Life as the owner of a web design company, like with any profession, can get very complicated. Between marketing, designing, publishing, and client relations, there's just never enough time in the day to complete everything on the to-do list. With increased attention in recent years about the need for responsive design for business web sites, designers have been in high demand. Google's recent algorithm changes have increased expectations that mobile sites load quickly and provide enjoyable user experiences. At the end of the day, time is money, and you've got to get more work done, more quickly than you have before. Here are five platforms that will help make your design business more efficient and help you churn out higher quality product.

Wix

Have a client who's insistent on incorporating all manner of fancy doodads and widgets into their website? Unless you've got a double major in computer science, you'll likely be looking for help from a web platform. Wix is one such solution. Though some people initially turn their nose up at its newbie centric design tools --ie. templates-- Wix can serve a very specific niche.

This platform has wonderful support for third-party plugins and scripts. When your back is against the wall and you need a quick and easy integration of advanced web elements, Wix is a solid choice. Just keep in mind it's intended use and you might just be surprised at how useful this platform can be.

Webydo

The folks at Webydo have come up with an ingenious concept for web design platforms. Rather than gather a bunch of software developers to produce the platform by themselves, they had designers do the job. Built by designers, for designers, this web-based platform gives designers the necessary equipment to handle all aspects of their business, from its sharp design studio to one-click publishing.

Webydo gets bonus points for looking outside the traditional design platform paradigm and offering client management tools in addition to its code-free web design features. With a free trial option, there's no reason not to give it a shot.

Webflow

Similar to Webydo, Webflow is a design platform expressly targeting the independent professional designer. Webflow offers a similarly easy to use web-based studio for designers to express their creativity. Just like Webydo, you can start from a template or blank canvas depending on the scope of your project.

With easy drag and drop design functionality, quick site preview and slick interface, it's hard to fault such a worthy design platform. However, with it's curious browser requirements --Chrome based browsers only-- and limited scope --no brand building or client management-- you may need to combine it with other services to suit all your needs.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a simple to use web design platform that excels at helping you build beautiful websites quickly. This platform has a lot of things going for it thanks the high quality templates available to use. Squarespace can be an easy way to pump out all manner of design projects from full fledged websites to simple logos.

While its reliance on templates can help you finish projects in record time, it's perhaps Squarespace's main drawback. With that in mind, those who don't necessarily need absolute control over all aspects of their projects might just find themselves right at home with this platform.

Adobe Muse

A part of Adobe's creative cloud, Muse comes from a well known stable of impressive design platforms. Muse finds itself on the other side of the design platform spectrum. It's made for one purpose: Give web designers an ideal environment for designing.

You won't find any help in the form of templates here either; only a blank design canvas to work your magic. This can be a great way to focus on the more creative aspects of design. If all you're missing in your design toolkit is a Photoshop built for web designers and you don't need any additional features to help tackle other aspects of your design business, take a look at Muse.

And there you go! Whether you need help managing your clients, adding complicated web features or simply want a better place to create your projects, these five platforms are sure to give your web design business the boost it needs.

Published on: May 6, 2015
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