Web design software overview: Top-20 editors & tools

From “what” to “how” – in continuation of our previous Web design 2018 trends topic, let’s review the tools you can build and design a web page with. Every person who needs a website can easily build one on his/her own. With modern easy-to-use web design software you can create a web page or an online store for your business without the help of professional web designers and without previous background in web design. Let’s have a look at the most handy web design tools in 2018.

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Top web design software tools

As a sneak peak preview, the given list of best web design software includes the following tools:

             Image editors:

  1. Adobe XD
  2. Figma
  3. Adobe Illustrator
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. Xara Web Designer
  6. Adobe Fireworks
  7. Sketch
  8. Affinity Designer

    Offline website builders:
  9. Adobe Dreamweaver
  10. Adobe Muse
  11. Macaw
  12. RapidWeaver
  13. CoffeeCup
  14. OpenElement

    Online website builders:
  15. Wix
  16. Squarespace
  17. Weebly
  18. Webflow
  19. Google Web Designer
  20. Webydo

#1 Adobe XD (from free to $10/month)

Adobe XD is often compared to Sketch, but while Sketch has many extra features for logo design, icon design, graphic design, UI/UX,etc. Adobe XD is specifically defined for user experience interface design. Unlike Sketch, which is available only for Mac OS, you can use Adobe XD on MACos and Windows. You can get Adobe XD on the monthly basis via Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription for $9.99 per month.

Main characteristics of Adobe XD:

  • Repeat Grid tool automatically replicates the design elements to fill the required space.
  • The prototyping tools enable you to create previews of the application both on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Layer panel helps you to concentrate exactly on the layer that you are currently working on.
  • Easily integrates with all Adobe Suite software, like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc.
Source: Sugar Normal+ (designed with Adobe XD)

#2 Figma (from free to $12/month)

Figma is a collaborative interface tool. Although Sketch remains the main workhorse for UI/UX interface designers, Figma possesses features that Sketch lacks, especially the ones that concern file-sharing and collaboration.

Main characteristics of Figma:

  • You don’t need any installations, you can work on your web browser right away, using any devices.
  • Multiplayer tool enables you to edit your work simultaneously with other users, chat via a commenting system.
  • A browser-based platform enables you to share URL of any files.
  • You can create a responsive design with grids and constraints.
Source: TSH.io (designed with Figma)

#3 Adobe Fireworks ($20/month)

Fireworks tools by Adobe integrates with other Adobe Suite like Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver and, thus,  enables efficient data exchange. The main difference between Muse and Fireworks that you cannot actually create a website through the use of Adobe Fireworks. But it allows you to do work with web in other ways. Like Adobe Dreamweaver and Muse, you can buy Fireworks individual subscription for $19.99 per month. Or you can purchase the whole pack for $49.99 per month.

Main characteristics of Adobe Fireworks:

  • You can rapidly create website prototypes and application interfaces.
  • Apply templates and styles for mobile applications and  web content to save your time.
  • You can edit both bitmap and vector images.
  • You can transfer your graphic design into interactive web pages.
Source: Teatr Lalka (designed with Adobe Fireworks)

#4 Adobe Photoshop ($20/month)

Adobe Photoshop is the most recognized Adobe software. It is mainly an image editing program, but you can easily create the whole website using it. The Adobe Photoshop introduced tools, which are specifically useful for web designers to keep up with the changes in the industry. You can buy Adobe Photoshop on the monthly basis via Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription for $19.99 per month.

Main characteristics of Adobe Photoshop:

  • Enables you to make a particle background with a video editing tool.
  • You can create 3D elements.
  • You can change images in any aspect, including saturation, blur, sharpness, hue, etc.
  • Layer Comps tool will enable you to set up various looks on one file.
  • Library panel lets you store a set of assets, for example, colors, layers, fonts, etc.
Source: Pierre FTN Photoshop tutorials

#5 Adobe Illustrator ($20/month)

This is another popular Adobe graphic design software. The main difference between Photoshop and Illustrator is in a type of image that you can create. Using Photoshop you edit and create pixel-based pictures, although in Illustrator you only work with vector graphics. You can get Adobe Illustrator on the monthly basis via Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription for $19.99 per month.

Main characteristics of Adobe Illustrator:

  • It is a resolution independent software, which helps you to get quality print outputs.
  • It includes time-saving tools, like dynamic buttons, symbols, text and image styles, etc.
  • A prototype tool enables you to create mockups and share them with your clients or coworkers.
  • You get an access to the Typekit library, where you can find dozens of icons and fonts for your web design.

