If you’re looking for the best web design software, this article is for you. We spent hours comparing various options to find the best ones among a crowded field, looking at features such as ease of use, setup time, user satisfaction, and customer support. Our research shows WordPress to be the best web design software for most people. It makes it super simple to create your own custom-designed website.
The Best Web Design Software for Most
WordPress provides users with an easy option to develop and maintain their own website. It has a user-friendly interface that can easily be understood by beginners, allowing almost anyone to build a site on WordPress within 24 hours.
This is an ideal solution for people wanting to set up a web presence for their business quickly and with minimal effort, yet still capable of near-endless options for custom design. And, with the vast selection of plugins and add-ons available for this open-source platform, you can even create a one-of-a-kind look and feel without actually having to mess with complicated coding.
The Best Web Design Software Options to Consider
- WordPress – Best for most
- Weebly – Best web design software for people scared of coding
- Webflow – Best for collaborative designing
- Adobe Dreamweaver – Best combination of code and no-code designing
- Bootstrap – Best for experienced developers
When It Makes Sense to Invest In Web Design Software
Web design is the process of creating the look and feel of a website or web-based application. It’s a crucial part of making your business website stand out and deliver what visitors need.
Some platforms and software for this are beginner-friendly while others are powerful options better suited for those comfortable with handling code. Either way, this lets you build your unique web design yourself without having to hire a developer or learn more about web design than you already know.
Plus, using web design software yourself means you can make changes on the fly, like adding new images, rephrasing copy, or updating a brand logo. With web design software, building, maintaining, and editing an appealing website from scratch becomes hassle-free and highly affordable.
Save yourself the money and lack of control that comes with outsourcing your web design needs. With web design software, you’re in control no matter how familiar or uncomfortable you are with coding.
#1 – WordPress – The Best for Most
WordPress is a big name in this space. This is the platform that powers nearly half of the entire internet. So, this is some of the most widely used web design software available to you.
You can build any kind of website using WordPress. It can be used equally well by bloggers, small business owners, businesses in the IT and marketing industry, and even web stores. Its interface, though intimidating at first, is easy to get the hang of—which is further helped by the vast amount of community knowledge and guides available to help you accomplish anything.
WordPress also offers most of its features for free. You can set up a website in minutes without spending a dime, with the only required expenditure being your web hosting. And that’s only enhanced by the vast library of add-ons that can be installed with just a few clicks to help you to easily customize your website. Many of those are free to use, as well.
Use an existing WordPress design template and iterate from that or make a design from scratch by using its block-based page editor. It is the perfect web design platform for creating a professional-looking website within a few hours.
No matter your skill level, WordPress represents one of the fastest ways to design a website without limiting your potential for customization. Get started with WordPress for free today.
#2 – Weebly – Best Web Design Software for People Scared of Coding
Weebly is a website design platform and content management system for people with zero experience coding. This is a true, beginner-friendly, WYSIWYG site builder. But, despite being easy for anyone to use, this drag-and-drop builder can help you create an effective online store in minutes.
Despite some professional-looking templates and personalization options, the overall number of available themes is limited. A lack of deep customization is a natural trade-off for a beginner-friendly platform, but this prevents making changes or building a design that can easily break or deliver a suboptimal experience to visitors. All themes are optimized to work on both desktops and mobile devices.
And you’re not left without key tools. Using Weebly to design an ecommerce website, you’ll also get in-built SEO tools, store and site analytics, and a feature that directly posts ads to Facebook.
You can use the free version of Weebly to get started, then upgrade to a paid plan to use your own domain and remove unwanted ads when you’re ready.
#3 – Webflow – Best for Collaborative Designing
More than 3,500,000 professionals from different industries use Webflow to create, collaborate, and build websites using a visual canvas.
It is a cloud-based service specifically for people with no prior knowledge of coding. This web-based, multi-purpose web design software is built for collaborative design, allowing teams to work together in a pleasing interface to create eye-catching web pages.
Webflow’s drag-and-drop builder allows you to place text, pictures, and other assets onto a canvas to quickly design your website.
Start from any available template and then ideate and iterate from there, collaboratively. Its cloud-based services make it an ideal web design software for teams of professionals like designers, marketers, and developers working together on projects.
Avoiding code is a choice Webflow gives to you. Going the no-code route means Webflow will handle all the HTML or CSS generation, allowing you to make changes visually. Or, if you have some developers on your team, you can tap into their expertise and really make your Webflow design uniquely effective.
Webflow provides a range of paid plans that allow for more content elements, bandwidth, and guest editors as they scale. Plans start at $12 per month, but you can tap into the free-forever package to get comfortable with this software before committing.
