Essential Web Design Software for Beginners Tools of the Trade Blog image

“Have you ever landed on a website that looked spectacular with some amazing features, and then you thought of designing a similar website?”

The Web Design world and its tools never stand still. Every day a new technology evolves 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 a Web Design software for Beginners.

Web Designing – Why?

Web Designing is a process of presenting your website in an attractive manner to the world. A good web design acts as a functional tool in highlighting the website’s image in front of its viewers. A well-built website gives an impression of superiority over the rest, which will generate a better customer traffic. And, with the incorporation of an improved interface, the number of conversions tend to automatically increase. Since a website is a reflection of your business, then it is meant to articulate your marketing message properly. Thus, if you are a novice then a web design software for beginners play a key role in delivering your product to the world.

Uses of a Web Design Software

“What’s the point of having a supreme class product if your web store design sucks?”

  • Provides a platform to publish what your site is all about.
  • Advertises the business of your company.
  • Aims at making the website popular.
  • Establishes the first line of communication between you and your potential visitor.
  • Generates more business with a quality website
  • Designs the website according to your needs.

Things to Remember While Choosing a Web Designing Software

  • No coding required as it is for the beginners (only drag and drop option).
  • No dealing with technical tasks like hosting and security updates.
  • A list of testimonials to verify the past work.
  • Affordable pricing.
  • Experience.
  • 24/7 support.

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

Graphic Design software

When it comes to Web Design, the initial step is Graphic Designing. You always need to present the best snap of the product, and for that, you need to edit the picture correctly. Almost every image that we notice today over the internet is perhaps edited or tailored with the help of graphic designing tools.

1. Photoshop ($19.99/mo)

The most important thing 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 has all the basic editing features in it that a non-professional or a beginner can easily 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. Even then, when it comes to editing a picture, Photoshop is an undisputed king.

  • Version: Photoshop CC 2017
  • Operating System: Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Slick interface.
  • Integrated stock library.
  • Loads of design tools for mobile and Web.
  • The ultimate in photo correction and manipulation.
  • Content-aware move and patch.
  • Video editing.
  • Complementary mobile apps.
  • 3D design capability.

Cons

  • No perpetual-license option.
  • The interface can be a bit overwhelming.
  • Some tools tend to not show progress bars.

2. GIMP (Free)

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.

  • Version: 2.8
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Rating: 3.9

Pros

  • Easily expandable.
  • Packed with features and tools.
  • Opens almost any image file.

Cons

  • The interface is a little cluttered.

3. Illustrator ($19.99/mo)

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.

  • Version: Illustrator CC 2017
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • All-encompassing toolset.
  • Color themes panel is ace.
  • Awesome new typography tools

Cons

  • Expensive (both as a single app and part of CC).

4. Inkscape (free)

Inkscape is a 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. If you are on a look-out for Web Design Software for Beginners then Inkscape is the one as it has an open community forum for its users to question and answer all their queries.

  • Version: 0.92
  • Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Incredible file format support.
  • Amazing selection of vector-editing tools.
  • Expandable via extensions.

Cons

  • Processing can be a bit sluggish.

5. Sketch ($99/one time)

It is built for modern graphic designers, pertaining powerful features like ‘Symbols’ and ‘Shared Styles’. It offers support for Multiple Pages and Artboards.It has a fully vector-based workflow which makes it easy to create beautiful, high-quality artwork from start to finish.It also has a lightweight and easy-to-use package.

  • Version: 44.1
  • Operating System: Mac
  • Rating: 3.5

Pros

  • A robust tool for UI design

Cons

  • Its pen tool and bitmap capabilities aren’t as robust as Photoshop and Illustrator

6. Balsamiq ($89/one time)

This is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you work done faster & smarter. This shows us that making mockups is fast. It can build a user interface at the speed of thought. It comprises of tons of UI elements. You’re just required to drag and drop. It can print out your prototypes or run online user tests, before writing codes. It often reproduces the experience of sketching on a whiteboard, but on a computer.

  • Version: Mockups 3.5.13
  • Operating System: Mac and Windows
  • Rating: 4.3

Pros

  • The tool is cost effective.
  • Ease of maintaining multiple users or a team.

Cons

  • Not a strong set of tools for designing UI elements.

Framework/Template Code

web design frameworks

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. In order to fulfill your search for Web Design Software for Beginners, you can try these frameworks for designing your site.

7. Bootstrap

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.

  • Version: 3.3.7
  • Rating: 4.1

Pros

  • Great documentation.
  • Supports responsive embeds.
  • A wide variety of themes.

Cons

  • Large file size out of the box.
  • Websites can start to look the same.

8. Foundation

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.

  • Version: 6
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Finest customization
  • Robust grid system
  • Extensive set of templates with ready-made codes

Cons

  • Not as popular as Bootstrap.
  • Modifying codes won’t be easy for beginners or early developers.

9. YAML

This tool provides a complete editing experience in Visual Studio which involves functionalities like Syntax highlighting, Syntax error detection, Format document, Comment / uncomment selection, Insert spaces on {TAB}.
It’s latest version 1.6.2 offers added support to VS 2015.

  • Version: 1.6.2
  • Rating: 3.8

Pros

  • Easy customization.
  • RTL support.
  • Extensible with a selection of add-ons.

Cons

  • Can be hard for beginners.

10. mini.css

This is a lightweight, responsive, unobtrusive, style-agnostic CSS framework which is under 7KB gzipped. It has full-fledged modules that can support complex UI patterns and website designs. It works on all devices.

  • Rating: 3

Pros

  • Flexbox-based
  • Active developer

Cons

  • Not widely used.

Code Editors/IDE

Code Editing ide

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.

11. Dreamweaver

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.

