As an experienced agency in eCommerce web-to-print development, we have been asked this question hundreds of times. The interest in similar applications soars, merchants find them a perfect platform to begin their investments. If you are one of these, here's a guide to help you out on how to make a website like Canva. Creating a website similar to Canva is simple as long as you have the right tools in hand.

Many clients have asked us about developing a website similar to Canva

Canva is a graphic design program for anybody. The great thing about this tool is that you don't even have to be a graphic designer or really even have an eye for design or design elements to use Canva. The program gives you access to thousands of templates. It's pretty much up to your imagination, you can design just about anything for your business, invitations, business cards, Instagram posts, and more. A drag and drop interface makes customizing thousands of templates simple and easy. 

 Canva homepage

Canva is easy to sign up for, using either an email, Google account, or Facebook login. Once you create a free account you'll have access to 8,000+ free templates including social media posts and templates for presentations.  You will also get access to a stock photo library with hundreds of thousands of photos.

Canva login

Thanks to its easy-to-use design tool, convenience, and practicality, Canva.com now has millions of monthly active users across 190 countries, who have collectively made billions of designs to date. Because of its popularity, many merchants want to invest in a similar website concept. 

 We have helped some of our clients build a website similar to Canva so far. One of them is Doographics. This graphic design platform is brand new and it is considered as “India Canva''. The team behind this software is so inspiring, they are working hard without proper infrastructure. The tool is easy to use, the features on this tool are amazing compared to the available tools in the market.

Doographics Homepage

There are many templates available for creating a quick design. You can design Facebook posts, Facebook ads, Instagram posts, Flyers, Pinterest Design, YouTube thumbnail, and many more categories are available in this software.

Doographics editor

You can choose custom dimensions according to your need, Cropping images, Remove background any image, Adding elements, Text, and you will get tons of fonts that are offered in this software.

After we finished this project, there were also many customers who asked us to help them build a website similar to Doographics. 

The Doographic team found us through our online designer plugin called NBdesigner. They needed a design tool to build a platform similar to Canva and were attracted by our Nbdesigner. 

NBdesigner workflow is very similar to the Canva design tool.

canva product

There are +200 templates for the admin to set up in his store. The admin could create their own templates one by one, or convert from PSD files. 

NBdesigner

The admin also could add more fonts, images, or clipart or even let the visitors upload their own images from their devices, social networks,...

Although it supports all the basic features same as the Canva design page, the plugin itself could not fit perfectly with all of the client requests by that time. So we came up with an agreement to adjust the plugin and develop additional features to make it work better as our client demands. An online design tool that works similar to Canva could be created by custom development anyway. Because Canva is a functional website with sophisticated features that are not easy to develop. 

Develop custom features for a development process of a website similar to Canva

Based on the status of your website and business’s needs, you could send us detailed requests for the features you want to add. Or even if you do not know what is needed for your website, contact our consultant for the advice! 

You could consider some Canva-like features here for your reference. All those features are developed by our developer team based on the core features of our NBDesigner plugin. They are customized as per the customer’s request. There are many highlight features on Canva.com. You could ask to develop anyone that you like. 

Pro Template

We were asked to develop the function to show PRO and FREE templates. So when the admin creates a design he can mark if the template will be a free or a pro template. It works similarly to Canva. Only paid accounts could use the pro templates.

Canva pro template

Upload video and export file in MP4

About this function, the admin will have the choice to upload videos as templates like Canva. Those video templates are shown in a separate video tab on the left sidebar. Now, users can make a new video and download it in MP4 as easily as cake. 

Canva upload video

Users also can upload a video to design (shorter videos will have shorter upload time).

Background Tab

Develop background tab for a Design tool, there are 4 tabs in the background functions:

Canva Background Tab

  • Color: Users can pick a color to be background or they can use the color picker to choose a color.

  • Texture: Users can pick an image that is defined by the admin to be the background.

  • Upload background: User can upload their own image to be the background.

Pay for download

With this function, users will not be able to share or export designs before making payments anymore. They must pay to download the design using the PRO TEMPLATE he has created. No possibility of downloading the design that uses the pro template before payment. 

pro template

In the back-end, the admin could set up to enable this function or not, or choose to apply this function in completed orders only. The admin could also set up the allowed file type to download.

The design fee is charged each time download

With this function, the admin could set the price for the download design. Example $1/ each downloaded design.

  • After payment, users can download the design in all available formats (SVG, PNG, JPG, PDF)

  • With the design they already paid to download, it will be kept in their account and they can redownload them in all available formats (SVG, PNG, JPG, PDF). They can redownload those designs free for a lifetime. 

  • Users can use a design already paid for and modify it without extra payment.  

  • If a customer started a design and didn't finish it, he can save it and come back later to finalize it ( save for later feature). 

Multiple fonts, color, sizes, bold, italics, in the same text box

For some special designs, you might want to use a different color for each letter in one text box to make it fit with the theme of your design. Or sometimes you feel bored with solid colors and want to make them bright and fresh by using multiple colors at the same time. Not every design tool allows you to do this. 

Multiple font color

After our developer added this feature into the NBDesigner plugin, your website users could add a text box into the design zone, and then edit it in any way they like even if they want to use several colors, text fonts, or text format. All in one text box only. So, they do not have to create several text boxes with different colors or fonts and then put them in the right position. It helps to save a lot of time for your users. Now, the users could make colorful designs without a hassle.

multiple font color back-end

Image upload fix connected to the user account

Another issue that might cause your website users to stress is that if they upload the images on the editor page from one device, the next time they log in on other devices, the uploaded images will be lost. After having a meeting with our client, we agreed to do customization to connect all the uploaded images with user accounts. So, once they upload any image on the editor page, they would always be saved on the image upload tab.

image upload

Even if the users log in with different devices, or close the browser after uploading the images, those images would never be lost. 

image upload back-end

After we add this feature, the admin could see which users add the corresponding images in the backend dashboard. Admin also could see the preview of the uploaded images.

Add And Delete Page Button

On Canva, users could add/remove pages on the front-end, while our NBdesigner plugin only allows the admin to set up the number of pages in the back-end. 

delete page

Therefore, we were asked to develop those buttons on the front-end in order to make it convenient for users to design multiple-page products. Now, your website users can easily add or remove pages on the front-end. There is no limit in the number of pages that they could create and design. 

page delete back-end

Moreover, users could copy designs and paste them on another blank page. It also helps users to save a lot of time when they want to design pages that have a similar design as the previous one.

Some words from CMSMART team 

Creative apps like Canva are loved by people who own a business or a professional such as a social media marketer, graphic designer, who can use various features of this fantastic app to their advantage. 

Are you looking to develop such an outstanding platform? The right website development company will help you create the most successful and unique app like Canva! How about being a partner with CMSMART to grow your business?

In CMSMART, we not only provide amazing solutions for merchants wanting to start a Print on demand website but also offer all the eCommerce-related services in one place for varying sizes of businesses, from startups to enterprise-grade businesses. 

We are very happy that there are more and more customers who believe and choose CMSMART as a partner for their eCommerce project. Each customer’s success story also means one story about the success of our dedicated team. 

Contact our consultant - Mr. Vincent Ray through his email address vincent@cmsmart.net, WhatsApp +84 868 901 261, or Skype live:vincent_4281 today to get advice on your eCommerce project!