Software for Web Designers on Budget – Ultimate Guide

Web design can be costly for designers; not only its process is
time-consuming, but its tools also involve hefty monetary
investment too. Designers on a budget are often hit with the same
dilemma – powerful machine and lesser software or settle with an
average machine so you can purchase more design-related software,
but in trade, you suffer for the epic system lagging.

In today’s post, we are going to give you a guide of all the
free Windows software you may need for web design
projects. We’ll also throw in our recommendation as well as more
free alternatives to give you more options, so
let’s dive into the heaven of free software and see what they
have in stock for you!

Also, check out our lists for more useful tools and

Web Browsing 1-web-browsing1-web-browsing

Don’t look at me like that, I know all web browsers are free,
just want to make sure that you have all best browsers in your

For web browser, we think the Google Chrome is the best browser
for now. Why? Faster browsing, cleaner user interface, better HTML5
and CSS3 support, and
awesome Chrome extensions
are rising more and more these

Read Also: 11
Ways to Speed Up Google Chrome

Besides, as the mobile has taken over some acres of the land of
Web Design these years, it’s really important for you to have
Opera Mobile Emulator to test your website on mobile browser

We Recommend: Google Chrome

More Alternatives: Mozilla Firefox,
Apple Safari,
Microsoft Internet Explorer
, Opera Web Browser, Opera Mobile
, IETester,

Read Also:
Browser Face-off: Opera vs. Brave vs. Vivaldi

Graphic Editing 2-graphic-editing2-graphic-editing

There are a lot of
graphics editors
released to challenge the realm of Photoshop
these years, but the GIMP stands firm on top of them, mainly due to
its extensive features.

Read Also: Best
Free Photo Editing Software for Windows 10

From photo enhancement to digital retouching to file format
support, GIMP will let you feel that it’s the best alternative to
the Photoshop. Its cluttered interface might be a bit complicated
at first, but it’s far better than the pain of having software
with fewer features.

We Recommend: GIMP

More Alternatives: FastStone Image Viewer

Read Also:
18 Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives

Vector Design 3-vector-design3-vector-design

There’s a time when you just need to create some perfect
shapes that form awesome icons, logos or buttons, and the job can
be well done with Inkscape.

Read Also: 30
Templates & Vector Kits to Design Your Own Infographic

Inkscape includes capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator or
CorelDraw, with the support of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file
format. Its main features include shapes, paths, text, markers,
clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns and
grouping, basically everything you need for drawing vector

We Recommend: Inkscape

More Alternatives: Creative Docs.NET, Alchemy, InsightPoint

Read Also:
50 Websites For Free Vector Images Download


is one of the software you shouldn’t spend a buck on
it, as there are just too many awesome code editors in the web!

For advanced coder, Notepad++ is your friendliest companion as
it does not contain any complicated plugin or feature that drags
the execution time and even your computer speed down. In short,
it’s lightning fast.

Read Also: Top 10
Free Source Code Editors – Reviewed

If you would like to seek coding guidance from the editor, both
Komodo Edit, Aptana Studio 3 and NetBeans IDE could be your good
master. Also check out our list for CSS

We Recommend: Notepad++

More Alternatives: Komodo Edit, Aptana Studio 3, NetBeans IDE, Bluefish, RJ TextEd, TotalEdit,
ConTEXT, Geany, Sublime Text, Editra

Read Also: 11 Top
CSS Editors

/ File Transfering 5-file-transfer5-file-transfer

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software helps you to transfer
files from one host to another host over a network, such as your
computer to your client’s website.

Filezilla makes sure you don’t spend any money on FTP software
in your entire web design career. It not only allows you to browse
the directories and upload multiple files real fast, but also
provides secure connection to ensure that everything you do in the
software is safe.

Alternatively, check out our list for more
FTP alternatives

We Recommend: Filezilla

More Alternatives: WinSCP, Cyberduck, FTP Rush, Core FTP Lite, Free FTP

Notetaking & Productivity 6-notetaking6-notetaking

I’ve heard so many designers telling me the moment that the
great ideas slipped through their mind, just because they didn’t
take note of it. You probably don’t want this kind of incident
happen in your life, and Evernote could prove to be a great helper
in securing your precious ideas.

