Alex Williams  โ€”

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web designer toolsPeople often assume you have to be a born coder to deal with web design software. That was true at one point. But, building a website has become much easier – web design software is now astonishingly good.

Ask a developer, however, and they’d most likely tell you hard-coding is the only way... That’s a very biased opinion. Nowadays, even non-coding options get you:

  • 90% of the customizability 
  • for a fraction of the price you’d pay a developer 

If you're a techie, then check out the best web design software for those who know coding. If not, then feel free to jump to web design tools that don't require coding knowledge.

Stil, you can’t go with just any web design software. That’s why we’ve narrowed down the choices – choose the best web design software, whatever your need.

A Foreword on Loading Speed

One thing to note, design isn’t the only converting factor of a website. Load speed is actually much more importantโ•

Load speed helps you:

  • rank higher on Google & retain more visitors
  • and ultimately, increase your conversions 

The sure-fire way to ensure a great loading speed is to get the best web hosting. It’s the one thing you can’t easily change or optimize... Onto the guideโžก๏ธ

How We Reviewed Web Design Software

Our review process is simple but differs for coding and non-coding web design softwares. First, we narrowed the choices down to 10 from each category, then chose 5 as finalists ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Our review process for coding web design software:

  1. We test how capable the software is 
  2. Ease of use, customizability, & beginner suitability 

Our review process for non-coding web design software:

  1. We test its ease of use 
  2. Number of themes/plugins, capabilities, & how  good it is as a CMS 

Best Web Design Software (UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง) in 2020
(If You Get Coding)

If you already have some experience working with different coding languages, then this section is just right for you. 


1. Adobe Dreamweaver: Best Overall Web Design Software

For Wizards of Coding ๐Ÿง™‍โ™‚๏ธ

Dreamweaver is the most advanced and flexible web design software and that’s why it’s #1 on this list.

It’s been the top-performing web design application for a long time. Furthermore, it can be used not only to design a website but also code a website and get it ready for publishing.

PROS
  • It has a visual editor
  • Sites can be managed with a CMS
CONS
  • Itโ€™s quite expensive
  • Beginners will have a hard time learning
Key Specifications
  • Responsive Design
  • Code Completion
  • Website Templates
  • Multi-Monitor Support
  • 30GB SSD
  • Code Highlighting

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail 

Dreamweaver is built to combine coding and visual website editing to give you the best of both worlds. 

It can be used with minimal coding experience but it also doesn’t limit your coding possibilities.

Even though professional coders with experience have a plethora of other code-based applications to choose from, they choose this ๐Ÿ”Ÿ

The GUI helps with features like advanced wireframing and live previews – which code-based apps do not have.

You can also manage Dreamweaver-built websites with CMS’ like:

  • WordPress, Drupal and Joomla 
  • Or you can track changes through a GIT repository.
Other Great DW Features โญ
  • One of the most important things today is to make your website mobile-friendly. This is made easy by Dreamweaver, it is built to make responsive websites.
  • When writing code, Dreamweaver will automatically try to complete your code, thus reducing the time you need to write the code.
  • Even professional developers sometimes start with templates, but having templates helps the beginners more than professionals.
  • If you’re a designer who uses multiple monitors to look at code on one and design on the other, you can do that with Dreamweaver.
  • Mistakes are easy to make, even for professionals. Dreamweaver has a feature that will check your code and highlight your errors – you won’t have to search for them manually.
  • You can have a small CSS window on the side to help you make quick edits to the website’s style.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail 

If you already have the Adobe CC web suite ๐Ÿ™‹ this comes included in the price. But if you want to buy separately, it’ll cost more than others, at around:

  • 15 GBP/month for individuals
  • and 25 GBP/month for businesses 

The other downside of this software is that the undo feature doesn’t work in all contexts. For example, if you’re importing from a PSD file – pressing Ctrl + Z will do nothing. 

It’s also not very easy to use for beginners.

Other than requiring coding knowledge, the UI is very complex, often requiring you to have multiple tabs open at a time – making for a steep learning curve.


2. Bluefish: Best for UI Customizations

Great for Learning Code ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐ŸŽ“

Bluefish is a lightweight, open-source text editor.

First released in the late 1990s, it’s targeted towards programmers and web developers, and it’s still being maintained. It’s also free to use.

