Free or inexpensive online web design tools

For the budding newbie web designer who is not entirely sure if this is the correct career path, or for experienced web professionals who might be looking to economize their software budget, there are a multitude of shareware, downloadable freeware, or inexpensive online tools available. Inspired by an email inquiry from one of our TR Web Master readers, I have culled together this list of available resources that have little or no associated costs other than the required components to run Windows, Mac, and in some instances, Linux operating systems, an Internet connection, and an attitude for learning new tools.

The tools are divided into sections by web development and design tools, image editing tools, file transfer tools, and web hosting providers — and in no particular order.

In this part of the series, I’ll present several web authoring and design tools and image editing tools; part 2 of the series will highlight several file transfer protocol tools and some of the free or low cost web hosting providers. This is not so much a review of each tool, but more of an overview of selected applications available within each category. There are far more tools and applications out there than will be presented in this two-part series. If you have experience with tools and online applications that fit within one of these categories and meet the guidelines for free or low-cost, please share them with us in the comments section at the end. (Read more…)