Web design software is an essential component of any web designer’s toolkit. It allows you to create a prototype or final product that can then be coded into reality. But there are a wide variety of web design tools available, and it can be tricky to know which one is right for you and your project.
In this article, we’ll look at the most commonly used web design software, from tools that are completely free to those that have a hefty price tag. We’ll also compare their features and consider what type of user may benefit from each one.
Table of Contents
Most Commonly Used Web Design Software
WordPress powers 40% of websites around the world, and no wonder. This web builder offers thousands of pre-made themes and a high level of customization (thanks to its functionality and 50,000+ plugins), making it a perfect choice when building a website to fit your brand. WordPress also has an excellent content management system (CMS). It’s easy and straightforward to publish content in the blink of an eye. And word has it that it’s the best CMS for SEO.
WordPress offers a free plan. Paid plans start at $4/month.
Webflow is an all-in-one responsive web design tool that folds a CMS, managed web hosting, and free SSL certificate all in one no-code platform. Build interactions and animations into your website, drag-and-drop unstyled HTML elements. Or make use of pre-built elements like sliders, tabs, and background videos. The tool features a master component library of core layouts, components, and patterns. Plus, Webflow gives you the ability to prototype and export code to hand off to developers if you don’t want to launch a site on its native subdomain.
Webflow starts free, with plans going up from $12/month on an annual basis.
Wix is a user-friendly web design software for complete beginners. Don’t know where to start? Choose from over 800 templates or answer a few questions from Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). ADI will automatically build a website based on your responses. To customize it, drag and drop elements on the screen and edit as you see fit.
Wix offers a free plan. Paid plans start at $4.50/month.
Additional options of a drag-and-drop website builder include Boxmode and Webwave.
Say hello to Statamic, the CMS of the future. Built by developers for developers, this laravel-based and open-sourced CMS handles everything without any plugins. And by everything, we mean everything. Custom fields, navigation builder, search, you name it. Compared to other CMS, it’s easy to customize Statamic from the frontend. Its flat-file mode reduces complexity and makes maintenance a piece of cake. This is one cool web builder.
It’s free to use Statamic. Paid plans start at $259/site with an additional $59 for updates (free for the first year).
Source: Ali Abdaal
Ghost is a simple professional publishing platform. In addition to the blogging tool’s standard features, Ghost also offers built-in memberships and email newsletters. Other great features include the minimalistic and powerful editor, site speed, and user-friendly and lightweight CMS. If you want to set up a membership website with zero hassle, look no further!
Ghost offers a 14-day free trial, with plans going up from $29/month when billed annually.
Best web editors
6. Adobe Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver is a simplified coding engine allowing a real-time preview of your content as you made edits to the code. Start your next responsive website project from a template or build from scratch. With Git support and code hints, you can custom-build all kinds of HTML assets like emails, eCommerce sites, portfolios, blogs, and more.
Start with a 30-day free trial. Plans start at $20.99/month or $52.99/month for the entire Adobe Creative Cloud when billed annually. (Prices vary for students, teachers, and businesses.)
RapidWeaver is a native web design software exclusively on and for Mac. Choose from 50 built-in or over 100 community-built themes, and instantly see how your designs will look on various Apple devices. The software integrates with Unsplash and has a big focus on giving you SEO-friendly code.
RapidWeaver has a free trial. Download it for $84.99.
openElement is a free WYSIWYG web editor with a whole host of editing features that support many different page elements such as text, images, tables, lines. Some web elements are even drag-and-drop. Users praise it for being lightweight and SEO-friendly.
openElement is free.
Atom is free.
10. CoffeeCup HTML Editor
CoffeeCup HTML Editor was built for WYSIWYG precision and excellence. Work from scratch in HTML, CSS, and PHP, or choose from an existing theme. Use the “Open from Web” option to take any website as a starting point for your new design. With a components library, code validation tool, and live preview, you’ll have your next web design up and running quickly.
open source web design software
- Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe Dreamweaver is one of the most popular free web design software. It ensures fast and flexible coding with code hints and visual aids to help beginners create professional websites.
However, Adobe Dreamweaver is available on a free trial, only for seven days. After that, you have to get its paid version to continue using its amazing features.
Core Features of Adobe Dreamweaver:
- Site previews with real-time editing
- Flexible and fast coding
- CEF integration & Git support
- IDE environment
- Dynamic display for every device
- Multi-monitor support
Deployment Type: On-premise
Suitable for Business Size: Small & medium businesses, large enterprises
Pricing Mode: Plans start from ₹ 1675 per month for a single app. The monthly plan for all apps costs around ₹ 4230. Also available is a seven days free trial version.
