What’s the best web design platform? Well, “best” is in the eye of the beholder; it really depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want your website design to be simple? Do you need a lot of plugins? Are you a beginner, an expert, or someone who needs to build a site in a short period of time?
Whatever your goal for finding the perfect design platform for you, it’s a cinch that the easier the process is, the better. We all have too much going on these days to spend a lot of time and effort on getting our site launched!
Here are our picks for the seven top web design platforms, all of them chock-full of features that will make your work of designing a site more easy and organic, and less time-consuming.
To make a website get to launch and beyond as easily as possible, a streamlined design workflow is a must. That’s where InVision comes in. Regardless of what point you’re at in your web design journey, there’s a feature that can help. For brainstorming and wireframes, InVision offers a whiteboard tool. For prototypes and subsequent iterations, InVision offers interactive prototyping. For collaborations, the platform makes it easy to share ideas and hand off tasks and projects to others on your team.
WordPress is consistently on the list of most effective, easiest web design platforms, and there’s a good reason for that. According to some sources (and certainly according to WordPress) it is the single most popular platform for website building. While that popularity can be difficult to quantify, it is a fact that a significant portion of the sites currently running on the world wide web — more than 37%, in fact — are powered by WordPress.
WordPress itself comes in two different flavors: self-hosting, or WordPress.org, and WordPress.com, which is not self hosted. WordPress is a free, open source website builder, which offers a huge range of plug-ins and themes with endless customizability. WordPress.com has both free and paid versions, starting at just a few dollars a month; for the self-hosting, the builder itself is free, but you’ll need to pay for your domain name and hosting, which runs about $14.99 per year for the first and $7.99 per year for the second.
Running a site from WordPress is pretty easy to get started, but it does require that you keep up on your maintenance, especially if you’re running more plug-ins. As long as you have the time scheduled out to do so, WordPress is definitely a web design platform that will make your job a little easier.
In terms of the visual aspects of your site, a design platform like Sketch is highly recommended for an all-in-one design solution, covering all your needs from initial prototypes, to wireframes, to designing branded marketing campaigns, and more.
Sketch offers a free month-long trial to try your hand at it, but it’s consistently recommended for freelancers and companies alike.
One of the primary concerns for a web designer centers on the usability and loading speed of the site. After all, a site that takes too long to load just won’t see the audience that a design will load quickly.
But it can be troublesome to figure out what aspects of the site are causing the lag time.
GTMetrix helps designers determine quickly loading designs by break down the individual aspects of their site and pinpoint any trouble spots. It also tests the accessibility and speed from different browsers, connection speeds, and even different countries, helping you to reach the widest audience possible.
This designer platform is designed to help you “take the guesswork out of website optimization.” It uses A/B or bucket testing, comparing altered versions of your site against the real-time, current version, to give you insight into how enacting changes will boost your site’s productivity and user experience.
For designers that are struggling to find a content/optimization ratio, this tool can be a huge help.
Magento is designed to make ecommerce as easy and intuitive as possible. It doesn’t offer quite the range of options that some more well-known ecommerce builders do, but what it does offer is more flexibility in the design. So if there’s a standard plug-in that just doesn’t work for you, you can code your own or have it developed for you, and include that third-party feature right in the code for your site.
Depending on your coding expertise, that could get a little more complicated than you want. If you’re happy with standard features and plug-ins, then more simplified ecommerce builders are probably your jam. But if you need something with a little more oomph, or something that’s more uniquely detailed for your site, then Magento’s adaptability makes it easier to make those changes.
This web design platform was made for true beginners with big dreams for their small businesses. It’s powered by smart AI, walking you through the process in minutes without needing to code anything or even make too many decisions.
There are tons of web templates to choose from, and all of them are designed to be mobile-friendly, which is a serious concern for modern websites. There are also thousands of high-quality images to choose from in-house, helping you to get your website up and running as swiftly as possible.
If you really want your hand to be held and all the sharp edges removed from the process of building your website, Constant Contact is a safe bet.
Natasha Sokolov is a freelance content writer who digs deep to bring out fresh aspects of the topic she writes about. She can write on any topic under the moon in particular niches such as branding, digital marketing and online businesses.