Freelance Design Tools

//Freelance Design Tools

Freelance Design Tools

Becoming a freelance website designer is not as easy as one would think. Usually freelancers work more hours then they would at a “normal job” and they usually do not make as much money, at least at first. Once you get the whole freelancer thing down it gets pretty easy, but getting there is hard part.

If you search the internet you can find essential tools for anyone wanting to jump into website design. Well, we save you the trouble by compiling a list of the most useful tools we can find, that we know work, because we use on a daily basis. We have the list sorted into categories to make it easier for you to find what you need. Remember, not every tool is used by all freelancers, so pick and choose the ones that will benefit you.

Since we use Firefox we do recommend designing in Firefox, but to each his own. Internet Explorer is becoming more standard compliant, but they are still a long way from Firefox. It is better to design for Firefox then make it work with Internet Explorer. Usually the other browsers will display correctly while IE does not….so work with what works then fix it for IE. You can download Firefox here.

Firefox Addons
Web Developer Toolbar
The Web Developer Toolbar extension adds a menu and a tool bar with various web developer tools. This toolbar pretty much does everything that the other extensions listed do.

YSLow analyzes web pages and why they’re slow based on Yahoo!’s rules for high performance web sites. Just go to a website and test its speed with this great tool.

Firebug integrated with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and Javascript live in any web page. This is the single most important tool I use because it helps with troubleshooting when you are dealing with a web page that will not cooperate, or you are just wanting to know how something works.

Advanced Eyedropper, Colorpicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies. You can easily get the colors from a website without having to do a screen shot in your favorite image editor.

Window Resizer
Resize your browser to various standard resolution sizes. You can do custom sizes or you can normal sizes like 1024 X 768, 800 X 600, etc.

Window Resizer
Resize your browser to various standard resolution sizes. You can do custom sizes or you can normal sizes like 1024 X 768, 800 X 600, etc.

You can use this extension to view the CSS of any webpage.

This Firefox extension overlays a grid on any website. This is a great tool for designers wanting to learn how to design a grid-based layout.

User Agent Switcher
The User Agent Switcher extension adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser. Great to see the same website in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc.

Pagediff is a simple page compare application. It helps web developers and designers to see HTML-code(text) differences between web pages. Linux users should know exactly what this “diff” extension does.

Work Timers
Fourteen Dayz
With this simple to install software you can log work hours (independent or as a group), create specs for work, and get paid. If you use this software you have six options for pricing, one is FREE. The plans range from Free to $99 / month.

Tick is a simple time tracking application that helps you hit your budgets. If you use this software you have five options for pricing, one is FREE. The plans range from Free to $79 / month.

SlimTimer allows you to create tasks and share them with coworkers. It is kinda like a punch in / punch out system. You start the task when you start working and end the task for breaks or when you are finished working.

Project Management
Writeboards are sharable, web-based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back to any version, and easily compare changes.

activeCollab is a project management & collaboration tool that you can set up on your own server or local network. Work with your team, clients and contractors in easy to use environment, while keeping full control over your data. activeCollab has corporate and small business licensing. The corporate license is $499 ($199 / year) and the small business license is $249 ($99 / year).

Ta-da Lists
Create simple to do lists and share them with the world. This can be more then just a website design tool, you can use this to create a shopping list, a vacation list, and much more. Also, Ta-da list is 100% FREE

Job Boards
Find people who want to work for you at a per project basis or find work using the website. Sign up is free.

Find people who want to work for you at a per project basis or find work using the website. Elance features their own payment processing so you know you will get paid by the business that hires you. Sign up is free but you can only apply 3 credits per month….but you can pay for extra credits.

Find a full time design or programming job on this job board.

Authentic Jobs
Full time and freelance jobs are posted on this job board.

Design Jobs on the Wall (Webdesigner Wall)
This is a job board I visit on a regular basis. They have full time, part time, and freelance jobs available.

Stock Libraries
Buy images from professional designers. All work is original and member-generated.

A leading provider of digital media worldwide. They have a range of images from royalty-free stock images to multimedia.

stock.xchng vi
Stock xchng is the leading FREE stock photo site.

Google Apps
Google has great tools for getting your website known around the internet as well as getting rid of all the coding errors you have.

Wordpress is one of the top rated blogging applications. It has a great admin interface and gives you the ability to easily create templates to change your site.

We all know what Paypal is….but just in case you do not: Paypal is the leading payment processor. Every e commerce website needs to have a Paypal gateway since a lot of people do not trust giving out their credit card information to every website that asks for it.

Filezilla is a great tool for your FTP needs. It is quick and allows you to store login information in the program to keep from having to login every time you wanted to upload a new file.

W3C Markup Validation Service (HTML)
Make sure you website is compliant with all the web standards. This will check the page for errors and give you a reason why you received an error. If you need to you can use the “clean up markup with HTML tidy tool to automatically clean the html.

W3C Markup Validation Service (CSS)
The same tool as above but it checks the CSS of a page.

XML Site map Generator for Google, Yahoo, MSN
You must have Java enabled to use this site. After it is enabled you can type your domain name in the URL box and hit the play button. It will search for broken links, etc. After you fix the broken links you can download a XML, txt or even an HTML site map for FREE.

A FREE invisible web tracker, highly configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats. Insert a simple piece of our code on your web page or blog and you will be able to analyze and monitor all the visitors to your website in real-time!

Well, I think we may have left out a few, but in total we should have covered all the bases. If we left anything out please feel free to comment below and tell us what we are missing. Thanks for reading.

By | 2016-09-10T10:10:56+00:00 September 10th, 2016|Web Development|0 Comments

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