App Development Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Web Design Software Solutions

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Web Design Software Solutions

The presentation and the layout of your website act as the prime factors for an effective online presence. After all, in the digital world, any online business can hit well with the audience only based on its appearance, visibility, and accessibility. A properly planned Web design can help a business sustain well. Any professionally created and easy-to-navigate website can attract the attention of the audience. The process of web designing varies depending upon the type, size, and the products or services of a business. Web designing is a skill, and it encompasses several disciplines in terms of producing and maintaining a website. The process may throw several challenges to those who are at this work.

Let’s discuss the challenges faced in web designing:

  • Integration – It is tough to allow seamless synchronization with third-party applications.
  • Responsive – The web designers are unable to serve content across multiple screens and platforms.
  • User experience- It is challenging to maintain a consistently good user experience throughout the website. 
  • Accessibility – All levels of society that include the elderly or less privileged don’t have the convenience for the website. It is tough to ensure compliance. 
  • Security- It is tough to provide sound safety to websites from viruses, malware, or hacker attacks.
  • Retention- The web designers find it tough to keep visitors coming back to the website.

All the challenges associated with web designing tasks can be overcome by making use of the latest technology. The implementation of technology can help in providing unique web designs. Moreover, web design software can make the web designing task more exciting and appealing for web designers and developers.

What is web design software?

Web design is the process that helps in creating and designing a website. To make the site visually appealing and easy-to-use, web designers work on the appearance, layout, and content of a website. It is a process of web development that focuses on designing websites for desktop browsers, for mobile and tablet browsers.

The web design software enables designers to make use of various programs and tools so that responsive and adaptive websites can be created for the target audience. 

image 1

What are the features of web design software?

These features are necessary for every website to deliver the exceptional results that site visitors and owners expect. The web design software should have the following features so that designers can design the websites flawlessly. Let’s have a look at the essential features:

  • Quality Web Content- The websites are used for searching the information. The business websites carry valuable information and come in the forms that are relevant to the business. Many business sites, like the retail industry, need high-quality pictures of their products. The consulting firms highlight the client testimonials on their websites. People use search engines and browse websites to search for any information. The high-quality content helps in ranking the websites on the search engine optimization tool.
  • Scope of the website – Before initiating web designing, it is essential to have a specific target. The scope of the web site should be analyzed, and all the content of web pages should be placed in proper order. It would be great to use user friendly and easy to surf online sites.
  •  Simple and professional web design – The websites should maintain an attractive layout. It should be clean and simple. There should be a balanced distribution of content and graphics. The slightly contrasting colors and clear fonts will make the websites more appealing. With the help of apt spacing and images, the text should be broken up into sizable blocks. For example, Google site has a balanced distribution of content and graphics.
  • Safe mechanism – The website dealing with an online business or financial transition should have the latest and sound security protocols that help in providing safety and security to the site. The personal data and money information should be saved from viruses and hackers. 
  • Text and graphics – The background of the website does not interrupt the text. The text should be correctly readable. There should be a clear hierarchy of information. The browser-safe colors should be used in graphics and backgrounds. Every graphics should have an alt label, and every graphics link should match the text link.
  • Search engine optimization – The method of search engine optimization can attract many visitors. The search keywords, an appropriate link profile, and social media signals can be inserted in the website content. The company can improve its rankings with the help of search engine optimization resources. 
  • Navigation and links- The navigation should be consistent throughout the website. The large site should have an index or site map. The navigation buttons and bars should be easy to use and understand. The link colors should coordinate with page colors. The links are underlined, so they are directly apparent to the visitor.
  • Web Compatibility- The website should be compatible enough to render on various resolutions, screen sizes, and browsers. As there is the increasing popularity of mobile devices so the sites should be able to function correctly on the plethora of these types of devices. 
  • General Design – The pages of the website should be downloaded quickly. The graphic elements like photos, subheads, pull quotes should be used to break up large areas of text. The first page and home page should be properly fitted. All the other pages of the website should have an immediate visual impact. In the site, every web page should look like the part of the parent site. 

