40 Must See Free Web Design Tools

Article written by:
  • Web Tools
  • Aug 02, 2013

From adding CSS to a web page to plugging in a bit of javascript, web designers can spend thousands of dollars on costly software. That might not seem like a big investment to the larger web design firms, but a freelance web design may have a limited budget.

Fortunately, there are numerous free design tools for webmasters.

1. Mockingbird

This online tool allows web designers to create a mock-up of a website. You can then share your ideas with a client and even upload the designs to your own server. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, but Mockingbird is easy enough for even the most novice web designer to use.

2. Aptana Studio

Looking for web design software that will help you create CSS layouts? Aptana Studio allows you to easily design in HTML and will also check your cascading style sheets to ensure they are compatible with most browsers.

3. ProCSSor

Does your CSS need cleaned up a bit? ProCSSor promises to improve your CSS. Simply plug in your code and let the site do the rest. Choose from options to make the design neat, pretty or awesome.

4. Bluefish

Bluefish is a simple and free web design editor that will lay out HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby and more. The software will even spellcheck your work as you type.

5. HTMLCode.com

If you need to create a form in HTML, you can utilize this site to come up with the script. You own the finished code, but this site greatly speeds up the time it takes to create an HTML form.

6. ScriptsRC.net

Searching for Javascript code can take hours and hours, but the ScriptsRC.net site offers a library listing of the thousands of codes available. Do a search for the code you need and find it quickly and easily.

7. HTML Purifier

Want to make your website compliant with international HTML standards? This site can help with that process. Whether you have graphics that aren’t quite lining up in all browsers or you just want to ensure users in other countries can see your site as it is meant to appear, HTML Purifier can help.

8. Kuler

Choosing the perfect color combination for a new theme can be time consuming and tricky. Kuler helps web designers choose the perfect hues every time.

9. Adobe Browser Lab

Since it’s impossible to download every possible browser out there, Adobe has come up with Adobe Browser Web, which allows web designers to compare how a page will appear across multiple browsers.

10. CSS3 Generator

CSS3 Generator is free software that doesn’t require a download and allows the user to choose options via a drop down box. Quickly and easily generate CSS3 code.

11. Favigen

If you wish to create a favicon for your website, Favigen can help. Use this favicon generator to create a small graphic similar to the links you see for Facebook and Twitter pages on other people’s sites.

12. HTML-ispsum

HTML-ipsum.com helps web designers create a short piece of code to use in CSS designs. By including these sample words, the designer can see how the finished design will look once text is added.

13. Aviary

If you’re looking for a way to easily edit graphics for website use without spending hundreds on a professional photo editing software, Aviary may be the perfect solution. Most simple image edits can be completed with Aviary.

14. Google Webmaster Tools

Google offers a set of free webmaster tools that will allow you to check how your site might rank in Google’s search engines. You can also check for appearance in the Chrome browser.

15. 0 to 255

In the middle of a design when you realize that you need a lighter shade of the color? Save time by going to 0 to 255 and plugging in the current color. A range of shades will be presented to you from which you can choose.

16. Grid Generator

The Grid Generator software creates a grid for your CSS site. Simply plug in how many columns and other features you’d like in your layout and the online wizard creates your code.

17. Resize My Browser

Use this online tool to see how well your website measures up in different browser sizes. You can also adjust the outer and inner window sizes.

18. Ipad Peek

With more and more users getting online through their iPads, it makes sense to ensure that your website is compatible for iPad viewing. Ipadpeek.com allows you to take a look at how your site appears on the iPad.

19. Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot sends out a ping to your sites every five minutes or so and if the site does not ping back then the program will e-mail you a message that your sites are down.

20. WooRank

WooRank allows web designers to generate a free report once a week that tracks traffic and gives tips for what you can do to improve your rank.

21. Generate Privacy Policy

No need to spend hours creating a privacy policy. Use this free tool to create a privacy policy in half the time.

22. Launchlist

Setting up a professional website means completing specific items. This checklist helps you make sure you have completed everything needed to launch your website.

23. Layerstyles

Layerstyles is an online graphics editor that will generate CSS code.

24. NetBeans

Want to develop a web application? This free software will allow someone with basic application writing knowledge to create a unique app.

25. Powerbullet

Want to create short flash animations? Powerbullet allows you to jazz up your site with flash.

26. SeaMonkey

Using the same coding as Mozilla, SeaMonkey is still in development, but is already an excellent web code designing tool.

27. Komodo Edit

This free code editor works with XML, HTTP and CSS to name just a few. For those who need additional options, Komodo Edit has several add-ons.

28. Sprite Cow

Need to get the position of the background just so? Sprite Cow will map it for you and generate CSS code.

29. Web Tools

Use Web Tools to ensure that your site is running at optimal performance. Check for backlinks and traffic. You can also make sure your site isn’t banned from Google.

30. WebPlus Starter

This free website editing software offers the basics to create a simple website. Should you need more flexibility, there are add-ons available for WebPlus.

31. CoffeeCup

The free version of CoffeeCup software codes in HTML5 and CSS as you go.

32. Page Breeze

Page Breeze offers the ability to edit in WYSIWIG, but then switch over to the HTML tags view so you can tweak the design perfectly.

33. CSS Prism

Love the layout of your site but want to change the colors? Plug in the URL into CSS Prism, change the color scheme and get new CSS files.

34. Holmes

Holmes is the CSS markup detective. Have a bit of code that isn’t quite working. Holmes can help you track it down and fix it.

35. NetObjects Fusion Essentials

Fusion Essentials is a simple website editing platform. You can upgrade if you need more features, but the free version is a great place to start.

36. KompoZer

This web authoring tool is easy to use. KompoZer works well for users without a lot of coding experience.

37. Xenu’s Link Sleuth

Check your site for broken links. The beauty of Xenu is that you can check your website anytime and anywhere.

38. AlleyCode

If your focus is on search engine optimization, then AlleyCode is the right website editing software for you. As you plug in your design, AlleyCode will make sure it is SEO ready.

39. Browser Shots

Browser Shots allows you to take a look at your website in dozens of potential browsers to ensure that your site is compliant with as many types and versions as possible.

40. Website Goodies

If you want to get some features on your site quickly without spending time coding and uploading files, Website Goodies offers some third-party features you can integrate with your current design.

Article by Lori Soard

Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.

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