When compared to other industries, we do believe web designers have it easy when it comes to web design tools. The great thing is that web designers have developers within easy reach, so anytime anyone thinks of a need, you’ll see that need developed a a tool for web desginers. Sometimes these tools are free, sometimes they’re paid, but almost all of them are pure awesomeness.
In todays post, we’re going to have a look at a bunch of web designing tools for beginners and more advanced web designers. We’re categorizing them by the specific needs a web designer will encounter during the process of creating a website.
On to our first web designer tools.
Create Awesome Graphics with these 10+ Easy Web Design Tools for Non-Designers
So you’re working on a project and you’ve got some brilliant ideas flashing through your mind. But you’re not quite sure of how to get them out of your head and onto paper. In a world where visual is everything, people who can’t draw a straight line without it looking like a seismic wave often end up puzzling over how to properly get their ideas out there.
Not everyone has the time to master the art of photoshop design, and some might have the time but not the skill. So we’re here to solve that problem. With a list of all things creative, ranging from image editing to video making, we’ve got it all, and what’s more is that these design tools all offer free options and provide an alternative to Canva, just in case you need a change.
If you’ve ever wanted to create an infographic with zero skills then you must have realised how difficult it can be. Not anymore. Piktochart allows you to quickly create eye-catching infographics to share online. With a variety of templates, icons, and plenty of help for a simple user experience it’s the perfect tool for a quick, eye-catching infographic.
If you’re working on the layout of a website then you’ve probably found yourself scribbling out some boxes on a page and labeling them. That is, of course, your wireframe. Moqups, similar to Cacoo allows you to create layouts of what you want something to look like. With a variety of free features, there’s plenty to play around with until you’ve achieved the desired effect.
Coggle allows you to easily create mind maps which you can invite friends to edit. Moreover, you can store your coggle creations on google drive or save them as a pdf. This makes it perfect for explaining a tricky plan or workflow layout to clients.
Here’s one for those who might want to plan layouts or products. TinkerCad is a free, more user-friendly version of AutoCad. It walks you through the step by step process of creating spatial layouts or product concepts whilst keeping a fun and easy to use interface. Go on, try it out!
“Photoshopping in your browser” is what the tagline says. Again this one requires more creative input, so if you’re not extremely confident with your skills you might want to get some practice in first!
DesignWizard is a great tool for those who want to design great-looking images and videos quickly. It simplifies things down to drag and drop, so it’s not a pure graphic design kind of tool. In fact, it is the perfect tool for those who want to design, but aren’t designers. Definitely, check this one out.
7. Deviant Art Muro
Brought to you by the creatives at Deviant Art perhaps this one’s slightly more complex, however, it’s great for some sketching and drawing without being too complicated. Try it out, you might create something new!
Linked to EverNote, Skitch allows you to annotate images or screenshots. It’s quick or easy to use and can be downloaded onto your computer. It’s perfect for giving feedback on design products, even allowing to blur out any sensitive date before sending for feedback.
If you’ve ever wanted to make a quick and catchy short video then try out Magisto. You can upload images or videos, select a theme, select or upload a song, and the program quickly creates a short clip just for you. While it might not be as great as a professionally shot video, if you need something in a jiffy then it’s ideal!
When adding images to a blog post you might have found yourself searching and searching for a particular word cloud. Well, wordle lets you create your own word cloud simply by copying and pasting a large chunk of text from your content on your blog. It also allows you to choose the colour and positioning of the words in the cloud.
Last but not least on our list of web design tools is Pixlr, a free image editing tool. Perfect if you can’t wrap your head around photoshop but still want to edit an image!
There you have it. Next time you’re stuck trying to design something remember these 10 awesome tools. They’re guaranteed to make your life much easier! While you’re at it, have you seen our epic list of 101 web designers tools list?
10 Free Editors, IDEs & Playgrounds for Web Designers
If you are a looking for the best code playgrounds or Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for your next web project, then you are at the right place – our next section of web design tools is about IDEs.
These environments provide all the developer-centric functions you’re going to need. Most of these editors will give you the opportunity to see every piece of code on one screen and see the results immediately, some of them with no need to upload pages to a server.
Whilst great for increasing productivity for experienced developers, these free HTML editors can also be very handy for someone starting to learn how to code. Of course, there are a lot of them out there, but we think that these are the most user friendly ones.
CSSDeck, besides being another developer playground for HTML, CSS and JS has something more to offer than the other two we have featured so far. This is that there is a gallery of ready-made useful code ready for you to drop onto your site. Since
the community is able to vote for the code which is most awesome, you can quickly find those really snazzy pieces of code which would take your website up a few notches very very quickly.
