Website design software – in particular, choosing the right tools – is an important part of the website creation process. Before you begin to build your website, it is first important to think about what elements you want, because that will influence what software you require.
In general, you will need some type of photo editing program to edit images for your website. However, you may need other image creation tools. If you are considering incorporating line drawings, custom typography, or vector graphics, you will need a vector imaging editing tool. This is typically a separate product from photo editing software, but it may be available in an integrated design tools suite. Both photo editing and vector image tools can be used to make mockups of your website design.
If you are interested in using video or rich application protocols such as Flash, you will require additional software. There are a variety of for-purchase and open source authoring tools for these types of tasks. As well, creating 3D graphics will require different software from the varieties mentioned earlier.
You should also consider whether you are going to use tools from an established software company or open source software. For-purchase programs provide the advantages of being well-designed, providing technical support, and often providing integration with related software packages. However, if expense is an issue, you may choose open source alternatives. These alternatives, however, may have less clean user interface design and a steeper learning curve. Another way to keep costs down for web design applications is to use trial versions, or to obtain educational licenses if you qualify.
In general, you will be able to find website design software that meets your needs. This is the case regardless of your budget, design skill level, or the technical requirements of your website.