A web page can be a useful tool for everyone from large corporations utilizing their marketing and sales potential, to individuals who want to keep in touch with their friends and families. One of the most important aspects of any website is its design, and in order to achieve that design, a number of tools are necessary to turn the designer's vision into a live, working website.
Blogs are a popular feature of modern websites, allowing the website owner to publish news, opinions and general short written pieces about specific areas of interest that are shared with the readers. There is an abundance of free blogging software available for integration into websites, including Wordpress, Movable Type and Pivot. All of these options will allow for archives and interactivity such as reader comments, and can be modified to fit the form and layout of an existing website.
Graphics Editing Software
Graphics are an important part of any website. If a site is to feature any unique images that are specific to its content or its brand, these will have to be created and edited with software designed for the task. Adobe Photoshop is a popular choice for professional and amateur graphic designers because of its wide array of options, effects and compatibility. GIMP, an open source graphics application, also provides many of the same features as Photoshop.
HTML Editing Software
The code that makes a website can be written entirely in a text editor if the website's design and operations are simple enough and the designer is proficient with HTML and other programming languages utilized by web browsers. More complicated sites, which feature interactivity such as online shopping or social media applications, will typically require a Graphical User Interface (or GUI) to translate the web designer's vision into the code on which the website is built. A popular free GUI editor is Coffeecup, which features frequent updates as the nature of the web evolves. Adobe Dreamweaver is another commonly-used application for web design, and is renowned for its user-friendly integration of flash and other Adobe products.
Throughout the web design process, it is important to view the site in a standard browser to ensure that the layout and functions of the site work as they were intended. Cross testing the site in both a standard and a mobile browser is also recommended, to ensure that the design will look and work as intended on multiple browsers.
- girl inside internet browser window shopping image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com