web design

Web Design Tips: Great Tools for Web Developers

Creating stunning web designs has evolved significantly from the late 90s to today. The advancements in technology and the proliferation of web design tools have made it easier and more accessible for developers to craft high-quality websites. This section explores the evolution of web design and underscores the importance of modern tools in staying competitive and creating responsive, engaging designs.

Evolution of Web Design

Early Web Design (Late 90s):
In the late 90s, web design was rudimentary. Websites were primarily static, text-heavy, and designed with basic HTML. The design process was tedious and required extensive coding knowledge. Early web designers had limited tools and resources, often relying on Notepad or basic text editors to write HTML, with minimal options for styling and layout.

CSS and Flash Era:
With the advent of CSS in the late 90s, designers could separate content from design, enabling more complex layouts and styles. This period also saw the rise of Flash, allowing for animated and interactive content. However, Flash had its drawbacks, including slow load times and compatibility issues​ 

Content Management Systems (2000s):
The 2000s brought significant advancements with the introduction of Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, which revolutionised web design by making it more accessible. These platforms provided pre-designed templates and themes, reducing the need for extensive coding and allowing users to focus more on content and design creativity. Web design tools also became more sophisticated, with the introduction of Adobe Photoshop for designing graphics and visuals.

Modern Web Design Tools (Today):
Today, web design is highly advanced, with a myriad of tools that cater to various aspects of the design process. From wireframing and prototyping tools like Figma and Sketch to coding platforms like Atom and Visual Studio Code, web developers have a comprehensive toolkit at their disposal. The focus has shifted towards creating responsive, mobile-friendly designs that provide an optimal user experience across all devices​ 

Importance of Modern Tools

Efficiency and Speed:
Modern tools like WordPress and Wix provide templates and drag-and-drop interfaces, significantly reducing the time needed to build a website. Prototyping tools like InVision and Figma allow for rapid iteration and testing of design concepts​

Tools such as Figma and Adobe XD enable real-time collaboration among team members, ensuring that designers, developers, and stakeholders can work together seamlessly​ 

Responsive Design:
Ensuring that websites are mobile-friendly is crucial. Tools like the Inspect Element feature in browsers allow developers to test and tweak their designs across different screen sizes and devices​ 

Customisation and Flexibility:
Advanced coding editors like Atom and Visual Studio Code offer extensive customisation options, plugins, and integrations that cater to the specific needs of developers​ 

SEO and Performance:
Modern CMS platforms like WordPress offer numerous plugins that help optimise websites for search engines, improving visibility and performance​ 

By leveraging these tools, web developers can create dynamic, responsive, and visually appealing websites that meet the needs of modern users and businesses.



WordPress continues to dominate as a flexible and powerful platform for web development. Originally designed as a blogging tool, WordPress has evolved into a comprehensive content management system (CMS) that powers nearly 40% of all websites globally. Its open-source nature allows for extensive customisation and scalability, making it suitable for a wide range of website types, from personal blogs to large e-commerce sites.

Key Benefits

Themes and Plugins

One of the primary advantages of WordPress is its vast library of themes and plugins. There are thousands of free and premium themes available, allowing developers to choose and customise designs that fit their specific needs. Plugins further enhance functionality, providing features like contact forms, galleries, and more without needing to code from scratch​ 

  • Customisation: With over 50,000 plugins and thousands of themes, WordPress offers unparalleled customisation options. Developers can create unique, tailored websites that meet specific client requirements.
  • Ease of Use: Both beginners and experienced developers can easily navigate and use WordPress, thanks to its intuitive interface and extensive online support community​

SEO Integration

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for any website’s visibility. WordPress excels in this area with plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, which provide tools for optimising content, meta descriptions, and keywords. These plugins guide users through best practices to improve their search engine rankings​ 

  • Yoast SEO: This plugin offers comprehensive SEO solutions, including keyword optimisation, readability checks, and meta tag management.
  • SEO-friendly Structure: WordPress’s clean code and semantic markup help search engines easily read and index site content, further enhancing SEO efforts​ 


WordPress is highly scalable, making it suitable for various types of websites, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms. This scalability is supported by:

  • WooCommerce: A powerful e-commerce plugin that transforms WordPress into a fully functional online store, capable of handling large volumes of traffic and transactions​ 
  • Multisite Capabilities: WordPress allows the creation of a network of sites from a single installation, making it ideal for businesses and organisations that manage multiple websites​ 


Visual Design

Photoshop, developed by Adobe, is a cornerstone tool for web designers and developers, essential for creating and editing high-quality images. Its extensive capabilities make it an indispensable part of the web design process, from crafting initial layouts to refining final visuals​

Key Features

Colour Options and Filters

Photoshop offers an extensive array of tools for creativity, including a vast selection of colours, gradients, and filters. These features enable designers to create visually stunning graphics that enhance the overall aesthetic of a website.

