes to change the look and functionality of a website without altering the core code. It’s an open source, meaning anyone can have a Wordpress site for free, but if you want a bespoke site you’ll have to work with a design agency. Combined with code, you can create almost anything in Wordpress. It’s the preferred option for clients who wish to update content frequently themselves, but it requires constant maintenance and updates.
WIX websites use a 'drag and drop' approach to adding functions to a website design. After selecting a WIX web site template, you can edit images and fonts and drag and drop functions such as social media plug-ins, contact forms and e-mail marketing. Magnetic are listed as a WIX Expert, so we have very good relationships with platforms managers and we’re regularly invited to join their expert meetings. As WIX is a platform that is constantly developing and growing, it’s really helpful to remain fully aware of all the platforms’ capabilities. For our small to medium-sized clients, we recommend using WIX as we can create almost any design on this platform. Furthermore, recently WIX launched WIX Code, allowing us to alter the code and make sites even more bespoke with additional features. Whilst you can’t design fully-responsive sites, your site will have a tablet friendly desktop version and a mobile version, which is more than enough for most businesses. WIX also has loads of great SEO tools to help sites rank highly on search results.
Shopify is an online platform to create and host online stores which can also integrate with retail point-of-sale systems. For our ecommerce clients, we strongly suggest using Shopify. Rather than reinventing the wheel, it’s incredibly practical to use a platform like Shopify to accept payments, manage orders, auto-respond to emails, integrate with social media and manage inventory. It’s an ever-growing platform with new features getting added almost every week. They also have a super convenient mobile app which allows shop owners to easily view and manage their ecommerce stores from mobile devices.
Adobe Muse is a website builder that allows designers to create websites without having to write any code. By generating static websites, users have the freedom to host their sites with any hosting provider and then add more advanced functionality such as blogging and eCommerce with plugins from third-party developers. Adobe launched Muse with the slogan: ‘We are bringing designers back into the game.’ Before all the popular DIY web design tools, you needed a developer to code your website, Adobe wanted to change this. The best thing about Muse is that it works together with the other Adobe products; meaning the icons you designed in Illustrator, or the photos you edited in Photoshop can be directly pasted into Muse. You can’t edit the code fully in Muse, however you can use lots of third party widgets to provide lots of additonal functionality. Muse allows fully responsive design and you can export your HTML files and host your site on any hosting server you want.
Adobe Dreamweaver is a web development tool that lets users design, code and manage websites and mobile content. It is a versatile web design and development tool that enables visualisation of bespoke web content while coding. When we need to create a site from scratch, our developers use Adobe Dreamweaver to write and edit the code, and play around with the design.