PROS
  • Highly customizable interface
  • Absolute control over the code
  • Easy to use for beginners
CONS
  • No quick-publish option
Key Specifications
  • Inline Spell Checker
  • Code Completion
  • External Program Integration
  • Snippets Sidebar
  • Recursive File Opening
  • Auto-recovery

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Bluefish is very customizable. It provides you with custom toolbars, dialogs and customized menus. 

These provide you with easy access to code snippets/editing tools. More than needed for a typical site. You get full control over what you build. 

The wide array of supported languages include:

  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • … Java, XML, Perl, Python, and PHP 

Bluefish doesn’t come with a visual builder and isn’t a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) app. 

Those applications don’t always provide the cleanest code, however. The interface is fairly easy to use, so beginner coders can easily learn.

Other Great Bluefish Features โญ
  • Bluefish is able to check your text for spelling errors, this function excludes code and only checks comments and strings.
  • To make coding easier, Bluefish will try to auto-complete your coding statements when possible. This also works in nested files like CSS inside of HTML, inside of a PHP document.
  • You can integrate and external program like weblint or xmllint to detect errors and handle advanced text processing
  • Create special dialogs, search and replace patterns, or insert patterns. You can also bind them to a shortcut to speed up your coding.
  • With Bluefish, you can recursively open files based on name or content patterns.
  • When your application crashes or the power goes out, Bluefish will recover your file the next time you open the application.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

Because it isn’t a WYSIWYG application, some people might have a hard time designing their website straight from a code editor. You might have to use another application to design your website before coding it. 

The interface is very organized/easy to use,but isn’t the most pleasing to the eyes. Themes can improve it but it will never reach the beauty of some other builders.

Also, it doesn’t come with an integrated option to update the website files with GIT or on your FTP Server. A feature like this could save you a lot of time doing manual pushing if you update your website frequently.


3. Sketch: Best for Wireframing and Prototyping

If You Code in a Separate App ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ’ป

Sketch is a newer application than most others. It’s focused on design only. This means that it doesn’t have a code editor; you’ll need a different tool for coding your website.

PROS
  • Easy to use for both beginners & pros
  • Many design elements to choose from
CONS
  • Only available on Mac OS
  • Need a powerful Mac to build complex files
Key Specifications
  • Interactive Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Vector Assets
  • Keyboard Shortcutsย 
  • Sketch Cloudย 
  • Amazing Plugins

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Unlike Photoshop, which provides layered static files, Sketch goes a step further: It can be used to design the interface but also interactions and animations like button clicks and swipes. 

That’s why Mac OS designers are moving from Photoshop to Sketch. 

The interface is clean and simply laid out. Beginners can easily find their way around the app. But it also doesn’t take away any power from the professionals. 

Sketch comes with lots of ready-made elements just waiting to be drag-and-dropped into the design screen. 

Aside from all that, Sketch also offers a plethora of features that any web designer would just love to have. For example, a premium plan will get you some "free" cloud storage to keep your data on. Let's take a look:

Other Great Sketch Features โญ
  • You can create animated, living designs that your client can interact with and navigate to different pages.
  • Sketch includes the option to design your website for multiple screen sizes.
  • You can use vector graphics in Sketch to make sure your designs render perfectly on every screen.
  • Plugins are mostly third-party mini-apps that integrate with Sketch and extend its functionalities. There are a lot of Sketch plugins, which you can find on its website.
  • Sketch has shortcuts for basically any action. All shortcuts can be seen on their website. 
  • With your subscription, you also get quality cloud storage where you can save your Sketch projects.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

The biggest drawback of this app is that it’s only available for Mac OS. 

You’ll have to use Mac OS – there’s no Windows version, and there isn’t a plan to release one anytime soon. Also, this app isn’t free, and the licenses are given on a per-device basis. 

The price starts at around 75 GBP per year but can drop down to 45 GBP for 50 or more devices. Renewing your license comes at a cheaper price.

If you plan to create complex files with multiple pages, you might need a powerful mac with lots of RAM.


4. Atom Text Editor: Best Open-Source Web Design Software

Simplicity at It's Finest ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Atom was built with developers in mind – and it’s free. Being developed by Github, you can rightfully expect it to be one of the best when it comes to web design tools and software.

PROS
  • Highly customizable or hackable, as developers say
  • Extremely easy to use for both beginners & pros
CONS
  • Performance issues, can be slow at times
  • Doesnโ€™t come with a visual builder
Key Specifications
  • Customizability
  • Perfect Git Integration
  • Beautiful Themes and Syntax Coloring
  • Code Snippets
  • Command Palette
  • Coding Spell Checker

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Atom is a highly-customizable text editor, or as the developers call it – hackable. 