  • Advanced Colour Management: With precise colour control and correction tools, designers can ensure consistency across different media and devices.
  • Filters and Effects: A wide range of filters and effects allows for the creation of unique visual styles, enhancing the design and user experience

Learning Resources

Mastering Photoshop requires practice, but there are numerous tutorials and learning resources available online. Adobe’s official website offers detailed guides, and platforms like YouTube host thousands of tutorial videos catering to all skill levels.

  • Online Tutorials: Websites like Lynda.com and Udemy provide structured courses for learning Photoshop, from basic tools to advanced techniques.
  • Community Support: The vast user community regularly shares tips, tricks, and tutorials, making it easier for newcomers to learn and for experienced users to refine their skills​ 


Photoshop integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products like Illustrator, InDesign, and XD, as well as with third-party design tools. This integration facilitates a smooth workflow, allowing designers to switch between different applications without losing any progress.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Integration with Creative Cloud enables easy access to assets and collaborative features, streamlining the design process.
  • Compatibility: Photoshop files (PSD) can be imported into many other design tools, ensuring flexibility and continuity in the design workflow​ 

By leveraging the powerful features of WordPress and Photoshop, web developers and designers can create sophisticated, visually appealing, and highly functional websites that meet modern standards and user expectations.


Collaborative Design

Figma has emerged as a leading tool for collaborative design, making it ideal for teams working together in real-time. Its cloud-based platform allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously, fostering a collaborative environment that enhances creativity and productivity.

Key Features

Prototyping and Design Systems

Figma excels in creating detailed and interactive prototypes, allowing designers to visualise and test their concepts before final implementation. It also supports comprehensive design systems, ensuring consistency across projects and enabling designers to build reusable components.

  • Interactive Prototyping: Figma’s prototyping tools enable designers to create interactive and animated prototypes, helping stakeholders understand the user experience and functionality.
  • Design Systems: The ability to create and manage design systems ensures uniformity and efficiency across different projects, saving time and maintaining brand consistency​ 


Figma is compatible with other popular design tools such as Sketch and Adobe XD, allowing designers to import and export files seamlessly. This interoperability ensures that teams can integrate Figma into their existing workflows without disruption.

  • Tool Compatibility: Easily import Sketch files or export Figma designs to other tools, maintaining a smooth workflow.
  • API and Plugins: Figma offers a robust API and a wide range of plugins, further enhancing its functionality and integration capabilities​ 


Real-time Collaboration

Figma’s real-time collaboration features significantly enhance team productivity. Multiple users can work on a design simultaneously, making it easy to share feedback and make instant updates.

  • Collaborative Editing: Teams can edit files together, leaving comments and suggestions directly on the design, which streamlines the review process.
  • Version History: Figma maintains a version history, allowing users to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed​ 

Ease of Use

Figma’s intuitive interface makes it accessible for both beginners and experts. Its user-friendly design and comprehensive feature set ensure that designers can quickly get up to speed and start creating effective designs.

  • User-friendly Interface: The clean and intuitive interface reduces the learning curve for new users.
  • Extensive Learning Resources: Figma offers numerous tutorials and community resources, helping users to continually improve their skills and stay updated on best practices​ 


Code Editing

Atom is a versatile text editor designed for coding, offering a range of features that cater to the needs of developers. Its open-source nature and extensive customisation options make it a powerful tool for both novice and experienced programmers.

Key Features

Local Editing

One of Atom’s key advantages is its ability to edit code locally, which reduces the risk of errors affecting live websites. This feature is crucial for developers who need to test and refine their code in a controlled environment before deployment.

  • Local Development: Work on code snippets offline, ensuring that changes can be tested thoroughly before being applied to live sites.
  • Integrated Git Control: Atom includes Git integration, allowing developers to manage version control directly within the editor​ 


Atom is highly customisable, with a plethora of packages and themes available to tailor the editor to specific needs. Developers can install packages to extend Atom’s functionality, making it adaptable to various workflows.

  • Extensive Package Library: Access a wide range of packages that add new features and capabilities to the editor.
  • Custom Themes: Modify the appearance of the editor to suit personal preferences and improve the coding experience​ 


Practice Platform

Atom is an excellent platform for beginners to practise and improve their coding skills. Its user-friendly interface and extensive resources make it easy for newcomers to get started with coding.

  • Educational Resources: Numerous tutorials and community support help beginners learn and develop their coding abilities.
  • Interactive Learning: Use Atom to experiment with code and see the results in real-time, facilitating hands-on learning​


By allowing developers to edit code offline, Atom helps prevent disruptions to live websites. This feature ensures that any errors or issues can be resolved in a safe environment before changes are published.

  • Error Prevention: Test and debug code locally to avoid introducing errors to live websites.
  • Backup and Recovery: Atom’s version control and backup features provide an added layer of safety, allowing developers to revert changes if necessary​ 

By incorporating Figma and Atom into their workflows, web developers can enhance collaboration, improve coding practices, and ensure the creation of high-quality, responsive websites that meet modern standards.

