30 Amazing Free Tools for Designers and Developers

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but luckily for us designers and developers, free, high performance, browser-based tools do exist. We take a close look at 30 of the best below. Rather than focus on ones that we all know and love, I’ve tried my best to unearth some gems that, for one reason or another, are not so commonly used.

Despite their underground status, each of these tools is more than worthy of your time so give them all a go and see which ones are right for you. From virtual networking apps to Flash template builders, color pickers, code cleaners, portfolio creators, wireframers and mass mirror uploaders, these tools cover every aspects of web design and development.

1. TinyGrab

TinyGrab is the best free screenshot tool available to download right now. It’s ingenious. Drag the crosshairs to select the portion of the screen you wish to capture and a screenshot’s automatically uploaded to TinyGrab. You’re then provided with a URL to share however you like, with whoever you like.

2. Domainr

If you want a domain that’s a little out of the ordinary, “totally.awe.sm” for example, you’ll be able to find it easily using this straightforward tool. If you’re looking for a standard FREE domain name that can be hosted on a multiple domain web host, you’ll be able to find that too.

3. CSS Type Set

CSS Type Set couldn’t be easier to use. You just enter text into the box on the left, using the fonts, font sizes, colors and spacing you require, and the correct CSS code can be viewed in the box on the right.

4. Tynt

Tynt adds a back-link to content copied from your web pages, providing you with analytics on how this content is being used. This unbelievably useful tool is currently running on over half a million sites.

5. Wix

With Wix, website developers with no knowledge of Flash whatsoever can create great-looking, search-engine-friendly Flash sites. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. Thanks to its simple interface and drag and drop functionality, Flash templates can be created in a matter of minutes.

6. Verb

Verb is a great task management and sharing app designed specifically for freelance designers and coders working independently or as part of a small team. Besides other things, you can create color-coded, prioritized to-do lists complete with due dates.

7. CarbonMade

Beautifully imagined, CarbonMade is the best place to store your free online portfolio. It’s the next best thing to having your own website and perfect for storing images related to individual projects.

8. SplashUp

Forget Photoshop and other expensive image editors, SplashUp can perform most editing and photo management functions you need on an everyday basis. It’s fast, free and easy to use.

9. Embeditin

Use Embeditin to embed any document into your website. You have complete control over how the document appears and can even add annotations if you wish. Embeditin provides you with detailed analytics complete with charts and maps showing who’s read the content and where they’re based.

10. Siwapp

Siwapp provides its users with a free, open-source invoicing solution. Not only will it help you to create invoices in seconds, it will help you manage them too.

11. Go2Convert

Go2Convert lets you convert image files from one type to another. Besides ordinary JPEGs, TIFFs and PSDs, you’ll find more obscure extensions like MSLs, DCXs and CINs. You can even choose to resize images while converting.

12. MockFlow

MockFlow is a wireframing tool which claims to be faster than using pen and paper. You can work on wireframes online and offline. When offline, changes are stored locally and optionally synced back when connection is regained.

13. FormatPixel

Create magazines, brochures, flyers and much more with FormatPixel, your free, browser-based desktop publishing solution. Upload your own images and move pages around until you’re completely satisfied with the results.

14. OpenWith

Thanks to OpenWith, you can now open any file, of any type, without the need for expensive software. OpenWith is a detailed directory of file extensions, some obscure and some ordinary, listed next to the free programs needed to create and open them.

15. 24×7 Web Monitoring

If you’re plagued by fears of your site going offline without your knowledge, you should sign up to 24×7 Web Monitoring. It’s a free service that sends you an email or SMS alert whenever your site’s down. It’s hard to believe that such a great service is free.

16. TestEverything

To make sure you’re website’s working as it should, run TestEverything, a set of over 100 tests to validate and check for errors.

17. Chicken of the VNC

This superb, virtual network computing app, for Mac only, lets users remotely share control of their screens with invited guests. Users share the whole screen, not just a small window.

18. Feevy

Feevy lets you publish content from your favorite blogs on your own site in a simple and attractive way. All you need do is enter the URLs of your chosen blogs into Feevy and place the tag which Feevy then generates into your site. There are 17,539 blogs using Feevy right now. Perhaps you’re being “Feevied” yourself!

19. PicMarker

Tired of people stealing your images? If you are, you need to consider adding a watermark to each one with your copyright information. You can do this simply at PicMarker. You can upload images from your computer (5 at a time) or grab them from Flickr, Facebook or Picasa.

20. ShowDocument

ShowDocument is an essential collaboration tool that allows instant sharing and co-browsing of documents, web pages, images and 3D illustrations, all of which can be annotated on screen. Up to 50 people can attend such online sessions at any one time.