The other essential features of web design software are as follows:

  • Drag-and-drop- The users can customize their site’s look by dragging and dropping items and content
  • Templates- The website is created with the help of ready-made templates. 
  • Element libraries- The pre-built website components such as tables, graphs, or widgets are provided from the element libraries. 
  • Syntax Highlighting- A large amount of code is highlighted with different types of colors, background, and font.
  • Auto-completion- Common functions or expressions are auto-completed that helps in saving time of manually typing.
  • Plugins and Integrations- In the form of prepackaged integrations and plugins, the web design software has additional features and functionalities. 
  • Cross-platform support- The software should allow the usage and access across a range of operating systems and devices.
  • Collaborative editing- This feature allows multiple developers to work on the same file simultaneously while working on different computers.
  • Content Management- This functionality allows the management of the content such as blogs, newsletters, and marketing tools.
  • Language support- To have a responsive website design, this feature supports programming languages such as Java, C, or Python and other types of front-end languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

image 2

Web Design then and now 

  • Earlier websites were used mainly for information purposes. The design elements were not considered too important. Currently, the website designs have transformed and give importance to the look and presentation elements of the website.
  • Elements like the Flash era were used for animation, graphics, background images, vibrant colors in navigation purposes. This technique was proved to be creating hurdles in the practice of website promotion. Now, HTML5 has replaced this technique and provides impressive results. 
  • Former, website designing and development has limited functionality. Nowadays, you can see lots of features, images, and clarity on the website. Presently, websites are intuitive and user-friendly. There is the concept of responsive design, mobile devices, and social media. 

Who can use web design software?

Experienced professionals make use of web design and development tools. The users that possess the working knowledge of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading style sheets), graphic designs, and web content management can efficiently make use of web design tools. 

  • Web Designer- Web designers entail in front-end design that involves the structural organization of website content. The web designers make use of web design software to plan website navigation and to visualize the ideal deliverable for front-facing web pages. The web designers design the preliminary outlines for web pages. 
  • UI/UX professionals- Web professionals like user interface and user experience professionals design mock-ups and make actual front-end-ready web pages with the help of web design tools. These professionals build workflows and map web pages by employing web design tools. 
  • E-commerce professional- The web design professionals can set an e-commerce website with the help of web design software. The website builders are used by many small sites to make templates more quickly. 
  • Web Developer- Web developers can bring their ideas into reality by working in coordination with the design teams. With the help of developers, the designing teams can prepare the wireframe to write actual HTML and CSS for the website. Both developers and design professionals can work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, scripting, and back-end coding languages. 

image 3

Why is web design software important?

The well-designed website can attract customers. The well-built company’s website can generate better customer traffic. There can be an opportunity of doing new business at an exponential rate with the help of the updated website of the company. Let’s discuss the benefits of web design software:

  • Business Branding- The well-designed website allows people to get connected with a brand. The clients get attracted more to the business if the site has a user-friendly page. 
  • Complete Control of the design process – The web design software allows designers to alter the specific element or use a particular color on one of the menus. From the front end, it is easy to get the design and can see what the users see on the website. 
  • Brand consistency – The customers can recognize the brand of the business with the help of the logo/brand colors, brand messaging, and imagery used for print materials (like business cards, pamphlets, letterheads, etc.) With the help of designs, the customers can associate the brand position in all forms of the communication process.
  • Reliable Navigation – The users prefer to access the information quickly and effortlessly on the site. The implementation of navigation points allows leads to remain on the same page of the website. The audience can easily find the required information with simple and self-explanatory navigation.
  • Better conversion rate- The website that has a remarkable user interface can bring a better conversion rate, which in turn results in better business and revenue. 
  • Web designing, in a budget- The use of web design software can bring massive savings in the costs rather than hiring a professional web design and development agency. With web design software, you can have the same professional look and responsiveness that a web developer can provide you. 
  • The professional web design team – With a web designing tool, you can turn your web property into an eCommerce store and can also make use of widgets from other stores. You can enhance the capabilities of the website from options like specialized form, social media integration, and photo or video galleries.
  • Accessible web design without prior knowledge- Anyone can learn to build their website with the help of the simple interface. The simple interface process includes a professionally designed template, drag-and-drop functionality, and customization by intuitive menus along with pre-coded features.
  • An asset to business – The web design software has become an asset to business by providing significant features related to content and visual elements, brand uniformity, engagement, navigation along with organization, and search engine optimization. 

Other benefits of web design software:

  • With web design software, you can make the routing simple that helps in ensuring progressive natural traffic. 
  • The websites can be positioned on the top and can win with SEO by employing the facilities of title labels, utilization of keywords, picture enhancement, and forming connections, among others. 
  • With web design software, you can improve commitment with the end client. 
  • It is easy to provide visual content on the website with the help of web designing tools. 
  • Web design software can aid business ventures to attract more sales.
  • It provides opportunities to business owners to conduct their transactions online.image 5

What is the future scope of web design software in business?

