It doesn’t matter how old your company is, if your branding and design are well-thought-out and original, you will automatically exude more credibility than a company that doesn’t.

However, if you have ever hired or contracted a designer we are sure you are aware of the pretty penny that process can cost you. Cost is always one of the biggest pain points in working for every business, especially for startups. This is why they find great help in DIY graphic design tools that are readily available at little or no cost, yet come with excellent features that all startups can find useful.

A do it yourself (DIY) a graphic design tool is an online tool that allows a person with limited design resources to create professional level graphics on demand.  These tools often provide templates, stock photos, and other elements to help you create beautiful imagery for little to no cost.

There are a number of newish tools that make it super easy for anyone to create professional-looking graphic designs. All of these DIY design tools offer a myriad of design templates that are easy to customize with your own text and graphics. They all offer a variety of design resources for you to use including fonts, icons, illustrations, shapes, and photos. You can also upload your own photos to personalize any design.

One of the most widely-used DIY design tools is Canva, which has a library of different templates and layouts to choose from to create images for your website, emails, and social media channels.

Canva Review: Best Graphics Tool for Inexperienced Users

To know how to develop a website similar to Canva, we should learn about it first. 

Introduction: What is Canva?

Canva was founded by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht & Cameron Adams on January 1, 2012. The website has raised millions of money to expand its platform and add more value for its users. Canva is a free graphic design platform that's great for making invitations, business cards, Instagram posts, and more. It is extremely simple to use and offers a large number of templates that can provide you with a quick and easy way to create images and help the unskilled to understand the magic of graphic design.

A drag and drop interface makes customizing thousands of templates simple and easy. Canva's wide array of features allow you to edit photos without extensive photo editing knowledge or experience.

How Canva works? 

From basic cropping and straightening to adding textures and color-correcting, Canva's beginner-friendly features make editing photos simple. The workflow is very simple. 

You sign up (with Google+, Facebook, or an email address). 

Canva login

After logging in, Canva prompts you to choose the type of graphic you're trying to create and then suggests different sample images for you.

Canva categories

Once you've chosen the layout and template you want, then comes customization. Everything is drag-and-drop, and the text can be edited just like the text boxes in any other graphic design software. From basic cropping and straightening to adding textures and color-correcting, Canva's beginner-friendly features make editing photos simple. You can add a textured background to give your photo more dimension, insert text to create your own meme, create a photo grid, blur your photo, and more.

If you're new to graphic design and want to learn about branding or how to incorporate Canva in the virtual classroom, there are free tutorials on their website.

Why is Canva successful? 

Although text still has an important place in marketing, Study proves that readers respond more effectively to the visual content rather than the other counterparts. And with amazing DIY graphic designing tools like Canva, it is easier than ever to garnish your articles/ social media posts, etc. with compelling images, logos, banners, and tantalizing typography. Probably why online graphic design tools are loved and appreciated by the users as well as the readers.

Canva is also a great tool for people who have no inclination for graphics. As the Canva app has a collection of more than 1 million photographs, graphics, and fonts, anyone can create brilliant graphics on the go. 

Overall, the main reason for Canva’s success is that it solves a problem people care about. A lot of people find it is too hard to learn design software like InDesign and Photoshop. These kinds of design software are even hard to use. Canva makes its users feel empowered to design and let their imagination translate into beautiful visual imagery and graphics.

Canva’s Top Features

Let's take a look at Canva Highlight features that made it be the top DIY graphic design platform: 

1. Photo effects to improve photos

Canva has several effects to enhance photos. You can add effects to photos that Canva provides and photos you upload.

Canva photo filter

These will let you flip photos, crop them, add filters and adjust the images to fix an overexposed image, correct the color, and improve the brightness, etc...

Canva photo adjustment

Most effects are accessible with the free plan, though some features, including Background Remover, require a subscription plan.

2. Access to photos, videos, and templates

To use the templates, click the Templates tab when you’re on the editor. Canva will automatically find templates based on the design type you selected. 

Canva template

You can scroll through or search the templates by color or language.

canva background

To find photos, click the Photos tab and choose photos in a similar way to the filters. You can also upload photos using the Upload tab.

Canva upload

You can access photos and videos directly from Pexels, Pixabay, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more sites.

3. Access to icons, shapes, and stickers

Canva has an Elements tab to find icons, shapes, stickers, charts, grids, gradients, and more.

canva elements

You can add them to your images and adjust color, transparency, and size.

