If you’re looking for online Photoshop alternative tools that your virtual team can use to create graphic designs and collateral materials for the promotion of your business, there is a myriad of choices available on the web. Finding one that’s right is just a matter of reviewing which Photoshop alternative fits your needs and budget.
Photoshop has long been held as the gold standard by photographers and graphic designers alike, which is why many professionals use it for their design and editing needs. The software is rich in features that enable the user to transform plain photos into professional-looking images. But with its hefty price tag, more and more entrepreneurs are looking into the best alternatives to Photoshop online, which, while they cannot replace the premium software completely, are able to achieve impressive design results nonetheless.
If you’re working with a virtual team in your business and you want them to create amazing graphic designs without you having to splurge on the entire Adobe Creative Suite, here’s how online Photoshop alternative tools can help you and your team achieve amazing designs:
- They are easy to use
- They are web-based and light on resources
- They are rich in features
- Low-to-no cost
- They integrate well with social media channels
- Designs are stored in the cloud
Advantages of using online Photoshop alternative apps
Ease of Use
Alternatives to Photoshop are easy to use and don’t require the user any knowledge on how to professionally edit photos. Most web-based tools like Canva, Polarr, and BeFunky have a drag-and-drop feature, which allows for creating graphics quickly and enables editing photos on the fly. The user interfaces of these Photoshop alternatives aren’t too shoddy either; some apps (like Photopea and Sumopaint) have similar workspaces to that of Photoshop, which is beneficial to members of your virtual team who are trained on the Adobe software. Other graphic design tools have simpler looks and functionalities but are still intuitive and able to get the job done.
Because these tools are user-friendly, anyone from your virtual team will be able to use them even without prior photo editing or design experience.
“Alternatives to Photoshop are easy to use and don’t require the user any knowledge on how to professionally edit photos.”
Web-based and light on resources
One of the good things about using Photoshop online alternative apps is that they don’t require as much resources from your system as Adobe Creative Suite does. These tools are largely available online with some apps needing only your browser to run. This means you won’t have to install any software or upgrade any component of your system as you can use the tool straight in your internet browser.
Having access to an online Photoshop alternative tool makes things more manageable with your virtual team. You only need to share your login details with them (or create user profiles for them in the app, if applicable) and they can start working on designs seamlessly wherever they are in the world.
On the plus side, some of these tools have a mobile app version as well, giving you and your virtual team members the ability to create designs and edit photos while on the go.
Rich in Features
The best Photoshop alternatives available online offer almost the same photo editing functionalities as Photoshop, such as pro-level tools, special artistic effects, filters, layer and masks options, the ability to save your work in various formats, and the like. Pixlr Editor is an amazing free Photoshop online alternative as it has advanced editing tools that the Photoshop enthusiasts in your virtual team will appreciate. Other free online graphic design apps have extensive resources such as pre-made templates, fonts, frames, icons, and other design elements.
Features like these make online photo editing apps more enticing to use. Existing templates can inspire your virtual team to create more engaging designs for your social media and digital marketing activities, and the powerful editing tools offered by some of the apps can be used for more advanced graphic design for your website and print collaterals.
“Because online Photoshop alternative apps are user-friendly, anyone from your virtual team will be able to use them even without prior photo editing or design experience.”
Low to No Cost
Online Photoshop alternative tools are marginally less expensive than an Adobe Creative Suite subscription. Similar to Photoshop, some alternatives offer a free trial before you start a subscription. Other apps have a free version that gives you access to basic tools which are already useful for creating amazing designs. These apps also provide you with the option to upgrade to their more premium plans, or to purchase their full downloadable software that you can use offline.
It all depends on what you can fit into your budget and what functionalities of a Photoshop online alternative you are looking for. To give you an idea, the photo editing tool PicMonkey offers their Basic plan for $7.99 USD per month (or $72.00 USD if billed annually)*, and with that you can use their extensive library of resources. If you want more perks like priority email support and font uploading capability, you can opt for their Pro plan, or the Team plan if you want to give your virtual team access to the tool.
Free Photoshop alternatives, on the other hand, only require you to sign up for an account (or you can use your Google or Facebook accounts to log in). Even without upgrading to their premium plans, you and your virtual team will be able to maximize the editing and designing features these apps offer. Some free apps, like Canva, unlock useful features if you subscribe to their Pro plan, such as the ability to resize any design into another format, sort your uploaded photos into folders, access to more design elements like icons, illustrations, and stock photos, and the ability to upload your brand kit, like your brand colors and fonts. This is especially useful if your virtual team regularly churns out designs for your social media channels, lending efficiency and consistency into their tasks.
Useful for social media networks
These days, it’s become easier to promote your brand and business because of social media. With this goal in mind, it’s a given that you would want the tool you and your team use for creating images and editing photos to make it simple for you to share on your social media accounts.
Some alternatives to Photoshop have a share-to-social-media feature where you can directly post the image or design onto your social media channels without having to leave the app. Most online graphic design tools can also optimize your designs according to the type of posts you create, sizing your images specifically for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. This takes away the need to customize image sizes for your social media accounts, although these tools do still let you design images with custom dimensions.
While it’s useful to have a photo editing software where you can save all your work into your local drive, it’s even better to have a tool that can save your WIPs on cloud storage. The best Photoshop alternatives have this feature (yes, even the free ones), and this benefits you when you want to have your virtual team members pick up where you left off on a design. It’s also convenient to have all your images in one place, enabling you and your team members to edit when needed without having to upload a design.
Not all web-based tools have this feature, however. Other online Photoshop alternative apps do offer an alternative way: you can save your designs on your cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Things to consider before using online Photoshop alternative tools
Like with any tool you’re looking to use, it’s best to weigh your options first before committing to an online photo editing app, especially if paying for a subscription is part of the plan.
Here are some points to think about when you’re shopping for online Photoshop alternatives:
- Identify the functionalities you and your team will need. Not all online tools are created equal; some are more feature-heavy than others, but at an additional cost.
- Another question you need to address when considering features is what will you use the tool for? Is it just for creating social media and promotional images, or more advanced graphic designs? Knowing what activities you’ll use the tool for with help you decide on what online tool to get and pay for.
- Take a look at what your budget allows. Free apps will only get you up to a certain point, and you may need to invest in a paid version if you want more advanced features. Most paid online photo editing tools offer trial periods before you buy, so you may want to test them out first.
Photoshop may be the first thing you think about when it comes to photo editing and graphic design, and many creative professionals have been using it for a long time. However, you don’t need a premium photo editing software to create equally amazing images and designs. When you want to improve and upgrade your digital and social media marketing game, you only have to look online to find what you need.
Online Photoshop alternative tools are a dime a dozen. They can do the job as well as Photoshop, often in half the time, and they offer numerous features that could benefit you and your virtual team. Figuring out what the best photo editing app is key; you need to weigh what functionalities you require for your design needs and the cost your budget allows. Ultimately, it’s the convenience and the ease of use of Photoshop alternatives online that benefits you and your remote team the most at a fraction of the cost.