Free Web Design and Development Tools I Found Online
Posted at Jun 17, 2019 6:56:00 AM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share
Hello and welcome to the first installment of free web design and development tools I found online! Ok, so if you don’t want to read my entire blog post, I won’t hold it against you. Here’s a short list of the products I will be talking about: ngrok, GIMP, Sublime Text, and Any Video Converter.
First off, let’s start with some background information. I am a web developer and designer, so it makes sense that the first episode of free web design and development tools I found online will be related to web development and design. Also, I am aware that some of these programs are extremely well known so I didn’t exactly “find” them, but to be honest, they are useful enough to bring up again.
Cool! That’s enough of the disclosure section of this post. Let’s move on to the actual programs.
I didn’t exactly find this program online – a man named Stan told me about it. (I know, great start to free web design and development tools I found online). But, before we jump in, you will need to have a basic understanding of how to set up a localhost webserver. Assuming you already know how to do this, or you followed one of the thousands of online videos showing you how to do this, we can move on to what ngrok actually does.
In layman’s terms, ngrok exposes your localhost webserver to the web and provides a URL that people can go visit to see what’s happening on your localhost. Basically, you can create a temporary live website for whatever you have on your localhost.
The official use case here is to review sites on mobile devices or other external devices without the sites being hosted on traditional webservers (or to show clients in-dev sites before handing them over).
The unofficial use case is only limited to what you can put on a website. Video streaming, chatrooms (small ones, anyway), file sharing, and even (potentially) live streams on temporary domains are all possible with this program. Or, if you are feeling a little paranoid about sharing files online, you can combine an unregistered ngrok install with a VPN and … uh, never mind … moving on. Rather than stray into the grey areas of the web, let’s change the subject and discuss program number two.
Let’s face it: even if you are an amateur web or digital designer, you are going to have to deal with .PSD files. With Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription now cheaper than ever, having Photoshop is almost a prerequisite to digital design. But what if you’re like most aspiring designers: broke?
If that’s the case, then GIMP is the program for you. It has most of the major features that Photoshop does as well as the ability to open and create PSD files. While GIMP is not a replacement in full for Photoshop, it is the best you are going to get for free and will blow other options such as Canva out of the water with its level of functionality. Although, at least in my experience, it can be a little more resource heavy than Photoshop, so if your computer is a complete potato, you may be out of luck.
Want a text editor with a file browser that doesn’t annoy you with stuff you will never need? Then download Sublime Text. I feel as if this is enough info on this one so … moving on.
Any Video Converter
Recently, the free version of Any Video Converter has been a bit harder to find, so you may have to actually scroll down the entire page, but doing so is worth it! The interface can be a little annoying at times (mostly because it’s the free version), but this program can convert pretty much anything you throw at it.
Other tools like HandBrake and VLC are good free options as well, but none are as easy to use as Any Video Converter. If you are not a technical person, then the simplicity of the program will be a plus. Also, if you convert files into certain formats like MP4 for HTML, it will give you an example embed of that file, which is a nice touch.
There you go: four programs that hopefully will be useful to you as a web developer and/or designer. If they aren’t helpful, well, you can’t say I didn’t try. But, if you liked this list, this won’t be the last time I do this. You can always come back for episode two of free web design and development tools that I found online!
Also, check out this video to learn about some of the paid tools we use for digital marketing here at THAT Agency:
And, if you are not a web designer and/or developer, I invite you to check out this free website cost calculator to get an instant estimate of how much a new website might cost: