Website Design: Hardware and Software Tools You May Need

Before starting your new website or editing your current site, you should consider what hardware and software tools you may need to support your efforts.

When it comes to necessary hardware, this can be very simple or reasonably complex depending on your particular needs. Of course, if you plan to create a new website (or even view your new website later), you need a computer. Simple enough, right? Not necessarily. We prefer to work with Apple Macintosh (OSX Leopard on MacBook Pro) as we do intensive graphic work and have previously invested in Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). It is just as easy to create your new website using your Windows PC, but we suggest that you skip Windows Vista (any version) and migrate to Windows 7 or stay with Windows XP. These operating systems are much more stable and reliable.

Another hardware consideration should be some type of backup hard drive or removable USB memory sticks. It is important that you back up all your website data to a removable drive in case your computer crashes, breaks, or is stolen. When you create website files, most of your data will be stored on the website’s hosting servers, but in many cases, you will have many other “build files” that usually never make it to the hosting servers. If you lose this data, you will be forced to start from scratch in many cases. Another piece of hardware that many forget is an HD camcorder. If you plan to include video on your site, you should invest in something half decent; You can usually buy a good video camera that also captures “still photos” for less than $ 500.00.

When it comes to the necessary software, this can be a bit more complicated, again depending on what your website design goals are. At the very least, you will need some type of text editing software, FTP (file transfer software), graphics creation software, and then a variety of other tools as you go along.

These are some of the most common topics to consider when planning your website product design.


Do you currently have a computer that can process large files (i.e. video files) quickly and efficiently?


Thinking of hosting your own website portal? If so, do you know what kind of server hardware and software you will need?


Do you currently have any kind of backup hard drive plan or equipment?


Will you create custom videos for your website, and if so, do you have an HD video camera out of the box?


Thinking of making your website “mobile web friendly”? If so, do you have an iPhone and an iPad? Android phone? Blackberry device? These will be needed for testing purposes!


Do you have any website building software (i.e. Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Front Page) installed, licensed, and ready to go?


Planning to create your own website graphics or edit images? Do you have the necessary software (ie Adobe Photoshop or Photo Studio)?


Thinking of creating a database for your website, and if so, do you know what software to use for this purpose?