Sorry to say, but there’s no definitive answer 🙋 to the question of what the best web design software is.
You see, the phrase “web design software” itself is a bit ambiguous. A quick Google search, for instance, will give you a range of solutions with diverse specializations.
Some of the suggested web design solutions tout themselves as “site builders.” They come in the form of visual WYSIWYG editors with basic tools for customizing prebuilt website templates – the type of stuff that would suit non-coders.
But, don’t confuse 😕 them with all-in-one website platforms. This is a separate category that bundles web design software with web hosting, domain registration, plus content management.
Other than that, we have those web design tools that support professional coding, while others are heavy on graphical editing, UI/UX design, digital drawing, etc.
As such, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all solution that can be described as the ultimate best web design software. The ideal approach here would, instead, be querying the options based on your specific use case.
In that light, 💡 here’s a roundup that’ll give you the much-needed headstart. We’ve carefully selected the three best web design tools 🎨 for each of the six most common use cases.
📚 Table of contents:
Best web design software for beginners and professionals in 2022 🚀
Best web design software for website building
WordPress is an open-source content management system that is built on PHP and MySQL. Don’t be misled by the CMS tag, though – in addition to running blogs, WordPress is a master in creating, optimizing, and designing websites. In fact, it’s the most popular website engine of them all. Currently, 42.9% of all websites on the web run on WordPress!
The system itself is free of charge, and you’ll often find it pre-loaded in web hosting packages.
When you go on to install it, the WordPress backend will grant you all the building blocks for setting up any type of website. You get to use an intuitive WYSIWYG website builder to visually piece together everything from scratch. On the other hand, you could customize any of the 30,000 site themes.
Another thing you’ll enjoy here is the huge selection of WordPress plugins, which are pretty handy in adding special functionalities and designs to websites. You should be able to set up a blog, online store, or professional site without touching a single line of code.
That, however, doesn’t mean coders have been left out. If you have the skills, WordPress still allows you to tweak your site’s HTML and CSS.
While WordPress is heavy on both coding and visual editing, Wix is more of a dedicated website builder that is supplemented by a series of design and hosting assets. You can think of it as the best web design software for beginners interested in quick and simple site creation.
At the core is an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which works well with all the 800 plus pre-built Wix templates. You just need to pick your preferred website template, and the Wix Editor will help you tweak the style, layout, content, outlook, and appearance of the site.
For users who’d otherwise want an even simpler web design method, the platform offers what it calls “Wix ADI.” This is an artificial intelligence system that asks basic questions and then proceeds to whip up a personalized site from the answers.
Webflow is yet another all-in-one platform that specializes in website creation, managed web hosting, and content management.
Its web design software comes with the whole shebang of visual design functionalities. You get to use a WYSIWYG website builder, drag-and-drop editing, a host of pre-built site elements, plus a library of responsive templates.
As you build the site, Webflow writes the underlying HTML/CSS and neatly organizes your code. Then when you’re done, it allows you to export all the code to external platforms.
Top web design software for ecommerce
Shopify is the go-to platform when you need the whole stack of ecommerce capabilities. This is an all-inclusive ecommerce platform with the tools for creating, optimizing, hosting, managing, and growing online stores.
In essence, Shopify has found a way to simplify all the intricacies associated with ecommerce sites. Its web design software, for instance, allows you to visually customize not just the layout of your store, but also the digital selling components that come with it.
You can organize large inventories, edit product pages, add shipping options, as well as throw in a couple of marketing components.
Whereas BigCommerce is mostly renowned for its enterprise commerce capabilities, it happens to have a small-scale version that is oriented towards small retail businesses.
BigCommerce Essentials is the name, and it has proven to be one of the best web design software for store owners who need to launch and grow seamlessly.
A couple of basic tweaks on its no-code editor are all you need to launch a fully-fledged store. And while you’re at it, you’ll be able to streamline the checkout process, inventory management, SEO, and sales channels.
Zyro isn’t as feature-rich as Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and the like. But, it can get the job done quickly and more efficiently than its counterparts.
This is a simple website builder that offers cheap but neat editing. You see, while many advanced ecommerce platforms have a learning curve, Zyro has eliminated the complexities by limiting itself to just the essentials.
It’ll take you five steps at most to set up and get a lightweight business site up and running. Just choose a template, use the drag-and-drop editor to customize attributes, and then maybe have Zyro’s free AI-driven logo maker help you with branding.
Best web design tools for graphic designers
Speaking of branding and whatnot, one tool that could help you find the right colors is Coolors.
Think of it as a color scheme generator. Although it doesn’t design websites per se, Coolors streamlines web design by saving you the hours you’d have otherwise spent resolving the site’s color scheme.
At its core it is a color generator that mixes up various shades, and then leaves you to choose the best combo.
When you finally find a perfect set of palettes, you just need to copy the Hex Codes from Coolors and then apply them directly to your project.
As a robust and versatile graphics editing software, Adobe Illustrator is unarguably one of the best web design tools for professional website touch-ups.
It sells itself as a vector-based graphics software solution. But, make no mistake about it. Under the hood, you’ll find all sorts of advanced tools for creating and editing not just vector graphics, but also artwork, drawings, sketches, layouts, etc.
You should be able to draw stuff, adjust gradients, match up colors, edit layers, plus enhance the outlook of your projects with special effects, filters, and brushes.