  • Version: CC 2017
  • Operating System: Windows and Mac
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Enhancements to code view including multi-cursor support.
  • Real-time preview.
  • Auto-recovery of files.

Cons

  • No ASP support.

12. Notepad++

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 its users 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.

  • Version: 7.4.2
  • Operating System: Windows
  • Rating: 3.8

Pros

  • Extendable via plugins.
  • Multi-line editing.
  • Syntax highlighting.

Cons

  • Outdated UI

13. CodeLobster

Codelobster is a perfect IDE code editing tool for primarily editing codes in PHP language, though it supports HTML, CSS and JavaScript too. Although the tool is paid, users can avail for a 30-day free trial and then choose the plan according to their needs if they like this code editor. It also features plugins for various CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc. Another amazing feature of this code editor is that it comes if an auto-complete function for SQL commands.

  • Version: 5.12
  • Operating System: Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Rating: 3.7

Pros

  • Portable option available.
  • Special support for JQuery.

Cons

  • Expensive

14. Coda 2

This tool is a fresh approach to web code from Code 1 to Code 2; bursting with features but without any bloat. It contains some highly-requested features in groundbreaking UI fit for the future.It has provided a trimmed-down alternative to expensive Web design suites, having built-in FTP sidebar. It has full-featured CSS and text editors (although no code folding here).

  • Version: 2.5
  • Operating System: Mac and iOS
  • Rating: 3

Pros

  • Real IDE with all the benefits.

Cons

  • Support for Mac and commercial use only.

15. Sublime Text 3 Build 3103

This text editor has a slick user interface, wonderful features and provides an amazing performance. Build 3103 highlights a custom regex engine that speeds up file loading and indexing significantly. It is available with the new syntax definition format i.e., ‘.sublime-syntax’.

It contains the ‘multiple selections’ option which allows you to a number of lines at once, renames variables with ease, and manipulate files way faster. It can also perform the function of Split Editing. Its ‘Goto Anything’ option enables instant jumping from words, symbols or lines.

  • Version: Build 3103
  • Operating System: OS X, Windows, and Linux.
  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Autocompletion
  • Customizability
  • Multiple selections
  • Simultaneous Editing

Cons

  • Not beginners’ friendly

16. Cloud9

An online code editor with an Ubuntu workspace in the cloud with a support for Python, Ruby, JavaScript, Go, etc. It assists more than 40 languages, with class build WordPress, Django and Rails websites. It is capable of smoothly handling hundreds of thousands of files in your workspace and hundreds of thousands of lines of code in the editor.

  • Version: 3
  • Operating System: Mac
  • Rating: 4.1

Pros

  • Terminal with root access
  • Browser testing support
  • Great documentation

Cons

  • Lacks a built-in Java builder and runner

Content Management System (CMS)

content management system

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. If you’re on a spree to find Web Design Software for Beginners, you shouldn’t miss checking out these CMSes.

17. 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.

  • Version: 4.8 “Evans”
  • Rating: 4.5

Pros

  • Widely used and open source.
  • Self-host & WP-host options.
  • Complete control if needed.

Cons

  • A bit of bloat.

18. Joomla

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.

  • Version: 3.7.2
  • Rating: 4.4

Pros

  • Highly customizable.
  • Powerful and user-friendly admin interface.
  • Great for social networking and commerce sites.

Cons

  • Quality extensions are rare.

19. Magento

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 ECommerce 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.

  • Rating: 4

Pros

  • Multilingual capabilities.

Cons

  • E-commerce platform focused only.

20. Drupal

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.

  • Version: 6.38
  • Rating: 4.4

Pros

  • Excellent SEO.
  • Good accessibility.
  • Great for enterprise use.

Cons

  • High resource consumption.

TemplateToaster – The All-in-One Solution

All in one TemplateToaster web design softare for beginners

TemplateToaster is the best web design software 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.

Small Handy Tools (Browser Extensions)

handy tools for web designers

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.

21. Firebug

Firebug generates a tremendous amount of tools while browsing. With Firebug, one can edit, monitor CSS, HTML, JAVASCRIPT live on any page and edit. It helps to search deeply buried HTML elements and edit them on the page. With Firebug’s CSS one can easily check the style of the web page and make changes in them and see the effect instantly. It measures and informs all the margins, offsets, padding and borders. In case your page is taking a long time to load, one has written a lot of javascript, forget to compress images; no issues, Firebug will do the work for you with the powerful Javascript debugger. It informs you in case you made any errors in Javascript, HTML, XML or CSS. It gives users powerful logging functions to receive quick replies. The rapid search box in its toolbar provides you with a feature to see results of your search inside Firebug’s panels.

  • Version: 2.0.19
  • Rating: 4

Download Extension for Chrome Here

Download Extension for Firefox Here

22. Color Picker

With color picker, one can easily create, experiment and adjust to 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.

  • Version: 4.6
  • Operating System: Windows and Mac
  • Rating: 3.9

Download Extension for Chrome Here

Download Extension for Firefox Here

23. 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.

  • Version: 0.4.19
  • Operating System: Windows
  • Rating: 4

Download Extension for Chrome Here

Download Extension for Firefox Here

24. BuiltWith

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.

  • Version: 2.6
  • Operating System: Windows
  • Rating: 4.3

Download Extension for Chrome Here

Download Extension for Firefox Here

25. UserSnap

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.

  • Version: 0.1.9
  • Operating System: Windows
  • Rating: 4

Download Extension for Chrome Here

Download Extension for Firefox Here

26. Responsive Check

Nowadays, it is very important for your website to be responsive to 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
  • Firefox: Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Internet Explorer/Edge: F12 -> Emulation

Final Words

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!