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How to Develop a SaaS Platform like Canva? – A Breakdown of Costs and Other Important Factors

How to Develop a SaaS Platform like Canva? – A Breakdown of Costs and Other Important Factors

In today’s digital age, a lot of businesses invest in the development of custom applications and service-providing platforms. This is why development is a popular and expensive service, but the same goes for design services. In fact, the development of the numerous applications available in today’s industry wouldn’t have been possible without design services and applications.

This is why expert designers who can quickly design intuitive applications and visual elements are in huge demand. Numerous designers today use applications like Canva to easily create designs and ensure a quick turnaround time. So, if you are looking to invest in the development of a SaaS platform like Canva, now is the perfect time to do so.

Canva was launched by a young Australian entrepreneur who never thought that the app would gain such prominence. However, the app has quickly gained popularity and even though numerous similar apps have entered the market, none have quite made the mark like Canva did. Today, Canva is valued at $40 billion, which is why we believe that you must try your hand at developing a design platform like Canva. Worried that your design app will not be as successful as Canva? Well, fret not! To help you out and ensure that you can successfully develop a SaaS platform like Canva, we are here with a detailed guide.

Here, we will discuss what Canva is, why it is popular, some must-add features that you must consider when building an application, and the tech stack to use. We will also touch on the approximate cost required to successfully develop a SaaS platform like Canva. So, what are you waiting for? Jump right into this article and get started to ensure that you are on the right track to developing a popular design app like Canva.

Some Interesting Facts about Canva

Before we start discussing some interesting facts about Canva, check out our brief description of this app. So, Canva is a graphic designing app that was originally used by beginners to design visual elements and customized graphics. Owing to its simple drag-and-drop designing tool, Canva gained a lot of popularity and became an instrumental design tool. Today, even advanced graphic designers use Canva to quickly design deliverables or try out different graphic ideas.

Canva is a great tool that allows designers to create a range of visual products like social media posts, banners, advertisements, flyers, posters, and logos. Another great feature of the platform is that designers can find several ready-to-use elements like stickers and can simply add a text box for customized letterings. So, it is easy for designers and businesses to quickly design materials for personal and professional work, which has had a major contribution to the application’s popularity.

Built far away from Silicon Valley, Canva was launched in Australia with no expectation of gaining as much popularity as it has today. Some interesting facts about Canva that will surely inspire you to get started with developing a SaaS app like Canva include:-

  • Founded in 2013
  • Headquartered in Sydney, Australia
  • Current net worth of approximately USD 40 billion
  • Available as mobile (both Android and iOS) and web applications
  • Over 30 million monthly active users

Why Is Canva So Popular and How Does It Stand Out From the Crowd?

The prime reason that contributes to Canva’s popularity is the availability of its free version which includes numerous ready-to-use elements. Generally, other applications like Canva do not offer customers many features in their free app versions. You might have several mobile app ideas that resemble Canva, but before you invest in them, we recommend checking out these points that help the app stand out from the crowd:-

1.  Allows User Creativity

After the launch of Canva, designing, editing, and developing visual elements have become quite quick and easy. Owing to the numerous templates available and the platform’s drag-and-drop features, even beginners can get started with designing graphic elements.

2.  Huge Pool of Images

As mentioned, Canva offers users with numerous ready-to-use elements, but to be specific, the platform comes preloaded with over 3 million images. Users can easily use these images and combine them with the available fonts, style texts, and other available elements. If you are considering investing in SaaS app development, we recommend ensuring the launch of an app that is capable of offering users a large library of design elements.

3.  Low Cost

When developing a SaaS platform like Canva, another point to focus on is the platform’s low cost. Although Canva offers multiple packages, all of them are reasonable and provide users with numerous features.

4.  Ability to Share Designs

In today’s social media and digital world, most people love being able to showcase their creativity to the world. Canva allows designers to easily share their work directly to famous social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, making social media creation and management quite easy.

Features That You Must Consider When Developing a SAAS Platform like Canva

Key Features for Your Canva-like SAAS Platform

Before you partner with a mobile app development company to develop a SaaS platform like Canva, you must ensure that you have an idea about the features that you need to include. Some must-add features that we recommend adding to your application to ensure gaining Canva-like popularity are:-

1. In-Built PDF Editor

One of the fantastic features of Canva that has added to its popularity is its built-in PDF editor that allows users to quickly edit PDF documents. Ensure that you include this feature in your app and allow designers to save the edited document in multiple formats like PPT and SVG.