21. pForm

Forms don’t have to be complicated. In fact, as a general rule, the simpler they are the better. If you want to build a straightforward form in next to no time, use pForm. Follow the 3 easy steps- Choose Color Scheme, Design Your Form, Download HTML.

22. Springloops

Springloops lets you collaborate on code with others. You can code in parallel and share code, safe in the knowledge that it’s secure.

23. Notable

From the comfort of your own browser, Notable lets you provide feedback on any page of a website or application. Click the Notable toolbar button to capture not only a screenshot of a site, but the code and SEO. Click again to add and share notes.

24. Dummy Text Generator

When creating layouts, it’s crucial that you understand exactly how much space text is going to take up. This tool lets you generate dummy text of any length, font and size.

25. Color Scheme Designer

Editing colors and choosing palettes for your sites couldn’t be easier, thanks to Color Scheme Designer. Once you’ve chosen the colors you like, simply click on Light or Dark Page Example to see how they might appear in reality.

26. OldVersion

The latest software is not always the best. Sadly, many older, but superior versions of our favourite programmes have been lost in the sands of time. If you’re looking for an old version of anything, from Acrobat to Safari, chances are you’ll find it at OldVersion.

27. Gazup

Gazup can save you lots of time when uploading large files to the web. It lets you upload onto multiple hosts (including RapidShare, zShare, NetLoad, Badongo and DepositFiles) simultaneously.

28. YouSendIt

12.1 million people can’t all be wrong. This is how many customers YouSendIt has. YouSendIt is the best, free tool available for sending and receiving large emails of up to 2GB (100MB for free).

29. IconFinder

Home to 159,857 icons and 516 icon sets, IconFinder is the place to go for the very best in icon design. Its simple search function makes it easy to track down the perfect icon for your needs.

30. Clean CSS

Use Clean CSS to beautify your code. Simply enter your CSS into the Input box or provide a URL and let this great tool create a cleaner, more concise version.

I am sure everyone that’s in the design or developing industry will find these tools useful.

Are you worried about Test-king Certification dumps exam & 1z0-047 preparation? We offer up-to-dated VCP550 practice questions and 1z0-027 dumps with 100% exam pass guarantee of 70-487 training.

This guest post was written by Tom Walker who designs and blogs for a supplier of OfficeJet inks, toners and paper. You can read more of his work on the topics of print media, advertising and the arts on their blog.

13 Comments
  1. Reply Lime Web Design October 14, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Cool article with a few good resources. I think Color Scheme Designer might just replace Kuler in my resources. Thanks for this

  2. Reply Diana Eftaiha October 15, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    very nice list. tynt is something to consider

  3. Reply Michael October 15, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Great list. Just used Domainr to find a great domain. Also, Wix is one of the best visual web design tools out there (I built http://unibridgeprojects.com with it). Only problem is it’s completely flash based, meaning problems with mobile browsers. They seemed to solve the SEO problem with flash though – all of the text is optimized and indexable by search engines.

  4. Reply websitemedia October 16, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Dropbox.com is a free tool that we use often with our customers to share pics, docs.

    • Reply Michael October 16, 2010 at 11:44 PM

      The BEST online file storage app in my opinion.

  5. Reply Rupnarayan Bhattacharya October 16, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    A very close friend shared this link with me and I found this article very useful. Some of the tools are known some of them are unknown but they are really useful.

  6. Reply subhamay October 18, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    I just find what i need. thank you. you guy’s really help me.

  7. Reply Bryce Wisekal October 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Fantastic find! Another resourceful article I’ve bookmarked from your website. Thanks for making it available.

  8. Reply FindIcons.com October 20, 2010 at 5:05 AM

    I would suggest FindIcons.com for your icons needs, a better icon search engine with 300,000 free icons available for download.

  9. Reply Michael @ Project Center October 27, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Thanks for the excellent resources! I could hardly wait to get “TinyGrab,” as I’m always snagging screen shots… and I’ve been looking for a site like “Carbon Made” for a while now. It can be hard to find attractive interfaces for file storage sites.

  10. Reply Alex March 2, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Nice post. Being as an designer, I understand how useful these tools are and how helpful stuff these resources provide.

    I would also recommend you to include an invoicing app in this post as an invoicing app is mandatory app to run a business and a designer is required to use one to manage his invoices and payments. I personally use http://www.invoicera.com to invoice my clients and to keep track of my projects and expenses. This really made my work so easy.

  11. Reply Tim April 12, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    There is a nice free design/wireframing web service – my.origramy, which is based on stand-alone flash component for sites, which you can download and use on your own.

  12. Reply Hashim June 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    nice artical dude Thanks
    http://www.mediacrop.org

Leave a Reply