Source: MadeByFew (designed with Illustrator)

#6 Xara Web Designer ($50/month)

Xara Web Designer integrates all tools necessary for web designers, including photo-editing, illustration, web graphics, expanded web page layout, etc. Xara Web Designer enables you to design and publish the website in one program.

Main characteristics of Xara Web Designer:

  • Enables you to create responsive sites, which can be viewed on any devices.
  • There are two editions: Xara Web Designer and Xara Web Designer Premium. The latter offers advanced features, like a greater number of templates, search engine optimization, etc.
  • Includes 35 website templates and 500 design elements.
  • Offers you a total design freedom with drag and drop tool and WYSIWYG editor.

#7 Sketch ($99/year)

Sketch is a chief rival to the Adobe Suite for being the best in the web design field. It is notable for its lightweight interface. A beginner can easily grasp the software without additional tutorials. It is a vector graphic software, which is also pixel-aware.

Main characteristics of Sketch:

  • Enables you to export various types files at the same time.
  • Loads of features that will let you do your work easily and fast.
  • Perfect for UI  interface design.
  • Great choice of different plugins, like React app, Magic Mirror, Auto Layout, etc.
  • Sketch Cloud enables you to share your assets and get immediate feedback.
Source: Nikolaj Koster (designed with Sketch)

#8 Affinity Designer ($50 one-time fee)

Affinity Designer is another image editing software for UX interface design. Comparing to Figma and Adobe XD, Affinity Designer is mainly notable for the availability of reorganizing panels and the bargain price. It belongs to Sketch alternative and unlike Sketch you can use it on Windows.

Main characteristics of Affinity Designer:

  • Intuitive user interface and even newbies in web design won’t have any difficulties.
  • Enables you to slice an object and export it into any format or size.
  • You can change any properties of the symbols, including layers, shapes, colors, etc.
  • Integrates with Affinity Photo application, which enables you to enjoy raster capacities of it.

#9 Adobe Dreamweaver ($20/month)

Adobe Dreamweaver is the most trustworthy web designer software around the world. It existed at the origins of web design and since that time found favor among newbies and pros. You can buy Adobe Dreamweaver individually on Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for $19.99 per month. Or the whole Adobe pack for $49.99 per month.

Main characteristics of Adobe Dreamweaver:

  • You can build and design your website from scratch.
  • It suits both for beginners and experienced users.
  • You can write and edit any code including HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XTL.
  • It has WYSIWYG interface which enables you to view how the end result will look like while creating.
  • It is available for Windows and MacOs.

#10 Adobe Muse ($20/month)

Adobe Muse is another Adobe software for web design. The difference between Dreamweaver and Muse is that no coding skills required to use Adobe Muse. Like Dreamweaver, you can buy Adobe Muse individually for $19.99 per month. 

Main characteristics of Adobe Muse:

  • Create websites with more stunning looks.
  • You don’t need to be able to code.
  • You can create static web pages.
  • Best suits for graphic and front-end designers.
  • You can easily implement built-in themes and widgets without engaging in coding.
  • You can apply external tools like e-commerce and blogging.
Source: Lewellyn’s (designed with Adobe Muse)

#11 Macaw (free)

Macaw is a web design tool that enables you to build and design the websites. Macaw gives you the possibility to make a responsive webpage along with beautiful web and system fonts.

Main characteristics of Macaw:

  • You can store your design elements in the library and reuse them later.
  • Alchemy tool enables you to convert your design element into HTML and CSS codes.
  • Stream, a real-time layout engine lets you easily manipulate your design elements.
  • Optimizes your website for all devices.

#12 CoffeeCup (from free to $189/month)

CoffeeCup is presented in the web industry for 22 years now. It started as HTML editor in a real coffee house.

Main characteristics of CoffeeCup:

  • CoffeeCup possesses all necessary tools that will help you to create a website from a scratch.
  • It enables you to use HTML and CSS languages.
  • Includes a help tool which accompanies the user through initial stages.
  • Templates and themes to use if you don’t have enough time to create your web design.
  • A split-screen tool lets you preview your web page during writing a code.
  • An FTP uploader enables you to publish your website, using your own web server or another web hosting.
Source: Ludlow.org (designed with CoffeeCup)

#13 RapidWeaver ($90 one-time fee)

RapidWeaver is a web design software, which specifically defined for MacOs users. You can create a responsive website on your own without referring to professionals, even if you’ve never used any other web design software before. It has a small learning curve and you don’t need to have coding skills.

