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6 free web design tools to try today

free web design tools

Building a website used to have a high barrier to entry: you either needed to hire a professional, or be fluent in several coding languages and graphic design. Fortunately, today’s free web design tools have made creating a web presence much easier. Let’s cover six free web design tools that should be on your radar and discuss how to pick the right web design software for you.

Design a website for free with Wix today.

6 best free web design tools of 2024

01. Wix

If you’re looking for an all-in-one, free web designing software, look no further than Wix. It’s designed to help you build a functional, professional-looking website quickly and easily without sacrificing on quality. 

Wix enhances your website creation experience by offering AI-assisted customization for your site profile and dashboard, ensuring you're connected with the most suitable apps for your needs. Additionally, it automatically generates various design options, complete with recommended text and imagery, streamlining the process of building a visually appealing and functional site.

Or, if you want a more hands-on approach, start from one of hundreds of website templates designed for various use cases. From there, you can use Wix's drag-and-drop website builder to customize your website without having to write a single line of code. That said, if you do want to add your own coding, Velo allows you to lift the hood on your website to make it your own.

No matter how you build your website, Wix automatically generates a mobile version of it, ensuring it looks good and functions well on all kinds of devices. You can then use the mobile editor to improve your site’s aesthetics and usability even further.

If you want to add engaging photos or videos to your website, you can edit them directly in Wix. The Wix video maker, powered by Vimeo, lets you quickly create videos by uploading text and media, choosing a theme, selecting music and entering your business information. For still images, you can upload and edit your own or select free images from the Wix Library. 

Wix's App Market is a treasure trove of integrations, offering you a wide range of applications and widgets to enhance your website's functionality. Whether you want to add a live chat feature, social media integration or booking platform to your website, Wix offers a broad range of options to fit these needs.

In addition to being a robust, free web design tool, Wix is a powerful branding and marketing platform. It has a logo maker, a name generator, an email marketing tool, a video maker and more.

If you ever need help, Wix offers a variety of support options, including a chatbot that makes it easy to find the right solution and get in touch with an expert through your preferred contact method. Additionally, there are a variety of resources, including the support library, the YouTube channel and the Wix Blog.

Standout features of Wix’s free web designing software:

  • Drag-and-drop website editor

  • Range of AI tools for site setup, text generation and more

  • Hundreds of customizable website templates

  • Collaborator roles and permissions

  • SEO, marketing and analytics tools

  • Built-in photo and video editor

  • Integrations with hundreds of third-party apps

  • 24/7 customer support

Additional pricing details: 

  • You can design a website for free with Wix. 

  • To access additional features, you can upgrade to a Wix Premium plan. Check Wix’s Pricing Plans for the most up-to-date options.

Sign up for Wix today and test drive our site builder for free.

Wix is the best free software to build websites

02. Blender

Blender secures a place on our list of the best free web design tools because of its powerful animation capabilities. Thanks to Blender’s open-source nature, this tool is free to download, and all of its features are free to use. The software is constantly being updated by a passionate community of contributors. 

So, what exactly can you do in Blender? With 3D modeling capabilities, you can create figures, environments and objects through a variety of methods, including sculpting. You can then use Blender’s animation features to make these models come to life. The software’s powerful visual effects include green screen compositing, fluid and smoke simulations and much more.

Blender has a limited library of ready-to-use asset bundles and demo templates for walking you through the software and giving you starting points for projects. There are also loads of Blender templates available through third-party marketplaces. Beyond templates, you can extend Blender’s capabilities through integrations known as add-ons. For example, because Blender lacks native collaboration features, you can find an add-on that lets you work on a web animation with your team in real time.

Although some users say Blender comes with a steep learning curve, the wealth of educational resources available online—including comprehensive documentation, tutorials and active community forums and chat rooms—makes it accessible to designers of all skill levels. And while Blender may not have certain support features typically found in freemium software, the vast array of available learning and support resources effectively equips users to tackle almost any challenge they might face.

Standout features of Blender’s free web design software:

  • Open-source software

  • Functionality is similar to paid animation tools

  • Lots of support resources available

  • 3D modeling, VFX and animation capabilities

  • Native and third-party templates and integrations

Additional pricing details: 

  • Blender is free to download and use.

Blender is one of the best online design tools for animation

03. Visual Studio Code

If you want to develop your website from scratch (or simply edit its code), Visual Studio Code may come in handy. This open-source editor runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, making it highly accessible. It supports many coding languages, including HTML and CSS. If it doesn’t support a particular programming language, you can add support for that language with extensions.

Visual Studio Code offers a comprehensive database of documentation, simplifying the setup process and providing helpful guidance for those new to coding. With a detailed database of documentation to help you get set up, Visual Studio Code is easy to use for developers of all levels. In fact, if you don’t know how to code yet, you can learn from the platform’s resources.

Its minimalist interface is ideal for distraction-free coding. The debugging feature may come in handy when you’re inspecting code and need to address issues quickly. Plus, the code editor’s snippets are quite useful, as they function as code templates that make it easier to write repeating code patterns. 

Visual Studio Code’s extensions library makes this code editor even more powerful. You can browse hundreds of integrations that let you add coding languages, themes and more. Notably, while a preview tool is not included as a native feature, you have the option to add it through these integrations, further customizing your experience.

Visual Studio Code’s integration of Git, a popular version control system streamlines collaboration, enabling your team to work together seamlessly and track changes with ease. 

Unique among many code editors, Visual Studio Code has a web-based version. This allows for quick edits directly in a browser, bypassing the need for software downloads and minimizing the impact on your device's performance.