Inspect Element Tool

Responsive Design

Ensuring mobile compatibility is crucial in modern web design, as a significant portion of internet users access websites via mobile devices. The Inspect Element tool, available in most web browsers, is essential for creating responsive designs that adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions.

Key Features

Screen Resolution Testing

The Inspect Element tool allows developers to view and test their designs across different devices and screen resolutions. This feature helps ensure that websites provide a consistent and optimal user experience, regardless of the device used to access them.

  • Device Simulation: Developers can simulate various device screens, from smartphones and tablets to desktops, to check how their designs look and function on each one​ 
  • Responsive Layouts: Test and adjust layouts to ensure that content is appropriately scaled and displayed across different screen sizes​ 

Real-time Editing

The Inspect Element tool enables developers to modify and experiment with CSS and HTML on the fly. Changes made in the Inspect Element panel do not affect the live site, allowing for safe testing and tweaking.

  • Live CSS Editing: Adjust styles directly in the browser and see the results immediately, which is invaluable for fine-tuning designs​ 
  • HTML Manipulation: Temporarily alter HTML elements to test new structures or content arrangements without permanent changes​ 

Practical Applications

Quick Prototyping

The Inspect Element tool is ideal for quick prototyping, allowing developers to test ideas and make adjustments without affecting the live site. This feature speeds up the design process and helps in visualising changes before implementation.

  • Idea Testing: Experiment with new design concepts in real-time to see how they look and function before committing to code changes​ 
  • User Feedback: Make quick adjustments based on user feedback during testing phases, improving the overall design and user experience​ 


Effective troubleshooting is another critical application of the Inspect Element tool. Developers can identify and fix issues efficiently by inspecting the elements and styles of a webpage.

  • Debugging: Quickly locate and correct errors in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript that may be affecting the website’s functionality or appearance​ 
  • Performance Optimization: Identify elements that may be causing slow load times or performance issues, and make necessary adjustments to improve site speed and efficiency​ 

Additional Tools to Consider


Wix is a user-friendly platform with extensive templates and integrations, making it a popular choice for beginners and small businesses. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to build professional-looking websites without needing extensive coding knowledge.

  • Templates and Customisation: Over 500 adaptable templates and numerous design options​ 
  • Built-in Integrations: Connects easily with apps like Mailchimp, Zapier, and Typeform for enhanced functionality​ 


Canva is excellent for quick designs and is highly beginner-friendly. It offers a vast library of templates and easy-to-use tools for creating graphics and one-page websites.

  • Ease of Use: Intuitive interface that requires no prior design experience​ 
  • Templates and Tools: Thousands of professionally designed templates and a variety of design tools for quick and efficient design creation​ 

InVision Studio

InVision Studio is a robust tool for UI/UX design with strong prototyping capabilities. It supports rapid prototyping, responsive design, and collaborative work.

  • Prototyping Features: Create detailed and interactive prototypes with animations and transitions​ 
  • Collaborative Design: Allows multiple team members to work on the same project, facilitating better communication and faster iteration​ 


Shopify is a comprehensive platform designed for e-commerce sites, offering built-in payment processing and marketing tools. It caters to both beginners and experienced developers.

  • E-commerce Focus: Tools for product management, sales tracking, and customer engagement​ 
  • Integration and Customisation: Supports extensive customisation and integration with third-party apps and services​ 

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is ideal for creating detailed vector graphics, making it an essential tool for web designers who need to create logos, icons, and other scalable graphics.

  • Vector Graphics: Create precise and scalable vector graphics suitable for various design needs​ 
  • Integration: Works seamlessly with other Adobe products like Photoshop and InDesign, enhancing workflow efficiency​

By incorporating these tools into their workflow, web developers and designers can create high-quality, responsive, and visually appealing websites that meet the demands of modern users.


In the ever-evolving field of web design, utilising the right tools can make a significant difference in the efficiency and quality of your projects. From creating visually stunning graphics with Photoshop to developing interactive and collaborative designs with Figma, these tools cater to various aspects of web development. Atom provides a robust platform for coding, while the Inspect Element tool ensures your designs are responsive and functional across different devices. Additionally, platforms like Wix, Canva, InVision Studio, Shopify, and Adobe Illustrator offer specialised features that enhance your web design capabilities.

By integrating these tools into your workflow, you can create dynamic, responsive, and visually appealing websites that meet modern standards and user expectations. Staying updated with the latest tools and best practices in web design is crucial for delivering exceptional digital experiences and maintaining a competitive edge in the industry.

If you would like to implement great web design for your business, get in touch with us today. Our team at Be My Social is on hand to support your web design and marketing needs. Contact us for professional web design services that can help you achieve your business goals.


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