You can change the UI theme, syntax theme, and even extend functionality. There are thousands of packages available for you to install at the click of a button.

It’s made by Github, so it has perfect Github integration. A Github feature everyone likes is seeing staged and unstaged changes right in the editor – this is natively supported with Atom.

Atom is extremely easy to use for both beginners and pros. The UI is neatly organized and everything is easy to find. There are shortcuts for basically any functionality, to help you speed up your coding. 

Other Great Atom Features โญ
  • Atom can be customized with themes and plugins which can extend its functionality.
  • Since it’s developed by Github, it naturally has the best Github integration.
  • This is subjective but Atom comes with multiple themes and syntax color schemes so you can find what best fits your eyes.
  • Atom makes it extremely easy to create your own code snippets and insert them anywhere you want.
  • The command palette can be opened from any tab and includes all the commands you can execute.
  • Atom comes with a spell checker that is trained to avoid code.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

Atom can be slow.

Developers have criticized it for slow loading times compared to some other alternatives, although it’s still used due to its high customizability.

Code completion isn’t natively available. You might have to install a plugin for it to work, which can slow down the application. It’s not a WYSIWYG editor.

You’ll get full control of the code but it will also be harder to design your pages. You might need to use another app to design before coding.


5. Google Web Designer: Best for Animations

How About Some 3D? ๐ŸŽฅ

Google Web Designer is a tool most similar to Adobe Dreamweaver. 

It’s similar in that it has both a visual builder and a code editor – it’s a WYSIWYG application.

PROS
  • Many advanced components
  • Surprisingly low CPU/RAM usage
  • Create custom code files
CONS
  • Not easy to create websites with
Key Specifications
  • Great Animation Tools
  • Quick-Publish
  • Google Ads Validation Checks
  • Plethora of Custom Elements
  • Code Completion
  • Various 3D Options

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Google Web Designer comes with a lot of advanced components like:

  • maps & gestures
  • and even 3D models. 

These components can help you create animations.

If you’ve got a slow PC, you could still use Google Web Designer – it uses surprisingly low CPU and RAM. It also lets you create custom code files including CSS, JS, and XML files. 

Finally, google web designer features code completion and syntax highlighting to speed up your coding.

Other Great Google Web Designer Features โญ

  • Google Web Designer comes with tools that can help you create better animations for your website.
  • You can publish your project right from within the app. You can publish locally, or to Google Drive.
  • This app comes with a lot of options around 3D Modelling and 3D Animation.
  • When you’re coding, the editor will automatically try to complete your code which increases your coding speed.
  • If you’re designing a Google Ad, it will check your code for errors and make sure it’s compatible with Google Ads.
  • You can create your own custom elements and can import them in any project.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

Perhaps the worst thing is that GWD was created mainly for designing ads/banners.

Because of this, it isn’t as easy to use while trying to create a website with this tool. Even though it is a WYSIWYG, it still requires more than basic code knowledge.

If you want to create a functioning website – it’s not as easy as dragging and dropping.

Lastly, it’s not beginner-friendly. For novice users, it will be hard to find their way around. The UI is complex, settings are placed under tabs. It’s generally hard to get around the first few times.


Best Web Design Software (UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง) in 2020
(For Non-Devs)

Alright. So, you don't know any code and you don't care about learning it. That's fine, I feel the same. Check out the top-rated web design software for non-devs.


1. Weebly: Best Web Design Software for Bloggers

Best Mobile Web Design Software ๐Ÿ“ฑ

Weebly, founded in 2006, is one of the best website builders out there. It was acquired by Square for $365 million in 2018 and has kept expanding and adding new features ever since.

Weebly is a hosted solution so if you planned to host it on your own server, you can’t do that. Also, BuiltWith knows of at least 800 thousand active websites that use Weebly.

PROS
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Websites are quick to load
CONS
  • Advanced marketing tools not readily available
  • No easy way to migrate to other platforms
Key Specifications
  • Mobile Management
  • Drag-and-Drop Builder
  • Great for eCommerce
  • Advanced SEO Tools
  • Tons of Templates
  • Perfect for Blogging

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Weebly is extremely easy to use. 

Virtually anyone with no prior coding or web design knowledge can have a website up in 30 minutes. There are many ready-made templates that can help you get set up.