Web designing is considered an essential part of the IT industry. Web design helps in representing the vision of the company or business. The making of a website includes the process of graphic designing, interface designing, user experience designing, the process of search engine optimization, and authoring by making use of standardized code and proprietary software 

The scope and future of web design are infinite. Any website will demand a good design for survival on the internet. The designing of the web will create endless job opportunities for web designers. Let’s discuss the future scope of web design software:

  • In the IT or software industry, web designing will always be promising. All the web designing tools like HTML(Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading style sheets), Graphic editors (Adobe Photoshop), Programming skills, Flash, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)editors (Dreamweaver) will be in demand.
  • Businesses need an online presence in a competitive market. This need can be served by the creation of websites for their companies. 
  • AI (Artificial intelligence) can control the overall content of the web design that includes visual elements and typography to animations and other graphical information. This technology can create a unique design for your website.
  • Virtual Reality enables developers to use JavaScript to build websites and can improve the browsing experience of a user. Web VR allows easy access and easy-to-remember URLs without any need for downloads. It will enable easy opening of websites without the need for an app.
  • In the future, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be responsible for developing web applications that are required for data analysis of IoT devices. 
  •  The 360-degree video allows website admins and owners to improve interaction with website visitors. The viewer can remain on the same page for a longer duration as this technology helps in providing enriched user experience.
  • The website designs can become more attractive with the help of Motion UI (Motion User Interface) that serves as a SaaS library. The Motion UI can integrate animation into the website.

There are lots of website designing tools are available in the market. If you are into small business and have low budget cost, then the apt option is to have free and open source web design software. The open source web design software allows you to customize the functions efficiently. Before discussing the high-quality free and open source web design software, let's have a quick look at the comparison chart of free and open source website design software.

comparison chart

Free and Open source web design software solutions

1 GIMP (free and open source)

GIMP is a free and open source web designing software that provides original artwork creation. The artists can have the power and flexibility to transform images into truly unique creations. This free website design tool can provide high-quality image manipulation. GIMP manages the tasks related to photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring.

Graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and other artistic people can create design elements, icons, and scripted images with the help of GIMP.

GIMP(Source: GIMP)

Core functionalities:

  • Photo Manipulation
  • The full suite of painting tools
  • File Handling
  • Animation
  • Customizable Interface
  • Photo Enhancement
  • Digital Retouching
  • Hardware Support 
  • File Formats (JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF)
  • Filtering
  • Image Editor
  • Templates
  • Artwork Creation
  • Graphic design elements
  • Programming Algorithms
  • Desktop publishing Workflow
  • Extensibility and flexibility

2 Brackets (open source)

Brackets is an open source web design software that can design in the browser effortlessly. Brackets software is crafted for web designers and front-end developers. You will find this open source website design tool light-in-weight yet compelling. 

The software helps in creating new pages or sites and provides a simple interface to web designers. With live preview functionality, the user can connect to the web browser in real-time. It is an excellent tool for coding exercises.


(Source: Brackets)

Core functionalities

  • Inline Editors
  • Live Preview
  • Preprocessor Support
  • Front-end editor
  • Simple user interface
  • Effortlessly switch between the tabs or pages
  • Multiple Cursors
  • Open Source Text Editor

3 openElement –free

openElement is the free website design software for creative professionals. This powerful and intuitive web authoring program provides tools to build a reliable, compliant website. This software supports all the latest technology (like HTML5, CSS3).

This free web design tool can maximize productivity by simplifying tasks and optimizing workflow. This tool helps in providing efficiency in the web creating process. Custom elements can be effortlessly modified and created with openElement. OpenElement can optimize your site for better user experience and a higher position in search results.

openElement(Source: openElement)

Core Functionalities:

  • Intuitive Interface
  • Responsive design
  • Drag-and-drop facility
  • SEO Management
  • Element Editor
  • Image and Code optimization
  • Easy integration of scripts
  • Cross-browser
  • Reusable styles and element packs 
  • Manage Codes

4 Adobe Dreamweaver (open source)(free trial)

Adobe Dreamweaver is an open source website design software that is fast and responsive. The developers can create websites and web applications for any device with the help of this web designing tool.

This open source web designing tool is apt for everything from single page design to the development of dynamic pages. It is a powerful and fully-featured web designing tool. The software can build beautiful sites for any browser or device. In a few easy steps, you can set up your website. The software can provide a dynamic display on every device. 

