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20 Free Web Design Resources for beginners

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When you are just starting out as a web designer, it’s good to know there are plenty of free tools to help you learn your craft. And there are hundreds of free online web design resources, although, as you might expect, not all of them are up to the task.

So to help you out and get you started, we’ve put a list of 20 web design resources you should take advantage of.

These tools will help you learn how to build a website from scratch, give you access to excellent images, fonts and a comprehensive pallet of colors and a net full of essential code.

The best list of 20 free Web Design Resources

Developing Editors

In order to organise the list, we’ve distributed the resources in different categories. The first of them is about HTML editors, front-end, developing apps, etc.

1. CoffeeCup Software

The CoffeeCup HTML editor is powerful web design software that makes the best free editor on the market even better.

It gives you access to all the latest HTML5 and CSS updates, is 100% responsive and enables you to add backgrounds, insert images, text and web forms.

Then, you can tweak and style as much as you like. CoffeeCup is a great place to start.

2. HTML5 UP

Alternatively, try out HTML5 UP. This is another great resource for designing web apps.

They give you free templates and with almost 200,000 designers taking advantage of their offer at the time of writing, they are a trusted source for templates.

3. Foundation

We’re pushing frameworking up a notch here, purely because Foundation deserves a mention. Even if you can’t use it just yet, it is a good benchmark to aspire to.

It enables you to build apps and websites and is equipped with all the latest advanced tools you need for websites to rank in search engines such as semantic text, responsive templates, customizable build and business support.

4. Ionic

When you’re ready to try your hand at building apps – which you will need to learn in this mobile first world – use Ionic.

It’s one of the easiest free tools to get a grip of and gives you access to some powerful web technologies that enable you to do a good job.

5. Initializr

Once you’ve got to grips with building templates on some of the tools above, and you’re ready to move on to client work, try Initializr.

You can generate an HTML5 template and start building a website within 15 seconds. This is a boilerplate that saves you a lot of time.

6. Google AMP

A good example of using Google’s web design resources is the AMP codes. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and incudes re-written HTML5 codes that are designed to improve the performance of websites on mobile phones.

Learn how to get started and use AMP codes to design websites rather than third party codes that might be taken apart.

Guides and tutorials

If you’re looking for help with your web and app developing tasks, these resources can be a good partnership.

7. Smashing Magazine

Okay, now we’re getting into the technical area of web design where things get a little more complicated. Coding. Let’s put it this way – you’re going to need some guidance.

And Smashing Magazine offers some great advice about all things design that is easy to follow. A great web design resource for beginners.

8. Web Field Manual

Another web design resource you should take advantage of is Web Field Manual. These guys have a ‘no fear’ approach to building websites and offers some excellent practical advice about coding, UI, UX and SEO. Vital info!

9. Google Developers Web Fundamentals

As you know, Google is the Master of the web, and as internet servants we must bow before the Masters superiority.

To be fair, Google does offer some great advice to web designers and business owners about how to make your website SEO and user-friendly. Learn to play ball with Google algorithms and you will be okay.

10. Deployments Best Practices

Before you start designing websites, it’s a good idea to learn about the best practices to avoid running into obstacles. The best web design resource we found is Beanstalkapp’s Best Practices.

11. Code Academy

If you are struggling to learn code from coding blogs, you may want to consider taking a professional course for coders. If you want personal guidance join a course at your local college or computer school. Otherwise take an online course at Code Academy. It’s free.

WordPress Themes

Do you have a web on WordPress? Here you can find free WordPress themes.

12. Starkers for WordPress

Newbie web designers are advised to starvut building in WordPress as it is the easiest Content Management System to learn. WP comes with tons of great templates, but Starkers is purposely designed for new web designers to practice with and learn your trade.

If you can’t get on with HTML 5 UP or CoffeeCup just yet, start with Starkers. You will find it in themeforest – another great web design resource once you start designing for clients.

13. WP-Flex

WP-Flex gives you a good idea of sitemapping menus. It is equipped with the official WordPress Codex best practices and is a great starter for blog template layouts.

It’s a basic setup, but gives you a quick overview to blog formatting. And you should get inspiration for design techniques you can use on other pages.

If you have problems with your theme installation or with the customization, at MadridNYC we can help you. A good customization is important to get the most out of your theme.

large_egiftable-WordPress

Portfolios Online

When you need some graphic design inspiration, there are many ways to find it. One of them can be visiting other portfolios where find good design jobs.

14. Behance

If you do need some guidance and inspiration from other web designers, get on Behance. This is a social media network that targets creative professionals and encourages web designers and other creatives to share ideas and resources.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and opinions. Web designers are a friendly bunch!

15. Colour Lovers

You will obviously want to add some color to your web design and you will find one of the best free palettes at Colour Lovers. It even has a mixer where you can create your own color and add it to the wealth of colors already created by the community of digital artists.

Databases of Web Design Resource

Working on a quality web design can be had if you don’t have all the elements. Internet is full of free databases that can help you with icons, images, vectors, etc.

16. Iconmonstr

Once you have a template you want to work with, it’s time to add elements. Iconmonstr gives you access to almost 3500 free icons so you are sure to find something suitable for your projects.

17. Pattern8

You have to be pretty brave to use patterns when building websites, especially when you are new to web design. But there is certainly no harm in practicing, if only for trial and error. So head to Pattern8 and give it a go. They have loads of challenging patterns you can experiment with.

18. Unsplash

A web design has to be visually appealing, and although we recommend using original images, not every client will be able to afford or supply great quality images.

Unsplash is a stock photo site bursting with creative commons images that are free to use for commercial use without any attribution required. A godsend really, but try to be creative in your image selection as lots of other web designers and content writers take images from here too.

Other resources

19. Blind Text Generator

Lorem Ipsum is the default setting for text on website templates. But font styles have unique characteristics that you need to match with your client’s brand image.

To find the best fonts and check whether the text size is big enough and legible, use Blind Text Generator to create dummy text rather than creating it yourself. You can also get feedback from the community.

20. Bounce

During the design process, you will want to check your progress or even share it with your client. Bounce is a free tool that enables you to look at different elements of a webpage, make comments, highlight changes and share it with others.

At the time of writing the above web design resources are free, but we cannot guarantee they will stay free forever.

As companies grow and users become reliant on their tools, they begin to charge users for more advanced elements – so you have to buy into their packages. But for now, these free resources are a great place for new designers to learn your trade.

Do you know other free web design resources essential for businesses? Which one do you think is the best?

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