Other than providing beautiful websites, Weebly websites are also extremely fast to load. 

This improves your search engine ranking, visitor retention, and ultimately increases conversions. With the Android and IOS apps, you can easily build and manage your website from your smartphone.

Wherever you are.

Other Great Weebly Features โญ
  • The best feature of Weebly is that you can build and manage your website using their Android and IOS apps.
  • Weebly comes with the possibility of selling online. The payments can be processed by multiple providers such as PayPal and Square.
  • Building your Weebly website is made easy by a drag-and-drop builder.
  • Templates help you get your website up and running without any design skills or invested time.
  • If you want to rank higher on search engines, you can use Weebly’s SEO tools to insert site descriptions, meta keywords, and more.
  • Weebly gives you the possibility to create blog posts from within your dashboard.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail 

Weebly isn’t a full-fledged CMS. It has some features of a CMS like blog posts, but it’s still design-driven and doesn’t give you the full freedom of a CMS.

Advanced marketing tools aren’t really available - there is no easy way to implement:

  • custom email collection tools
  • analytics software or A/B testing systems

The worst drawback of Weebly might be the platform lock-inIf you build a website with Weebly, there isn’t an easy way to migrate it to a different platform. The easiest way is to recreate it on the other platform.


2. Wix: Best for Template Users

The Prom Queen of Web Design ๐Ÿ‘ธ

Wix might be the most popular hosted solution on our list. For example, Builtwith knows of at least 3.8 million active websites that use Wix. 

Its designs are beautiful and responsive across all devices. And that’s part of the reason as to why it has so many active users growing by the day.

PROS
  • Examplary App Market
  • Amazing templates ready to go
  • Extremely easy to use
CONS
  • Slow loading speed compared to competitors
Key Specifications
  • Mobile Blog Management
  • Drag-and-Drop Builder
  • Free Domain
  • Free Professional Email
  • Wix Support 24/7 Chat
  • Works Great for eCom

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

One of the best things about Wix, as seen in our Wix review, are the templates. They provide over 300 templates, divided into industry categories so you can make a better choice. There’s certainly a choice you’ll like.

Wix has an app market that houses many different tools, mostly developed by third parties. These apps can help you implement external tools like AdSense or JivoChat. Other than that, Wix is extremely easy to use 

Beginners can build a website within 30 minutes of starting out. All you need to have is the content.

Other Great Wix Features โญ
  • Wix has Android and IOS apps that let you manage your blog from your smartphone.
  • The app market is an easy way to add additional functionality to your website.
  • Wix allows you to sell your products online and accept payments through payment processors such as PayPal.
  • With Wix, you get a professional email address that matches your domain name (ex. alex [at] hostingdata.co.uk).
  • If you don’t want to integrate an external solution, Wix has a built-in chat that you can use on your website.
  • Creating your pages is made easy by a drag-and-drop editor which is easy to use.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

The worst thing about Wix is probably the speed. Websites built with Wix usually load slower than competing platforms such as Weebly. This can hurt your search engine rankings and make you lose visitors.

The template you use for your website can’t be easily changed. You can use the drag-and-drop builder to modify it a little– but there’s no easy way to completely change it.

Lastly, Wix isn’t a full-fledged CMS. It does have certain CMS features such as blogging – but it’s design-driven (same as Weebly) and doesn’t give you the full freedom of a CMS.


3. WordPress: Best for Pros & Beginners Alike

A Go-To Option for Designers All Over the Globe ๐ŸŒ

WordPress is the most popular option for website building.  It’s good for both pros and beginners, which means it can be used with templates.

There are two WordPress platforms, and they’re very different. 

We’re gonna be talking about WordPress as a self-hosted CMS – located at https://wordpress.org/ - because it’s more robust. Builtwith knows of at least 27 million active websites that use WordPress.

PROS
  • Full-fledged CMS
  • Easy integration with third-party tools
CONS
  • Prone to hacks
  • Site maintenance is your responsibility
Key Specifications
  • Infinite Plugins
  • Free & Pro Quality Themes
  • Full-fledged CMS
  • Huge Community
  • Ecommerce Integrations
  • Advanced Marketing Tools

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

WordPress is a full-fledged CMS which means it’s content-drivenTemplates are created for pages/posts, through the dashboard. You can add new pages that will use the already-created template.

WP has thousands of themes, most of which are built by third parties. 

