Essential Web Design Software for Beginners: Tools of the Trade
“Have you ever landed on a website that looked amazingly beautiful with some great features, and then you thought to create a similar website?”
The world of Web Design and its tools never stand still. Every day a new technology evolves up with some more advanced features, and professionals try them to make their designing life easier. However, if you are about to start or you have just started with Web Designing, then you must be searching for Web Design software for beginners.
Below we are providing a list of Must-have Web Design tools that are essentially required for a beginner looking to design his first web page. These give you an easy way to draw a rough design for your project. From Design and Mock-up to Prototype and Testing – You don’t require any other software than these. Even, some of the below-mentioned tools allow you to add interactive features, animations and much more. Let’s look at each of these basic Web Design tools one by one.
Graphic Design Software
When it comes to Web Design, the initial thing is Graphic Designing. You always need to present the best snap of the product, and for that, you always need to edit the picture correctly. Almost every image that we notice today over the internet is tailored or edited with the help of designing tools.
The most important thing that one needs for designing a web page is to have an attractive picture. For this, they need to edit these photos. When it comes to editing an image, the first software that comes to everyone’s mind it Photoshop. Photoshop is the undisputed king when it comes to designing tools. Photoshop has all the basic editing features in it that a non-professional or a beginner can deal with. These essential features include cropping, color balancing, bucket fill, gradient tool text editing, magic blind tooled eye, channel mixer, levels, sharpening, perspective correction, filters, clone stamp tool, etc. Photoshop comes with easier and more friendly user interface. The only drawback for Photoshop is that it is much costlier as compared to others. As we all know, when it comes to editing a picture, Photoshop is an undisputed king. However, there is one more software that replaces it and eases your work i.e. GIMP – an open source image manipulation program that users after using preferred over Photoshop due to its ease of working.
GIMP is considered the best alternative to Photoshop when users compared the two. When it comes to basic editing features like cropping, color balance, bucket fill, magic bind tool, gradient tool, text editing, red-eye, filters, sharpening, levels, etc. GIMP also offers the same features similar to Photoshop. To make your GIMP look and run similar to Photoshop’s latest Photoshop CC version, GIMP offers few extensions that one can download for free. Few extensions include FX-Foundry, Resynthesizer, Save for the Web, Layer Effects, and GIMP Paint Studio.
Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic designing software with all features like sketching, coloring, editing, one click paint bucket fill, scale, move, rotate pixels, editing on SVG source code but not for free. With the help of Adobe Illustrator, the editor can create icons, sketches, logos, complex illustrations typography and much more. It supports all file formats including.EPS that Inkscape lacks. One can even export his artwork in.JPEG format. Illustrator comes with a polished and oversimplified interface to offer more friendliness to beginners as well as professionals. It provides an extensive customer support as well as some video tutorials, chats and calls customer care.
Inkscape is free software for vector graphic designing. It provides all features for free including coloring, sketching, editing the SVG source code, edit notes using the keyboard; moves, rotate, scales pixels, one click paint bucket fill. In case you feel some features lack in Inkscape, we advise you to check and download its extension as per your need. Inkscape has a very friendly user interface as it is easy to use especially for beginners. It converts Bitmap to vector files automatically. For learners, Inkscape has an open community forum for its users to question and answer all their queries.
Frameworks are the ones that help you to build the foundation or the base of any website. Using these tools, you can code the basic template of your website. Henceforth, your website can’t run efficiently with poorly coded frameworks.
Bootstrap is one of the most popular front-end development frameworks, with its 3rd version already in the market. It comes with amazing features, navigation element, and structured grid system, etc. A beginner whether being technical or not, whether being professional or nonprofessional, can easily build a website with Bootstrap’s natural framework. Beginners can take help from the startup guide while initiating web development task. Bootstrap also gives you the option to create fixed and fluid width layout and also support mobile.
Foundation is an ultra-responsive framework used to build seamless designs to create web applications, websites, email templates and mobile. It is reported as the easiest framework to learn for a beginner. It includes exceptional plugins to offer developers to choose accordingly the one they require. It includes some components like library containers, layouts, media, navigation, etc.
Once the template and base framework of the website is ready, there are going to be multiple hit and trial sessions for code testing, execution, and making changes in the code. That is when code editors come to use.
Dreamweaver is an amazing code editing tool from the Adobe family. It comes with visual design features known as Live view along with some usual code editing options like syntax highlighting, code collapsing etc. Dreamweaver also comes with a feature that facilitates user to check syntax in real time which further assists the user to make appropriate changes in the code. Apart from mere code editing, Dreamweaver also lets its user upload his or her code to the server using FTP or SFTP.
Notepad++ is a code editing tool for Windows platform. Having been inherited its name from a C programming language operator, one of the most amazing features of Notepad++ is that it lets it users to edit multiple documents of codes at a time. Moreover, on the off chance that you forget to save your edited files, then I must tell you that Notepad++ automatically backs up your unsaved files.
Content Management System (CMS)
As the name says, a Content Management System is a full-fledged and highly secured system that saves your website’s each and every part of the content, be it a logo, a simple image, or a video. Hence, in a way, your website can’t function properly in the absence of a good CMS. The most popular and easy to use CMS is WordPress.
WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging platform developed in 2003 that millions of sites and people use every day. It is a free tool run by hundreds of individuals all over the world simultaneously. WordPress is a full Content Management System with thousands of plugins and themes which make its functionality nearly limitless. Almost every website is ranging from simple to blogs, enterprise, applications, portals, professional portfolio, magazine, news, etc. are built on WordPress. It makes content management easier with various tools like creating a draft, post revision, making content public or private, password protection to access and much more. It also gives you permission to post media. It is available in more than 70 languages.
Joomla is Content Management System that keeps track of every piece of content on your website. Unlike WordPress, it also helps one in building Websites and other online applications. It is also an open source solution and is free to use and download. Various features of Joomla includes Corporate websites, Corporate Intranets and Extranets, E-commerce and online reservations, online newspaper, publications, magazines, government applications, school websites. Small business sites etc. It has an easy user interface that helps even beginners to use the software with a lot of ease. With its user guides and videos, the designer can empower his clients to manage their site themselves. It also provides various extensions (mostly for free) for specialized functionality and customer satisfaction.
Magento is an open network e-commerce platform. The software is written in PHP language with an aim to provide new ways to smooth navigation, overall revenue generation, conversion rates, etc. Magento offers three different user programs:
Magento Community Edition is an open source E-Commerce platform where developers can extend functionality with the help of plugins and implement the core files.
Magento Enterprise Edition has same core files of Magento Community Edition with more features and functionality but is not free. Magento bought this edition to satisfy large business sites that require technical support while troubleshooting, usage, and configuration.
Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition – empowers fast organization of completely adjustable, secure and adaptable web retail facades, joined with leading hosting and managed infrastructure. It contains a full REST API and a scriptable order line interface that guarantees simplicity of joining with outer frameworks and similarity with existing code administration work processes. Latest software from Magento is Magento 2.
Drupal is open source software that can be used for free. With a simple user interface, it becomes handy for beginners to manage several types of websites. The software includes a content management program and a development framework. A few features that Drupal includes are content authoring, great security, and reliable performance. Drupal’s flexibility and modularity set it apart from all other content writing software available. One can extend Drupal’s features with the help of add-ons, modules. One can even integrate it with other external services and applications in their infrastructure.
TemplateToaster is the best web designing tool for beginners as well as professionals according to the reviews from all people who already used it. With this software, one can design high-end WordPress themes along with Drupal, Magento themes, Joomla templates HTML5/CSS3 websites. It supports RWD which makes a website open perfectly over all devices including smartphones and tablets. Developers can easily add social media buttons to the website. When it comes to Graphic and media, TemplateToaster is very useful in designing HTML5/CSS3 websites with WYSIWYG Editor. It even gives the developer an option of slideshow effects, logos, textures, stock images, graphics, all the computer fonts, google fonts.
Best Drag and Drop interface to Design stunning WordPress Themes
Small Handy Tools (Browser Extensions)
Firefox and Chrome extensions are pretty simple, but useful tools when it comes to web designing. These tools can help you to set basic functions like ruler margin, or help you to collaborate easily by sharing screenshots with team members or help you in determining minor details about a website.
With color picker, one can easily create, experiment and adjust with custom colors of the web. It also makes color formats conversion between CSS, Hexa colors, RGB and HSL easy. Color Picker also makes control over the alpha channel on RGB and HSL formats. Each of the three colors comes out in all three standard web CSS formats. The user can toggle the eyedropper style color picker box between HSL and HSV formats.
Page Ruler and Grid Ruler
It is used to get pixel dimensions and positioning and calculate elements on any web page. It draws a ruler on any page and displays its width, height, and position. Users can drag the edges of the ruler to resize it. You can change the size of the ruler with just the arrow keys. They can update the size and position of ruler from the toolbar. With the help of Element Mode, users can outline elements on the web page by moving the mouse over it.
When it comes to BuiltWith extension as a tool for newbie web designers, it is more of a reverse engineering tool. In the event that you land on a beautifully designed website and would like to know what its basic framework is, then you just need to click on the BuiltWith icon. BuiltWith supports a variety of options from various aspects like Blogger, WordPress (publishing platforms); DoubleClick, AdSense (advertising);.NET, Java (frameworks) etc.
UserSnap is a teamwork oriented tool. It is a simple browser extension that lets you take a screenshot of any web page on the internet and share with your teammates, clients, or other developers. Apart from sharing feedbacks and screenshots, UserSnap also facilitates users to integrate their existing projects and bug tracking systems. Hence, UserSnap can help you to fix any web designing issue pretty faster.
Nowadays, it is very important for your website to be responsive with various devices. No matter how beautiful or attractive your website is, but if it is not responsive then it can’t satisfy the ultimate users. However, to manually check your website’s responsiveness for each and every resolution as per the device, you can use following shortcuts:
Chrome: F12 -> Mobile Icon on the top-left corner of Inspect Element Window
Internet Explorer/Edge: F12 -> Emulation
So, these are some of the basic Web Design software for beginners. Here, we have tried to include at least one tool for each aspect of Web Designing. However, TemplateToaster comes out to be an All-in-One Package since it provides a lot of features at one place; plus TemplateToaster does not have any compatibility issues, be it with Frameworks or CMS and their respective plugins/extensions. Hence, now you are all set to experiment with your first piece of Web Design!