BaseKit raises $2.6m for its 'Photoshop-to-website' service, launches in UK and US

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BaseKit, which lets designers build websites from a Photoshop concept without the need to write code, has secured a $2.6m Series A round from Eden Ventures and NESTA (the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

Today also sees the startup, which was a Seedcamp winner in 2008, launch in the UK and US.

BaseKit, founded by web design entrepreneurs Simon Best, Richard Best and Richard Healy in 2008, wants to streamline the process by which designers turn their visual into actual working websites, most of which work up their finished concept in Photoshop and then often struggle with or outsource the coding skills required to make it a reality. BaseKit adds a degree of automation to the process by “reducing iterative development tasks through a common, fully hosted framework”, enabling working websites to be created faster and without the need to write HTML/CSS. There are also a number of ready-to-use features “from contact forms to social networking” via a drag ‘n’ drop interface.

Users can try BaseKit for free or build a full website with unlimited pages, starting from £5 a month or $8, which could work out at very good value for turning around jobs that aren’t too complex, quickly.

Juan Lobato, CEO of BaseKit, makes the case: “Web designers waste hours coding or spend money hiring someone else to do the job for them. There is no reason to do things this way when you use BaseKit and we see it as a huge market opportunity. By streamlining the process, and becoming the missing link between Photoshop and a live site, BaseKit can become the standard way for web professionals to get their creations online.”

Following a private beta, BaseKit claims more than 20,000 registered users.

  • Ryan

    Maximum design, minimum time!

  • markus

    PSD2CSSOnline has been providing this type of service for years and supports advanced javascript animations, multi-layers in photoshop, etc

    Arent you guys supposed to research a company’s competitors when you write these posts?

  • News June 16th 2010 «

    […] Photoshop-To-Website Service BaseKit Launches In UK and U.S. After Raising $2.6m […]

  • Karen

    Just looked at the PSD2CSSOnline documentation,
    extensive and long; the BaseKit layer convensions are a lot easier to use.

    • markus

      I’ve used PSD2CSSOnline and it’s not difficult to use at all. And in terms of documentation being extensive…isnt that a good thing?

      Have you actually used either service Karen?

  • Shekhar Sahu

    I wonder who uses such services instead of contacting directly to the webdesigners!

    • Ryan

      Most of the BaseKit customers actually are webdesigners – they’re building the site design for a client in PSD, and then using BaseKit to build it quickly, make client revisions quickly, and then host it with minimal effort. (Disclosure – I do work there, so know a bit about the model)

      • Bogdan

        Some inside information though. :)

        Well thanks Ryan, was having the same question as Sahu, you’ve answered both.

  • Thierry Ruiz

    If you are interested in this kind of service, checkout to create you own template online for free.

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  • Alvaro Ruiz

    I wonder if this is a service like Homestead or Intuit, in wich the clients build their own website in a couple of minutes. The new thing here is the Photoshop Concept.

  • crash

    Death to the developers!!!

    Why don’t designer’s just learn how to code? Most of the developers I know are decent enough designers and took the time to learn about type and design principles. I took me about 6 months to learn HTML & CSS and about 18 months before I was really proficient at it.

    To me, this is not a huge time investment.

    Designers would help themselves if they just learn to code. Most agencies these days want people who are capable of designing AND coding their sites.

  • danf

    um who calls themselves a web designer and does not handle their own html/css?

    that would be a graphic designer really…

    • Paula

      Um, I do. I can code a site, but I am much slower than my developers. I prefer to spend my time designing beautiful, user-friendly experiences for my clients, and letting my team of developers build the experiences in html, php, wordpress, actionscript, fbml or whatever the job calls for. It is just more efficient cost-wise and time-wise.

  • papaman

    every serious design studio or front-end developer knows that you need to hand-write html/css/javascript if you want to build good websites.

    I saw some HTML examples from Basekit and this is exactly what I was expected. No Semantic coding, Not Valid code, no IE6 support, DIVs everywhere and CSS code is like a bomb exploded in it :)

    Designers need to understand that web development is not just about slice a PSD to HTML. Is about writing good, semantic, organized, SE Optimized code. Your clients might don’t know anything about good coding but they will learn the hard way when they will need to update the code, re-code some parts of it or do some SEO.

    PSD to HTML is not fast food. Hire a professional to do the job.

    • Ryan

      We actually spent a lot of time ensuring that BaseKit sites conform to strict HTML standard. For instance, here’s the link of (which is itself built in BaseKit) passing the XHTML 1.0 Strict checks on the W3C validator:

      Our CSS code is compressed for SE efficiency. Any user of BK can define global styles that are contained within the central CSS file, limiting repetitive style usage and file bloat.

      Of course, some users do want to use inline CSS, and we provide that option. Up to them. Some might also overwrite the HTML so it no longer conforms to strict standards. Also up to them. We don’t feel we need to impose a straightjacket on those to whom having strict standards isn’t the top priority.

      But out of the box, if someone doesn’t go in and make changes, BK sites have the most efficient, SE friendly autogenerated pages around.

      • papaman

        are you trying to convince me that by putting 10 level DIVs, then put an ol/li and then another 3 level DIVs is a good way of coding websites? You’ve got to be kidding me!

        Here is a copy from source:

      • papaman

        I tried to put some html source code above but the system discard it. Check basekit source code and you will see what I mean:


      • Ryan

        I’m not going to say we can generate THE most efficient code – certainly someone optimizing manually can still do a more impressive job. That said, we spend a LOT of time working to improve our content/code ratio, while still maintaining the ability to do all edits entirely within the browser. Ensuring you have a synched version both editable and live inherently means there will be some compromises. That said, if you relish the challenge and are looking, we’re always looking for good problem solvers on the team :)

        However, we do ensure that the code complied with strict tests and that’s the SE friendly….and we continue to improve that every day. I’d definitely say we’re the best on the market I’ve seen. Not every can afford someone to optimize their code – someone looking to spend under a few thousand dollars on their first ever business website for the first year or two is in a very different boat than someone looking to manage an active SEO strategy. So, BaseKit fills that niche for those folks – quite well.

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  • Reg

    2 things. Are the amount of websites that can be uploaded on the packages per month? If not that makes no sense, and if so why only up to 5 sites? Too few. 2nd. Do you see conversion for different CMS like wordpress, drupal, joomla and the like? That’s what I see as being needed.

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