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Top 10 FREE Web Design Tools – Part 1

Web designers have a big bag of tools they use to develop sites for clients, and for themselves. Tools we use everyday, and some we use only on occasion. Yes some of these tools are very expensive and some are VERY technical.

But, if you know where to look you can find some awesome web tools for FREE. I have spent a lot of time working with various tools and I am always looking for the next tool to test out. So you can image how much junk I collect. If I determine something to be useful, I keep it. If no use, it is gone the same day. Some tools though, I not only keep, but I use daily. Sometimes I feel like I cannot even surf the web without these tools.

Now, I am going to share these super secret used by web designers and developers around the world with you.

These are my Top 10 FREE Web Design Tools!

Part 1:

1) Web Developer Toolbar

The best free tool is a FireFox addon called Web Developer Toolbar.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60

JING Project

Web Developer Toolbar

So many useful tools I cannot list them all. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Error checker. Checks a pages code and tells you instantly if there is an error, what the error is, and where the error is. Code, scripts, CSS. All checked.
  • Ruler and line guides. Check sizes AND alignment of objects.
  • Outline. Adds an outline to all elements on a page so you can see EXACTLY how a site is built.
  • Image options. On, off, and more. Get EVERY kind of info you can image on every image on a site.
  • Security features as well.

If you don’t have this, you should!

2) FireFTP

Built in FTP program, that is super easy and does everything you need an FTP program to use.
http://fireftp.mozdev.org/

FireFTP

FireFTP

I use this instead of any other FTP programs. there are thousands of free FTP programs, but none this easy and efficient. Plug in for my browser means I never need to leave my browser to upload a file.

3) WordPress

The be all and end all of blogging platforms.
http://www.wordpress.org/

WordPress

WordPress

Free, with thousands of templates and plugins. Easy to use, slick admin interface, search engine friendly and highly extendable. Not just for blogging. I, and many others, build entire sites using WordPress as the sites CMS system.

I recently wrote a book on how to take XSitePro websites and convert them to WordPress themes to enhance their static XSitePro sites. Even if you do not use WordPress for your entire site, adding a WordPress blog to it, will seriously enhance your site. And yeah, it is free.

4) JING Project

Screen capture tool enhanced with the best bells and whistles.
http://www.jingproject.com/

JING Project

JING Project

Dude, seriously, screen caps and video capture with free file hosting AND super easy to use. TechSmith has top notch products, and this is the top notchiest of them all. Just a little glowing orb on top of your screen and you can catch it all (Top right on a Mac).

Great for sending quick video instructions to clients, or taking screen shots for your blog (like I did above) etc.

5) GIMP

Photoshop is the ultimate graphics program. But with that, comes the ultimate price tag. Low cost and free alternatives are a must. Enter the GIMP.
http://www.gimp.org

GIMP

GIMP

GIMP is a super advanced image manipulation program. Pretty sure it can do ANYTHING Photoshop can, and it is way cheaper (AKA Free). It has a steep learning curve, but it is well worth it as it really is an amazing graphics tool. Best Features:

  • Photo Enhancement
  • Digital Retouching
  • Hardware Support
  • Multiple File Formats
  • Multiple Platform Support

That is the Top 5 FREE tools. I will post the next 5 in a week. Love to hear comments from anyone on other free tools they use. I am always looking for some new tools.

Myles

5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Top 10 FREE Web Design Tools – Part 1”

  1. Nile Cruises

    Hi, thanks for these great tips. Really useful suggestions.

    I’m just checking that I’m not reading it wrong but your post mentions that the XSitePro to WordPress book you wrote is free but when I click through on the link it says $49 I think. Am I reading it wrong or are you now charging for it?

    Thanks once again,

    Colin
    Liverpool, UK


  2. MrMyles

    @Nile Cruises: Hi Colin.

    Sorry no, I never said that was free as it is not included in my list. It was an example of how great I think WordPress is. I feel it is one of the best free tools around, and everyone should be using it. So much so, I wrote a book on how to take an XSitePro site (not free) and create a matching WordPress theme from it.

    Thanks

    Myles


  3. Randy

    awesome!


  4. Jackson Roberts

    I’ve used all of these and I have to agree with what you that GIMP is an amazing deal compared to Photoshop.


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