There’s a range of web design software available, whether you’re a new designer, have HTML/CSS knowledge, or you’ve never seen a line of code in your life.
Whether you want to create your website from scratch using a website builder or design the whole thing yourself, there’s plenty of tools to help you on your journey.
There’s web design software that allows you to drag and drop your website’s design which is ideal for beginners. However, there are also advanced text editors geared towards programmers where they can build a website using lines of code.
Web design software is designed to make your life easier, regardless of your skill level. Often they integrate with other tools like image hosting, CDNs, and form builders, but each come with their own features.
We’ve scoured the internet for the best web design software available today. We’ve signed up for each software and experienced it first hand to give you an honest account of how easy it is to use, whether it’s good value for money, and what features are available.
1. Adobe Dreamweaver CC (Overall Best Web Design Software)
|Can create a website with responsive design||An expensive piece of web design software|
|Ability to customize your design|
You may already be familiar with Adobe Dreamweaver as it’s been around for a long time. You can code your website design without much programming skill required, using a combination of visual and HTML editing.
Dreamweaver enables you to create a responsive design, which is essential when designing a website. You can optimise your website to work on all devices, ensuring you create a good user experience.
If you have the confidence and skill to do so, you can edit source code directly from Dreamweaver with its GIT support.
Adobe’s app subscription service includes Dreamweaver as well as 20+ apps including Photoshop for £39.95 per month. Alternatively, you can sign up for Dreamweaver by itself which will cost you £19.97 per month.
|Incredibly easy to use and ideal for beginners||Not as advanced as other web design software|
|Plenty of features|
|No coding required|
Rather than a coding platform, Wix is a website builder that allows you to create and design a website from scratch with no coding skills required.
You can start designing your website for free which will offer 500MB storage space along with Wix branding and Wix ads. When you’re ready to move up, there are plenty of pricing plans available to suit every budget, and you can even sell products on your online store.
Wix boasts an incredible collection of professionally designed templates, so if you want to build your website upon an existing design, it’s entirely possible and easy to do so.
You can customise your website by adding videos, images, moving text boxes, implementing sliders, adding social buttons, and even integrate a blog or forum.
The core functionality and editor are well-designed and intuitive, allowing beginners and experts to edit their website which will look great on desktop and mobile. However, the editor does have some limitations and their tech support isn’t the best I’ve experienced.
|Open-source||Can take a while to get your head around|
|Plenty of themes and plugins|
|Almost endless customisation|
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) and is one of the most powerful website builders and web design software available on the market.
However, because there are so many features, it can take a while to get used to if you’ve never used WordPress before. It’s not a drag and drop or WYSIWYG editor, so any coding or design work you do won’t show unless you preview your posts or pages.
WordPress is a self-hosted solution, so you’ll need to source your own web hosting and domain name in order to publish your website live on the internet.
If you’re a hungry creative, WordPress offers almost unlimited options with thousands of plugins and themes to customise your website and design it to the best of your ability.
Whether you’re looking to include a forum, sell products online, set up a subscription service, sell houses, or show off your portfolio, you can do almost anything with WordPress.
|Free plan||Somewhat limited|
|Easy to use||Not great for eCommerce|
|App center available|
Similar to Wix, Weebly is an easy to use website builder ideal for beginners. Weebly is mostly targeted towards people with no coding experience at all, so web designers or developers may be put off by the limited features and lack of customisability.
Whilst you can create an online store with Weebly, I wouldn’t personally recommend it as there are better eCommerce builders available. Weebly’s templates are quite basic but are a great place to start and are easy to edit.
All of Weebly’s themes are responsive, and they have useful built-in tools like analytics, SEO, and social media integration.
Weebly’s App Center allows for further customisation, similar to WordPress plugins. You can start using Weebly for free or upgrade to a paid plan to unlock more advanced web design features.
|Drag and drop web design||The interface can take some getting used to|
Ideal for beginners, Webflow is a cloud-based web design software service that doesn’t require any coding knowledge to build a website.
The software offers a simple drag and drop WYSIWYG editor allowing you to move elements like text and image straight onto your website page. There’s plenty of templates available too which will help you get started.
If you have no coding experience, Webflow will create the code for you to get started during the setup. You can then make changes to individual elements, or you can choose to design your website from scratch, it’s entirely up to you.
You can start two projects for free using Webflow’s Starter package, but if you need more than this, they do offer pricing plans suitable for a range of budgets.
Best Web Design Software FAQs
Is Wix actually free?
Yes, Wix does have a free plan, and you can keep it forever if you want to. The free plan will assign a subdomain which will look something like yourusername.wix.com/yoursitename which doesn’t look very professional. You’ll also get Wix ads and limited storage and bandwidth capped at 500MB. However, it’s a great starting point if you want to test out your web design skills without committing to a paid plan.
What software do web designers use?
Different web designers will use different web design software. Whilst many web designers user the likes of Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe XD, there are web designers who design websites specifically for Wix, and therefore use the Wix platform. The same goes for other web design software like WordPress, Weebly, etc.
Which is better web designer or web developer?
Web designers and web developers are actually different and do different jobs, so neither one is better. If you are hiring a web designer to design your website, you’ll need a web developer to implement it and make it live on the internet. A web designer designs the layout and look of your website and a web developer uses coding languages to implement functionality into your website. Both work hand in hand.