Adobe Dreamweaver(Source: Adobe Dreamweaver)

Core Functionalities:

  • Multi-device products
  • Dynamic Code editor
  • Regular Updates
  • Quick Publishing
  • Code Themes and Introspection
  • Real-Time Browser Preview
  • Syntax Checking
  • Fast and flexible coding 
  • Creative cloud
  • Seamless live view editing
  • Multi-monitor support

5 Mobirise (free)

Mobirise is the free web design software that can efficiently create a mobile-friendly website. The software can create landing pages, online resumes, and portfolios effortlessly. Without HTML/CSS skills, the professionals can create a stunning site in a few minutes with the help of this free web designing software.

This free web designing tool can effortlessly set up a stunning personal site or a fully functioning landing page for the business. The software is a downloadable offline web builder that can be supported on Win, Mac, and Android Operating System. 

Mobirise(Source: Mobirise)

Core Functionalities:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Latest website blocks and techniques
  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Website builder
  • Themes and Templates
  • Extensions
  • Bootstrap and AMP (accelerated mobile page) pages

6 Webflow (free)

Webflow is the free web design software that can translate the design into clean and semantic code, which can be quickly published to the web. The pre-built pieces can be used for complex elements like tabs, sliders, and background videos. The software can create reusable symbols and can effortlessly keep the items organized. 

It is easy to build the site with real content by employing this free web designing tool. The software can create responsive sites and can create reusable CSS classes. The user has complete control over the layout. The software allows the building of website interactions and animations visually. 

webflow(Source: Webflow)

Core Functionalities:

  • Build CSS (Cascading style sheets) grid-powered layouts visually
  • Add CSS filters
  • Clean, compliant, exportable client
  • Responsive Images
  • Flexible and responsive layouts
  • Reusable and editable symbols
  • Creative Control 
  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Customizable forms
  • Marketing & SEO
  • Website animations and interactions visually
  • Custom Branding
  • Fine-tune typography
  • Global color swatches
  • Integrations
  • Motion design

7 Webydo (free trial of 30 days)

Webydo is a cloud-based web design software that can create beautiful websites without handling any code. The software is apt for businesses and design agencies. With the help of intuitive tools, it is effortless to have excellent website building experience. 

The software is easy-to-use that allows building responsive SEO-friendly websites along with a powerful content management facility. Users can efficiently create interactive and attractive sites.

Webydo(Source: Webydo)

Core Functionalities:

  • SEO-friendly websites
  • Content Management
  • Client Billing
  • White label branding
  • Customizable Templates
  • Hosting 
  • Web Analytics
  • Social Integration
  • Mobile styling
  • eCommerce
  • Drag and drop elements
  • Responsive websites
  • Parallax Scrolling Animator
  • Professional design tool

Although the list mentioned above of free and open-source web designing tools is of top-notch quality that can provide amazing results to the users. Along with it, there is also one more web design software- Google web designer, which is gaining popularity. Below you can explore the core functionalities of Google web designer:

Google Web Designer- Popular

Google Web Designer is a remarkable web designing software that can create engaging and interactive HTML5-based designs and motion graphics. The software allows seamless integration with other Google products like Google Drive, display and video 360, and Google ads.

The software provides a full design suite and can edit HTML, CSS, and JavaScript directly. Across the advertising platforms, this web designing tool can support a wide range of display and video ad formats.

Google web Designer

(Source: Google Web Designer)

Core Functionalities:

  • Drag-and-drop component
  • Flexible
  • Interactive
  • Dynamic workflow
  • Animation-3D content
  • Content Creation Tools
  • Display and Video ad formats
  • Google Integrations
  • Responsive Ads

Conclusive statement

In the digital marketplace, your website defines your online presence. It is essential to make your website appealing to the audience. If the designing of your website is attractive, then it will surely hold the attention of the people, which in turn allows in completing a visit to the website. 

The web design software enables designers to experience the drastic growth in the designing arena. The web design software can effortlessly and creatively build an excellent website for the viewers. With the help of free and open-source web design software, it is effortless to have a fully-functional and professionally-designed website for business use.

If you are looking for more advanced features of web design tools, then you can explore the GoodFirms platform where you will find the top web design software available in the market. In case you have come across any of the free and open-source web design software mentioned above, then feel free to share your valuable reviews on the same.

If you are looking for other software categories, then click here.

Andrea Hernandez
Andrea Hernandez

Andrea Hernandez is a tech blogger and content marketing expert. She writes about disruptive tech trends counting blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Presently, as a senior writer, she is associated with GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review and rating platform. Follow her on social media for valuable information on the software.

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