An attractive website is the perfect way to nail your first impression with online passersby. Additionally, an interactive website improves your customer experience and can positively impact your revenue figures. Enter web design software.
Back in the day, website building was an art reserved only for tech gurus. However, web design software today packs a punch without the need for any coding knowledge.
To help you choose the right web design software, I have reviewed several industry-best tools to compile my top recommendations.
What Is Web Design Software?
The best website builders have minimal friction and cater to several use cases, including UI/UX design, prototyping and wireframing.
Canva enables you to create visually appealing websites in minutes. It is the perfect platform for beginners with little to no experience. Canva features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website editor and a vast database of design templates, royalty-free images, and graphics. As a result, your web design process becomes quick, simple, and extremely cost-effective (since you can publish for free!)
You may use Canva online or by downloading the app for your Mac, PC, Chromebook, iOS, or Android device.
Why I picked Canva: Canva offers thousands of free templates and over 250,000 free photos, icons, illustrations, graphics, social media elements, videos, animations, and more that you can easily drag and drop into your website. The platform has other features, such as Styles, to help you find the perfect color and font combinations for image editing. Additionally, Canva features Magic Write, an AI writer & text generator powered by OpenAI.
Additionally, Canva ships a color palette generator to create custom color palettes. Canva also allows you to add brand elements to your sites. Subsequently, Canva stores your logo, brand colors, and fonts in its Brand Kit (available to only Pro users).
Canva Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its Website Insights. It lets you track traffic and engagement right from Canva without integrating your site with any third-party analytics. Canva also provides robust collaborative functionality, using which you can invite unlimited team members to your class space.
Some other features include easy exporting and importing tools, free custom domains, automated saving, password protection, and a one-click background remover feature.
Integrations include 150+ third-party applications, such as Brandfolder, Dropbox, Edgar, Flickr, HubSpot, Later, Mojo AI, Moovely, OneDrive, Pinterest, Slack, Shopify Sync, and others. Additionally, you can use its API and webhooks to create custom integrations.
- Robust real-time collaboration capabilities for teams
- Easy drag-and-drop editor with clean UI
- A vast library of templates and graphics
- Output formats such as .psd (Photoshop’s default) are missing
- Many images are watermarked in the free version
Marvel is a web design software that enables design teams to generate design specs. It is the perfect tool for users seeking to rapidly create wireframes and prototypes without code and give their design thoughts some structure.
Why I picked Marvel: Marvel offers a centralized platform that unifies all aspects of the web design process from wireframing to prototyping, user testing, and finally, handing it off to your developers. It offers robust collaborative features for designing on the go. Users can access Marvel’s vast library with millions of digital assets, stock photos, and icons to draw inspiration.
Moreover, Marvel helps you overcome the complexities of explaining site hierarchy and user journeys in your design mockups to stakeholders; instead, you can display them through interactive online prototypes that require no code. This makes it super easy to build customized web designs that are interpretable for everyone.
Marvel Standout Features and Integrations
Features that stand out include its integrated user testing and research feature, Ballpark. It enables Marvel users to capture high-quality feedback on questions, marketing copy, designs, and prototypes (Sketch and Figma) using tasks and video.
Additionally, the platform’s Handoff tool optimizes the design-to-development process in seconds. With just one click, you can produce CSS, Swift, and Android XML code for your prototypes. Moreover, Marvel enables you to give your team and stakeholders complete visibility and control across all projects, via folders, comments and annotations.
Integrations include 10+ third-party applications, such as Dropbox Paper, Jira, Microsoft, Niice, Sketch, Smartmockups, YouTube, Zeroheight, and others. Marvel also integrates with four tools developed by its proprietary platform, Marvel LABS, including BotBot, Dashboard, Keynote, and Userflows.
- Team libraries for digital assets and UI kits help maintain design consistency
- Shareable project links for easy access to prototypes
- Clean and simple user interface with auto layout web elements
- Does not support group creation within prototypes
- Limited animation features and no offline version
Justinmind is an all-in-one web design platform that generates interactive mockups for online and mobile applications. It also enables interactive graphics, user testing, exchange of feedback in teams, and managing design requirements intuitively. Justinmind is user-friendly for beginners and helps you prototype mobile-first apps for iOS and Android users.