2. Live Features for Presentations

With the increased popularity of live webinars and remote meetings, ensure that your app allows users to present their creatives. This will aid companies and will increase the chances of your app being adopted as the official design tool for numerous businesses.

3. Text Animations for Eye-Catching Content

Since Canva allows users to quickly add text animations that help make content engaging, we recommend ensuring that your app does the same. Hire mobile app developers capable of implementing features that allow users to include dynamic text animations.

4. Ability to Create or Add Teams

Although designers can quickly develop visual creatives single-handedly, they might often need to collaborate with other team members. This is why adding a Teams feature can help and might be necessary for businesses with multiple designers working on a project.

5. Image Cropper and Editor

Often, designers might find that certain images need to be cropped or edited, and using another application for this simple action might be a hassle. Canva allows users to simply crop and edit their images on the platform and we recommend adding this feature to your Canva-like SaaS platform.

6. Photo Effects to Add Vibrance

As discussed, social media is an important part of our lives in this era and Canva allows users to add trendy filters to images. This has also contributed to the platform’s huge popularity and we recommend adding a few filters to your app to ensure success.

7. Transparent Images

Since transparent images are really versatile, ensure that users can create and download transparent images from your platform. It might be difficult to add this complex feature, which is why we recommend collaborating with a company offering professional mobile app design services.

8. Stickers

Stickers are a great way to ensure that a marketing or social media campaign will be successful. Since design apps are often used to design social media creatives, we recommend allowing users to add stickers to their visual creatives.

Other than these above-mentioned features, Canva offers other important features like frames and image textures that you must consider when developing a SaaS platform like Canva.

create a sass platform like Canva

What Does the Perfect Team for Developing a Designing App Like Canva Look Like?

Before you develop a designing app like Canva, there are numerous factors that you need to consider. The most important is the team structure since the skills of team members play a crucial role in the successful development and launch of a SaaS platform like Canva. Your perfect team for developing a SaaS platform like Canva must include:-

  • Project Managers
  • iOS and Android Developers
  • Requirement Analysts
  • Web Developers
  • UI/UX Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Quality Testers

Ensure hiring team members with relevant expertise and a wide portfolio to guarantee the success of your SaaS platform like Canva.

Which Tech Stack Should You Use to Develop a SAAS App Like Canva?

Since you are here reading this blog, we are sure that you are interested in developing a design app like Canva. To help you out, we have put together a list of the preferred tech stack, but you must note that it can vary based on project needs and the expertise of the team.

UsePreferred Technology
Mobile SDKAndroid, iOS
Developer StackVSCode, Bootstrap, AngularJS, jQuery, SASS, iTerm, MAMP
Creative PlatformsAdobe CS6, InVision, Axure, Skala/Sketch Mirror
NotificationsAmazon SNS, Twilio, Map, Push.IO, AdPushup
Cloud Storage and SolutionsAmazon AWS, Google Cloud
DatabasesMongoDB, Cassandra, MySQL, HBase
MessagingTwilio, Firebase
Location TrackingApple Maps, Google Maps
QR Code ScanningBar Code Reader, ZBar
Real-Time AnalyticsBig Data, Hadoop, Google Analytics
Payment IntegrationStripe, Net Banking, E-Wallets, E-Banking, Braintree, PayPal

How Much Would It Cost to Develop a SAAS Platform Like Canva?

Interested in finding out the approximate cost needed to create a graphic design SaaS platform like Canva? Although it can be difficult to determine the exact investment needed to build a SaaS platform like Canva, some aspects that can have an impact on the total cost required include:-

  • Adopted tech stack and team size
  • App features
  • Complexity and size of the app
  • Location and overall experience of the development team
  • App platform
  • App testing
  • UI/UX design

Other than the factors mentioned above, the total cost required to build an app like Canva also depends on the client’s requirements. However, you can expect your investment to range between $10,000 USD and $25,000 USD, subject to the app features, complexity, and other factors mentioned.

Conclusion

Canva is a great design element that aids beginners and small businesses in creating customized visual creatives at a low cost. Moreover, the app’s drag-and-drop feature makes the design process quite seamless and hassle-free. With proper planning and the right tools, you can surely create a successful SaaS platform like Canva.

Looking for expert help or professional development advice to aid you in this process? We recommend hiring a Canva app developer or partnering with a professional development company with years of experience. Get in touch with our team of application developers and graphic designers to take the first step toward bringing your Canva-like app ideas into reality!

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Written by Atman Rathod

Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having travelled to 38+ countries globally and provided more than $40m USD of software services, he is actively working with Startups, SMEs and Corporations utilizing technology to provide business transformation.

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