25 Of The Best Tools and Resources for Web Designers

This selection of resources and tools has something for everyone, including top-rated prototyping, web design, and product testing tools, premier development services, and a host of freebies and free trial offers. Here are some selections that could make your day, by easing your workload, or by saving you time and money.

  • Learning materials that show you how to kick-start and run a freelancing business.
  • Freebies that digital and web designers have decided to share with others.
  • Time-saving and productivity-enhancing design and test tools.
  • Development services that can be counted on to deliver the pixel-perfect products you expect.

It’s a good feeling when you can charge more, or do the same work at a lower cost. These resources and tools have been selected to help you do just that.

Learning

The Dark Art of Freelancing

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The Dark Art of Freelancing describes the steps needed to make your freelancing career a success. This useful information is based on the real-life experience of the author.

You will learn how to successfully negotiate with clients, ways in which you can provide awesome service, and how to step up from a low-pay situation to a 6-figure income.

How to Build a Web Design Business: The Only Book You Need to Launch, Grow, and Succeed

2

The title of this paperback book is self-explanatory. Its author addresses in clear, easy to understand, language, different topics you should be familiar with if you hope to launch and run a successful web design business venture. This is a chance to benefit from a successful entrepreneur’s knowledge and experience for a rock-bottom low price.

Freebies

Design Freebies by Visual Hierarchy

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Visual Hierarchy is well known in the web design sector as a marketplace that provides smart resources for busy designers. VH is also known for the high-quality of its products. This is your chance to sift through a selection of 200+ quality freebies, ranging from UI kits to mockups to fonts and icons.

Visit the VH website and browse through these offerings. Chances are, you’ll pick up a few useful times.

Kvasir – 180 Free Icons

4

dribbble is a show and tell community of designers like Kvasir who love to share screenshots of their work. This selection of more than 180 icons is free to download for use on your projects or any other needs. As you can see, these are not your run-of-the-mill icons. They are carefully crafted, and could spice up any landing page. You’ll find the download link at the website.

Prototyping Tools

Proto.io

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Companies like ESPN, BBC, PayPal, and Disney use Proto.io to create stunning, high-fidelity prototypes you can test on actual devices. Using this combination prototyping, testing, and collaboration tool requires no coding, and there is no limit as to the number of users that can take part in test and review activities.

Proto.io goes well beyond what wireframes, mockups, and hotspot prototypes show you. This prototyping tool lets you get the feel of your app’s UX through rich interactions, animations, gestures, and embeddable media. Several plans are offered, and you can sign up for a trial subscription for free.

PowerMockup

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If you are a PowerPoint user looking for mockup and wireframe toolkit for your prototyping activities, stop right here. PowerMockup is a PowerPoint add-on with a library of over 800 UI elements; and you can add your own shapes and images as well. With PowerMockup, you can create screen prototypes of web, mobile, and desktop applications right inside PowerPoint.

It’s simply a matter of selecting an element in the library, drag and drop it onto the PowerPoint screen, and let PowerPoint’s animation and presentation features take over. 

Design to Code Services

PSDgator

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PSDgator is a full-service developer. The green gator’s team will take your PSD, Sketch, or AI files, and convert them into pixel-perfect responsive HTMl5/CSS3. They do any kind of jQuery, JavaScript, AJAX, applications, and eCommerce, and WordPress themes. PSDgator will even reslice your existing static websites and recode them to bring them up to date.

You don’t have to satisfy any particular guidelines or requirements when submitting your PSD files. Just organize your graphs and pages, and let the development team take care of the rest. Just tell them what you want, and ask for their free quote.

PSD2HTML®

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PSD2HTML® is a top-choice partner for agencies working in a range of fields, including digital, marketing & design. From the sleekest JS interaction and HTML/CSS markup to full CMS & eCommerce platform solutions, PSD2HTML® provides a comprehensive range of web dev services.
With 11 years’ experience and more than 100,000 projects completed, these PSD to HTML pioneers work closely with agencies to ensure that they get the results they need.
So get in touch with PSD2HTML® now, and let them help you to produce exceptional work.

TheSiteSlinger

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The Site Slinger is the place to go if you’re looking for a fast and friendly PSD to HTML service. So saddle up and watch this team of professionals transform your designs into smoking code.
The Site Slingers have put in place a few big improvements lately, too. Y’all have got to see their fast and friendly navigation and slick new layout.

Try The Site Slinger if you want a premium markup and fast turnaround. They’re waiting for your design.

Multipurpose WordPress Themes

Be Theme

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Be Theme is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that is well known for its many powerful web building features, especially the large (210+) selection of pre-built websites. These pre-built websites will give you a running start on any homepage, landing page, or blog design.

Be Theme makes website building easy – as it should be, and their customer support is first class.

X Theme

11

X Theme, the most feature-rich WordPress theme on the market, is ThemeForest’s fastest selling theme. With its innovative 100% front-end page builder, and the 22 (and counting) premium plugins that come with each purchase, X Theme has taken the website design world by storm.

X Theme is incredibly powerful, easy to use, and fun to work with.

eCommerce WordPress Themes

Merchandiser

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Merchandiser is loaded with everything you need to set up a spectacular online store – and nothing more. This simple, fast, and reliable eCommerce WordPress Theme was designed along minimalist lines – in keeping with modern design trends.

