Of course, this method of photo etching was having it's drawbacks like I couldn't make double sided PCB, I had to add wires to the other side or to keep it into an intelligent shape and reroute the traces between the pads in the most efficient way.
during my pioneering years, back in 1997, i really didn't have access to software designing tools like the modern available ones. Now I'm using the latest version of LTspice and DipTrace to create and test my schematics. And of course, Dip trace also has the layout module which allows you to create your boards for free. Back then, the best method was to place the components on a paper covered styrofoam board and then copy the drawing to a copper laminate. I made my own ink from some bitumen solved into some paint solvent. I was then drawing the traces by hand using a pen and manually etching them using ferric chloride, nitric acid or hydrochloric acid with perhydrol. Of course this was very time consuming, the quality was low and I was very limited in what comes the number of traces per cm, the package of the components and the spacing.
After I moved on with the photo etching method, the things improved as I could suddenly use surface mount components, thinner traces (of 0.5 - 1 mm). But his wasn't good enough. I definitely needed a fast way of creating double sided PCB and the possibility of adding viases to the board.
Then I discovered some online websites which are providing prototyping for PCBs at lower prices. One of them is JLCPCB.com