4. Font library

Canva has a font library under Text where you can find dozens of fonts, ranging from simple to sophisticated fonts, with individual fonts and font pairs.

canva text

5. Drag-and-drop editor

Canva drag and drop

The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to work with the photos, videos, templates, elements, and fonts. Choose what you want to create, and Canva will display all the relevant items. You can add them by the drag-and-drop method and make changes. You should be able to create your visuals in minutes. If you have used the templates before, you can probably make them in seconds.

6. Creates more than images

Most people think of Canva as only for creating images. But you can create invitations, planners, business cards, blog banners, newsletters, menus, certificates, workbooks, websites, flyers, and more. There are many resources for online education, too.

7. Animate images

Canva lets you apply animation effects. Just click Animate. This shows all the effects you can use. Users could also download the design in MP4video or GIF.

Canva animation

8. Publish to social media or schedule

Like most online photo editors, Canva lets you share your images directly to some top social networks. A convenient feature they added recently is scheduling your posts to social media, including Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn pages, Slack, and Tumblr.

canva share

Is Canva free?

Talking about the price of Canva, users will have a profitable deal with it because the application is free. Users can use every single Canva template for free.

The only time when users have to pay is when they decide to use one or more of the premium images. Apart from these paid images, there are tons of free images that you can use as per your need.

canva pro

This is where there is a slight difference between free and paid users.

For those who are using the free version, Canva has slightly more limited templates, elements, and photos available to choose from. 

There are three plans: Free, Pro (US$12.99 per month, US$119,99 yearly), and Enterprise (contact to get the price).

  • The free plan suits freelancers who create 10 to 15 designs per month. You get access to 100+ design types, 25,000+ free templates, and thousands of free photos and graphics.

  • If you create more images for yourself or your clients, the Pro plan will suit you better. You get access to 610,000+ templates, 100+ million graphics, photos, stock images and videos, and several other features. A standout feature is Brand Kit for storing brand assets (color palette, logo, etc.). Canva offers a 30-day free trial to ease users into paying while testing out all premium features. The Pro plan is aimed at so-called power users. These users are often graphic design professionals who use Canva for their work.

  • The Enterprise plan is best suited for agencies and corporations with multiple team members. You get access to multiple Brand Kits, design workflows, and unlimited storage. Furthermore, teams will be assigned to a dedicated account manager as well as receive priority support whenever an issue arises. Like the Pro plan, a monthly subscription fee is charged. 

How Canva Make Money

Canva makes money from monthly subscriptions, print products, course sales, as well as marketplace fees. Canva initially started out as a free tool. This strategy was to attract users and build a consistent and loyal following. Through word of mouth and a high-quality product, that user base would grow over time.

Over the past few years, Canva added various income streams, ranging from subscriptions to business solutions.

Nevertheless, the company’s core is still centered around its freemium business model. As such, the majority of its tools can be used for free. If users intend to get access to more advanced features, they will have to pay for them. Canva makes money through two subscription plans. Canva Pro is ideal for single users while Canva Enterprise is best suited to businesses that need to manage design teams. The details are listed clearly in the above section. 

Canva also drives revenue through a marketplace service, allowing users to purchase content as and when they require it. The company also makes money by printing designs onto physical items such as t-shirts, postcards, and business cards.

  • Canva Print: It allows consumers to print a chosen design on physical material. This may include business cards, postcards, flyers, invitations, or t-shirts. Canva charges for this service according to the type of physical product, order volume, and country of residence. In some cases, customization requests will also attract an additional charge.

Canva print

  • Canva Marketplace: For those with no desire to sign up for the Enterprise or Pro plan, Canva charges a one-time fee for single usage of a premium design. For every sale, Canva takes 35% and gives the remainder to the design creator. For content sold in the Pro subscription, creators receive 50% of the net revenue earned fewer taxes and payment processing fees.

canva design

  • Canva Design school: Canva also offers a range of online and in-person classes relating to design, branding, and social media. Each is run and hosted by Canva employees with relevant expertise. Online classes are offered for free while those conducted in person start from $5.

canva school

Pros & Cons of Canva

To sum up, we have listed some pros and cons of Canva, so that you could consider when developing your own website. 

Pros

  • Easy to Learn and Use: Canva was designed for complete newbies in the world of graphic design. There are tons of tutorials and lessons available for you on the platform. The website is also straightforward, guiding you easily through templates and giving you many ways to share your work.