Merchandiser comes with advanced customizing options, that when combined with the minimalist approach, results in a faster response times during the website-building process, and faster response times in your deliverables as well.

XStore

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XStore is another eCommerce WordPress theme that is based on a minimalist design. It also has the features you want, and none you would have little use for. Two XStore features that make this theme stand out are a pair of special effects that will help you create an outstanding UX.

Skins and hover effects are used in such a way that can’t help but attract and capture a user’s attention, and consequently boost your site’s conversion rate.

Website Builders and Platforms

Webydo

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Webydo is an all-in-one platform enabling designers to create pixel-perfect, responsive websites, while at the same time providing hosting, white label branding, a built-in CMS and other advanced business solutions. You can also expect excellent service from Webydo’s “Customer Success” team. They are there to help you devise a business model that is designed to drive more business and generate more client referrals.

XPRS

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Once it replaced drag and drop page building with Polydoms – a building block approach –   XPRS quickly became IMCreator’s number one seller. Polydoms are easy (and fun) to work with. They are by nature responsive, and because of their clean, uncluttered code, your websites will rank higher on Google.

XPRS also provides hundreds of template for your every need, and its authors have a special offer. If you are a drag and drop user, you qualify for a free XPRS license. If you like what you see, and you have a large clientele, you can purchase an unlimited number of licenses for $350.

WordPress Plugins

wpDataTables

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There’s always something. You need to conduct an analysis on some big data, your client wants the results presented in a nice set of responsive tables and charts, and he needs it right away. wpDataTables to the rescue! This WordPress add-on works with the MySQL server to analyze, compile, and format large amounts of data, and it even highlights special data ranges or characteristics. More than 7000 companies place their trust in this time-saving tool.

All in One SEO Pack

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All in One SEO Pack (AIOSO) is the most downloaded WordPress plugin in existence. It is the only free plugin to provide SEO integration for eCommerce sites. It automatically optimizes your titles for search engines, and it even creates META tags automatically.

AIOSO will even notifiy Google, Bing, and other search engines about changes to your site. You can download the latest version for free. A Pro version is available. 

Stock Images

PhotoSpin Royalty Free Stock Images and Subscriptions

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PhotoSpin maintains an inventory of millions of quality JPG photos and EPS scalable vectors. If you only need a few images, they can be purchased separately, and downloaded instantly. JPG images run from 2.5 inches to 17 inches.

Two types annual subscription plans are available, with prices dependent on the number of downloads you need per month. You can purchase an annual plan now for a 20% discount. Just mention Promo Code BAW20.

Stockfresh

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Stockfresh comes highly recommended as a source of high quality photos and graphics. Thousands of new pictures are added to their huge inventory every day. Sign up for free to browse their offerings.

Purchase plans include monthly packs from $1.20 and image, pay-as-you go- credits, and a very affordable daily subscription plan. All Stockfresh images are royalty free. You will find the site easy to navigate and their customer service friendly and helpful.

Collaboration and Task Management

InVision

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InVision gives teams a revolutionary way to design digital products by enabling them to construct prototypes that have the look, feel, and actions of real applications, and do so with any need for code.

InVision also allows team members to collaborate early in the design process so they can receive and act upon the contextual feedback needed to create smarter, user-approved products. Get started today with a free Enterprise Edition trial.

Azendoo

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Email messages and sticky notes will become a thing of the past once you start using Azendoo to track your work with team members, clients, and stakeholders. This project tracking and collaboration application allows teams to provide comments and feedback in real time, organize tasks and workflow, and track project status.

The result? Your projects are delivered on time. With Azendoo, you can stop worrying about who is doing what, and focus on what you do best – design.

UX and UI

Loop11

22

The hard part about usability testing is choosing the right tool; one that can test an unlimited number of websites, ask for an unlimited number of tasks, and invite huge numbers of users to participate. Loop11 just made usability testing easier.

With this UX/UI test application, you can create a remote test from anywhere in the world, do so in a few minutes, and track results in real time. Loop11 takes the guesswork out of product design.

Google Content Experiments

23

An A/B test is one of the better ways to improve landing page performance, but the typical one-page-version-at-a-time approach can be both time consuming and prone to error.

Google Content Experiments is a free testing platform that integrates directly into Google Analytics, and enables you to run A/B tests on multiple versions of a page at one time, or over a period of time, to determine which landing page can be expected to perform best.

Other Useful Tools

Fontea

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Here’s a chance to download 700 Google fonts in your Photoshop – completely free! Fontea is a plugin, and therefore becomes a part of Photoshop. Fontea is more than a file of fonts. This plugin gives you the ability to search and explore, and preview and compare. Download either the OSX or Windows versions. Both downloads are compatible with Photoshop CC 2015+.

Coolers

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The Coolers generator is fun to work with and easy to use. You can generate virtually any color with the analog feature, type in the hex code, or select and export from a helpful assortment of palettes. You have total control over hue, saturation, and brightness. There’s a tutorial, but you’ll find the selection process quite straightforward. Simply open an account and start exporting the colors you want.

Ending thoughts

Whether you’re in need of a design tool, a management tool, a development service, or a freebie or two, there’s something here for you, or your design team. All of these products and services are top-quality, or they wouldn’t be listed here.

These useful resources and tools can make your workflow smoother, boost your productivity, improve the quality of your deliverables. In other words – make your working life a little easier. Don’t ignore the learning materials either. If their subject matter appeals to you, they can generate a great ROI.

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