Web Design Agency Toolkit. The Apps We Use.
By Neil Kilgallon on Monday, 2 October 2023
Operating a leading web design company requires a diverse range of skills, including wireframing, planning, creative design, website development, content creation, SEO, digital marketing, and project management. To assist us in these tasks, we employ various tools, each offering unique benefits. This article explores these tools and assesses the advantages they bring to our web design agency and our clients.
Project Managing Multiple Web Design Projects
Project management in a web design agency is crucial for coordinating all our different tasks, meeting deadlines, and ensuring client satisfaction. Various tools are available, offering features such as task assignments, progress tracking, and effective communication within the team. We've tried most of these tools over the 25 years we have been a creative web design agency and now rely on one to manage all our digital services.
We use Monday.com as a comprehensive project management tool. It allows us to manage all aspects of all the projects we are working on in one place. It offers customisable workflows, task management, time tracking, and team collaboration features. Whilst all the tools in this list are important to us, Monday.com is invaluable. It is the first thing we use when onboarding a new client and the last thing we use for ongoing maintenance, support and everything in between.
Web Design Planning, Wireframes And Design
In our web design agency, planning, wireframes, and design form the foundational stage of a project. Using the tools outlined below, we create detailed sitemaps, wireframes that offer a visual guide to the website's structure, and detailed designs.
Coggle provides our agency with a user-friendly and intuitive platform for creating sitemaps and outlining user journeys, which are essential for building the foundation of a website or mobile application. With its collaborative features, multiple members of our web design team can work on a project simultaneously, boosting productivity and ensuring a smooth workflow.
Figma is a powerful design tool that revolutionises how our web design agency works on web and app projects, Figma empowers our designers with a robust suite of features. Its real-time collaborative features allow a web design team to work simultaneously on a design and view changes live, leading to a more efficient design process. With easy-to-use vector editing tools, designers can create intricate designs with precision. Its prototyping capabilities enable us to create interactive wireframes before we design the website, allowing us to present our ideas to clients in a dynamic and engaging way before we pass the project over to the web development team. Figma's cloud-based functionality means that all our designs are accessible anywhere, anytime - making remote collaboration seamless.
Adobe Photoshop is a renowned software application that empowers designers to craft unique and polished layouts. With its extensive array of tools, it enables seamless photo editing, graphic design, and digital effects. Recently, our web designers have shifted their focus from Photoshop to Figma, finding it more conducive to their needs and workflow.
Adobe Illustrator, this vector-based design software, is perfect for creating logos, icons, and other scalable graphics that need to maintain their quality on any screen size.
In our web design agency, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Tag Manager play a pivotal role in data-driven decision-making for us and our clients' digital marketing strategy.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest iteration of Google's powerful web analytics service. GA4 provides a fresh approach to data measurement by unifying website and mobile app tracking. Its event-based tracking system, advanced AI-powered insights, and improved privacy compliance make it a highly valuable tool for us and our clients.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is an essential tool for efficiently managing and deploying marketing tags on a website without the need for coding. It provides a user-friendly, central location to set up tracking tags, which allows us to gather specific data and send it to third-party platforms such as Google Analytics. This includes tracking user behaviours, for example, form submissions, clicks, and time spent on the site.
Content Writing For Websites
Content writing serves as the voice of a website, communicating the brand's message, mission, and offerings. It is an invaluable asset in our web design agency as it bridges the gap between the technical aspects of web development and the user experience. Quality content affects everything from SEO rankings to user engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction. In our agency, we rely on a range of tools to streamline the content creation process, ensuring that what we deliver is not only compelling and user-friendly but also optimised for search engines.
Jasper AI is an innovative, AI-powered writing assistant designed to help create high-quality, SEO-optimised content efficiently. It also offers keyword optimisation and content structuring, improving search engine visibility and user engagement. For a web design agency, Jasper AI can speed up the content creation process, reduce workload, and help deliver engaging and persuasive content that resonates with the target audience. We combine Jasper with Surfer (outlined below) to give us powerful SEO insights when crafting unique on-page SEO content.
Grammarly not only identifies grammatical and punctuation mistakes in content but also provides suggestions for improving clarity, engagement, and delivery. Grammarly also integrates seamlessly with various platforms, such as our company Gmail client, Microsoft Word, and Google Chrome, making it easy to proofread and enhance content wherever it's written.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial facet of any web design agency's operations. It's the art and science of enhancing a website's visibility and ranking on search engine results pages, thereby driving organic traffic. In our agency, we consider SEO not merely an afterthought but an integral part of the design process. We leverage a suite of powerful tools and our in-depth knowledge of the latest SEO practices to deliver websites that are not only visually appealing but also SEO-friendly.
Ahrefs is regarded as one of the best SEO tools available, Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO platform that offers a suite of tools that allows a web design company to grow their search traffic, research competitors and monitor their niche. It provides detailed keyword reports, backlink analysis, content research, and technical SEO insights. In addition, Ahrefs is particularly useful for tracking rankings and identifying SEO issues or opportunities, making it a critical tool for us to help our clients improve their online visibility and outrank competitors.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that aids our London web design agency in maintaining and monitoring website presence in Google Search results. It provides insights into how Google's search engine views a website and allows for the tracking of indexing status, identifying crawl errors, and optimising the visibility of the website. Its rich features, such as search analytics, mobile usability, and sitemap submission, ensure that a website is correctly seen and indexed by Google.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is a vital tool for our web developers that enables them to enhance the performance of our clients' websites. Google PageSpeed Insights provides a comprehensive analysis of a website's loading speed and overall performance on both desktop and mobile devices.
Accounting And Contracts
In our web design agency, effective accounting and contract management are integral components of our operations. We utilise two powerful tools to streamline these processes - FreshBooks and Adobe Acrobat Pro. It simplifies invoicing and contract tracking, thus giving us more time to focus on our core services.
FreshBooks is an all-in-one small business invoicing and accounting solution that we have used for over 10 years. This cloud-based platform simplifies the process of creating professional invoices and managing payments. Additionally, FreshBooks provides comprehensive financial reports, giving web design agencies clear insights into their income, expenses, and overall financial health.
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Acrobat Pro is the perfect tool to send and manage electronic signatures for contract acceptance. ID Studio uses the tool to ensure that all electronic signatures are legally binding.
In conclusion, these tools collectively provide a comprehensive suite for web design and web development agencies to create, manage, enhance, and track their web design services. Design tools Figma, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator give agencies the tools to deliver visually appealing and professional designs that cater to the diverse needs of their clients. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager provide valuable insights into user behaviour, helping agencies improve user engagement and experience. Content writing tools Jasper AI and Grammarly streamline the content creation process, ensuring the delivery of high-quality, SEO-optimised content. SEO tools Ahrefs and Google Search Console enable agencies to optimise their clients' online visibility while accounting tools FreshBooks and Adobe Acrobat Pro help in efficient financial management and contract creation. Altogether, these tools not only enhance the efficiency and productivity of a web design agency but also contribute to their clients' success.