- Free version: Yes
- Ease of use: Good
- Customer support: Great
- Templates: None
Last Updated: January 22, 2021
- Free version: Yes
- Ease of use: Good
- Customer support: Great
- Templates: None
- Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iPad
- Coding: No
- Best features: Awsome layer system, filters, web optimization, website layout tools, and more
BEST FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
- Most powerful image editor on the market
- Unmatched versatility
- Incredibly stable
- Great for mockups
- Learning curve
- Can only be rented
Photography (bundled with Lightroom) (20GB)
Photography (bundled with Lightroom) (1TB)
What Is Photoshop?
This is primarily an image editor but, as this Photoshop website design review is about to show, it has a plethora of other uses. Graphic designers use it most, but it can also be used for web page design to a great effect
How Does Photoshop Work?
Photoshop combines various image editing adjustments with drawing tools and filters. Since it is suitable for building any sort of visual, including web, assets, Photoshop is good for web designs too. Its numerous image saving options also help it fully optimize files for any use, which comes in especially handy here.
Ease of Use
Adobe Photoshop reviews rarely mention its complexity, which is great. For the most part, it’s simple enough for everyone to hop in but pretty complex for professional work. Achieving mastery requires a lot of effort, but at the end of the day, it is worth it.
Photoshop for Image Editing
There are too many image editing options to list, so in this part of our detailed Photoshop review, we’re going to list those that are best suited for web design.
The building ground of any Photoshop project, layers allow you to work on multiple things simultaneously without making the workspace cluttered.
In Photoshop Creative Cloud, you can process images by using tools such as Color Balance, Levels, and Hue/Saturation. This is important because no website builder or programming language can offer this level of freedom regarding image editing.
Whether you want to blur or sharpen an image, or just give it an artistic touch, with Photoshop filters you can do it within a few seconds. The Lens Correction tool is also a welcome addition for more complex photographs.
One of the most important Adobe Photoshop image editing features here is the advanced saving options. Photoshop lets you take care of saving options that are crucial for web design, such as file format, dimension, and compression settings.
Image File Format
It is well-advised to save Photoshop CC projects as separate files, but in order to get your images on the Web, it’s important to save image files too. The only formats you really need are jpg, png, and gif and Photoshop supports them all.
This is a compressed image file format that supports many colors. Because of its small size, it’s ideal for websites, making it the most common image file format on the internet. It does not support transparency or animation, however.
PNG images are ideal for transparent and overall simpler imagery, but it is uncompressed, meaning that these image files are bigger. Photoshop designers should be careful when using it because it is not good for web optimization.
GIF is the only popular image file format that supports animated images, but is also uncompressed and can only use 256 colors at most.
Photoshop allows you to change the dimensions of images or the canvas you’re working on. By decreasing the canvas or image size, an image’s resolution will drop, and so will its file size.
After you save a picture, Photoshop lets you review the image compression options. There is a slight compression by default, but you can increase it to further reduce file size.
Photoshop for Web Assets
Even though it is not known for setting web design trends, you can easily make assets for web designs with Photoshop. Once you get the hang of it, it is rather easy to make logos, icons, buttons, and banners. This is where its graphic design options, such as shape creating and gradients, truly shine.
This set of tools lets you make rectangles, circles, and other custom shapes, all helpful if you decide to design a website in Photoshop. These are the most important for creating assets.
Gradients are not easy to utilize but are crucial to making your Photoshop web assets look more professional. The line between a good gradient and a bad one is very thin, though, so these should be used with caution.
When it comes to the number of gradient settings available, Photoshop is incredibly hard to beat. You can use it to add a huge number of colors to a gradient and define its shape. Transparency and blending modes are also available, and so is a precise color picker that also lets you choose colors by entering hex codes.
The famous Brush tool in Photoshop wasn’t created for web designs, but it is complementary to gradients in terms of detailing. The numerous brush presets, combined with the hardness setting, make for a good way to add the finishing touch to assets.
Photoshop for Website Layouts
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Photoshop doesn’t have a web layout feature. There are only features that partially make up for this. If you find this crucial, you’re better off going for a web design software such as Dreamweaver.
Although it isn’t meant to be one of the alternatives to Dreamweaver, you can still design websites with Photoshop, and its unparalleled freedom makes it great for designing mockups. You can doodle around with a brush, create custom shapes, or use various fonts to create any text object you’d like. It can’t get much better than that for sketches.
With the Adobe Illustrator-like artboards in the newer Photoshop Creative Cloud versions, you can work on multiple screen sizes at a time. It’s not the best responsive design workaround, but people who rely on mockups will come to appreciate it.
Photoshop Main Strengths
Below are some of the most important Adobe Photoshop strengths for web design.
