Update notes from Jerry: Fact checked and new tools added.
That might not seem like a big investment to the larger web design firms, but a freelance web designer or blogger may have a limited budget.
Fortunately, there are numerous free design tools for webmasters.
Free Web Design Tools for Webmasters
This online tool allows web designers to create a mock-up /wireframes 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.
Create color palette on the go or get inspired by beautiful color schemes at Coolors.
3. 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.
4. Screen to GIF
ScreenToGif helps record monitor screen and turn them into Gif or video files. This easy-to-use yet powerful tool is made by Nicke Manarin from Brazil.
5. Browser Shots
Since it’s impossible to download every possible browser out there, Browser Shots can help you to test the website's browser compatibility. This open-source tool allows web designers to compare how a page will appear across multiple browsers.
6. 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.
7. WHSR Tool
Shameless-plug – WHSR Tool reveals infrastructure and web technology behind any sites and helps web designers to spy on competitors.
Use WebPageTest to ensure that your web page is running at optimal performance. Your results will provide information including web hosting performance check, resource loading waterfall charts and suggestions for improvements.
9. AHREFS Webmaster Tool
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is extremely useful for web designers who need to check for any on-site SEO issues (such as broken links and canonical errors, missing title tags, etc) in their design.
10. Adobe Color
Choosing the perfect color combination for a new theme can be time-consuming and tricky. Adobe color helps web designers create the perfect hues every time.
11. CSS Grid Generator
The CSS 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.
12. 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.
13. HTML Cleaner
Does your CSS need cleaned up a bit? HTML Cleaner 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.
If you need to create a form in HTML, you can utilize this site to come up with the HTML script. You own the finished code, but this site greatly speeds up the time it takes to create an HTML form.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
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.
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.
If you're looking for a way to create graphics for website use without spending hundreds on professional graphic design software, Canva is the perfect solution. You can create beautiful graphics using the drag-and-drop format with access to millions of photographs, vectors and fonts.
22. 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.
With more and more users getting online through their iPads, it makes sense to ensure that your website is compatible for iPad viewing. Responsinator allows you to take a look at how your site appears on the iPad.
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.
25. Privacy Policies
26. Humaan Site Launch Checklist
Setting up a professional website means completing specific items. This checklist helps you make sure you have completed everything needed to launch your website.
Layerstyles is an online graphics editor that will generate CSS code.
Want to develop a web application? This free software will allow someone with basic application writing knowledge to create a unique app.
Using the same coding as Mozilla, SeaMonkey is still in development, but is already an excellent web code designing tool.
30. 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.
31. Sprite Cow
Need to get the position of the background just so? Sprite Cow will map it for you and generate CSS code.
Monitor your website uptime and publish it to the public using Freshping.
The free version of CoffeeCup software codes in HTML5 and CSS as you go.
34. 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.
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.
36. 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.
FileZilla – The free FTP solution that let you transfer files to your web server over TLC and SFTP. It makes things easier when you have a lot of large files to transfer.
38. Xenu’s Link Sleuth
Check your site for broken links. The beauty of Xenu is that you can check your website anytime and anywhere.
39. GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)
If you need a free tool for image manipulation, GIMP is the right software for you. You can download and use GIMP for free. It's the alternative for the graphic design software that cost you hundreds of dollars.
Bitcatcha lets you check any website response speed from 10 locations worldwide for free.
About 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.