Web design tasks tend to start small. We may do them and not think much about it at first. But they can eventually become inefficient.
You’ll likely take notice of the issue as you try to do them at scale. The more clients you have, the more difficult it is to manage. Things that used to take a few minutes of your day can turn into hours.
Developing processes for these tasks can help. It’s all about finding ways to create efficiency in your workflow. You can cross items off your to-do list faster and without cutting corners.
How does it work? And what tasks can be streamlined? Here are a few examples to help you get the most out of your time.
Use Tools to Speed up Software Updates
The age of content management systems (CMS) has brought a constant stream of updates. Apps like WordPress require a lot of attention. The core software, plugins, and themes all need to be updated.
The process isn’t too bad if you manage a single website. But it can also get out of hand rather quickly. Keeping track of new versions across multiple sites is difficult. And it’s too easy to miss an important update.
The right tool can help, however. Some services allow you to manage multiple sites via a dashboard.
These tools are a game changer for busy web designers. You can perform maintenance tasks within a singular user interface. They list available updates and can even alert you to security issues.
Keeping your CMS up to date is critical. The right tool can streamline the process and save you time.
Bulk Browser and Device Testing
Ensuring our websites work across all screens is tedious. A litany of tests is required to verify that everything looks good and works correctly.
Automation can make a positive difference in this area. Browser testing tools will run your site on multiple devices. They’ll then provide screenshots to help you spot any issues.
These tools don’t replace hands-on testing methods. But they will provide you with a heads-up regarding what to look for. Plus, you can use them to test on lesser-used browsers and devices.
The idea is to gauge how your site works across platforms. And do so without spending a lot of time.
Keep Track of Your To-Do List with a Task Management App
How do you keep track of your projects? You’re wasting time if you’re using email or handwritten notes. These methods require fumbling through mounds of content.
Sure, your inbox has search capabilities. But what if you have thousands of messages? And thumbing through a stack of paper isn’t exactly efficient.
A task management app may be what you need. This category has come a long way in recent years. And there’s one for just about every niche. Popular tools like Trello and Asana come to mind.
Even better is that many work across platforms. That means you can look things up on your phone or computer. You can stay in the loop regardless of where you are.
Collaborative features can help you communicate with stakeholders. For example, you can check in with a colleague directly – rather than creating an email chain. And multiple people can cross items off their to-do list.
But even solo freelancers can benefit. Simply having a single point of reference is helpful. You’ll be less likely to forget something.
Automate Client Invoicing and Payment
Billing-related tasks are often a pain. They take precious time away from your projects.
And speaking of which, invoices are time-sensitive. This clashes with other things you have going on. It’s not ideal when you’re working on a tight deadline.
Old-school accounting software can help you create invoices. However, it often lacks the polished automation features of specialized platforms. You still have to get those invoices to your clients somehow.
Several cloud-based providers will do the dirty work for you. They’ll take your input and automatically email an invoice to your clients. An integrated payment gateway will collect your hard-earned money.
But these services offer more than just time savings. They also make it easier for clients to pay on the spot. Thus, your invoice is less likely to sit on their desk collecting dust.
Tax time is also simplified. Earnings and expense reports can be generated and shared with your accountant.
Make Your Web Design Business More Manageable
Every aspect of your web design business can benefit from repeatable processes. That covers technical areas like CMS updates. And it also applies to more mundane tasks like billing.
The ideas above are only a starting point. Think about other tasks that could use some attention. You can then identify ways to streamline them.
It may be easier than you think. Sometimes, it’s a matter of finding the right tool. Several apps cater to web designers and freelancers. And they can transform your workflow.
Don’t panic if you’re feeling stuck and falling behind on projects. Refining a process or two can make all the difference.