Versatility and Power
Photoshop CC has been an industry standard since its inception, and it still gets new tools every year. You can use it for vector graphics, 3D modeling, animation, you name it. Sure, there is a specialized alternative for each of these, but no other software combines all of them into one big package.
Mockups and Assets
Thanks to its various easy-to-use shape tools, combined with artboards and the freedom it offers, Photoshop is great for creating website mockups and assets.
Images are some of the most important elements a website can have, but they need to be small enough not to slow down websites. Luckily, Photoshop can help with that with its numerous compression methods.
Photoshop Web Design Issues
Despite its reputation as the best image manipulation tool, Adobe Photoshop’s tools for web design are not without error.
Unable to Build Websites
This one is a no-brainer. While it can help design websites, Photoshop is not a website builder, and it does not use code.
Lacks Responsive Design
Even though this was partially fixed with the addition of artboards, Photoshop does not fully support responsive web designs yet. You will still have to create multiple artboards and edit them by yourself, with no means of automatic element size adjustments.
Because of its huge popularity, it’s easy to find a web design tutorial for Photoshop, but it still isn’t a very simple program to use. If you’re completely new to web design, we recommend that you look for a website design and hosting service such as Webflow instead.
There is a 7-day free Photoshop trial, as well as one individual and two photography plans. The latter come together with Lightroom, an image editor for photographers. All the mentioned paid plans give you a free month of Adobe Stock.
Photoshop – With this plan, you get Adobe Photoshop for Mac or PC, Photoshop for iPad, Adobe Fresco, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark, coupled with 100 gigabytes of photo cloud storage. This plan can be yours for $31.49 per month, $20.99 per month for the annual plan, or $239.88 if you pay for the annual plan in one go.
Photography (20 GB) – Other than Photoshop for desktop and iPad, you get both Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, Adobe Spark, and 20 gigabytes of cloud storage. Photography plans only have annual subscription options. This Adobe Photoshop plan has a cost of $119.88 if you pay for it all at once, or $9.99 per month for 12 months.
Photography (1 TB) – This plan increases the available cloud storage to 1 terabyte, but comes with no other improvements. It costs $239.88 if paid for immediately, or $19.99 per month for a year.
A bad Photoshop support review is yet to be found in 2021. The official Adobe website has a Help Center, community forum, and chat. This is not to mention numerous tutorials and courses that are available online or the official Photoshop subreddit. The program is so stable that a majority of its users never had the need to contact user support, and those who did were astonished.
Photoshop User Reviews
Every single aspect of this program receives rave reviews a day in and day out. It’s such an established program used by many for tens of years it’s getting harder to find a single bad Photoshop review on Reddit.
The only things that users occasionally critique are the stability of new versions and the time it takes customer support to reply. Even these, however, are a minority of all cases and are somewhat normal for a program like this.
When to Use Photoshop
Photoshop is a program that’s intended for image and graphic designers above all, but nearly anybody can find a use for it. Unfortunately, unlike website builders such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop has no web layouts. That said, you should consider some of the Dreamweaver alternatives if you are not interested in Photoshop’s non-web design features. On the flip side, if you’re thinking about getting Photoshop mostly for those, you should.
Photoshop vs GIMP
GIMP is the most popular and the best free Photoshop alternative a designer could ask for. It’s not as filled with features, but at least it’s open-source and it’s supported on Linux. However, if you’ve ever used Photoshop before, getting used to GIMP won’t be all that pleasant.
Photoshop vs Affinity Photo
If you’re willing to spend cash on a Photoshop alternative for designing web sites, but not on a monthly basis, Affinity Photo is for you. It’s a much better option than GIMP because its GUI is very similar to Photoshop’s, it’s faster and more powerful overall.
Photoshop vs Figma
Designing a website in Photoshop is a doable task, but it falls short compared to Figma, whose primary purpose is design. Other Figma advantages include having an actual free plan and collaboration features. Most importantly, it’s much better for responsive and interactive design.
There is probably not a single negative Photoshop review – be that professional or by end-users – which tells us more than enough about it. It is just that good. Sure, it’s not the best do it yourself website designer, not even the best for following web design principles, but even so, it does the job. Whatever task remotely similar to image manipulation you need to do, Photoshop is the place to do it.
Yes. After all these years, new features are still being added to this great program. Photoshop CC 2021, for example, received the Object Selection tool and improved transform options.
You cannot make a website in Photoshop, but you can use it for web design.
Yes, all the time. This should not come as a surprise, since this program has been an industry standard from the moment of its inception.
Its monthly fee can go anywhere between $10 and $32. Check out the Pricing section of this Photoshop review to find out more.
Web design is not what Photoshop was made for, so if you are thinking about getting it just for that one goal, think twice. If not, go for it. You won’t regret it.