Main characteristics of RapidWeaver:

  • You can build anything with this software from personal websites to e-commerce stores.
  • There are 50 pre-built themes and over 100 of 3d parties.
  • A pre-built FTP will save you from having to address another FTP client.
  • With a built-in SEO tool you can be sure that your target audience won’t miss your website.
Source: SonicHeavy (designed with RapidWeaver)

#14 OpenElement (free)

OpenElement is an intuitive and user-friendly web authoring tool for creating responsive websites. Although it is a free of charge software, it includes all the necessary tools to build a website, including SEO, page layers, templates, reusable styles, WYSIWYG interface, etc.

Main characteristics of OpenElement:

  • It supports CSS, HTML, jQuery technologies.
  • It automatically generates the required code which saves you from doing it on your own.
  • You can easily use and edit web elements from a stock with a drag and drop tool.
  • It enables you to create, edit and share your web elements with others.
Source: Shoubo Italia (designed with OpenElement)

#15 Google Web Designer (free)

Google Web Designer is an advanced web design software that enables you to apply HTML5 advertisements. Likewise the other Google products, it is integrated with Google Suite applications, such as Google Adwords Google Drive and DoubleClick Studio.

Main characteristics of Google Web Designer:

  • You can design and build interactive and responsive advertisements.
  • Enables you to build and edit HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML; auto-completion saves you from possible mistakes.
  • You can design motion graphics, animation and 3D content for MacOs, Windows and Linux.
  • If you want to add functionality to your website, use the library of images, videos, maps, iFrames, etc.
  • Easy switch between Code, Design View and Preview.
Source: Alessi.com (designed with GWD)

#16 Webydo ($90/month)

Webydo is a cloud-based web builder. It provides a built-in content manager system that enables your customers to edit and update the content of the website. Drag and drop elements enables you to fully concentrate on creative process without digging into the code.

Main characteristics of Webydo:

  • You can try the software for a month for free.
  • Unique “share your website design” tool to share with a team or clients.
  • Webydo enables you to lock some pieces of design to block from any unwanted interference.
  • You can save all your data in the cloud without downloading anything to your desktop.

#17 Webflow (from free to $42/month)

Webflow is a cloud-based responsive web design tool. It’s also a content management system (CMS) and a hosting platform.

Main characteristics of Webflow:

  • No coding skills required to create a website, but you can do your own codes if needed
  • It’s perfect for web designers, developers and content managers.
  • You can learn basics of web design including HTML and CSS through Webflow website.
  • It includes drag and drop feature that speeds up all the process of developing the web page.
  • You can create and edit the web page, using an WYSIWYG editor.
  • You can easily navigate through the web page by the effective search option.
Source: Super77 (designed with Webflow)

#18 Wix (free)

Wix is an easy-to-use online web builder. You can find templates, tools and applications, which are suitable for any niche that you are working in. It is so intuitive that you can build your website even if you don’t have any prior experience in web design.

The main characteristics of Wix:

  • Over 500 templates from various fields, including small business, cafes, music, graphic design, hotels, etc.
  • Provides extensive tutorials which will help beginners to get things straight faster.
  • A phone and email support is available for extra help.
  • Provides versatility of features, which are updated more often than on other software of the kind.

#19 SquareSpace ($16-26/month)

SquareSpace is a highly publicized online web builder, which is promoted by many celebrities like John Malkovich, Keanu Reevs, Jeff Bridges etc. It’s most known for their beautiful and stunning templates, which cover a lot of styles and fields.

Main characteristics of SquareSpace:

  • Mobile responsive templates save you from having to make them mobile-friendly additionally.
  • The beautiful website interface will give you the possibility to enjoy the process of creating.
  • Features like webinars, guides, video workshops, community forums enables you to start using the software from scratch.
  • Style Editor tool enables you to fully customize the templates, including fonts, colors, sizes, sidebars width, etc.
  • Enables you to edit CSS code if you have coding skills.
Source: Gina Kiel (designed with SquareSpace)

#20 Weebly (from free to $25/month)

Weebly is considered to be the easiest web builder among the newbies and professional web designers. It enables you to build a website without any coding experience. But if you do know to code, unlike Wix and SquareSpace, you can edit the HTML and CSS.

Main characteristics of Weebly:

  • Over 40 layout designs, including portfolios, website maps help you spark in web design.
  • Offers a lot of low-key info buttons, lists, pop-ups and e-mail sequence to take care of your workflow.
  • Easy switch between trendy, responsive templates and themes that are available on the application.
  • Availability of various plans from free to enterprise tiers, so no need to overpaying for features that you don’t need.
Source: MyStarCleaner (designed with Weebly)

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