  • Good Value: Canva has both a free version of the program and an affordable subscription plan. Their plans are of great value, especially in comparison to big-league competitors. 

  • Accessibility: Canva is a web app, meaning it can be accessed from anywhere if you have an internet connection.

  • Huge Resource Library: Canva has a ton of graphics and assets available for use in your designs. You can make your creations from start to finish without ever leaving the application.

  • Extensive Learning Portal: Canva provides many tutorials to get started in the program. There are lessons covering everything, from common troubleshooting errors to using specific Canva tools like Canva Print. Canva even has a separate learning blog and video course portal where you can learn business basics.

  • Compatibility: Canva has an iPhone, Android, and iPad application as well as desktop apps for Windows and Mac. Canva doesn’t need to be downloaded. All you need is the internet to use the program.

  • Collaboration: Canva was built to work well for teams. The higher the plan, the more team features you get. The highest level, Enterprise, even has branding controls to keep your designs consistent across the board.

Cons

  • Editing: In comparison to high-power software like Adobe Photoshop, Canva is limited in features and in-app editing. Resizing graphics and icons in the editor can be buggy and hard to manage.

  • Simplistic, Widely Used Templates: The templates get old after a while and are a bit too basic. You will also be sharing the same template with thousands of other people who use Canva, meaning your work could look similar to others.

  • Online Only: Canva only works with an internet connection. You cannot work offline, a detriment if you are trying to work off-grid.

  • Lack of Support: The only way to contact Canva support is through their online forms. They do not have a chat or phone feature.

Frequently asked questions about Canva

Canva is a great image creation tool for anyone for sure. These FAQs should help you get to know what Canva users care about the most when they start using a DIY graphic design tool. We think it might be helpful for you in researching how to build a website similar to Canva. 

  1. Is Canva for free?

Canva offers free and subscription-based plans, with full-featured free plans for education.

  1. What is Canva good for?

Canva is good for small businesses with tiny ad budgets looking to DIY their marketing. Canva offers tons of templates and tutorials to help you get started.

  1. Is there anything better than Canva?

Many design programs are better than Canva, Adobe Photoshop, being an example. However, Canva is great for beginners and people looking for a simple program.

  1. Do professionals use Canva?

Professional graphic designers will use feature-heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for the most creative control. Canva is limited in terms of creating graphics in-app.

  1. Is Canva better than Photoshop?

If you want the most control over creating graphics, need to edit photos, and want a feature-heavy program, Photoshop is the winner. If you want a beginner’s do-it-all application that is easy to jump into, Canva is a much better choice.

The development process of a website similar to Canva

In this article, we’ll take a look at how the general development process of a website similar to Canva may look like. The overall number of development stages usually varies from five to eight, but every time the whole picture stays pretty much the same. Let’s choose the average value.

So, here are seven main steps of a Canva-similar-website development:

What is the cost to develop a website similar to Canva? 

An on-demand website like Canva has a plethora of features that you must incorporate in your designing website as well to be successful. Let's have a look at some of the basic features that you must include:

  • Drag & Drop Editor

  • Photo Editing

  • Resize Designs

  • Branded Templates

  • Transparent Backgrounds

  • Photo Filters

  • Multiple Documents Types

  • Color codes Thoughts & Ideas

  • Blog & Websites Posts

  • Cards & Invitations

  • Business Logos

  • Custom Templates

  • Customizable Branding

  • Social Media Graphics

  • Icons, Shapes & Elements

  • Share Photo folders

  • Library of Fonts

  • Sharing feature via email, messaging apps, texts

To ask how much it is to develop a website similar to Canva, of course, there are variables to this cost. The primary factors affecting the cost of development of a website like Canva are: 

  • Your choice Of Platforms

  • Features 

  • Development team

  • Location

  • Tech-Stack Used

  • UI/UX Design

Based on our development experience, the basic cost to develop a graphic design website similar to Canva could not be under US$10,000. To give an average estimated cost, it might cost you around $15,000 to $30,000 or even higher if your website takes more time to develop due to its complexity. Also, location can impact your website costs hugely. For instance, the hourly fee to build an app is $100-$150 in North America, while it is only $30-$50 in some Asian countries like India or Vietnam. 

Also, It is better if you choose a technology partner that provides end-to-end services as they will take care of everything.

Canva has been active for many years now. So, the costs for making a site are not only the problem but also the amount of time they have been investing in it.

