Whether you’re brand-new to web design or are looking to brush up your skills, there are many resources available that won’t break your budget. As social media and social sharing have grown, it seems that endless tools have been developed that can help you do everything from edit photos, resize images, and even see the HTML and CSS behind your favorite web page.
Below I’ve put together some of the top tools that will help you with everything you need for your web design business…
4 Free Design Tools
Design can get expensive very fast, either in terms of your time or your money for sub contractors. These tools and resources will help you get done faster and freer. Wait is freer even a word?
- Font Squirrel – This is an AMAZING list of free, commercial-use-licensed fonts. They make it dead-simple to search, download and use their fonts.
- Free Logo Design – Don’t spend a bundle designing your logo when you can get it designed for free! This is a nifty little tool for non-design specialists!
- Icon Finder – Get free icons at Icon finder, for all your “Click Here” and other button needs! Don’t ever design icons from scratch unless you have to!
- Page Loading Icon – No one likes to wait for a page to load, but it’s a little bit nicer when you get to look at an awesome Ajax loading icon. This site makes them for you! Just enter your specs and it whips the loading icon together for you.
3 Web Editing Tools
At the base of every website design is code – and luckily, there are many sites that allow you to edit code quickly and most importantly, for free. Here are some of our top picks
- Komodo Edit – Whether you’re running on a Mac, Windows, or Linux, Komodo Edit is a completely free tool that offers syntax coloring, background syntax checking, auto-complete, remote file editing, and much more. There’s also an upgrade option – Komodo IDE – that offers some additional features you may find useful for more advanced web design.
- Firebug for Firefox – Firebug, a Firefox add-on, is recognized as one of the most helpful web page debugging tools available. Simply click on an object and it will reveal the HTML and CSS behind it, and allow you to edit in real time.
5 Photo Editing Tools
These are some of the best and most comprehensive free tools available. They’ll help you do nearly everything you’d like with your photos – without paying a lot of money for software
- Picasa – Picasa, by Google, offers a free account you can use to apply effects, crop and straighten images, remove red eye, and much more. You can save your photos to use them on a website, or put them in an album to share with your family and friends.
- Picnik – Picnik lets you select photos from any of your online albums including Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, or your desktop – and edit them to your heart’s desire. The free service doesn’t require a registration, and you can use it to crop and resize photos, add tons of special effects, fix red eye, and much more.
- befunky – befunky was created to help make your photos fun. Choose from hundreds of effects, as well as standard editing features like rotating and resizing, exposure, hue/saturation, and color filters. It’s also a free service that doesn’t require registration or a download.
- Phoenix – This web-based editor allows you to import photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook. It also features the standard editing tools, as well as 70+ tutorials from experts and other featured users.
- Gimp – What’s not to love about the Gimp? Free, fast, an almost-photo-shop clone… this tool should be the price-conscious newbie’s go-to tool for photo editing. Be careful though – it’s just different enough from Photo Shop that it will drive you crazy switching back and forth!
Although this is by no means a comprehensive list, these tools can go a long way toward helping you get started as a web designer. Try one – or a combination – out before investing your money into expensive software. You may just find a few you love.
More Design Resources:
- 12 Ways Logo Design Impacts Social Media
- Business Blog Logo Redesign – 19 Tips to Make a New Logo for your Blog
- How to Create a Logo: 15 Essential Tips for Web Designers