Web design is considered the most important step of a website development project. It plays an important role in the usability and attractiveness of the site. A designer must be equipped with the best programs and tools before getting started on such a web site.
Development of a great website involves many aspects, in this article we have tried to handpick a variety of tools that are needed for day to day needs of web designers and developers. We have included the best text, image editing software along with many other types of tools and programs that are used by expert website designers in almost every website building project.
Whether you are a first-time web designer wanting to build your first website or a skilled webmaster ready to reenter the PC world of web design, the following top tools for web designers, can help you sort through the clutter.
Old-timers may remember this Gecko-based HTML editor, which still appeals to the novice designer. KompoZer’s contemporary, open-source FTP and CSS editor works with a user-friendly, tabbed interface.
- Aptana Studio
Web design and development requires constant creativity for every new project. There are great designers around that world who like to share their designs. Are you looking around for some inspiration and a top web design agency? Check out these sites
- Dribbble : This is a show off the platform for the designers. You can use this for posting projects or getting inspiration from around the world.
- Concept Feedback : This is a really useful website for getting your website reviewed by experts. This is also a great place to find inspiration for your new project.
Is a Firefox extension developed by Yahoo for the performance tuning of a website? This can help you target the right area in your website to focus on performance. This is also available on chrome, safari and other browsers.
Wireframing And Mockup Tools
Balsamiq is one of the favorite tools for creating quick mockups and wireframes. This is now also available on google drive apps. So you can easily share your mockups on google drive for collaboration.
Go mockingbird is a web-based mockup tool, with limited free functionality. I find it really handy to do work in a team since its web-based.
There are other good wireframe and prototyping tools alternatives available that you may want to check out.
Responsive Design Frameworks
Responsive design is the hot need of current web site design. You may want to pick a really nice responsive framework for your site instead of coding from scratch. The best and popular ones are listed here, however, feel free to look out for more as your needs change.
This is one of the most popular responsive design framework developed by twitter. It can really be helpful for a quick start and awesome look and feel.
- Foundation framework
Foundation is a responsive web design framework that can be used as a starting point for your web designing projects, It is a quick prototyping tool. It uses a flexible grid layout that can scale out to an arbitrary size
Multimedia And Image Editing Tools
GNU Image Manipulation Program is the most powerful free photo editor available on almost all major platforms. It can import and edit PSD files and convert them to any format. It has extensive feature support for layering with lots of community support.
- AJAX Animator
Web developers once thought that AJAX would one day replace Flash. These days, this web tool is a widely-used, GIF, SVG, and SWF animator.
Having a problem designing graphics? Inkscape allows web designers to draw freely by the use of an illustration editor with SVG graphics technology. Similar to CorelDraw, this open-source web tool is good for creating interface elements.
Color Experiments And Tools
Trying out a different color scheme for every new site is one of the most common needs for making a site unique. There are thousands of free templates available on the web and by just doing simple color changes on them you can achieve a fantastic site with an awesome unique look and feel.
- Adobe Kuler
This is one of my favorites, if you are not really good at picking good color combinations don’t worry. The Adobe Kuler is a free web-based tool where a lot of great like-minded designers share their color choices and you can pick your favorite from the popular ones or search based on specific needs.
Designing graphics gets a whole lot easier when webmasters have a CSS gradient generator and analyzer at hand to find the CSS’s rules in a web page’s color scheme. ColorZilla
adds this feature in its tool section in the Firefox browser.
- Google Webfonts
This is a powerful and Free tool to implement awesome new fonts in your design.
- Font Squirrel
Another good library of hundreds of free fonts for commercial use.
Collaboration is required for big projects where you are working with multiple team members. These are the tools you can use to improve your day to day tasks.
Through online design collaboration, Cage eliminates inefficient emailing that occurs between workgroups and designers when sharing creative work. Using this web tool can lead to faster approvals, smarter revisions, and better communication among the workforce.
Trello is a decent todo list tracking system available online for free. This can be easily used for online task tracking and can be accessed from any place.
Web Publishing/Authoring Tools
Most web designers consider this popular, self-hosting, blogging platform a must-have tool. WordPress is a free and easy-to-use CMS that is expandable. It also includes a number of ready-made themes and templates for the first-time user.
Webmasters searching for a free, Content Management Framework tool to handle their CMS can take a look at Drupal, an expandable open-source instrument widely-used for distributing web content to small or large sites.
FTP And SFTP Clients
Transferring files to and from remote servers is a common need for web designers and developers. I prefer these tools.
This is one of the most popular Firefox add-ons in the software development community.
This is open-source free software that can be used for any FTP server, it also has a server software available in case you are interested in hosting your own FTP server.
- Google Analytics
Statistics are always needed when analyzing search criteria, tracking ads, or looking at demographics. Google Analytics gathers this information and much more, giving web developers a powerful tool for making their websites more user-friendly.
This is a free open source tool that can be self-hosted and used for running your own analytics. This can be really handy for companies that do not like to share their stats with other external providers like google.
You may also want to check out more web analytics alternatives for your website.
Web design is not just for Mac users anymore. Microsoft has reignited the public’s interest in personal computing with the introduction of its Windows 8 operating system, which has raised the demand for webmasters to add new PC tools to their web belt.
Revamped, PC web-editing suites that bundle graphic design programs inside some easy-to-use HTML editors are now out there for downloading. Web designers can also find flash and graphics, CSS-scripting, workflow, and testing development add-ons in the new Windows 8 application-store, but the question is, “Which tools are the best to choose?”
Hope you find these tools useful, do you think we have missed out on any good tools? Don’t forget to share your comments.