CSSDesk is also another basic editor ideally for beginners, as it’s extremely easy to use with basic web code. It’s a very simple tool that focuses purely on HTML and CSS. CSSDesk is split in three main sections: HTML, CSS and live preview, the sizes of which can all be easily tweaked with a click and drag. Apart from being able to see everything you need in one simple view, CSSDesk also has the syntax coloring feature.
By default, Dabblet is split into three tabs: CSS & Result, HTML & Result and Result. This provides flexibility and focus while allowing you to always keep an eye on the result. The split can be vertical, horizontal or taken out completely. There’s also an interesting “behind code” mode where your result is simply the background for the coding area.
It also has built-in context-sensitive code-hinting for the latest HTML and CSS standards as well as a range of jQuery libraries for both standard and mobile applications.
TextWrangler is the fastest and most functional editor in this list. This is basically the Mac version of the very similar editor Notepad++ used for Windows, and it performs well when it comes to case and order changing. The app can not only find and replace, but also replace and find, where you implement the text change first, then inspect the text lines to check whether the effect is what you intended. It also comes with an autosave feature, so you won’t have the nightmare of constantly remembering to save the file when you’re changing or editing very small bits of code repetitively. Apart from that, it changes syntax colors for numerous source code languages, can do code folding, integrates directly with FTP and SFTP for opening and save remotely, has AppleScript support, Mac OS X Unix scripting support, and much more.
Moving on to a far more advanced environment, NetBeans IDE is the official IDE for Java 8 so it is naturally used mainly for developing with Java, but also with other languages, in particular PHP, C/C++, and HTML5. NetBeans IDE is free to use, open source, and spectrum of users and developers from all over the world. The NetBeans Platform allows applications to be developed from a set of modular software components called modules, which requires a much more fully-fledged editor to be completed.
8. Aptana Studio
Brackets is a lightweight, yet powerful, modern open source text editor that understands web design. This tool has the most alluring interface and it gets updated with new features and extensions every 3 to 4 weeks, so it’s quite difficult to go wrong when using this editor. With this tool it is also relatively easy to get clean, minimal CSS straight from a PSD with no generated code.
If you found these useful why not check out this list. It’s got a couple of other tools similar to these along with many other useful tools for web development!
Color – it’s the basis of great web design. If you’re not getting color right, you’ll need to rethink your career 😉 These web design tools with free download will help you to get your colors right.
10 Color tools for your web design project
Web design is all about visuals, and colors pay a key role in how people react to your work. Colors affect a person’s mood and outlook, they act as a symbol of what you represent, and are an important part of brand identity.
We’ve compiled on our list of web design tools, our top ten color tools along with a reason as to why we love them so much!
This one’s a fun one! It allows you to pick out different colors from a range and then match up other colors in order to create a palette. You can then choose to save the palette so as to send it to any clients. Check it out – even if it’s not what you’re looking for, it’s fun to play with!
2. Shutterstock Spectrum – No longer available
Sometimes in order to decide if the color you’re looking for works or not you might want to see it as an image. Shutterstock spectrum allows you to see images containing that particular color. Use the slider to explore different options and see what different colors are associated with.
If you’re trying to get a palette with matching colors but aren’t very talented in that department then paletton will be of great help! You pick your primary color and then pick from the variations of color shades and watch as you customize your color palette.
If you’re looking for an awesome color picker then this is perfect! Simply install the extension and use the picker to select colors from different designs in order to copy that shade – perfect if you’re working within brand guidelines. What’s more is that the tool automatically stores a history of your selected colors – completely hassle free.
This handy tools allows you to get an example of what contrasting colors would look like – helping you avoid any clashes and giving you inspiration for new layouts and themes. Check it out!
Colr allows you to upload an image in order to see what colors that image is made up of. This is great if you’re trying to create a mood board in order to show what colors to use. Breaking the image down to just colors takes the focus off what the image represents and shows you just the colors – giving you a more objective view!
Simply search for a theme or place (for example spring) and see what colors turn up. The tool isn’t always reliable though so do try some other options whilst using this as a reference.
8. Color Hail Pixel
This one’s quite fun – simply move your mouse across the screen and click when you’ve found the color you like. Keep doing this until you create your palette. If you’re bored why not just move your mouse randomly – clicking whenever you feel like in order to create a wacky (but perhaps inspirational) palette!
9. 0 to 255
If you’re stuck on which colors to use check out the great board on 0 to 255. Once you’re there just click the color you like and explore different shades! Pretty straight forward right?
10. Color Thief
Simply upload your image to find out which is the dominant color within it. This is great if you’d like to get some inspiration from different website’s photography and imagery.
Which tools do you find indispensable – let us know! In the meantime, why not check out our free fonts for fickle folks!
On to our next collection of web design tools, this time we’re taking a look at CSS tools, particularly for those who are not particuarly in love with CSS.
8 CSS Web Design Tools for CSS Phobics
Yes, we all know that CSS might take a lot of time to get it right, so we thought of gathering some tools that you as a coder will find useful. The truth is that developing and designing are very different skills, and developers might need assistance to be able to bring out awesome designs and create a great user experience design.
Below, you can find 8 CSS based web design tools that will help you get your work done faster, create better organised layouts and minimise the efforts, especially if you have just started coding.
When time is an issue there’s Stylizer that will help you style websites in a fraction of the time. It’s available for free for Windows and even for Mac and installs in seconds. Styliser will help you transform your work to an efficient process, as it simplifies code. Your style sheets open automatically and your changes appear instantly—as you type, click, or drag the mouse. It also has a feature that lets you preview side-by-side panes that make responsive cross-browser design a breeze. The unique benefit about this is that you can instantly switch between major browsers, and you will be able to get a preview before you save the file.
2. Enjoy CSS
Yes, you will definitely start enjoying CSS if you didn’t know about this tool. It make CSS so easy, it lets you choose what you want to achieve with a step by step interface. EnjoyCSS is an advanced CSS3 generator that allows you to get rid of routine coding and saves you a lot of time. It’s handy and simple user interface allows you to adjust rich graphical styles quickly and without coding.
Jeet is a lightweight, responsive framework which gets away from presentational classes, instead focusing on markup, style and semantics. Jeet allows you to express your page grid the same way a human would describe it. No more needlessly nesting elements and rigid twelve column rules. Enjoy building faster with less code, and more flexibility with Jeet.
4. Magic Animation CSS3
Magic CSS3 Animations is a package of CSS3 animations with special effects that you can freely use for your web projects. It’s like a library of animations you might find useful for some fun projects that require a bit of a movement.
Animate.css is very similar to Magic CSS3 Animations. It’s a simple CSS library that saves you from writing a few more lines of CSS to animate elements on your website. Actually, that is pretty much it, and that’s exactly what makes it such an awesome library. It takes you not more than fifteen minutes to understand how it works, and another few minutes to have the skills necessary to apply it.
6. CSS Menu Maker
Use MenuMakers to easily build clean, responsive website navigations. Menu Maker provides the average webmaster with tools to create custom, cross browser compatible CSS menus. The menu generator makes it easy to create custom CSS menus without having to know all the complicated code. They also provide the source code for all the CSS menus so that you can download for free, tweak, and integrate as much as you want.
Formoid is the tools you should go to for creating beautiful web forms a cinch and a joy. With a no-coding drag-n-drop GUI, trendy Flat, Metro, Bootstrap form themes, pure css styled, responsive, retina-ready form elements, as-you-type validation, anti-spam captcha – Formoid is a just incredible form tool! The web form is a core method of interaction of any website and a clean, friendly, attractive form is absolutely vital to minimize errors or failed submissions. Formoid is an awesome tool combining latest design ideas and most advanced web techniques to help you create your best forms.
extractCSS is an online tool which can extract ids, classes and inline styles from HTML document and output them as CSS stylesheet. All you have to do is to type or paste your HTML document and let extractCSS to do the rest for you.
We hope you found some good web design tools that you can use for your current projects. We would like it if you can also share with us the best CSS tools around in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Once you’re ready from the coding and design, you’ll need to make sure your testing reveals any glitches in the different browsers. Next on our web designing tools list are browser testing tools.
Top Web Design Tools to Easily Test Your Site Across Various Browsers and Devices
The testing phase is vital to any website development project.
We know how difficult it can be to test you newly developed site on all browsers and all devices available. This is why we have prepared a list of tools where you can easily test your site across various browsers and devices. Responsive design is becoming a very natural option when designing a new website and this obviously involves a lot more testing.
After the design and website is ready, developers will always struggle with a lot of browser testing, and trying their website on different devices is always a hassle. It’s quite embarrassing if you happen to be in front of your clients and suddenly realise that the website doesn’t appear well on mobile devices. You can also use these tools if you have just started developing to see whether you are coding properly or not.
As these web design tools are more or less very similar to each other, here we gathered the best features of them all.
Browsera tests and reports cross-browser layout differences and scripting errors on your site. It will automatically notify you of possible cross-browser layout problems it finds while testing your site. Instead of having to check out each screenshot on your own, you’ll get a report detailing which pages have potential problems. You can quickly see the problems indicated as each screenshot is highlighted in the problematic areas.
Browsera is like a tester, looking for visual discrepancies between different browsers. It’s great for testing websites that use technologies like AJAX and DHTML. So, even if your pages load dynamic content or change the layout of the page, you’re covered. Browsera waits until the page has finished loading prior to testing.It’s also great to know that you don’t need to install anything to use this tool.
