Monday, January 30, 2006

Top 50 Tools for Web Design

We’re in the middle of a Cambrian explosion of new web based tools: so many that even we have trouble keeping track. Web designers haven’t escaped: there are now scores of tools that turn ordinary folks into designers (for better or worse) and plenty of new toys for the pros, too. We’ve gathered together more than 50 such tools and resources: feel free to add more in the comments.


SiteKreator – You can instantly design, build and host a fully-branded website for personal or business use.

Leafletter – Allows you to create a “little web site” that you can then distribute anywhere (social networks, blogs, other websites).

SynthaSite – Browser-based website creation tool that allows you to collaborate with friends or colleagues. Also has lots of widgets, templates and other components you can use.

Weebly – With Weebly you can create a fully branded website using a drag and drop interface, and change your design any time.

FolioNow – A web-based tool that makes creating websites affordable and requires little effort.

Zinadoo – Lets you create and share a mobile website.

mobispirit – An online platform for creating mobile applications.

siteMighty – Web based platform for creating affiliate websites in minutes.

CreataPlace – Create a professional portfolio website without programming. And it’s affordable.

weebox – Flash-based website creator with a drag-and-drop interface. You do have to host through them.

freewebs – Fast and easy website creator with hundreds of available templates and customizable widgets.

Built Smarter – Tons of templates available, depending on the price you’re willing to pay, built-in modules and customization also available.

sampa – Free website creation and hosting. There is an ad bar that runs across the top of your site.

Wufoo – Online form builder with full CSS and XHTML integration.

formspring – Another online form builder. This one lets you get all of the form submissions through an RSS feed or single spreadsheet instead of hundreds of emails.


inserit – A codeless CMS that lets you freely design your pages and integrate live content anywhere. Host your website anywhere (Linux or Windows).

BrowserShots – Test your site in different browsers.

tweak – Tweak is a CMS that allows you to design your way, and make it conform. You can also save pages in just about any format (HTML, PHP, ASP, JSP, etc.).

formatpixel – Create an online magazine, fanzine or catalog that you can then share on your website.

RoundedCornr – Generates HTML/CSS code and images for rounded corners.


ColorSchemer – I use the color scheme gallery on this site all the time for inspiration when creating just about anything.

COLOURlovers – Tons of color theory inspiration and color schemes as well as color trends.

Color Mixers – Color Mixers creates color schemes for you, and has an easy-to-use slider interface.

ColorBlender – A free online tool for color matching and palette design. You just choose a color using the color picker and a 6-color matching palette will be automatically created.

Kuler – Make color schemes that are compatible with Adobe Creative Suite products.

colr – Another color scheme generator.

Color Tool 2.0.8 Alpha – This is a pretty cool color scheme generator that allows you to save and then link to your color scheme.

Vecteezy – Get free vector graphics from top artists around the world.

BlogFlux Button Maker – The Button Maker allows you to make 80×15 and 88×13 buttons with a few clicks and without needing to know how to use a graphics program.

Button Browser – Button gallery and button maker.

Brilliant Button Maker – Another 80×15 button maker.

Background Image Maker – You can make slash, strip, dot or gradation backgrounds with this free online tool.

Brusheezy – Very cool Photoshop brushes available for download.

Tartan Maker – Create your own tartans with this easy-to-use web-based tool. Use for backgrounds or other images.

iconfinder – An icon search engine.

Stripe Generator 2.0 – Create striped backgrounds for your site.

FamFamFam – Silk icons, 1000 to choose from. There are report icons, picture icons, XHTML/CSS buttons, hardware drive icons, feed icons, and more.

IconBuffet – Professional icon collections.

Web 2.0 Badges – Create Web 2.0 badges for your site.

The Icon Factory – They offer freeware icons as well as a shareware IconBuilder.

Colr Pickr – Pick a color and Colr Pickr will show you a bunch of images that consist primarily of that color from flickr.

terra IMS mapicons Dynamic Generator – Create PNG format images to use as icons on Google Maps or Yahoo Maps.

pic2color – Create color palettes from images, and recolor your graphics.

TypeTester – TypeTester allows you to try out different web fonts to see how they’ll look side-by-side.


DesignSnack – A user-controlled web design showcase that can serve as great inspiration. Users get to vote on sites showcased.

Web Creme – A gallery of beautiful web designs for inspiration.

CSS Collection – A collection of real websites built with CSS to serve as inspiration.

cssBeauty – Check out their gallery for tons of inspiration.

ConceptShare – Share your work with clients and coworkers with a very clear interface that is unlikely to confuse clients.

A List Apart – The must-read blog/online magazine focused on web development and design.

Web Design from Scratch – Tons of resources for design, including articles on design process, goal-oriented design, site architecture and usability.

Css ForSale – Purchase an established CSS-based website or just go here for inspiration. (via)