There’s also a huge plugin repository for anything from:

  • adding email collections 
  • to creating complex membership sites 

– anything is possible.

Because WP is the most popular platform, most third-party tools have created plugins that let you integrate their services onto your website with no additional coding.

Other Great WordPress Features โญ
  • Extending your site’s functionality is very easy by searching the plugin repository for exactly what you need.
  • There are thousands of WordPress themes. Some can be found in the native theme market. Some have to be purchased from external repositories like Themeforest.
  • Being a full-fledged CMS, WordPress gives you the ability to:
    • Create pages and posts by just entering the content
    • You can also create custom post types for different use-cases
  • Due to its popularity, WordPress has a huge community. This means that basically any problem can be fixed just by using Google.
  • You can create advanced ecommerce sites using WordPress and WooCommerce. You can also integrate basically any payment method you want to.
  • Any kind of marketing you can think of – SEO, Email, Facebook, Instagram – can be accomplished with WordPress.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

Vulnerability is a big concern for WordPress. Plugins and themes make your prone to hacks. Hacks happen from time to time, and depending on how they happen... They might affect your website too.

WordPress isn’t automated, you’re in charge of your website. Improving security, making backups, updating themes and plugins, and other maintenance tasks are done by you.

You are responsible for hosting your website. Platforms like Wix and Weebly don’t trouble you with this… However, WP is a self-hosted platform, which means you should find the best WordPress hosting by yourself.


4. Constant Contact Builder: Best for Quick Building

No Time to Waste โฑ๏ธ

Constant Contact is an email marketing service that also offers a website builder. 

They are claiming extremely fast build times with the help of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Builtwith knows of at least 55 thousand active websites using Constant Contact.

PROS
  • Extremely effortless to build with
  • An amazing free plan
  • Fast load times
CONS
  • No plugins
Key Specifications
  • Website Backup
  • Free Unsplash Images
  • Awesome eCom Options
  • Advanced SEO Features
  • Google MyBusiness Listing
  • Social Media Integration

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

Building your website takes absolutely no effort. The AI of Constant Contact asks for certain information and then builds your website for you.

If you have a Facebook Page, it will try to extract as much info as it can from it. If not, you’ll be asked to fill in a form.

Constant Contact websites also load extremely fast. This can help you with your search engine rankings, and visitor retention.

Finally, it has an amazing free option. It comes with a constant contact ad but it’s a very flexible plan. You get most of the features of the starter plan, except you can’t connect your own domain and lower-tier support.

Other Great Constant Contact Features โญ
  • You can sell products on your Constant Contact website, there are multiple payment processors you can integrate such as Stripe and Paypal.
  • You can easily revert to a previous website state if you’ve done something wrong, or simply want to go back to the previous state of your website.
  • Unsplash is integrated directly into the image library, allowing you to find images much faster.
  • Constant Contact integrates with social media and lets you post site updates to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Your website is optimized for search engines from the get-go.
  • Constant Contact allows you to easily create a GMB account for your website right through the interface.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail 

The worst thing about Constant Contact is probably customization. You can change the content of the website, remove, add, or reformat sections – but that’s it. There’s no way to customize the design to your liking!

Blogging is available but it’s glitchy and very basic. You can only sort by newest, there are no categories, no comments. If you want a blog, constant contact isn’t the platform for you.

There are no plugins, apps, or code editingwhat you see is what you get. You can’t really add additional functionality to your website.


5. Gator Builder: Simple Website Creation

The Lacoste of Web Design ๐ŸŠ

We've known about HostGator for a long time, it being one of the greatest VPS hosting options. The Gator builder is HostGator’s in-built solution for easy website creation. It was built to provide domain, hosting, and a web builder within the same package.

However, it’s one of the less popular options for building websites, at least compared to other choices on our list. Builtwith knows of at least 3 thousand websites that use Gator builder.

PROS
  • Extremely easy onboarding/building
  • Unlimited storage/bandwidth
CONS
  • No advanced marketing tools
  • No free plans
Key Specifications
  • Drag-and-Drop Editor
  • eCommerce Integrations
  • Reliable Website Backups
  • Social Media Integration
  • Awesome Blogging Additions
  • Advanced Password Protection

The Good ๐Ÿ˜‡ in Detail

The process of going 0-100 is really simple. 

In a few minutes, you’ll have chosen a plan, a domain, and a template. All without breaking a sweat. With the included drag-and-drop builder, building your website will be a breeze.

