25 Must-Have Software Applications for Web Designers

by admin on Oct 10, 2011

Anyone currently in or who has attended a web design school knows that it isn’t all surfing and coding. There is a lot involved in web design, so having the right tools and software is essential.

To help illustrate this, we have gathered 25 must have software applications for web designers. With everything from packages that can help build tons of sites out of nothing to tools that can make them better in seconds, they are full of options for everyone from the experienced pro to the starving student.

Must-Have Free Software Applications for Web Designers

  1. Komodo
    There is a reason this is one of the most popular free code editors for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It offers customizable syntax coloring, folding, background syntax checking, and more. In addition to the free version, there is an IDE with loads more.
  2. Net Beans
    Now available in its seventh version, this application is “the smarter way to code.” It allows you to develop desktop, mobile, and web applications with Java, PHP, C/C++, and more. There are also loads of tutorials and demos on the homepage.
  3. Aptana
    This tool for web designers is so popular, it was recently acquired by Appcelerator. See why by joining the other six million who have downloaded it. They are even looking for developers to style their next project.
  4. Bluefish
    Stop here for a web application designed specifically towards programmers and web designers. It has many options to write sites, scripts, and programming code. It even runs on all three main systems, as well as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris.
  5. HTML Kit
    They strive to “make HTML code fun again.” Although it is aimed at HTML, it can handle other types of text files for web designers as well. You can get the free version or a trial version of their tools.
  6. Coffee Cup
    With built-in FTP uploading, wizards for tables, frames, fonts, and more, this software application is also a must have for web designers. It has support for HTML5 and CSS3, and 100% valid code output. They also have a fully functional trial for the full version in addition to the free one.
  7. Eclipse
    If the above is too complex for you, have a look here. Eclipse is an open source community, whose projects are focused on building a development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools, and runtimes for building, deploying, and managing software across the lifecycle. Simply download to get started.
  8. Alleycode
    It was named best HTML editor by “PC World” a few years ago, but it is still a draw for many designers. Now owned by a website building company, you can get the same tool they use at no charge. There are also other paid services here.

Must-Have Paid Software Applications for Web Designers

  1. Adobe Dreamweaver
    The maker of many leading photo and video editing software also has this option for web developers. A host of tools and lack of hassles is often what draws expert web developers to invest their hard earned dollars in exchange for all the time Dreamweaver saves them. Making the case is the blogger at Desktop Wealth.
  2. Microsoft Expression
    It comes in various forms and levels, but the Studio Web Professional version offers a full graphic, video, and web design capability. It has tons of features from WYSIWYG to free templates and scripts. Jennifer Kyrnin of About.com listed it as one of the best.
  3. Visual Site Designer
    If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on software, check out this lower priced alternative. The software was rated number one by Top Ten Reviews and sells for only $49.00. The first place was given out for ease of use, features, and tools.
  4. Web Plus
    Those who are new to web design will enjoy this software. It is a great tool for beginners in design, publishing, and editing as described by the Talk. Tech. Blog. Features include a marketplace, photo gallery, and loads of templates.
  5. Webpage Maker
    This software was touted as the best drag and drop visual web site editor around. As reviewed by Turnkeyfox.com, it is very user friendly and allows you to see which buttons are for what. There is a free trial version, as well as the paid.
  6. Artisteer
    They offer quick template design for publishing platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, DotNetNuke, and more. Developers and designers will enjoy it as well as those with little knowledge of CSS or PHP. The blogger at Let Us Buzz has more.
  7. Actual Drawing
    Although most of the reviews at CNET are not positive, this software application remains one of their most popular, with over five million downloads. It is a visual publishing tool that helps make web pages and allows you to drag and drop content. It is free to try and $59.00 to buy.
  8. Mr. Site Storefront
    If you think the only decent software you can buy is in the U.S., stop here. Tech Radar reviews software in the UK, and this was the number one contender for web design. It sells for 25 pounds and has loads of easy to use features.

Other Must-Have Software Applications for Web Designers

  1. JR Screen Ruler
    Get a virtual ruler for web designers here. It is a tool that allows you to measure online units using just your screen. It is especially useful when measuring graphics, browser sizes, and more.
  2. Digital Image Tool
    If you are a designer who often has to resize a bunch of images to fit the web, you will appreciate this software. It can do batch image processing, which saves the trouble of having to open and edit each image. It also offers rotation, crop, renaming, and watermarks.
  3. LS Screen Capture
    A small tool, it does just what it says. It allows you to simply and easily capture whatever is on your screen. It also doesn’t have many of the other bothers of other capture tools. There is even a keyboard shortcut for designers who hate reaching for the mouse.
  4. Color Picker
    If looking to capture just the color, not an image, try this. The tool allows you to pick a color from any part of the screen. You can get the color in RGB or HTML format, and it also offers shortcuts.
  5. Suitcase
    Do all of your font work the easy way with the help of this software. It allows you to work with the fonts you know, as well as a ton of new ones. It was listed first by Smashing Magazine, which also includes some free options.
  6. Brands of the World
    If you are web designer that works at all with logos, stop here. This site has tons of them from across the world to inspire. There are also tools for you to create your own logo with.
  7. Firebug
    The blogger at Practical eCommerce called this “a developer’s tool worth the buzz.” It is a Firefox add-on that gives developers the power to inspect and edit HTML, CSS, and code. They also have lots more on why you should add it to your browser.
  8. Aardvark
    Get a software application as a Firefox add-on here. It allows you to clean up your site, see how a page is created, and view source code. The site also has a demo and shortcuts for you to use.
  9. Microsoft Net Framework Assistant
    With over 14 million users, this app is doing something right. It allows those working in Microsoft to do more.

And the above 25 must have software applications for web designers are just some of the options available. Be sure to update software regularly in order to keep up with the latest changes.

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