Why I picked Justinmind: Justinmind is ideal for quickly creating first-version mockups, prototypes, and wireframes. The software has pre-installed UI kits that help build flowcharts and wireframe user interfaces for both iOS and Android applications. It also allows you to download extra UI kits that support designing apps for other devices, including the Apple Watch and Google Glass.
Justinmind Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its built-in user-testing heat maps that allow you to understand which sections of your website garner the most impressions and clicks. This is especially helpful for e-commerce sites. Additionally, Justinmind has robust capabilities for creating, managing, and supporting an e-commerce digital storefront.
Justinmind’s iOS and Android emulators are also a great addition to your web design process since they emulate the exact functionalities of your application for user testing, even if you don’t use a mobile device.
Integrations include 10+ third-party applications, such as Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, Atlassian Jira, Azure DevOps, Clicktale, Crazy Egg, Figma, Hotjar, Photoshop, Sketch, UserTesting, Validately, and more. Additionally, you can use its API to create custom integrations.
- Can mock up two or three different UI/UX iterations at once
- Great customer support
- Rapid prototyping
- Design sharing and displaying system responses are difficult
- Lacks adequate documentation and tutorials
Google Web Designer is a free HTML5-based design tool for creating animated and interactive graphic designs. The platform is a great starting point for beginners seeking experience with web design.
Why I picked Google Web Designer: With Google Web Designer, you can animate graphics by stringing together simple scenes in Quick Mode or manipulating 2D designs to visualize 3D components using the power of CSS3. You can also pull Google Fonts from the Studio Assets library, create your own designs using the Shape and Pen tools, and even use pre-made templates in Easy Mode.
Additionally, you can connect your motion graphic elements to data signals and preview ads before publishing.
Google Web Designer Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its event system and web components. It allows you to create incredibly interactive designs, components, and timeline actions tied to any element in your project. You can also set up physical triggers like touch, rotation, and shaking on mobile devices.
The platform has numerous revamped web components, such as Canvas Shapes, 360 Gallery, Carousel Gallery, Swipeable Gallery, iFrame, Map, Tap Area, and more. The tool also allows users to publish designs directly to DoubleClick Studios, which offers cross-screen functionality.
Integrations include Google’s native third-party applications like Google Ads, Campaign Manager 360, Google Display & Video 360, and Google Drive.
- Intuitive and flexible drag-and-drop interface
- Does not recognize HTML files created in other software
- Limited to creating graphic design elements and not full web pages
Designmodo is a powerful web design software that provides simple website and email creation tools. The platform’s website and template builder tools, “Slides and Startup”, serve related but different purposes. While you can create animated static websites with Slides, Startup enables you to develop no-code responsive landing pages.
Why I picked Designmodo: In Slides, you have pre-designed templates and 140+ slides that help you build visually stunning static websites. You can host on Static.app using a drag-and-drop functionality or direct integration with Slides. This static hosting provider allows you to edit code and comes with an SSL certificate and a free sub-domain. You can use the free sub-domain name or customize it by setting up the provided TXT- and A-records on your domain provider’s DNS manager. Slide’s framework also has multiple web components, such as tabs, sliders, dialogues, pop-ups, dropdowns, panels, and more.
On the other hand, Startup offers 150+ pre-designed blocks that are easily customizable and can be used to build an interactive landing page in minutes. These are accompanied by a powerful online editor that lets users clone, add, and move design elements to personalize their own layouts. You can also download all website elements to your computer. The Startup product seamlessly integrates into the Static.app, allowing you to launch your website in a minute.
Designmodo Standout Features and Integrations
Features include the generator app, which allows users to build a general website layout with some pre-designed sections. You can then export the layout in code, for further customization.
Additionally, Designmodo comes with many free resources, such as UI kits, mockups, and graphic elements that will aid your no-code expedition.
Integrations include tools like Google ReCapcha, HubSpot CRM, Mailchimp, SendinBlue, Telegram, and others.
- Clean UI
- Detailed documentation for support
- Well-designed drag-and-drop module for uploading content
- Previewing the site on multiple-size devices is challenging
- Limited template options for landing pages
Moreover, you can create reusable CSS classes for style changing in multiple elements. Additionally, you can alter layouts from flexbox and CSS grids to inline-block and absolute positioning. Fine-tune typography is another exciting feature in Webflow. The platform also supports developers in easily adding any custom code to web designs.