Standout features of Visual Studio Code’s free web design tool:

  • Support for many coding languages

  • Large library of extensions

  • Distraction-free interface

  • Integration with Git for easy collaboration

  • Web-based version available

  • Powerful debugging

  • Predictive snippets

Additional pricing information:

  • Visual Studio Code is open source and therefore completely free. 

  • You may need to pay for extensions.

Visual Code Editor is one of the best free web design tools for coding

04. GIMP

GIMP stands as an open-source counterpart to Photoshop, offering a wide range of capabilities from basic photo editing to crafting images and graphics from scratch. For existing photos, GIMP enables you to resize, rotate and color-correct with its array of transformation tools, filters and masks. It supports multiple image file formats like JPEG, PNG and PSD format (which is great for collaborating with Photoshop users).

If creating original artwork is your goal, GIMP provides tools like brushes, pencils and stamps. It even supports freehand drawing on graphics tablets. GIMP also supports text and some animation features, making it useful for more than just enhancing your headshot. And for those looking to expand its functionality, a range of third-party plugins is available.

One drawback is that GIMP lacks a built-in collaboration feature. Currently, you’ll have to share file versions back and forth for edits. GIMP’s interface is minimalistic, which may make it less intuitive than some competing products. That said, the platform compensates with an extensive database of support resources including documentation, web design tutorials, books and a user manual. You can even customize GIMP’s interface with shortcuts and image settings to make it easier to use.

Standout features of GIMP’s free web design tool:

  • Constantly updating open-source platform

  • Robust resource library

  • Powerful digital drawing and image retouching capabilities

  • Extensions available through the GIMP community

Additional pricing information: 

  • Because GIMP is an open-source photo editor, accessing all of its features is free.

05. Figma

Figma aims to simplify collaboration for everyone in the design process, from designers and developers to project managers and marketers. It's a breeze to co-create web pages or get feedback on design concepts within Figma.

Start your design journey with a blank canvas or choose from Figma's extensive library of over 300 templates. The software also allows you to create branded design libraries, ensuring consistency across projects.

Figma's cloud-based browser software ensures that every collaborator can easily access and work on the latest version of each project at the same time. When it's time to transition your design to developers, Figma offers detailed design specs to accurately convey your creative vision.

If you find Figma’s built-in capabilities lacking, you can add more features with plugins. The Figma Community offers a variety of free and paid plugins for wireframing, accessibility, visual assets and much more.

Figma free web design tool highlights:

  • Real-time collaboration

  • Intuitive interface

  • Ample templates

  • Cloud and web-based software

  • Rich plugin library

Additional pricing information: 

  • Figma’s free Starter plan gives one person access to the tool’s primary features.

  • A Figma Professional plan has extended features and costs $12 per person per month.

  • The Figma Organization plan costs $45 per person per month and facilitates organization-wide design. 

  • Enterprise plans go for $75 per person per month and come with even more capabilities.

Figma is one of the best free web designing softwares for collaboration.

06. Canva

Designing eye-catching graphics for your website becomes effortless with Canva's intuitive online design tool. It all begins with Canva's diverse array of templates and its intuitive interface. Start by selecting a project type, like a logo, wireframe or video. Then, pick from an extensive collection of templates, available in sizes perfect for various web design elements, or choose to start from a blank canvas.

Canva's straightforward, drag-and-drop interface makes customizing your chosen template or enhancing your blank canvas effortless. Add text, upload images or incorporate shapes, stock photos and graphics from Canva's extensive media library. Easily align with your website's branding by selecting specific colors and fonts to create on-brand web elements. Canva also supports your website's marketing by offering tools to build a brand kit, upload logos and design newsletters.

If you want to integrate your favorite online design tools with Canva, simply explore its app library.

Should you ever need guidance on using this intuitive platform, Canva's help center, design school, blog and events are there for support. Plus, for collaborative design, invite team members to join in. Upgrading to Canva for Teams allows stakeholders to comment on and edit digital designs in real time, enhancing the collaborative experience.

Standout features of Canva’s free web design tool:

  • User-friendly, drag-and-drop interface

  • Access to 250,000 templates and more than 1 million graphics and photos

  • Collaboration capabilities 

  • Branding opportunities

  • App library for integrations

  • Multiple support options

Additional pricing information: 

  • Canva’s free plan includes access to Canva’s core design tools as well as basic stock photos and graphics.  

  • Canva Pro ($14.99/month) and Canva Teams ($29.99/month) give you access to enhanced features for one person or a team of up to five.

Canva is one of the best free web design tools for graphic design

What to look for in free web design tools

As you’re evaluating these free web design tools, reference this checklist to find the best software for your needs.

  • Robust support options: The gold standard for web design software support is 24/7 support over the phone or via chat. However, it’s rare to get this level of support with free tools, so make sure the software has other ways to get help, such as email support, detailed documentation, tutorials or community support forums.

  • A variety of templates: Templates cut down on a lot of the grunt work related to web design and significantly reduce how long it takes you to launch a site, write code or design a graphic. If you don’t have a traditional design background, templates can also help you stay within the parameters of design best practices. Opt for free online design tools that come with customizable templates that will help you get started with your project quickly.

  • Compatibility with existing software: Look for software that integrates seamlessly with the programs you already use. You should be able to share files and data between your tools without complicated workarounds.  

  • Collaboration capabilities: Design projects are often a group effort, so you need tools that make it easy for your teammates to track and review changes, make edits, leave comments and pick up where you left off. Bonus points if the tool lets you work on the same project at the same time.

  • Ease of use: The software you’re using to design your website and graphics should be intuitive to use. If a free web design tool has a learning curve, it should provide proper support to guide you through onboarding.

Editor’s note: all prices are current as of December 6, 2023.

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