Reasons to Buy:
- Easy to customize starter templates for building blogs, portfolios and HTML emails.
- Timely bug and security vulnerability fixes.
- Compatible with the latest Windows & mac operating systems.
Supported OS: Windows 10 & above, Linux, Mac OS 10.12 Sierra & above
Here’re a few free and open-source web design software like Dreamweaver, which provides equally amazing features and support.
- Brackets (Free and Open Source Web Design Software)
Best for: Visual tools for live previews
Brackets website builder provides pre-processor support and visual tools for writing codes and building websites. The open-source and free web design software is ideal for designing in the browser using live previews.
It provides visual tools along with editors to help web developers and front-end developers with error-free coding.
Brackets Core Features:
- Live preview
- Inline editors
- Indent guides
- Pre-processor support
- Auto prefixes
- Git integration
Deployment Type: Cloud-based and desktop
Suitable for Business Size: Small businesses and medium enterprises
Pricing Mode: Brackets is a free and open-source web design software.
Reasons to Buy: Brackets is ideal just not for web designers but also for front-end developers. It is simple to use and provides free extensions and syntax colouring.
Supported OS: Windows, Linux and Mac
- WordPress (Free and Paid)
Best for: Customizable templates
WordPress is one of the best professional web design software. The web design software offers plugins and addons for building professional quality landing pages in minutes.
Thus, you can create websites easily without the advanced knowledge of coding. In addition, it provides Pro layouts to create professionally designed websites.
Features of WordPress:
- Online store builder & booking tools
- Electronic form
- Full-text searching option
- Document classification and data export/import
- Auto file management
- Customizable templates
Deployment Type: On-premise and cloud-based
Suitable for Business Size: All business types
Pricing Mode: Starting plan costs around ₹ 292 a month. You can also get started for free with limited features.
Reasons to Buy: Best for building fast websites and blog pages. WordPress can be easily integrated with plugins from third-party apps. Several instances are also available for live hosting and testing.
Supported OS: Windows and Mac, Android & iOS
- CoffeeCup HTML Editor (Free and Paid
Best for: Creating prototypes and mobile-friendly emails
CoffeeCup HTML editor helps businesses create an online presence with the help of professional web development tools. Implementing SEO strategies or adding web firms, all is easy with this website design software.
The best part is its HTML editor that can be used to design websites and edit the code and build mobile-friendly emails.
CoffeCup HTML Editor Core Features:
- Components’ library
- Live previews
- Custom web forms
- Custom email solution
- Visual code selector
- Semantic web-ready
- Responsive and customizable themes
Deployment Type: On-premise
Suitable for Business Size: Medium and small-sized businesses
Pricing Model: Single package with a free trial available at the cost of ₹ 2119.
Reasons to Buy: Easy to use the HTML editor to create custom web forms and share them via custom emails.
Supported OS: Windows 7 and higher
- Joomla (Free and Paid)
Best for: Powerful SEO features
Joomla is a website maker software and content marketing system, which offers command-line applications for building websites. The software’s graphical user interface offers customizable templates in varied layouts, colours and fonts to develop interactive websites and online applications.
- Cache and user management
- Publish tools and editor buttons
- Custom fields with categories
- Media manager with WYSIWYG editor
- Content versioning with CMS management
Deployment Type: On-premise
Suitable for Business Size: Small, medium and large enterprises
Pricing Mode: Joomla 3.9.26 is available for free download with premium upgrades available.
Reasons to Buy: Joomla has a smooth learning curve with various video training materials and documentation available.
Further, you can use Joomla or its metadata management capabilities and powerful search engine optimization capabilities.
Supported OS: Windows and mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android
- Bootstrap (Free and Open Source Web Design Software)
Best for: Grid typography and fonts
Bootstrap open source web design software offers mixins and SaaS variables and responsive grid systems for creating responsive websites. The web design software provides essential features and colours for styling webpages and making webpages behave as per their screen size.
Also available are side features like popovers, modals, tooltips, glyph icons and pagination.
Bootstrap Core Features:
- jQuery plugins
- Basic style definitions
- Various layout components
- Grid typography and fonts
- Predefined libraries
Deployment Type: Web-based
Suitable for Business Size: Small and medium businesses
Pricing Mode: Monthly plan available at ₹ 1097. Bootsrap also offers a free plan for up to 10 users and 2GB storage.
Reasons to Buy: Bootstrap free website builder is compatible with multiple browsers like Opera, internet explorer, Chrome, Safari, etc., thus making website building easy and simple.
Pre-styled customizations and components are the added advantages of using Bootstrap. Web styling is easy and doesn’t take very long.
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