Read Also: 7 Tips
To Boost Your Productivity

As its slogan says, Evernote helps you to remember everything,
in everywhere. You can not only store text note but also audio note
and even webcam note as well. What’s really awesome here is you
can sync the documents to other devices of any Operating System
such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more!

We Recommend: Evernote

More Alternatives: Memonic Desktop, AllMyNotes, RedNotebook, EssentialPIM, KeepNote, Tomboy, WikiPad, CintaNotes

Read Also: 40
Firefox Add-ons For Better Productivity

Mind Mapping 7-mind-mapping7-mind-mapping

You got to believe this: you need a mind map to organize,
manage, and even spawn your ideas. Mind map makes you clear about
what you’re doing, what you should not do, and what you can

Most of the time we draw the mind map though
papers and pen
, that’s fine, but what if you want to carry
the notes to everywhere, or you want to link certain ideas to the
website? You need the mind mapping software, and XMind could be
your best companion, as it got basically everything you need for
doing a mind map, and the user interface is even intuitive.

And of course, it’s sleek.

We Recommend: XMind

More Alternatives: Freemind, Freeplane,

Documents and Spreadsheets 8-documents-and-spreadsheets8-documents-and-spreadsheets

From Text Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation and Database,
OpenOffice is your reliable partner to assure your client’s
confidence about your professionalism. The user interface is also
intuitive enough that you can produce a presentation directly after
the installation. Forget about Microsoft Office!

Libre Office 3 and Lotus Symphony 3 are relatively new but they
also include certain awesome features as well, so do remember to
check them out and choose the best for your office works!

We Recommend: OpenOffice

More Alternatives: Libre Office 3, Lotus Symphony 3,
SoftMaker Office,
KOffice, GnomeOffice

File Sharing 9-file-sharing9-file-sharing

Many of the computer users are still using the mail services
like Gmail
to send file(s) to other user. The method is fine, but now we are
in the era of cloud computing, why don’t have a place in your
computer, where you or your client can just put the file into a
folder, and it will sync automatically on the other side?

Dropbox is the elf that allows you to share files with ease. The
fact that this software is so awesome is that it actually requires
no professional knowledge to setup the environment, it’s
foolproof! Probably saved you tons of time on explanation part.

Alternatively, check out our list of
file sharing services

We Recommend: Dropbox

More Alternatives: SpiderOak, Ubuntu One, Windows Live Mesh,
TeamDrive, ZumoDrive,

Read Also: 15 Best Sites
to Send Big Files Online

Screen Capturing

They say a picture worth thousand words, and screen capture
tools gotta help you capture any picture that you think it’s
worth thousand words. There are a lot of screen capture tools in
the web, but I found the Jing from TechSmith (the same company that
forged SnagIt) particularly useful.

Jing allows you to not only capture screen, but also record 5
minutes of screen activities. After the capture, you can also put
text, arrow, and frame to give the graphic some annotation, and
that’s pretty much everything I need from a screen capture

We Recommend: Jing

More Alternatives: ShareX, PicPick, Greenshot, DuckCapture, Shotty, PrtScr

Read Also:
30 Best Free Screen Capture Tools and Plugins

Fonts Management 10-fonts-management10-fonts-management

As a web designer, type is a big
deal for us, as it’s one of the most essential elements that
define the aesthetics of the web design you crafted, therefore
knowing every type in your computer is important for you to choose
the best one for your design.

While Nexus Font is not a font creation tool, it proves useful
to provide you a glimpse of every font installed in your computer,
making it possible for you to actually study, consider and choose
the best font for your design.

We Recommend: Nexus Font

More Alternatives: Cfont
, Dp4 Font Viewer,

I certainly hope you found your Mr. Right Software! But hey, if
you already have one that is not existed in this list, feel free
and proud to show it off to all of us in your comment!

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Software for Web Designers on Budget – Ultimate Guide

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