Website Design & Development Tools
Our Top Picks For Website Design & Development Tools
Our Top Pick For Website Hosting
Why we recommend SiteGround: Speed is very important for local SEO. We have our own server. Daily backups are a must especially for clients with a zealous marketing manager that tries to do things themselves so it’s easy for us to fix the website they broke. Since we like to do the hosting for all the websites we build we offer very affordable prices since for our server it’s really affordable. Keep all our clients on SiteGround makes it more efficient to do our job with website maintenance.
What they could do to improve: Auto-update SSL certificates. We’ve been asking for years and for now just have to make a note in Basecamp of when to update for a client each year.
Compared to the competition: For WordPress sites, there are two hosting companies that are the gold standard; SiteGround and WPEngine.
Why we recommend Termageddon: It’s owned by a husband and wife team. You get peace of mind knowing that once you set up your page it will automatically be updated every time a new law changes. Our team gets on a call to make sure you fill out the survey correctly then we do the website installation. But you can do it yourself. Robert loves that he can get on a call with the owner.
What they could do to improve: Add more features for local businesses in other countries. Add other languages.
Compared to the competition: For our international clients that need their page in another language, we use another tool that’s been around for years.
Our Top Pick For Website Wireframe and Mockup Prototyping
Why we recommend Draftium: I found this tool when I sold 5 StoryBrand Websites in the same month. This made it easy for me to create a black and white website wireframe so the client could approve the copywriting and the photos I was thinking of using for the page. I spent a lot of time building a 10-page StoryBranded website prototype (template) but it was worth it. Now I just click “duplicate” and boom I’m ready to copy/paste everything I wrote in Google Docs. This tool saved us time in hours that went to our website designer and even made our website developers hours drop down too since all copy and photos where already approved from the client.
What they could do to improve: They update or change blocks frequently. For example, I liked to use this 3-step process plan style but then when I duplicate the prototype it’s changed or not there. So it just slows me down some. It also doesn’t seem to be intuitive for clients. I film a video showing them how to use the comment feature but they always seem to not get it. I think it’s really easy to use. I wish we had different users. I use this more frequently since I do pretty much all the StoryBrand copywriting but when I reply to the client’s comments it says “Robert Cortes” since he is the one who originally signed up for the account. This confuses clients.
Compared to the competition: Other StoryBrand Guides use Adobe XD and Robert bought Sketch but those seem to be better for advanced graphic designers. Before a graphic designer picks the Elementor layout and makes custom sections for the website I like to just have a basic black and white wireframe.
Our Top Pick For WordPress Themes
Why we recommend Elementor: Clients need to have an easy way to update their website themselves. Elementor is our favorite page builder. We’ve been able to create websites quicker and make them look so cool. If you have an eye for design then you’ll love all the options you can get. We are currently building affordable StoryBrand website themes and a course to teach you how to build the website yourself.
What they could do to improve: Robert says, “nothing! They are really good”. But for me I think they have too many options so it makes it harder to make a decision for a button animation.
Compared to the competition: Before we bought all kinds of WordPress themes such as Avada. Then Divi seemed to spend so much on advertising that clients would want up to keep building on that theme but we hate it. We’ve built on Wix and Squarespace those are so limited for coding. They also aren’t as good for local SEO. If you want to get found on Google Maps or Google then you have to be on WordPress and Elementor is the page builder to use.
Our Top Pick For Image Compression
Why we recommend ShortPixel: It’s easy to use and has fair pricing. Plus they have a cool logo, right? We blog for most of our clients and there could be 4 photos in a blog. So manually resizing every image was time consuming. Now we can skip that work and it automatically gets done. All of our clients get added to our account and get to reap the benefits.
What they could do to improve: Nothing I can think of.
Compared to the competition: We used to use Imagify but I didn’t like the user experience or how it works.
IMPORTANT: This page contains affiliate links to SiteGround, Termegedon, Draftium, Elementor, and ShortPixel. We earn commissions for referring traffic to these sites. While we are careful to only recommend products we actually use and like, you should know of our relationship with those companies.