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For web design purposes you need a fully equipped web design toolbox.
This article does not cover all the tools for your web design toolbox. There are too many of them. But the following tools will certainly help you in your web design project.
The Web Designer's Toolbox.
When you're into web design, there are lots of little programs that you'll gradually accumulate to make your life that little bit easier. You need to take care of lot of tools for color schemes, html validation, search engine optimization, list building...the list can go on endlessly. To cater to all this you need a web design toolbox.
And every web design professional maintains and updates his web design tool box periodically. The nature of the Internet is such that it changes at break neck speed.
When you've spent hours doing something by hand and you're dreading ever having to do it again, it can be a big relief to learn that there are lot of free program out there that can do it quickly and effectively for you the next time.
One of the thorniest issues you'll run into as a web design professional is color. Because web colors are all expressed in the somewhat mysterious HTML color (#000000 to #FFFFFF), it can be hard to get the exact colors you want in your design. Don't be fooled into thinking there aren't many to choose from: those colors are in hexadecimal, meaning that each one of those six numbers can have a value anywhere from 0-F (that is, 0-9, A-F). 16 possible values to the power of 6 makes over 16 million possible colors – that's 24-bit color, not bad at all.
So, really, instead of trying out millions of colors by hand to see which you like best, it's much better to download an HTML color picker tool – an essential part of every web design toolbox. It might sound like they'd be very simple, but there are all sorts of features they can have: suggesting 'complementary colors' to the one you've chosen, for example. Some let you take a picture of your screen and click on parts of it to see which HTML color is being used – useful when you see a color somewhere that you think would work great on your website.
Fortunately there is a free program to do this for you and aid you in your web design. I like it and use it on all my projectss.
My personal favorite color program is Color Schemer – it has all the features you could really want in an HTML color picker. If you're after something free, though, you might like to try the more compact Pixie, which sits in the corner of your screen and tells you the color code of any color you hover over.
There's not much competition when it comes to HTML checking: what you really need is the W3C's HTML Tidy, or one of the many programs based on it. Tidy can clean up truly disastrous HTML, including the kind of thing produced by many of the more popular editor programs like Dreamweaver, and applications like Microsoft Word. Even if you think your code is great, the chances are that Tidy will be able to make it smaller and better.
Mozilla Firefox Extensions.
When you use Firefox as your web browser, you gain access to lots of extensions that you can install quickly and easily. Since so many people using the browser are web designers, there are more extensions available for web development tasks than there are for anything else. This makes Firefox an ideal browser to use when you're on a web design job.
Which extensions are most useful? Here's a quick list:
Web Developer's Toolbar : This is the most useful Firefox extension out there for web design purposes. Its best feature is that it lets you experiment with CSS styles 'live', so the style of your page changes as you do it – a great way to write CSS.
And as you know, CSS makes it very easy for you to update all the pages in your website with a single stroke. Hence Firefox becomes a very valuable tool in your web design toolbox.
LinkChecker :. You absolutely must check your website for broken links, but it's usually quite a chore. Because LinkChecker integrates with the browser, it can check your links for you on-the-fly. It highlights working links in green and broken ones in red. Simple, but very effective.
Whether you are a seasoned web design professional or just a starting newbie, broken links are a common phenomena that can happen in any website!
HTML Validator : Lets you check whether your pages are valid HTML without having to type all their URLs into an online validity checker. Takes a lot of the pain out of code validation, which makes you more likely to actually bother to do it!
This tool can come quite handy if you are using an HTML editor for your web design needs. These editors have a tendency to bloat up your code and that is not necessary at all.
SearchStatus :. When you're trying to monitor your site's position in search engines, this extension is indispensable. It shows you the Google PageRank and Alexa ranking for your site, giving you an idea of both the link popularity and traffic the site gets. It also lets you check who links to your site, and whether the search engines have added it to their index yet.
So begin building your web design toolbox. If you enjoyed this article, you are likely to find more informative article on web design on this site. Just look around.
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