Webflow Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its robust integrations with native CMS and e-commerce products. Using these extensions, you can directly build your website with real content, not dummy data.
Additionally, Webflow has a world-class hosting stack backed by SSL and ISO 27018 certifications. The software also allows you to export code in a ZIP file and is cross-browser compatible.
Integrations include 50+ tools, such as Astroic, Census, Chaty, fluidSEO, HubSpot, Jasper, Memberstack, NoQuestionYet, PageFactory, Typeform, Unspalsh, Vidzflow and more. Additionally, you can use its API and webhooks to create custom integrations.
- 1000+ responsive pre-designed website templates for beginners
- Features like display panels, modals, etc., make designs more interactive
- Live prototyping through real-time collaboration
- Does not have a mobile app
- Occasional limitations on custom code changes
Zeplin is a trusted platform for accelerating web design at scale by documenting, managing, and presenting designs using collaborative workflows. The software automatically generates resources, including measurements, assets, and code snippets that help drive a better understanding of your design criteria. This ultimately leads to seamless design hand-offs, increasing production speed and accuracy.
Why I picked Zeplin: Zeplin provides a simple user interface that makes it super easy to access measurements, assets, and design criteria. This streamlines implementation, leading to a seamless design and development transfer. The measurements are in pixels, and the assets are available as optimized PNGs, SVGs, and JPGs. Consequently, technical teams can easily swoop in and create responsive designs.
Zeplin Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its async collaborative capabilities that unite workflows across various functions. You can also track changes for each screen automatically and iterate easily.
Additionally, Zeplin provides surface design information on every screen that helps match design components to their code counterparts. The software also allows for easy download of digital products, file tagging for sophisticated organization, and easy sharing through clickable hyperlinks.
Integrations include 25+ third-party applications, such as ADO, Azure DevOps, Figma, Flutter, Jira, Photoshop, React Native, Slack, Storybook, Trello, VS Code, and more. Additionally, you can use its API and webhooks to create custom integrations.
- Auto-generated code snippets
- Great version control
- Effective task assignment
- Tutorials lack depth
- No prototyping or full-screen presentation features
Moreover, Adobe Dreamweaver comes with a modern UI that lets users customize their workspaces. It also has a files panel where you can manage, move, and synchronize files and folders between local and remote websites.
Adobe Dreamweaver Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its live view editing. It splits the screen in two, with one half of the page displaying your code and the other half updating the page as you make changes to the code. You can choose your preferred screen size and take advantage of smooth editing without having to jump between the code and the live page. The platform also offers image maps, using which you can divide a web page into hotspots, where a user can click to see an action. These hotspots help make your website interactive.
Integrations include the Adobe Suite of products, such as Creative Cloud, Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop, and more. Additionally, you can use its API and webhooks to create custom integrations.
- Comprehensive online training material
- Code suggestions
- Word processor features
- Huge installation setup file
- Steep learning curve
Moreover, these CSS variables can override global, component, or utility class variables to alter theme styles, colors, and font styles. Bootstrap also has a Utility API, which acts as a feature-rich Sass map that is customizable. Combining these capabilities, Bootstrap is ideal for users seeking full control of site design and development.
Bootstrap Standout Features and Integrations
Additionally, Bootstrap offers an open-source SVG icon library called Bootstrap Icons, featuring more than 1800 glyphs designed to work in any project as SVGs or icon fonts. Both these options permit vector scaling and CSS customization. Bootstrap also has an official Themes Marketplace, rich with new plugins, web elements, documentation, and robust build tools.
Integrations are currently unavailable.
- Features like grid layouts, padding classes, etc., for mobile-responsiveness
- Default UI for form control with validations
- Pre-built components
- Limited customization options and color schemes
- Poor version compatibility
Moreover, Framer offers many other features, including Stacks and Grids to organize multiple elements efficiently in layers, Figma Copy Paste to seamlessly transfer Figma designs to Framer, and Breakpoints that allow users to optimize their designs for multiple screen sizes.
