Web Design can be an expensive hobby, passion and profession for those who are strapped for cash in the great Recession. Since some of the best software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs under the Adobe Creative Suite come at a hefty price, you may be discouraged to venture into web design. Don’t fret, here are six alternatives you can check out while you’re saving up for your design suite. These are all free open source software or Internet tools that can allow you to build your web designing career quite effectively.
1. Tab Generators
Website functionality is important, especially when navigation is concerned. Tabs, menus and lists can help organize data in order to be immediately accessed by visitors. You can check out the OverZone CSS Tab Designer for instant menu solutions if you’re a beginner, or if you just plainly want to save time doing the extra work when you code it in.
2. Button Generators
Once your navigation is settled, you may want to enhance the website’s buttons, especially if you want to build a website that focuses on providing a service or a product. Colorful buttons tend to be more appealing for visitors, and you can achieve that by checking out the Button Generator. This generator quickly allows you to configure and design buttons suitable for the website you’re designing
3. Background Generators
Once you have your buttons and tabs done, the background must complement them. If you want to generate your own, check out StripeGenerator 2.0 for the stripe designs. If you wish to use general backgrounds, then Kollermedia offers such facility.
4. Icon Generators
Once you’ve got the other components ready, a good icon can enhance the visitor retention for the website. Favicons, or favorites icons, are like branding tools for websites. With the recent development of browsers incorporating icon technology, you will need to make use of favicons. In order to generate your own, check out Dynamic Drive to upload an image that will be converted to a .ico format needed for the website icon.
5. CSS Type Generators
In handling website typography along with the other design elements at hand, CSS is important for any website. As a web designer, incorporating these elements can be confusing if you’re new to CSS or you just want a quick setup. TypeTester and CSS TypeSet are two great resources for you to generate the website’s CSS quite smoothly.
Probably one of the most popular open source software out there, if you’re looking to completely design your website using a graphics program, GIMP (or GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the best alternative, to date, of Adobe Photoshop. Â With almost continuous support for the graphics software and a user base to provide you help when you need, you can use GIMP for almost anything graphics-related. Download it straight from the source right here: GIMP.
Whether you’re in financial trouble or you simply lack the initial capital to invest into web design, these tools can be your savior while you’re preparing for your future as a web designer. The potential these tools have as an alternative for programs in Adobe Creative Suite can help to prepare you for a lucrative career, especially if you plan to start from scratch using useful, cost-effective software to create professional designs.