While working as a web designer I have come to rely on a number of web applications that make my job easier, they are simple to use, need no software installed on my machine and provide value – here I cover some of the very best tools that you should know..
Campaignmonitor – Manage mailing lists and newsletters from an excellent online interface.
Campaignmonitor makes it very easy to collect subscriptions , providing you with the html to place a subscribe box and collect emails. You can then create a campaign with your own html email template and send it from their site.
The most useful part for me is all the data you can view after a mailing – showing click through rates, unopened email numbers etc. The interface is also brandable to allow your clients access to their reports.
Crazy Egg – Visual tracking of where visitors click on your websites
Recently launched is an open source script called ClickHeat which appears to offer the same heatmap capabilities but I haven’t tried this out yet.
Dropsend – Allows you to send files of up to 1gb
This application allows you to send files to clients that you couldn’t email because of size restrictions, it also works as an online storage solution so you can have access to your files in the event of a hard drive failure etc.
I haven’t personally tested this service as I operate my own server so can put client files on my own webspace but I can see how it is useful for someone without this.
Blinksale – Online invoicing app
A app with a great interface that allows you to keep a record of your clients, send them invoices and manage recurring billing, send reminders etc.
Basecamp – Project management
A handy app from the 37 signals bunch allowing you to project manage online, features include to-do lists, milestones, chat and writeboards. Useful if you’re working with contractors which may not be located at the same office as you or just if you need access to the project data while on the road or from home etc – highly recommended and as usual with 37 signals products includes a free version.
And there you have it, the top 5 web apps to make designers live easier!