Social media integration is at a higher level. Other than social buttons, you can also:

  • Embed Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter content.
  • Add live feeds to your website which can show your latest posts.

Because HostGator is mainly a hosting company, they provide you with unlimited storage and bandwidth to use with your website.

Other Great Gator Builder Features โญ
  • You can easily build your websites using their drag-and-drop editor.
  • Gator builder makes it easy to set up an online store with a simple solution. You can accept payments using multiple payment processors.
  • You can quickly revert your site back to a previous state.
  • Social Media integration goes deeper than just social buttons. You can also embed social media content and create live feeds.
  • You can start a blog with Gator builder – you can create posts right from the dashboard.
  • You can password-protect your website so only approved visitors can see it.

๐Ÿ™… The Bad in Detail

There’s no easy way to integrate advanced marketing tools like:

  • Analytics
  • Email collection tools

This can affect your search engine ranking and visitor retention.

The blog functionality works but it works separately from the website. This means you’ll need to choose a separate look for your blog.

Finally, there’s no free plan available. If you just want to try the website builder, you’ll have to pay the monthly fee and decide if you like it that way.


Web Design Software - Buying Guide

Let’s get you up-to-date, no matter your level


Essential Web Design ๐ŸŽจ Resources

Creating awesome websites isn’t easy to do, admittedly. But it does help to have a few essential resources...

Design inspiration

Designing a website is much easier when you can look at what other people have built ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ. A website like Behance -which is a platform where people showcase their designs - can play a critical role in the beauty of your design.

W3C

If you’re building a website from scratch, you want to be familiar with web design standards. W3C is the international mother-organization for creating web standards.

Bootstrap

Hard-coding a website can be easier than you think. By using ๐Ÿ‘ข strap, you can build your website much faster by using this grid-system - which also makes it easy to optimize your website for mobile devices.

Plugins

If you’re using a CMS to manage your website, you want to have a list of plugins that can help you do certain tasks. Your list should include plugins for SEO, speed optimizations, social sharing, and anything else you deem necessary ๐ŸŒž.

Website Optimization

website design seoJust building your website and publishing it won’t attract any visitors to it. And any that come - can just as easily go.

Optimizing your website means making changes to attract more visitors and achieve more conversions.

This accomplishes three things:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ Get found more easily on Google using SEO
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Lower the load time - to retain more visitors
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Get the design just right - easy navigation that’s pleasing to the eyes

..If you’re building your website with a CMS like WordPress - there’s an easy way to optimize your website.

Use plugins like:

  • Yoast SEO (for SEO)
  • and Autoptimize (for load speed)

Though if your website is static, you’ll need to hard-code all the optimization. Fear not, there are easy-to-follow guides for everything ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

SEO

The most important thing is SEO. As we said before, if you’re using a CMS, it’s easy to implement using a plugin - but hard-coding it isn’t that hard either. You can use a guide like this one to help you along the way.

Load Speed

Load speed is also a Google ranking factor. To achieve a quick loading speed, you need to:

  • optimize the images ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ
  • defer scripts and styles ๐Ÿ–‹๏ธ
  • and have generally clean code ๐Ÿ›€

WordPress plugins like Autoptimize do most of the job for you. However, if your website is static, you’ll need to manually do all this.

โญ Top Tip: there are plenty of tutorials.

Design Optimizations

Design optimizations are probably the hardest to do because what’s good for your visitors might not look good to you.

But abiding by design principles - like using directional cues to lead your visitor to a call-to-action - will ensure you achieve higher conversions.

Stock ๐Ÿ“ท Photos

Photography plays a very important part in building your website ๐Ÿคณ.

You can’t always create your own photos for use on the website. This is where stock photos come into play.
Stock photos are photographs created to be used with anything creative like websites, videos, or blog posts.
If you’re on a budget, there are websites that offer free stock photos like Unsplash. But paid sites such as: 

  • Adobe Stock
  • and Shutterstock 

..offer a much wider array of photos.

โœ๐Ÿป Typography...

You might not think typography is important but it plays a huge part in shaping your brand.

Depending on what you want to achieve, and who your audience is - you need to use the appropriate fonts.
There are beautiful paid fonts like Gotham ๐Ÿฆ‡, but using paid fonts is optional.

Google’s font database features an astonishing amount of fonts for all kinds of websites.

General Resources 

optimizing a website rocketHaving more resources than you can use isn’t a bad thing. Here are a few more resources that will help any web designer.

