To create an online business and make it visible quickly and easily, you must follow the tips, resources, and tools for web design that are going to be explained below. On many occasions, it is necessary to use both design and web development resources, since the level of knowledge of design or code is not the most appropriate to start programming from scratch. Even more, on many occasions, there are cases of entrepreneurs who have opened their business with web pages created from these resources and without having any knowledge of web development, so they propose to take the step of creating a business line with mobile apps and reuse these types of resources that can be found on the Internet.
However, here is what you must remember, if your goal is to really achieve an optimized professional project, that has a good design and that can report management reports which can help improve the user interface and your experience during the visit or purchase, there will be more than to hire the services of a professional in the sector. But, if, at the moment, not enough budget is foreseen or one wants to try these free tools to later professionalize the business, it is important to distinguish between the following tools and understand how they work.
For the creation and development of a web project, 3 types of tools are needed:
- On the one hand, there are the essential tools, which are those that will help create the web platform (in raw code or with a CMS ) on which the business will be built. Without the existence of this platform, the online business cannot be created and, obviously, the rest of the resources will be of no use. Which is why we call them essential or basic.
- In order to beautify this platform, a series of resources will be needed to improve the web design and, consequently, provide the platform with a certain attractive appearance that attracts users visually. The image that users perceive when they visit the page should be as close as possible to what you want to show since this will be the online business card of the business.
- Finally, if you want to have a presence in the App Stores of the different mobile devices, you will have to use a series of tools that allow you to transform or create your business in an app and work correctly for the different devices that can be found in the market.
Tools that facilitate web development
There are countless tools, both free and paid, that help creates a web platform in a matter of minutes and with little idea of code or programming. Of all the tools that can be found on the market, a few will be selected, which are free and serve to create a useful, easy, and dynamic professional project.
If the business requires some programming, even if you don’t have great knowledge, you can use web development tools such as Templated and HTML5 UP. These tools, in addition to being totally free, provide a large number of templates in HTML5 and CSS ideal to start the business and total freedom to modify them. Furthermore, the vast majority of templates that can be found in Templates are ‘ responsive ‘, that is, users who visit the page through their mobile will see the web page adapted to the dimensions of said device.
Another option would be to use free applications provided by the hosting servers. By having to hire a hosting to host the web, you can use the tools they provide to create a web in several steps and with different designs to choose from and are easy to maintain. This option is quick and easy, but it is important to know that, if you change your hosting, you will lose the web and you will have to start over in another hosting.
The most advanced option would be to use a free CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal; or, if the business is focused on being a virtual store, PrestaShop, or Magento. All the platforms mentioned above are free and their installation is relatively easy on the server, although they require web knowledge, since, for their correct operation, modules and templates must be activated. Both the modules and the templates for this type of CMS are free, but if something more personalized or with a higher level of professionalization is needed, there are paid resources that fit the needs of the business.
If one finally opts for this option, which is one of the most complete and controlled, it must be taken into account that the installation of modules, templates, and plugins should not be done indiscriminately. Every time any of these resources is installed, lines of code are being added to the system and, therefore, the loading of the page may slow down. That is why it is always recommended to keep the code as clean as possible. In this case, if only those resources that are going to be active in the panel are installed, this will allow the optimization of the page load and, finally, the loading speed will be significantly lower.
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As a small note, it should be noted that the loading speed stands out compared to other factors that can affect the SEO of the page since it is one of the factors over which you can have control with little knowledge. We must always take care, as far as possible, those aspects that can help to position the business on the first pages of the ranking of the different search engines, among which are the well-known Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex (the latter each it is becoming more integrated into the market, as the Russian market is increasingly expanding).
Web design tools to make the user experience more attractive
The first option, as a tool for web design, is the use of software such as Photoshop, InDesign, Corel, or similar. These tools, apart from requiring advanced knowledge in design, are paid.
As a first step, it is necessary to have an idea about how you want the logo to be that identifies the business or brand. If the logo has not yet been created and you do not have the knowledge to design one with quality, the use of Squarespace Logo is recommended and you can create the logo in two steps. First, the text that will go into the logo is placed (the brand or the name of the company or even a short slogan ) and then a simple image is attached, but that perfectly identifies the company or commercial activity. If, on the other hand, there is no idea formed of what you want as a logo, you can use the free logo design tool Withoomph, which requests that a few keywords are written that identify the business to be able to show several designs suggested by the same application. Although the idea is easy and allows you to modify some of the displayed designs, you can run the risk of selecting a logo that another person has also requested from the application (although the probability of this option occurring is minimal).
You also have to choose the color palette that will be part of the brand and the best combinations so that the template follows the consistent design and coloring standards. To do this, you can use the Adobe Kuler tool. Although at first glance, this planning does not seem so important, it must be taken into account that the entire design strategy will be focused on the coloration, tones, and themes that are selected.
Regarding the decoration of products, articles, and other content, you will need small image banks (in this case, free), which provide images with a very careful design and will make the content even more attractive. For this, you can visit pages such as:
- Pixabay: There are plenty of free images and you just have to cite the source. The vast majority of photographic resources come from English-speaking users, so if the search is done in that language, a better answer will be obtained.
- Bajstock.com: very careful photographs, since the authors are professional or amateur photographers. As with the previous one, the photographer must be cited in order to use them.
- Freedigitalphotos.net: it is a free and quite extensive image bank. All it requires is to cite the authorship of the image to avoid problems with your rights.
- Freeimages: it is considered one of the most popular image banks, among the free design resources. It has more than 350,000 free high-quality photos that can be used free of charge. In addition, this platform is used by many professionals to publicize their work, so there is very careful graphic material.
Mobile programming tools
Mobile programming differs a bit from web programming. Especially for those devices whose operating system is IOS7. When working with a web platform, the developer usually uses universal languages, such as HTML5 and CSS, for example. The Android operating system usually reads these messages correctly and adapting them to the device is relatively easy for programmers, while the operating system used by iPhones or iPad does not read these languages correctly and, therefore, sometimes makes a wrong interpretation of the message. code and displays the application wrong. Apple devices require application programming in a language called Swift and Objective-c.
As Android programming is more widespread, its easy adaptation from the web to the application means that there are more resources for Android than for iPhone.
AppMakr is one of the most popular platforms that allow you to create apps and distribute them in the two stores, Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play.
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Another tool is InstApp, whose characteristic is that it allows you to create the application for both Android and iPhone and Windows 8. If what you are looking for is a tool that makes an application easy and readable on all mobile systems, this would be the best option.
Unlike the previous ones, the tool to create mobile apps UppSite not only allows you to create a business app for the three main operating systems (Android, Apple, and Windows Phone) of mobile devices and distribute it in the two large stores (App Store ( Apple) and Google Play (Android)) but also distribute it in its own online store.
One more step would be the next tool that allows you to develop and design apps that work on any mobile device. Mobincube provides a number of templates that can be used to create a mobile application and achieve a more complete design and development and that works on all types of smartphones on the market.
Mockflow is an essential tool to create a platform for Android or iPhone without the need for programming or design knowledge. In addition, unlike the rest of the tools that have been detailed so far, this one has a ‘ drag and drop ‘ system by which the platform can be built by simply dragging the resources from one side of the screen to the other. It is fairly intuitive and quite easy to use as well.
So, if you are interested in creating an online business and do not have the necessary programming and design knowledge, there are different tools and resources that will facilitate the work of web design and development. These resources can help you start the online journey, but, if you want more professional resources that can help in the management, production, and distribution, it is advisable to hire the services of a professional in the sector to guide and make the pertinent modifications in the resources and tools that have been used.