CrossBrowserTesting is another tool you can use for live testing with the ability to get automated screenshots. They also offer localhost support for those having server issues. This tool is also very efficient when testing on mobile platforms and lets you test behind logins.
Browserling’s best features are that they run your testing web pages in their infrastructure so you don’t have to worry about getting infected with viruses or trojans. You can also capture, send and save screenshots of your web page in various browsers.
Whatever your setup, Ghostlab fits in unobtrusively and aids common tasks like compiling code automatically. Out of the box Ghostlab is bundled with Less, SCSS, Haml, Jade, Stylus, Coffeescript, and more.
5. Browser Stack
BrowserStack lets you test in real browsers including Internet Explorer 6,7,8,9,10 and 11. The tool also gives you the chance to test your web pages across a large range of devices. Other features include pre-installed developer tools for quick cross-browser testing and debugging, superfast cloud-based access and testing on multiple flavors of Windows and OSX operating systems. No installation required to use this tool.
BrowseEmAll ensures you are able to live test your page, get automated screenshots and be reassured about your website’s compatibility. Some features include: Desktop browser testing with just one click, mobile simulators to test for different devices, screenshots, and being able to see problems directly in your code. BrowseEmAll also allows you to test browsers and mobile devices simultaneously.
7. Sauce Labs
Sauce Labs tests are run in their secure data center and VMs are destroyed after each run, ensuring customer data is never exposed to future sessions. Access over 450 desktop browsers and mobile platforms and eliminate the overhead of internal infrastructure. The tools is designed for testing in a Continuous Integration workflow with a focus on reliability and scale so you can go to market faster. Other features include: identify test failures quickly with screenshots, video recordings, and detailed logs.
Apart from these tools, one can find a whole lot more of very similar ones, but another tool we thought of sharing with you as a bonus is Litmus, which is a very powerful tool for testing email marketing campaigns.
Now that you’ve got your web design tools sorted, you’ll need to make sure you keep yourself productive. Here’s our selection of tools for web designers which are specifically aimed at productivity.
Boost Your Productivity with these 7 Management & Productivity Tools
Sometimes, the more work you have, the less able you are to do it.
You’re stuck staring at your monitor for hours trying to focus and get your act together. Other times you’ve got so much going on that you become a complete scatterbrains and cave under the pressure!
Not to worry, we’re here to help!
Check out our list of 7 must have management and productivity tools for making your life easier!
1. Google Keep
Google keep is a very simple note taking application by the lords at Google. If you’ve got an android phone you can download the app, which syncs to your google account, allowing you to access your lists on the go, even on your computer. If you’re an apple lover then you can download Go Keep for Google Keep, which is as close to the real thing as it gets! Google Keep allows you to add images, voice notes, or normal to- do lists. What’s more is that you can create reminders based on your location. That means that if you’ve got a to do list for work, you will only be reminded once you’re actually at work!
Perfect for separating your work life from your personal life!
Trying to keep track of your time and work flow?
Toggl allows you time how long it’s taking to work on a project. It also allows you to view reports of you worksheets. This is perfect if you’re trying to analyse the way you work. It can help you learn which are your peak hours, and which sort of tasks take longest. It’s also useful if you’re a freelance worker and want to know how many hours to bill clients for.
3. Tab Condenser
Sometimes all you really need is a clean slate – but how can you do that when you’ve got about 15-30 tabs open in your browser? Condense Open Tabs allows you to condense all the tabs , giving you a link which you can save for later – or share with a colleague!
You might be familiar with Rainy mood, in that case why not try Soundrown? It provides all sorts of ambient music – from rain, to railway tracks, to crackling fire… whatever you want, it’s there!
Slightly different from the usual ambience music, Stereomood allows you to choose playlists based on your mood. There’s all sorts – from ‘coding’ to ‘happy’. It might just be what you need if you need to drown out the sounds of your surroundings and truly focus.
6. Time Out
Spending the day sitting at your desk could be exactly what’s sucking all of the motivation and inspiration out of you. It recommends frequent breaks (based on your settings) which range from a simple 15 seconds for you to stretch, or a full 10 minutes for you to walk around the office or go outside for some fresh air!
Boomerang allows you to schedule your e-mails so that they can go out in advance. Perfect if you’re planning your week. It also allows you to send out regular reminders, track whether or not people have opened their e-mail, and sends the e-mail back to you if the person hasn’t read or replied to the e-mail – allowing you to chase after them if necessary.
And there you have it – a complete list of web design tools which will jump start your web design skills. Do you have any suggestions for us?
If you liked this post why not check out our epic 101 Tools for Web Designers? Or subscribe to our newsletter for our latest blog posts direct to your inbox!
Hi David, thanks for writing the article. I Like Piktochart, and I recommend another useful online tool for non designers: Tonomatograph.com. They have cool free templates for flyers, A3 posters, A4 presentations and so much more.