You start small and pay a development company or hire some freelancers to build you something to attract users. This can cost just a few thousand dollars but it is only a start. Next, you have to spend years on improvements to the site to end up with something like Canva, if your site is popular enough. Or you end up broke, with a dead site.

That means the costs for making a site aren’t that important, as sites can start very, very cheap. You can start with a WordPress site hosted on your own computer at home and your only costs would be the registration of your domain name and the electricity that the computer needs. Plus the time you need to fill the site with content. You could hire an outsourcing company to have your Canva-similar-first-site set up fast and then start to grow from there. But while building the site might be important, you will also need a large user base to make sure your site becomes popular and stays popular.

Steps to build a website similar to Canva

Building your website similar to Canva seemed like a complicated task. But with the right tools, tips, and visual resources, you can absolutely accomplish it. This is why we’ve put together a quick step-by-step tutorial to show you how to do that.

Step 1: Definition of a concept

At this stage, you should get a clear understanding of what exact product you intend to develop, what goal you’re going to achieve and what target audience you’re going to attract with its help. Decisions, which you are making during this process, will define how all other development stages will be taking place.

Here is what you should think about when launching your project:

  • Project description. Describe your project in general starting with the functionality and ending with a unique value, which you can provide the potential users with. Besides, you also need to create a brief description of the environment that your project will exist in.

  • Main and secondary objectives. These should be relatively simple, achievable, and, most importantly, measurable goals. When developing a website like Canva, such goals can be the number of unique visitors per month, number of paid subscribers, profit. Clear objectives will make it possible for the development team to focus on what is about to have the biggest positive influence on the achievement of these goals.

  • Project’s audience. In the case of the creation of a website like Canva, it’s people who need to edit a photo, create a presentation, or other visual content easily and quickly. Besides, sometimes the target audience is also potential investors, who can finance the development.

  • Attraction. What things motivate users to use the platform that you created? What brand advantages will help to single it out among the competitors including the original (Canva)? What is going to make people subscribe and buy graphics (templates of posts, fonts, etc.)?

  • Competitors. What websites and apps offer your target audience similar opportunities to create graphics and edit photos? Do a review of competing platforms considering their functionality, strengths and weaknesses, visual branding, and cost of services.

Step 2: Development of a sitemap and a wireframe

Setting out on a project with only a vague idea of its organization will only complicate the process. Once you know the goals and scope of a project, it's time to create a sitemap and a wireframe. These will give you a guide to your website’s organization and a targeted outline for creating content.

A sitemap provides web developers with the possibility to understand how an internal architecture (from what and to what page you can go) will look like. The sitemap doesn’t show how the design of site screens will look like or what color scheme or typography will be there.

site map

Often a sitemap begins this way but is then developed using various tools into a diagram that shows the flow of the website pages.

A wireframe is a schematic representation of the appearance of the website, which is being created, where most elements are presented as blocks.

 wireframe

A wireframe allows designers to locate the make-up of the website, where to put what buttons, what colors to use, how the user will interact with content (UX or UI), and how the interface might work.

A basic wireframe often starts out very rough on a piece of paper and then is later developed using software tools to make it more concrete.

A sitemap and wireframes lay the foundation to build a website. When you’ve prepared and put thought into the site goals, architecture, and UX it makes for a purpose-driven process. When the path to success has been cleared of obstructions, it makes for a quicker journey.

Step 3: Choose Your Domain Name And Hosting Provider

Choosing a domain name is one of the most important things you’ll do, as it’s the address to your website. It needs to both match your business name and be easy for your customers to type into their navigation bar.

This means you should not include numbers, hyphens, and other characters within your domain name. You should make sure that it is easy to say your website URL and everyone is able to type it in without any trouble.

If you want people to visit your website, it needs to be hosted on the internet. A web hosting provider will do this for you. As it becomes their job to get your website online, choosing a good web hosting provider is extremely important. 

Choosing a web hosting provider isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is make sure you understand your needs and your hosting provider. 

Here are a few things you should look out for:

  • Truly Unlimited Plans: Some hosting providers advertise free space, storage, or bandwidth, but still cap it at a certain level. You should carefully read their terms and find out whether the unlimited plans they offer are truly unlimited.

  • Expert Support Staff: After hosting your website, you may run into some technical problems. Your hosting provider should provide you with excellent support in this regard. Their experts should be able to quickly fix any hosting problems you may have.

  • High-Quality Training: Your hosting provider should offer high-quality resources for you to learn how to manage your hosted site. This is important because you shouldn’t have to rely on their support staff for all your problems.