Smashing ๐Ÿ”จMagazine

Possibly the quickest way to learn new things about web design is through Smashing Magazine. It was founded in 2005 with a goal to throw new web design ideas and tricks into your brain.  There are also a lot of blog articles, and tutorials.

UX Movement

The user experience is the deciding factor for visitor retention ๐Ÿ‘€.

Even small details like underlined texts can make a huge impression on your visitors. UX Movement is a website focused on teaching about improving the UX mainly through blog posts.

Neil Patel’s Blog

Neil Patel is a marketing genius ๐Ÿง  who helps huge companies like Amazon and HP grow their revenue. His blog has a ton of long-form articles  that help you attract more visitors through SEO or other kinds of marketing.

Price/Budget/Trials

Software applications, especially web design software, vary in price. There are free options, free trials, but also free applications.

If you’re on a budget, free options like Bluefish are perfect for beginner coders to start practicing their web design skills ๐Ÿ” .

But if you want to get more features and a visual editor, Adobe Dreamweaver โ˜๏ธ comes with a free 7-day trial. Take advantage of this to decide if it’s the right program for you.

The website builders on this list are all similarly priced at around $5/month and all of them are pretty easy to use for a first-timer.

They all offer free versions but most  limit your functionality...

The closest you can get to a free website builder ๐Ÿ‘ท is using Wordpress and hosting it with cheap hosting. You get the full features of Wordpress without needing to pay for it.

Customer Support

All paid options on this list come with great customer support. For the free, open-source options, there’s no official support - but there are pretty big communities ๐Ÿ๏ธ for them.

Wordpress, being used on over 30% of all websites, has such a huge community that you probably won’t ever need more than a simple Google search to solve your issue.

Your Needs

Last but not least, a big part of your choice should be you ๐Ÿ™Ž. No web design application fits everyone’s needs:

Some people are more into coding while others like having a visual editor, to make the designing process that much easier. If you’ve got no web design experience, however, it’s best to choose a website builder from the second list - focused on non-developers. 


Web Design Software FAQ

Which Web Design Software Is Best for Beginners?

web designer beginnersThere’s no one-size-fits-all solution for web design software. 

Ultimately, it all comes down to individual needs and preferences. However, according to experts, Adobe Dreamweaver— the leading web design software— is arguably the best in the industry. 

The reasons include:

  • compatibility with photoshop/all the latest browsers โœ…
  • 14-day money return guarantee โœ…

Among many other features. 

Even if you’re a beginner, starting your web design journey with Adobe Dreamweaver will help you become a pro in no time.

Which Software Is Best for HTML?

web design html codeIt depends.  For instance, if you’re looking for the best “free” HTML editor, Notepad++ offers all the necessary features you need. 

It’s a freely available code editor that lets you highlight the syntax and auto-complete the function. You can also edit several documents in different tabs.

Which makes it a solid choice for ace web developers. 

On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay for the premium, Adobe Dreamweaver CC is a robust, versatile tool. It supports both back-end and front-end development.

To ensure you can code seamlessly 24/7, and because it is closed-source software, you’re able to work within the Adobe ecosystem, meaning you’ll have access to:

  • Plugins & features
  • Additional support
How Can I Create My Own Website on Google?

Google Sites lets you create a website for both personal and business use. Follow the steps below to create and name your own Google site:

  1. On your computer, go to the new Google Sites.
  2. Click on Create in the bottom right
  3. Next, click the Untitled Site button at the top left
  4. Enter your site file’s name: Press Return or Enter
  5. Add content to your website
  6. To publish changes, click the Publish button at the top right corner 
How Long Does It Take to Learn HTML and CSS?

html javascript css web design adobeIf you put your mind to it, it’s possible to learn the gist of HTML within a few weeks. Any course you take will require 2-3 weeks to complete. 

However, it usually takes up to a month or two to fully get comfortable with both HTML and CSS. Experts recommend thinking weeks, not months or years. The sooner you learn, or even master, the basics, the faster you’ll be on your way to making money.

Remember, the key isn’t just about watching a bunch of tutorials to complete one or two projects; you must get in there and spend enough time messing up, fixing stuff, and starting over.

That's how you build a sucessful online business. Practice is key.


Conclusion

That´s it! The best web design software (UK) for you is hugely dependent on your:

  1. Customization needs
  2. Spend & time resources

Think about each before making your decision. We hope our guide was helpful – come back any time for updates.