50 Top Design & Development Tools

In the early days of my career as an Internet professional, rarely did my discussions about online success venture into the virtual waters of Web design.

But as the industry has placed increasingly higher values on user experience and the relationships between design and conversion, the visual development of webpages has taken its rightful place on center stage in the digital business world. At least it has for me.

Once the dominion of but a handful of the most artistic and technical among all Web workers, design has evolved significantly over the past few years. And so have the tools, platforms and frameworks that are used to produce aesthetically pleasing websites with which our users interact. Few designers code their websites in something as barren as a text editor anymore. Instead, highly customized tools, very robust platforms and powerful frameworks are filling the necessary roles of solutions used to develop not just Web properties, but applications; the entire digital presence, so to speak.

When you have an audience as diverse as that of Website Magazine, assembling a list of just 50 tools to aid in the design process can often seem to be a Sisyphean task. There are those just getting started that opt for ease of use from tools provided by their hosting provider; a good example being the 1and1 product MyWebsite, which is No. 17 on our list.

Many others will use one of myriad available platforms that require little in the way of design experience but yield stunning finished products, including Wix (No. 6), Yola (No. 12) or Webnode (No. 13). More experienced designers, however, wouldn't dream of using anything but Adobe's market-leading products - including Dreamweaver, Photoshop and InDesign (not to mention the video tools that Adobe provides).

And, wouldn't you know, it gets even more complex. The roles played by content management systems such as Word- Press (No. 2) and Joomla (No. 14) have dramatically changed our perceptions of the overall impact that design has on one's success on the Web.

Of course, it does not stop there. Entirely new definitions of design and development are emerging. The role that applications (Web and mobile) now play in the digital realm is vital, and frameworks have emerged that enable designers to take their existing coding language familiarity to entirely new heights.

There are many of the same requirements, and you will still need those wireframing tools and should not cast aside any video-editing tools or visual design products that have been staples in the design world for many years.

The definition of design and the role that it plays for you personally is greatly dependent on the type of enterprise you have and want to have in the future. Design is one element of success over which you have a great deal of control, so let these tools, platforms and frameworks support your objectives for 'Net success.



1. Adobe.com


2. Wordpress.com


3. intuit.com


4. Microsoft.com


5. Weebly.com


6. Wix.com



7. Squarespace.com


8. Ucoz.com


9. Jimdo.com


10. Webstarts.com


11. Moonfruit.com



12. Yola.com


13. Webnode.com


14. Joomla.org


15. Appcelerator.com


16. Drupal.org


17. 1and1.com


18. Blinkweb.com


19. Coffeecup.com


20. Jigsy.com


21. Snappages.com



22. Doodlekit.com


23. Zend.com


24. Xsitepro.com


25. Kompozer.net


26. Htmlkit.com


27. Bravenet.com


28. Webeden.net


29. Swishzone.com


30. Evrsoft.com


31. Djangoproject.com


32. Sencha.com



33. Netobjects.com


34. Trendyflash.com


35. Codeigniter.com


36. Cabanova.com


37. Expressionengine.com


38. Webstudio.com


39. Aptana.com


40. Sitecube.com



41. Sitekreator.com


42. Site2You.com


43. RhoMobile.com


44. Buildyoursite.com


45. 350.com


46. Roxer.com


47. Cubender.com


48. Dojotoolkit.org


49. Ezgenerator.com


50. Ibuilt.net