7 Must-Use Tools for Freelance Website Designers in 2018

Do you want to upgrade your skills and create stunning designs? Check out these seven tools for freelance webs designers and enjoy your work even more.

There are three types of people: office workers, freelancers, and freaks who somehow manage to combine both office work and freelancing. I know such freaks personally and I must admit their true dedication to job is worth respecting.

One of them works officially and freelances as a web designer. As his “office brother-in-arms” I got really curious to know why on earth he doesn’t want to stick to one particular style of work.

My friend’s arguments really impressed me. A few days before we had that small-talk, he had been offered to join a project to develop a website for a service that provided essay help online. And he agreed to take part for two reasons.

Firstly, that niche was new to him, and he wanted to try something different. Secondly, when he freelances, he can use those tools and approaches which might be not welcomed by his project manager. That’s how he learns new things and gets new experience, which make him not only a reputable freelance web designer but also a valuable office expert.

We had quite a hot discussion about the web design tools that could stand both a budding and experienced freelancer in good stead.

There are loads of them. And each designer actually has their own magic “tool kit”.

So, here are the most popular tools we did agree on. Try them out and upgrade your creations.

1. Canva

Canva is free, simple, and effective. And this is exactly what every freelancer can expect from a web design tool. Its initial mission was to help students and teachers create yearbooks, as well as to make it easier for students to get the basics of graphic design.

Since 2012 Canva has developed into a widely-used software program, respected for its versatility and multifunctionality. So, if you want to design really nice and neat graphics of all sorts, Canva is the right choice. Besides, with it you can make graphics for both the web and print.

2. Sass

The full name of this tool speaks for itself: Sass stands for Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets. It is a preprocessor scripting language on top of CSS, providing simpler and more elegant syntax for it and implementing much more intelligent, useful features. At least, that’s what’s stated on the official Sass website.

This is a free and incredibly powerful tool, which, however, seems to be disregarded by some designers.

Dan Cederholm, the author of “Sass for Web Designers” and designer who cooperated with Microsoft, Google, and YouTube, used to be one of them. But in his book Dan explains why he changed his own attitude towards Sass and gives advice on how to use this tool so that it makes designs nicer and the work on them more enjoyable.

In order to be even more confident of your choice, you can learn more about Dan’s opinion on Sass here.

3. Sketch

Sketch is a great substitution for Photoshop, which you may be using exclusively now. This tool will make your creations look more professional and perfect. Plus, it will make the whole design process considerably more convenient and effective.

You can have it all and forever for $99. Many expert web designers have acknowledged it as one of the best online tools over the past years. So, it’s the right time for you to switch to it if you want to advance your designs.

4. Figma

Figma is exactly what you need if you work not alone but in team with one or more designers. Wherever all of you are, you can work on one and the same project all together in real time, keeping control over the design process, leaving comments, and finding solutions.

You can opt either for a free or a paid version, depending on what you need Figma for. Still, whatever it is, this multifunctional tool is surprisingly easy to learn and can make your teamwork faster and more successful.

5. Zeplin

Even if you are now working with Photoshop or Sketch, Zeplin will become your reliable assistant. Initially it was aimed at making the collaboration between web designers and web developers less… stressful. When working on a project in Zeplin, a developer can click on everything he or she sees without worrying that his or her clicks may change something that is the result of a designer’s long and hard work.

But what makes Zeplin really valuable is that this tool can translate Photoshop and Sketch files into a web-based, Windows, or Mac app, providing quick reference for every component of a design and just saving your precious time.

6. Pictaculous

That’s everything you can see on the official Pictaculous website, literally. The interface is more than simple. But what stands behind it is really smart and helpful.

Powered by MailChimp, this tool will provide you with a set of colors for your design, basing its decisions on the colors of a photo you upload. Simply put, you need to send a picture with the colors you want to use for a website, and Pictaculous will offer you a wide palette of hints that will match harmoniously in your design.

It looks like this tool can be a remedy for the most serious designers’ block that crashes on you when you must choose the right colors.

7. Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver is friendly to both a budding web designer and a pro. All features and functions of this tool will be available to you for about $20 per month, but you’ll find it worth this price if you are one of those designers who like all-in software.

Adobe Dreamweaver allows to build websites from zero, as well as manage and make necessary modifications to them timely and effectively. It’s probably not the simplest software to use, but it’s the right thing for a perfectionist web designer.

So, which of these tools is going to be your favorite?

Of course, even a pro web designer can’t say for sure which of them will meet all your and your client’s expectations. But experience shows that as soon as you make friends with one or more of these tools, your work will become of higher quality and better management.

Janette Barkow

Janette is a dedicated marketing strategist, restless follower of the latest tech novelties, and eager reader of fantasy novels. But her little bulldog considers her just a busy thing that comes home only to have a nap.