I have been designing websites since 1997, and since that time, there have literally been numerous web design tools introduced each year, many claiming to greatly simplify the process of designing a website. With the plethora of options now available for creating a site, consumers can easily become baffled with the many options to choose from.
In this article I will discuss how to find the right web design tools for your needs.
1. Define your specific needs
First, you need to define exactly what you want your site to accomplish, as this will dictate which web design tools you should consider. If iwhat you need is strictly an opinion or information site, a simple blog might suffice. On the other hand, if you have a database to access, or want to conduct transactions, you will most likely need to hire a professional. I recommend writing down the goals of your site to get a better handle on the scope of the project.
2. Determine your skill and commitment level
If you just want to create a personal website, selecting professional web design tools like Dreamweaver and Photoshop will be plain overkill. These programs are meant for professional web designers, and the casual hobbyist, unless extremely determined, will most likely be overwhelmed with these tools. A more reasonable solution will be to utilize web-based, template driven tools for creating sites. On the other hand, if you need a sophisticated site but cannot handle working with professional-grade software, it may make sense to hire a professional.
3. Set a reasonable budget, and don’t be a freebie hunter
I have tried out some free web design tools and they are for the most part not very useful. You will most likely need to spend some money on such things as books, tutorials, and basic software. If you try chasing free tools that may or may not exist, you will probably waste a lot of time and end up with web design tools that prove unsatisfactory.
After defining your needs, your commitment level, and budget, you may want to consider these "best of breed" web design tools:
The best tools for professionals: Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop.
These two programs have been the de factor standard for professionals since the very beginning. Although these web design tools can handle most tasks, professionals will still need a good HTML reference book or two as well.
The best web design tool for non-professionals: WebWizard
This is the best non-professional solution among many similar programs that allow you to build websites with nothing more than basic word processing skills. WebWizard allows you to select your site’s overall look from hundreds of pre-designed, professional templates. So while your site may not look completely unique, it will definitely look professional.
The best tool for creating a blog site: Wordpress
I know Blogger is quite popular, but Wordpress is a better tool in my opinion because it allows for more customization and is more extensible in terms of additional features. Also, one can use the Wordpress blogging platform to make sites that do not look like blog sites at all. In this sense, Wordpress can be used as a true web design tool instead of a simple blog tool.
Click here for more information on these tools.
Tom Oki is co-founder and editor of business-reviews.com, a premier website that provides reviews of business opportunities and marketing tools.
By: Tom Oki