7 Best Free Website Design Tools in 2018
Bad tool equals to bad efficient and work. You are not professional, so it may be harsh to make a choice of design tools or developing tools. Right website design tool enhances the working flow and improves the work efficiency. So what should be the best website design tool for people to use? Personally, I think it must be efficient, time-saving, energy-saving, and with a lost cost. Well, you know, I mean the free website design tools. Here I list the web design tools what I think are the best I’ve ever used in 3 groups:
- Website design tools for completed new beginners;
- Essential website design tools;
- Helpers of website building.
"The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end." -- Marty Neumeier
To return to the subject, let’s start to see the good stuff I’m ready to share with you!
Website design tools for complete new beginners
Price: Free for basic use
Starts from $4.5/month for domains
Target people: Non-technology people
Wix is a website building platform with freely drag and drop. It offers a complicated website building services including registration，website design，website administration and modification. Users only need to operate the GUI interface to create a site, but no need to study the DNS，website program language, server building or renting. Everything can be done automatically on Wix. So the users could completely focus on the visual design and content presentation of the website.
Personal experience: I think the most convenient side of Wix is that users can drag components freely and easily. You can locate buttons, images, or texts with any size in the site. But the disadvantage is that if you made a change on the template, you have to restart the design. Because the content and layout are not suitable anymore. Moreover, the mobile mode also needs to restart the edit of the website content. If it updated frequently, the mobile website should also be re-designed every time. So I think it’s more suitable for the small well-design websites.
Price: Sign up for free
Target people: the most suitable non-technical personnel (no code, design skills)
The self-service station began in 2004 which has taken ten years to develop into one of the most widely used station building. Squarespace supports to quickly build an elaborate responsive website without design or programming fundamentals. It provides three pricing models, the first is free to register and build stations. However, to publish a website, there are two options of $12 to $40 per month depending on the type of website.
Personal experience: The biggest feature of Squarespace is it pays high attention to details. Learning from some of the public information of founder Anthony Casalena, Squarespace smart building products are very suitable for personal websites, because many of its template performance patterns and background plug-in experience are biased toward the small station owners, based on their own station into a detail Rich website.
"Creating something out of thin air is easy. It’s finding the air that’s hard. "
-- Asher Trotter
Essential website design tools
1. Prototyping tool - Mockplus
Price: Basic - Free
Pro Edition - $199 / Year
The purpose of web prototyping design is drawing out of the sketch based on users’needs. There are some good application prototyping tools on the market, such as Mockplus. As a prototype tool for the international market, Mockplus not only has excellent performance in mobile App production, but also good on web design.
So, how to create a web prototype on Mockplus? Please refer to Mockplus sample project: StyleXstyle - a fashion site prototype.
Step 1: Download Mockplus and log in your account; if has no Mockplus account, you can register one for free.
Step 2: Open Mockplus and select the type of web project, setting the web page width and height. Please note that the maximum page height is 6000 pixels.
Step 3: Drag and drop from the left side of the software library to add the necessary page elements: buttons, icons, text boxes, pictures, etc .; the right panel supports adjusting the page background, font, font size.
Step 4: Add interaction for specific components: page jump links, component jump links, etc .; the right side of the property panel supports a variety of properties, interaction, page settings with rich content.
Step 5: Preview or publish HTML online preview via F5. PS: Mockplus offers 8 kinds of preview methods.
StyleXstyle Online Preview Address: http://run.mockplus.cn/yYoEMZcBxFGdhfYW/index.html
2. Versatile design tools - Photoshop
Price: 9.9 USD / month
Although it's not free, as a web marketing leader in web design, this software should not be overlooked. So about Photoshop itself: in short, it's a very versatile tool for any type of design project, not just web design. Its main purpose is to help you use raster graphics.
In addition to adjusting the color, saturation, blur, sharpness, etc. of your images or graphics, Photoshop lets you create fully customizable graphics (such as site layout and visualization) from scratch. For example, you can combine multiple images as part of a project and ensure that they are all grouped together by using various filters or performing some conversion.
Photoshop is a very manual tool. If you want to explicitly use it to achieve the purpose of website design, then you should have some design skills and knowledge can really make full use of it.
Photoshop Website Design Tutorial: How to design Website in Photoshop
3. UI design tool - Figma
Price - Free for personal use
- $12 per person per group/month
Introduction: Figma is the first interface design tool for real-time collaboration. It has three commendable features: real-time collaboration, vector networking, and version control. Simply, Figma is like a browser-based Sketch with real-time collaboration.
Personal Experience: I was initially skeptical of Figma's user experience because it is a browser-based interface design tool. But later I found it still very sensitive to use. What's more, browser tools have the advantage that the recipient does not need to install anything, just need to open the browser on the computer to participate in the project. Figma files are available on Mac, Windows, Linux and mobile devices (view only).
"There is only one type of designer — the type that cares about type."
-- Rohan Nanavati
Helpers of website building
Ideal for designing custom design cards, blog images and various social media images (for Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Perfectly worked.
Zeplin is a tag, Style Guide, memo document, and easy-to-use teamwork tool for designers and front-end engineers.
Above are my personal summary of the best free website design tools for reference in 2018. Not all free, but with my experience, these tools are great partners for creating your own website. I hope they are helpful for your website design, and looking forward to seeing your own unique website in 2018.