Design, Development

Breaking Down the Essential Apps, Plug-Ins and Platforms for Modern Web Designers

Modern web designers have plenty on their plates when it comes to finding work, keeping their clients happy and make a name for themselves in their industry. Given the fierce level of competition in the world of design, it’s no secret that today’s designers rely on a variety of tools to help themselves get down to business and put their best foot forward.

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For example, consider the following must-do’s for web designers on a day-to-day basis including…

  • Running their personal website to attract clients and make themselves more accessible to new business
  • Handling questions, concerns and queries from a variety of clients simultaneously while still focusing on their work
  • Regularly updating their portfolios to show off their latest projects

Whether you’re just getting into to the world of web designer or simply want to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes of what a successful designer’s toolbox looks like, consider the following platforms, plugins and apps to help keep you on track.

Starting with Security

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“Safety first” should be the mantra of any web-based business and designers are no different. Given the number of potential security snafus and threats looming, what good is your work if it’s not totally protected?

Thankfully, locking down your materials (think: your portfolio work, client contracts and communication) simply requires a keen attention to detail. For example, the following three-pronged approach to security is a solid starting point:

  • Make sure to use a network security scanner whenever you log into a new network, which is especially important for remote workers
  • Regularly back up your files and keep them on multiple platforms (think: use Dropbox or Google Docs)
  • Take special care when it comes to client communication and who you share your professional files with

Prioritizing Productivity

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As noted, most web designers juggle multiple clients and relationships which can be both stressful and daunting for newbies simply trying to get started. That being said, there are a couple of crucial productivity platforms out there to help you focused.

For example, note-taking apps such as Evernote allow you to keep all of your thoughts and planning in one place as you jump from project to project. This is optimal for those who are regularly on-the-go, as Evernote allows users to access their notes from any device, meaning you can get work done regardless of whether or not you’re working remotely.
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When working with clients, using a Trello board or other project management platform such as Basecamp keeps yourself and your clients accountable for communication. By understanding where you are on any given project for any given client, you can better manage your personal schedule and workload.

Supercharging Your Portfolio Site

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Most web designers host their professional portfolios on WordPress, which is obviously a fantastic platform given its wealth of plug-ins. Some essential types of plug-ins you should invest in upon setting up your site include…

  • Spam content detection and flagging
  • Easy-to-use contact forms with customizable fields
  • Quick social sharing buttons that don’t interrupt the flow of your site

Yet some of the best and most important plug-ins for designers are those which show off your portfolio. Plug-ins such as Envira Gallery and Nimble Portfolio simplify the process of showing off your work to the rest of the world. As a rule of thumb, you should consistently update your design portfolio with your latest and greatest work: such apps allow you to do so in a snap.

Although designers have a million different tasks to do at any given time, these apps, plug-ins and platforms are crucial to managing your workload. Instead of allowing yourself to get bogged down, equip yourself with the tools to put yourself on the path to success.

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