Adobe Illustrator additionally supports cross-media design, allowing you to proportionally tailor layouts to design customizations. Hence, you’ll have an easy time aligning your workflows with different devices, screen sizes, and platforms.
Canva is the simple and easy-to-use equivalent of Adobe Illustrator. While the latter is one of the best web design software for seasoned graphics designers, the former is ideal for beginners.
This is what you turn to when you need an automated design tool for editing vectors, images, illustrations, posters, presentations, banners, and social media publications.
Instead of starting from scratch, you get to build your project from Canva’s templates. It comes with a rich library of pre-built graphics mockups – ideal for infographics, business cards, logos, prints, web page illustrations, etc.
Once you make your selection, you can go on and customize the visual attributes using Canva’s drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor.
Top web design software for product design
If you’re planning to feature products on your website, you might want to bring in the likes of Sketch for that extra oomph.
Sketch is a vector graphics editor that runs on macOS. It doesn’t operate like Adobe Illustrator, though. It, instead, specializes in prototyping, product design, and animating.
The workflows here are particularly ideal for collaborators in large agencies and organizations.
As you bring your designs to life using Sketch’s intuitive UI, you can test out the prototypes on your PC, and then maybe share the link with your colleagues for their input. Also, it’s possible to have multiple collaborators working on the same project in real-time.
Smartmockups is a web-based product mockup generator that turns your images into professional-quality showcases.
What this means is, you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating an actual product to showcase a branded prototype. Smartmockups does it all digitally by superimposing your uploaded brand images directly to its large selection of prebuilt product illustrations.
You can prepare high-quality mockups for branded demo sites, apps, social media pages, t-shirts, mugs, books, etc. Smartmockups has quite the library of product mockup templates to choose from. Plus, you can easily customize the appearance of your design on all the mockups.
Invision should be a top choice for any senior executives seeking the best web design software for their teams.
Don’t get us wrong, though. Invision is not a dedicated web design tool. Rather, it comes in the form of an online whiteboard that supports a host of productivity tools. This is where teams come to centralize their design workflows and collaborate in real-time across different projects.
You can, for example, turn to Invision Studio when designing and presenting prototypes. Then Invision Freehand would, conversely, be ideal for brainstorming design ideas on your team’s digital whiteboard.
Best web design solutions for developers
As graphic designers develop their projects with Adobe Illustrator, web developers would be much better off with Adobe Dreamweaver.
This is the type of multifaceted tool that gives developers the privileges of deep coding, without taking away your visual editing capabilities. That means you’ll be getting the best of both web design approaches – the versatility of coding plus the intuitiveness of a WYSIWYG editor.
10015 Tools is a one-stop shop for all kinds of web design software that you might need in your projects. Think of any random web design task and you’ll find a relevant tool here.
They range from simple color tools and text software to advanced coding tools and CSS solutions.
The text tools include a Text to Handwriting Converter, Letter Counter, Case Converter, and Bionic Reading Converter. For image editing, you get an SVG Blog Generator, Image Color Extractor, Image Cropper, Photo Censor, etc.
One of the most notable things you’ll enjoy here is expedited development – thanks to Bootstrap’s extensive library of customizable templates, its mobile-optimized design architecture, and the accompanying pre-defined grid system.
With that, you don’t have to bother setting up all the basic commands and functions from scratch. Just enter your custom site code to a pre-built grid and Bootstrap will generate a fully responsive website.
Top web design tools for UI/UX designers
Adobe XD is yet another Adobe solution that continues to feature prominently among the best web design software. It even supports vector-based design just like Illustrator. The only thing is, the vectors here are meant for user experience design.
To be specific, Adobe XD focuses on developing UI/UX systems for websites, web apps, and mobile apps. Once installed on your macOS or Windows PC, the platform unleashes an array of assets for building and prototyping responsive interfaces. At the same time, it facilitates real-time collaboration.
Figma is the opposite of Adobe XD in terms of platform architecture. The bulk of its UI/UX design operations are cloud-based – and, as a result, you can count on it to drive collaboration even better than Adobe XD.
The user interface design process itself follows vector networks instead of vector paths. You get to build the components without touching a single line of code, all the while capitalizing on customizable assets from Figma’s rich library.
All the projects here are also autosaved to the cloud, allowing you to freely roll back to previous versions.
One of the most confusing bits of UI/UX design is matching up and differentiating between varying shades of the same color. The Tint and Shade Generator tries to solve the problem by providing clarity on the color gradients.
You just need to enter the Hex Code of your base color, and the system will generate multiple variants. You’ll see both darker and lighter shades of the color, organized sequentially at an incremental rate of 10%.
Then, since each of these variants is accompanied by its corresponding Hex Code, you’ll have an easy time exporting them to your UI/UX design project.
Maximizing the best web design software 🎯
Despite these being the best web design software on the market, the truth is, they can only stretch so far.
That means you can’t just let up and expect the tools to magically churn out great results. You should, instead, try to meet them halfway – by maybe sharpening your design skills, and then leveraging supplementary assets from third-party platforms.
For instance, we’d recommend enhancing your creations with any of the customizable high-quality illustrations 🖼️ in our Illu.station catalog. It’s not every day you stumble upon such a neat compilation of 500+ free assets, 🤩 all of which can be edited collectively to reflect your seed color.
Are there any other awesome web design software tools that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.