Whether it is to create a prototype, manage a project, collaborate with colleagues or peers, organize work or compress images, there is a Web design tool for almost every need.
To develop a comprehensive list of designers' go-to tools, Website Magazine went straight to the source - asking your peers what they use to manage, produce, optimize and evaluate their work.
"I couldn't build a website without these three tools. They're with me through every single project.
Ahrefs - If you're building a website, then SEO is a must. From keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink opportunities, to content exploration, Ahrefs is a must have for me. Without them, my strategy, content, sitemap and even design would miss the mark. Ahrefs is a must have.
Iconfinder - There's not a mockup I touch without visiting iconfinder. Their set of free and premium icons, png, svg - they have everything. Even when I need to create custom icons, I still use iconfinder as a launching pad. The amount of time they've saved me would be shocking if added up. Design would be a much slower process without them.
Hemingway - I started as a designer many years ago, I'll always be a designer. But, I've never created a design that didn't need content. Hemingway is a fantastic tool to check my writing. It's easy to get wordy, overuse adverbs, use a passive voice, or just write long complicated sentences – like this one. Hemingway makes me look smart. I can't write without them."
~ Daniel Davidson, Founder of By Dan Design Co.
"Two resources that I love are: Identity Designed and Typewolf.
Identity Designed is a 'showcase of brand identities from around the world' run by UK-based identity designer David Airey. ID’s posts go in depth about the designer’s process in creating the brand identity and is a great resource for inspiration, especially if you know what you want out of your new design but are having a hard time putting that into words.
Typewolf is an awesome collection of typography resources, including a long running 'Site of the Day' feature. This is a great place to find typefaces you might want to include on your new site or branding, and many of the Site of the Day sites feature great logo design themselves."
~ Brian Dove, Designer at Workshop Digital
"I use SHOWIT 5 and it is an online drag-and-drop interface that connects a WordPress Blog to a commercial website. This solution is for someone who wants the results that you'd see from a seasoned wireframe expert without the expense, someone who is a solo-preneur or a sole-proprietor, like me.
Here is my site, which was built using this technology:
My third go-to is what I use for video, Animoto. Thier tool is EASY to use and the videos can be exported to your YouTube Channel directly from the interface. I embed mine when I do blog, which will be more often now that I have this tool. As a photographer I find it problematic to post a gallery of images online when clients have only purchased 6 or 10. Using videos I can share the gallery without risking theft.
~ Angela Elisabeth, Founder of Angela Elisabeth Portraits
"The best project management tool that we use for website design is Trello.
Its board-like interface allows you to visually see your tasks, assign those tasks to other team members, and assign due dates on all of those tasks. Its also great for group projects and brainstorming with all teams. Being on the same page with teammates about projects and ideas can certainly help cultivate a positive company culture as well.
Its a very clean way to prioritize things between team members and keep everyone on the same page."
~ Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal
"I would say that the number one tool that I'd recommend would be Elementor. It's a freemium plugin that has awesome features to really make your posts look awesome with zero designing skills. I use it to make my blog posts and pages attractive for my users. This little plugin has helped me increase my users' dwell time and reduce the bounce rate of my site."
~ Paul Koger, Founder of Foxy Trades LLC
"Aha: When working on a large project there is a wide selection of tools for laying out your information architecture. Aha is a tool we use to road map a product release by using their Gantt chart feature. It's collaborative and allows for us to set the milestones and communicate as a team on all aspects of the build. This is key to organize multiple projects at one time and ensure that all aspects of the design and development are on time.
The benefit of Aha is that its a platform that goes beyond design, you can build out customer personas, market research and strategy. All of these elements are important when starting a website build.
Invision: We probably won't be the only ones to mention Invision, they are an standard in the industry. We love their platform, which allows for the full range of planning, designing and prototyping..
Sketch: We still use Adobe Photoshop for the majority of our Web design elements, but we suggest Sketch as a tool for those that might be just getting started, and are looking for tools to customize elements of a design.
Sketch is a great tool for creating icons, avatars, user interfaces for apps and web page layouts."
~ Justin Shaw, Founder of One & Zero
"Web design tools don't necessarily have to be complicated to be good. DudaMobile and Wix are two very high rated tools that offer great features and help build functional and aesthetically pleasing websites."
~ Alexis Zanger, Senior Marketing Manager at Aegis Software Corp.