There are so many tools available for to make awesome websites! Everything from free fonts, amazing text editors, style sheet awesomeness, plugins and the works!
Here’s my insight on the future of web design tools and what’s happening.
Time is flying! It’s 2013 and 10 years ago there was only a small handful of fonts you can use on the web. Code editors have come an incredibly long way since notepad. There are so many things happening it’s almost overwhelming!
Web Design is going to get easier
Today, everyone considers themselves a designer but most don’t know anything about design. The first thing most designers need to learn is Adobe Photoshop.
In the near future, I won’t be surprised if Web Designers no longer use Photoshop. With the abundance of snippets, web fonts, DIY web builders, themes. It’s becoming easier and easier to web design.
Granted you need to have experience with code and you will always need to have an eye for design for things to look right. However, designing in Photoshop, than converting to the web, I think will begin to diminish and web designers/developers continue to reuse design elements.
Case in point: ElegantThemes.com
They have beautiful web designs, but take a good look at them. You’ll see many different elements being reused in different ways to deliver a completely brand new, clean layout. It’s a trend it’s happening.
Why are all these cool tools coming out?
Well I think the answer to this is two-fold.
- Designers and Developers need to push things out faster.
- Demand for high quality designs is much more in need.
I myself and looking at all of these with more excitement than a (insert stupid joke here).
Seriously though, it’s amazing.
I’ll go through the list of what is making web design more fun, fast, and better than ever!
KICK ASS Web Design Tools
Adobe Edge Fonts
First we had google fonts, then we had TypeKit. Say hello to the best of both worlds. Free web fonts that will include all of Google Font’s library and some of TypeKit (the non-commercial ones).
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”665″] NOTE: I don’t think you should have to pay at all for webfonts. I can go into a whole rant about this (and I may) but if you have one project and a million fonts to choose from, why pay for it with the plethora of free fonts available. You can find an amazing combination of fonts, and you can only use it on one project that you can’t resell. Business is business, and that’s not good business. More on that another time. [/sws_yellow_box]
Less App and CodeKit
I used to write all my code from scratch. Line after line of CSS styles, taking up so much room and SOOO much time. Ef That! Less and CodeKit make your web design stupid easy with variables, mix-ins, etc. No more trying to figure out different hover colors, CSS3 elements, shading, etc. These are the apps of the future!
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”665″] NOTE: At the time of writing this, I was debating between using SASS and Less. I have choses SASS. Code kit works with it as well plus you have compass as well! Sass, Compass, and CodeKit make a super CSS monster machine! Get to know them. [/sws_yellow_box]
Espresso and Layercake (now known as slicy)
MacRabbit has amazing products and they are not expensive. Espresso is such a clean code editor, it’s personally my favorite. It’s on this list because I use it all the time and I think it’s the best (though I know people may argue that). What I really like about espresso is the CSS tool bar that has all the -webkit-, etc., prefixes in it, so you don’t have to constantly scour the web. The built-in snippet tool is also sweet.
LayerCake aka Slicy is for all you retina folks out there. Actually, it’s much more than that. I hate slicing. Slicy makes me love it.
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”665″] Another Note: I still love Espresso, but I’m cheating on it with SubLime Text 2. Holy crap it’s amazing. Learn more about SubLime here.[/sws_yellow_box]
Never have I heard so many good things about a hosting company.
The only reason I don’t use WPEngine is because I’ve been with my host for almost 10 years and never had a problem. The other reason is, I need some features that they added AFTER I mentioned it and already signed up with someone else. I now use WPEngine and it freakin’ ROCKS!!! Yes, it’s a bit pricey BUT… WordPress Hosting Tips.
WPEngine = Incredible Customer Service, Lightning fast speed, scalable, and secure WordPress environments. You can’t beat it. You are getting so much more value then the price that they’re actually charging! Do yourself a favor, and use them.
Get your color on with Kuler. Not sure what color you want your new site to be. Start browsing all the different color schemes and GO NUTS!
Vandelay Premier along with some other PSD Sites
There are so many PSD Sources that you don’t have to design every single element in your website. DON’T DESIGN EVERY LITTLE THING! It’s already done. Change, manipulate, make it your own, but don’t spend hours recreating the same things over and over again! Use UI Kits, Graphic Sites, Shapes, Vectors, etc. Be creative! Not every little piece of a site has to be custom-made.
I’m sure there are a ton more tools out there that web designers / developers are using everyday that continues to make their lives easier!
If you use or know of any other tools out there, I’d love to hear about them!
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”665″] Some links on this page are affiliate links, some are not. This article originally posted on my other site, IAmJonPerez.com, but not anymore =).[/sws_yellow_box]