There are quite a few free tools available for those who would like to get into web design without spending an arm and a leg. I thought I would share some of my favorites:

  • Statcounter – a free website statistics tool. I have used this for several years and have been very pleased with the information it provides. Once you sign up, they provide the code to insert at the end of the pages you want to track. If you’re running WordPress, there is a Statcounter plugin that makes it easy to insert the code at the end of each of your blog pages.
  • 1stPage 2006 – for those who would rather not spend the money on something like Dreamweaver, 1stPage 2006 is a really good option. It allows you to set up the code for your pages in one tab, and then jump to the next tab to immediately preview the page, at several resolutions if you like. There are several different interfaces, depending on what level your skills are at. This program includes tons of really nice features. I highly recommend it.
  • Stock.xchng – I’ve mentioned this site before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Before you pay for an image, check out stock.xchng. You will very likely find just the photo you’re looking for. You can even upload your own photos to the site to share – I’ve even uploaded a few.

Worth mentioning are two highly rated graphic tools – GIMP and Inkscape. GIMP is an open-source tool that is much like Photoshop, and Inkscape is an Illustrator/Fireworks substitute. I have not used these personally, but have heard great things about them.