Despite the division between web-based designers and print designers, both camps share a lot of the same focus and utilize the same tools for publications. InDesign has been known as the main application for print designers, especially for the layout and assembly of multi-page print publications. Web designers or developers would have considered the suggestion of using InDesign for web development as blasphemy in the past but may be changing their tune now.
InDesign is not suitable for web design overall. While InDesign can be a helpful tool with certain aspects of web design, and may be a convenient tool for designers to mock up sites, it is less than desirable for developers in the production process.
Let’s take a look at what InDesign can do in terms of web design, what InDesign does best, and other programs that web designers and developers utilize to create engaging and click-worthy websites.
The heated debate over Adobe’s many design applications and where they rank in the various design fields is a hot topic. Many designers admit that the program they typically vie for is the one they know the best. With how complex and exhaustive some of these applications are, who can blame them for wanting to stick to what they know? It can take years to become intimately acquainted with any single program: learning the tools, creating shortcuts, and building that muscle memory.
InDesign is great for creating website layouts, especially for larger-scale database-driven websites. Though it’s not the actual layout of the site, it is a concept design with innovative ideas that can be shared with clients via a PDF.
A designer can effectively lay out visuals for a website that are easy to grasp by any client, regardless of their web design expertise, before moving forward with the approved design plan.
It’s important to note that developers may not feel the same way about receiving InDesign schematics for a website they are working on creating. In fact, some feel it shows a lack of know-how within the web design industry or, worse, a lack of consideration between designers and developers. For those that don’t mind, it is easy for designers to annotate PDF documents with specific directions and measurements for developers using InDesign.
While InDesign may have its shortcomings in web design, the majority agree that the application is best for what it was created for, print publication. Some would argue that the only reason people continue to use Photoshop for all of their design needs is that it’s what they are most familiar with since it’s been around longer. We’re talking 1987 versus 1999– an over ten-year gap that already established Photoshop as an industry staple.
If Photoshop could meet all the needs of the print designer efficiently, Adobe wouldn’t have felt the need to create InDesign. Here are the two jobs that InDesign does best:
- Single-page documents
- Multi-page documents
Let’s look into the specifics of each job and why InDesign is the go-to application for print publication.
1. Single-Page Documents
When referencing single-page documents, we refer to flyers, business cards, posters, resumes, etc. If you want to create engaging content, you must utilize typography, graphics, and color scheme. InDesign is a user-friendly software for creating clean layouts with precision grids and guidelines for page component placement. It has the best flexibility and control of images, vector artwork, and typography, including exceptional text-wrapping options.
2. Multi-Page Documents
In addition to all the InDesign features that have been covered thus far, you can utilize its versatile library of useful tools to create text-rich multi-page documents like pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, magazines, zines, etc. Type and drawing, navigation, modification, and transformation tools are all at your disposal, in addition to the ability to format text homogeneously across pages. InDesign allows you to publish online or share through a PDF format.
Deciding on the best in show when it comes to web design is dependent on what facet of web design you’re honing in on, not to mention the differing opinions of web designers and developers. Here is a list of the top in a variety of categories
1. WIX- Best Web Design Software Overall
WIX boasts 500+ design templates and clean, beautiful layouts with a jam-packed array of features. For standard websites, they have simple, yet beautiful website layouts you can create without any prior experience. For online sellers, they have the functionality for online stores, including discount codes, abandoned card recovery, and management of inventory. Best of all, they have 24/7 customer service! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a website with WIX.
2. Podsite- Best Web Design Software for Marketing
Podsite allows you to submit your RSS feed directly to the podcast platform, creating a dazzling website in a matter of minutes. It still provides customization using a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, so your branding can stay consistent across platforms. Podsite includes the ability to manage sponsors and offers an email sign-up to garner subscribers.
3. EpicPxls- Best Web Design Software for Prototyping and Interface
EpicPxls allows you to create fast and easy mockups with exquisite design templates and UI kits, using their extensive library of graphics, fonts, and icons. Easy to download zip files with a variety of formatting options. Once you download it, it’s quick to customize your app or website.
Regarding website building and editing, look no further than WordPress, particularly when hosted by Rocket.net, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Most, if not all, of these options require some kind of monthly or annual subscription, even if they offer a limited free trial. The prices range, and some offer multiple packages, increasing in price as you garner more features.
Though InDesign may not be the ideal option for web design, plenty of web designers will continue to use it for some aspects of the website development process. As graphic design is an integral part of web design, many developers and designers will continue to use Photoshop and Illustrator as well— it’s dealer’s choice.