8 Tools For Small Businesses That Want To Design Their Own Websites

To hire a website designer or not? This is always a challenge facing start-ups that are already strapped for cash. No matter how passionate and determined you are to dive into designing your own site - there is still the underlying problem that you are not a designer.  

However, for those that are determined to design their own website, we offer the following as some very capable resources for you to consider as you plan your website's layout and design.

  1. Free Icons: Noun Project   
    The Noun Project has been dedicated to creating, sharing and celebrating the world's visual language.' The Noun Project provides you a vast database of visual icons that you can use in your branded collateral and website design. The use of icons has become commonplace for all designers as they provide your visitors with visual cues to showcase your businesses' offerings.
  2. Free Stock Photography:  Pexels   
    More likely than not if your working on a shoestring budget you probably haven't invested in custom photography.  Beautiful, bold images are the foundation of all good designs. If not, don't fret Pexels comes to the rescue. Their photography is 100% free and can be used for any commercial use - as long as it's legal;)
  3. Graphic Design:  Canva   
    Let's be honest Photoshop and Illustrator can be quite intimidating but every business requires the occasional flyer and business card. Canva is free to use and provides a simple design interface that just about anyone can comprehend. If you are need of a suite of branded collateral you may want to consider going with Work for Canva
  4. Photo Editing:  PicMonkey   
    PicMonkey is an intuitive platform loaded with filters and editing tools for both amateur and professional photographers can use. There is a 7-day free trial and after that a nominal $48 per year or $8 per month.
  5. Typography: Canva Font Combo, FontFlame, FontPair   
    Selecting the right typography for your design is critical. As much as you want to believe that a font is a font - you could not be more wrong. Selecting the wrong type combinations will destroy any well-intended design.  Hint: keep it simple and only select two fonts; one for your headers and one for all other copy.
  6. Website Builder:  Squarespace   
    If you've never attempted to design a website before; make no mistake it is a daunting task. However, Squarespace makes designing your own website manageable. It's drag and drop platform and its intuitive CMS (content management system) make Squarespace an excellent choice as your go-to website builder.
  7. Writing & Grammar:  Grammarly   
    Unless you're an English professor you are bound to make some writing errors. To rescue from grammar hell; there is Grammarly. Let's face it; poor writing will only result in failure to convert.
  8. When all else fails:  rSquare   
    Ok...so you've taken some time attempting to design your website and branded collateral and have run into a great deal of frustration or simply have not had the time to finish the project. Don't fret...rSquare is more than capable of picking up where you left off. 

Remig Raffanti

rSquare - Squarespace Web Design Studio, 554 Box Elder Lane, Grafton, WI 53024, USA

rSquare is a Squarespace design studio specializing in website design for restaurants, musicians, nonprofits and small business. We are based in Milwaukee Wisconsin but serve clients nationwide.