Constructing a business plan for a design company is no easy task, and a strategy is required just as much when developing a website for that business.
It may seem easy to an outsider for a designer to quickly get a website up and running, but the designer is trying to remain efficient, while utilizing the best tools on the market.
After all, you may know how to code your own website, but are you really going to do that when so many WordPress themes are at your disposal?
Since a WordPress theme is the most logical option for an informational website, you’ll want to take a look at the best WordPress plugins to use for your design business.
You already have the local and online tools you need to put your designs together, but these are more for running your businesses in an effective manner. From ways to present your work in a reasonable fashion to options for connecting with your customers and bringing in new clients.
So, keep reading to learn more about the best WordPress plugins to use for your design business, and bookmark the page for the next design website you decide to make.
Here’s one of our favorite ways to make forms, which is the only way a potential design client is going to get in contact with you–if you have a contact form. The 123 Contact Form plugin has a visual builder for creating HTML forms, contact forms, event registration forms and email forms.
The form builder automates your processes by combining well with systems like Salesforce, MailChimp and Google Drive. The payment processors include Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal. Analytics are included for checking in on how well the forms are doing, and the drag and drop builder is super smooth.
The Soliloquy Slider is one of of many slider plugins, but it has some unique features that make it stand out in your book. To start, a slider plugin is essential for assisting your design business and showing people from the start they they should go with your company. For example, you may want to share some testimonials from past clients, or a few of the more impressive clips from your portfolio.
Regardless of how you use the slider, it’s the first module that potential client are going to see when landing on your site. It’s almost like a gatekeeper, or a billboard. When you have a promotion, it should be on your slider. When you’re doing a giveaway or holding an event, it should be on your slider. Some of the features we like include the fact that your sliders will always remain responsive for viewing on mobile devices. Recreate slides if you need to and transfer them to other sites or pages. Create an unlimited number of sliders, and utilize interesting settings like overlaying text and buttons. Overall, it’s a beautiful setup, and the pricing starts at $19.
Most designers realize far too late that they should be building and managing an email list. Our hope is that we get to you early in your business, because grabbing contact information from clients and sending out newsletters is a wonderful way to remind them of your services. Quite a few plugins are available for collecting those emails, and MailChimp or Aweber work just fine for designing HTML email newsletters.
However, a useful tool for grabbing attention and capturing email addresses is the OptinMonster solution. The goal is to create and A/B test beautiful email capture modules. The modules come in all different shapes and sizes. For example, you could have a cart abandonment popup, along with options like regular popups, slide ins, welcome gates, floating bars and more. All of the choices you make are done with the help of data, considering each form integrates perfectly with some A/B testing tools and reports that break down the information for you.
The bedrock beneath a design business is a beautiful portfolio. Ideally, you’re better off going with a WordPress theme that’s made just for portfolios, but some design businesses are looking for some unique functionality, or they began the website without any gallery functionality. Essentially, you’re looking to make a gallery for both your portfolio and whatever other random photos and designs you may have. These galleries should be both fun and easy for the user to navigate.
The EnviraGallery option starts at $19, and it delivers a drag and drop interface, making it easy for even beginner designers. The gallery templates are all responsive, which is a must-have when trying to send a gallery to a potential client. After all, they’ll most likely click on the link on their phone or tablet and flip through the gallery. Along with a social sharing addon, a video addon and WooCommerce options, the EnviraGallery plugin has scalability and power for startups and mature desing companies.
You may start to notice a trend here, since we keep recommending drag and drop products. The thing is, designers need to put the focus on client design work, not spending tons of time tweaking items on their own site. Sure, it requires an update from time to time, but designers should use a quick WordPress website builder like Beaver Builder. The whole point is so you don’t ever have to write any code. Building a responsive site is faster than ever, since the page builder and overall framework is meant to revolutionize your entire workflow.
Heck, if you’re a website designer, this is even worth looking into when generating websites for your clients. Drag and drop editors are all over the place now, but Beaver Builder delivers a beautiful layout where text and media modules snap right into place. They have plenty of gorgeous page templates, and you can even separate the page builder from your theme to get complete control of your content (instead of having to stick with the design elements provided through the theme).
What do you think of these WordPress plugins to use for your design business? Are there some other options that you use on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments section below.