  • Additional Services: Does your hosting provider offer to regularly backup your data, fix your bugs, and update your server-side software? Be sure that they do, because you’ll save a lot of time on website maintenance.

  • Reliability: Your web hosting provider should make sure your website is live on the internet at all times. It shouldn’t crash or go down unnecessarily. Your web hosting provider should also take security measures against hackers and keep your website safe on its servers. More importantly, they should help you with any problems you have by giving you excellent customer support.

Step 4: Choose Your Website Platform

Now that you know what type of website you plan to create, your next step is to choose your website platform.

We’re covering ten of the most popular website platforms, each for varying website objectives and design knowledge. If you know how to design a website using a bit of code and content blocks, some could be easier for you than others.

Step 5: Create an interesting, memorable, and engaging website user interface

Make sure your small business website interface leaves a positive impression that drives results. You can do so by implementing the following suggestions:

  • Use beautiful graphics and easy-to-read fonts.

  • Make sure your graphics are compressed and optimized for fast loading. If your website is slow, search engines like Google will penalize your ranking.

  • Research the competition (includes the original website - Canva)  to see how they have designed and optimized their websites; implement similar components that will work for your small business website.

  • Research your target audience to see what they want from your site and make it easy for them to accomplish it.

  • Stay consistently on-brand throughout your website design.

  • Design an intuitive navigation system that allows users to get to the pages they need quickly.

  • Publish easily accessible contact information.

Step 6: Design development of a website similar to Canva 

At this development stage, designers create all graphic content such as background, logos, buttons, animation, pictograms, videos, and the like. A color scheme, a set of fonts, and typography are being determined. This choice is made on the basis of the niche and target audience’s preferences, i.e. data, which were collected at the stage of definition of the concept of the web platform, which is being created.

All that is being brought together in the mockup (or a page template). Mockup is a static representation of a fully completed design of a website interface in the form that the ordinary platform visitors will see it in. The purpose of the creation of a mockup is the demonstration of the navigation structure, completed website design, and its contents to the client and the target audience.

Step 7: Development of a website similar to Canva

Once you’ve determined a concept, architecture, and design, you can start coding a website similar to Canva. Usually, when developing websites they create the main page and then add all other pages to it according to a sitemap. Then developers implement CMS, various frameworks, and image editor – the main component of such online platforms as Canva. After that, you need to add interactivity and website functionality.

While you can create front-end (website pages), note that you can create an online design tool and some other important features like Canva only with custom development. And you should entrust it not to a freelancer but to a development company because an online design tool is a too sophisticated software for an individual to develop.

For the Development Of A Website Similar To Canva.Com, we have listed out some features that are asked to develop the most by our clients. 

Other graphic design websites like Canva

Canva is surely hands down the best in the market. But there are also alternatives to Canva. Following are some design websites that are similar to Canva. You may want to research them also a bit to make your website stand out.

1. Stencil

stencil

Stencil focuses on marketing rather than making graphic design easy for everyone. In marketing too, it focuses more on social media images. It will allow you to create social media images as fast as possible. Even though Stencil has a free plan, you may need a paid plan to really boost your social media tools.

2. Snappa

snappa

It is a complete design tool like Canva. Snappa will make it easy for an average person to design. You can quickly create images on the available dimensions or pre-built templates. You can also schedule the images to post on social media.

3. Design Bold

design bold

Again something similar to Canva. But not entirely similar. There are a few differences here. Design Bold has wider options for stock photos. Also, it offers a completely new set of templates to choose from. Design Bold also has both free and paid options.

4. Crello

crello

Crello is also a good alternative to Canva. The app appears to be flexible and has a good set of templates. A great feature is that Crello enables you to create animated content or Instagram video stories.

5. Fotor

fotor

Fotor works similar to Canva. If you find Canva user-friendly then you will be comfortable using Fotor too. You can either create your page from scratch or select from a pre-made template.

Conclusion

With the increasing craze of photography, the demand for high-end photo editing apps and tools is growing exponentially. Every single day, millions of Facebook and Instagram photos are shared. Many of them are created with the help of DIY graphic design tools like Canva. A DIY graphic design tool has become a favorite among users. If you are planning to get one developed, then a graphic design tool like Canva is your best bet.

Where do you start and how to go about it? How about sending us an email at sales@cmsmart.net or leave a comment below with your contact information to ask for a private consultant. From the necessary features to monetization models, you can ask our consultant team anything. We are the experts and will guide you through every phase of the project.