Web designing and developing of internet presentations and applications is a rather complex job which often requires using a number of tools that can sometimes cost a fortune. Here we made a list of free alternatives to those tools which, for most of the time, can replace all those pricey apps and save you some money, while still providing you with quality solutions for your job.
GIMP (short for GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open source image editing software with a highly customizable interface, available for Windows, Linux and Mac. It is usually recommended as the best open source alternative for Photoshop because, despite its slightly less intuitive interface, it offers many features of the Adobe’s app, such as photo enhancement, digital retouching tools and support for PSD files. One more good thing about GIMP is that it supports all kinds of hardware (from regular computers to tilt and pressure sensitive tablets, as well as all many types of USB and MIDI controllers) which is something designers will appreciate a lot.
Inkscape is the most famous open source, multi platform scalable vector graphic editor which strives to offer all the features of the expensive, proprietary software such as CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator. Web designers use it to create web page mockups and also for website logos, banners, etc. Although it still has not reached a full version number (latest stable version is 0.48.2) and it admittedly cannot do everything your famous paid apps can, it has already established itself in the vector graphic world. Inkscape’s development is done by enthusiasts all over the world and this among other things means there is a lot of help documentation and tutorials available on the internet.
CoffeeCup HTML Editor comes from CoffeeCup Software, and it is a part of their suite of applications designed to make life easier for beginners in website developing. It is a full featured HTML editor with a very useful code completion feature which really helps speeding things up. It also has an integrated validation tool and a built-in browser preview with a number of browser engines to choose from. CoffeeCup’s interface is clean and easy to understand, which is why it can be used by beginners as well as by seasoned professionals.
Conceived as a replacement for Windows Notepad which would offer more features and expand the purpose of the legendary application, Notepad++ has established itself as one of the most popular free source code editors out there. Its tabbed document interface, split screen support, syntax highlighting and folding are what makes Notepad++ the first choice of many programmers as well as web developers who prefer segmented approach to integrated development environments.
FileZilla which, despite its similar name, is not associated with Mozilla, is a free cross-platform program which offers FTP access and file management for servers – covering an important part of the website developing process. It has many useful features such as tabbed browsing, drag and drop support, bookmarks, the ability to queue files when transferring them on a server and the ability to pause and resume large file uploads (even for the files larger then 4GB). It supports latest internet protocols (IPv6) and is available on all important platforms.
Mozilla’s effort to produce an all-in-one internet application suite resulted in SeaMonkey, a web browser with integrated email client, news aggregator, IRC protocol support and advanced HTML editing capabilities. Mozilla stopped developing it in the meantime, but SeaMonkey lives on and is now a community driven project governed by the SeaMonkey Council. The part of the suite which interests web developers most is SeaMonkey Composer, A WYSIWYG HTML editor whose main benefit is that it is integrated into a browser, thus allowing for easy testing previews. Another interesting feature is DOM inspector which makes it possible to inspect internal structure of websites, add-ons and SeaMonkey itself.