Framer Standout Features and Integrations
Features that stand out include its freeform canvas which lends Framer the familiarity of other design platforms like Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma. It enhances the user’s creativity by allowing them to create unique designs without the constraints of presets or boxed layouts.
Framer also comes with some other features, including Pages and Sections that provide pre-designed pages, headers, footers, navigation bars, etc., to insert into your design, and layout pinning to enable smarter layout designs at scale. You can also use its styling and positioning options to bring out your brand’s essence and visual identity. In addition to this, Framer houses site management and content management systems and offers SEO and performance analytics services.
Integrations include tools like Formspark, HubSpot, Intercom, Logo, Lottie, Mailchimp, Typeform, YouTube, and others.
- Regular updates for improvements and bug fixes
- Compatibility with React components
- Intuitive and designer-friendly interface
- Lacks an integrated solution for language translations
- Steep learning curve due to complex workflows
Best drag-and-drop website builder
Free plan available
Best web design software for rapid prototyping
7-day free trial + free plan available
|From $16/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best for web and mobile application prototyping
Free plan available
Google Web Designer
Best for creating animated graphic designs
Best web design software with free hosting
Free plan available
|From $50 /quarter (billed annually)||Website|
Best for creating responsive web designs in a real-time visual builder
Free plan available
|From $14/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best web design platform for smooth design hand-offs
Free plan available
|Plans start at $8/user/month||Website|
Best for technical front-end developers
7-day free trial
|From $27/license/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best for developing responsive mobile-first projects
Best web design software with a freeform canvas
Free plan available
|From $10 /site/month||Website|
Best web design software with robust cross-functional collaboration features
Best web design software for building SEO-friendly websites
Best web design platform with robust CMS features
Best graphic design software for editing vectors
Best for white-labeled website building
Best for creating no-code and lightweight websites
Best web design platform for MacOS users
Selection Criteria For Web Design Software
In case you are wondering how I created this list, I would like you to explore my process. I first assessed a wide range of website design software for their user reviews. Subsequently, I set aside some essential functionalities I would consider as a “must-have” for my recommendations:
Here’s a list of essentials that every web design software has to offer to clinch a spot on my shortlist:
- Wide range of customization to strike a unique brand identity.
- Basic design workflows like prototyping, wireframing, user testing, and iterative building.
- Offers a code editor for adding custom CSS code
In addition to the core functionalities mentioned above, here are some key attributes of the selected product design tools in my list:
- Collaborative functionalities: The tools I chose either provide direct collaboration on their platform or grant stakeholders shared access to web designs.
- Vast library of templates and other web elements: The tools I selected for my list all have a massive collection of pre-designed templates and pre-built design components, like graphics, vectors, images, and videos.
- Customer service: The tools I chose provide robust, responsive, and helpful customer support (preferably 24/7) to clarify your concerns.
Web design tools with an intuitive and user-friendly UI rank high in my books. Additionally, the tools I have included are quite simple to learn and will help you get started with web design instantly. The tools also offer detailed resources, documentation, and instructive tutorials.
The web design software I have included in my list all integrate with a wide range of plugins and third-party applications. The latter provides several capabilities for collaboration, communication, analytics, design, project management, and more. These integrations can help you streamline your workflows, keep your stakeholders up-to-date about design developments, decrease time-to-market, and enable you to optimize the website post-production.
Given the variety of design elements and features that the web design tools on my list offer, their pricing packages are incredibly reasonable. I firmly believe that pricing should be flexible, clear, and cost-effective. For you to try out the software before buying a paid plan for it, I have also highlighted which tools provide free plans or trials. Some tools haven’t mentioned their pricing, so you must contact their sales teams for a quote.
Do I need coding for web design?
How can I create my own website?
How do I design for an ecommerce website?
A good website design is the foundation of a strong online presence in the modern digital era. The right web design software for your business should empower you to prototype, wireframe, and design a website that your target audience finds visually appealing and easily navigable.
The web design process is multi-faceted, and while the tools I recommended above do not need a particularly expert understanding of design principles, I would still like to recommend that you learn about the differences between prototyping and wireframing. These functionalities are essential for designers, developers, and especially product managers to portray their design thoughts visually. You can learn more about how product managers use wireframes if you are interested and would like to approach your next design project with a superior understanding that guarantees success.
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