Get started with Webflow for free today and see how it can work for your team.
#3 – Adobe Dreamweaver – Best Combination of Code and No-Code Designing
Adobe Dreamweaver is well-regarded web design software that allows you to build a design with both visual and HTML code editing. While the visual editor can allow some users to utilize it with little knowledge of coding, this software is ideal for developers and professionals who want full control to design a website from scratch.
That means no restrictions, like having to start from an available template and iterate from there. Although Adobe does provide starter templates to save time if you’re building multiple sites or are crunched for time.
Dreamweaver’s simplified coding engine allows you to build and edit in HTML or CSS quickly. And if you’re a coding novice who likes to learn by doing, Deamweaver’s smart coding hints and visual aids are a great way to get more comfortable with creating and adjusting web design backends.
This software helps you produce responsive website designs that are optimized for desktop and mobile displays without compromising the quality of user experience. Adobe Dreamweaver also supports Chromium Embedded Framework “CEF”—which allows you to work with CSS grids and HTML5—and Git, which helps you edit code within Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver offers a subscription-based pricing model. However, you can start a seven-day free trial right now.
#5 – Bootstrap – Best for Experienced Developers
Web designers rank Bootstrap as their favorite web design software because it allows them to create responsive web designs for all screen sizes in a variety of ways.
But that doesn’t mean this software is missing useful aids. Ready-made design components like images, forms, alerts, dropdown menus, and more are also available in Bootstrap to help designers speed up the development process. And the software’s Utility API makes it easy to save and repeat custom elements, add responsive design touches, and more.
But, above all, Bootstrap is about the depth of customization allowed. Customize everything on a site down to impressive details like gradients and drop shadows. Tweak Java elements to your heart’s content. Use Bootstrap’s icon library of over 1,000 glyphs to create a one-of-a-kind look and feel.
The potential is vast when you design on Bootstrap. Start using this free and open-source framework right now.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Web Design Software
Now that you know our top recommendations, let’s discuss how to choose the best web design software for you and your website.
Analyze Your Needs
This may be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning.
If you’re looking for the fastest route to designing your website, Weebly is your best choice for a completely code-free experience. Or, if you don’t want to be limited in future design options, opt for WordPress, which marries the best of beginner friendliness and customization.
Teams that need to work together on building sites will appreciate Webflow for its capacity for collaborative design, while organizations who aren’t afraid of a little coding will love Adobe Dreamweaver’s ability to accommodate both code and no-code designing.
And those who have experienced devs on staff and want a website that is truly one of a kind should look no further than Bootstrap, the web design software of choice for professional designers.
In the end, this boils down to how much customization potential you’re willing to sacrifice for an easy and fast web design option.
Assess Your Knowledge of Coding
Similarly to the previous point, you need to assess whether you or your team has the knowledge to properly wield a piece of web design software. Some options don’t require you to have any knowledge of coding, while many others reward previous knowledge and experience in coding.
We’ve already highlighted WordPress and Weebly as great options for those who never want to step into a site’s backend code. However, be advised that running and maintaining a WordPress site can occasionally require dipping into the code to fix issues or add unique elements.
If you’re comfortable with code, you’ll need to be honest about your experience level. Software like Adobe Dreamweaver and Bootstrap require users to have a medium to a high-level understanding of coding to design, but the former has a visual editor and tools that don’t require you to always edit code directly.
Test the User Interface
We recommend testing the user interface and the available tools before choosing a web design software. You may find it difficult to understand and use the interface of software based on your professional and educational background.
This even applies to those experienced with coding. Despite the coding languages you’re working with being the same, not all interfaces are created equal.
Not only do you want to avoid an interface that is more complicated than you’re comfortable with, but you should also test options out to see if the UI behaves the way you’d expect.
Some people love or hate WordPress because of the specific way you have to edit elements in it. Weebly can be frustrating for the lack of ability to tweak details.
But, on the other hand, Bootstrap may not offer a UI that fits you well, even if you are an experienced developer. Make sure to maximize any free trials or plans to ensure a piece of web design software will deliver the experience and environment you want.
The Top Web Design Software in Summary
For most users, WordPress is an excellent choice. It’s a platform friendly to designers who don’t want to code, yet it doesn’t limit your customization options as much as other drag-and-drop builders. If you want a more personalized design and have some knowledge of coding, you can use alternative options like Adobe Dreamweaver or Bootstrap.
But we live in a time where almost any user can design a website themselves. Ultimately, the right choice for you depends on what you need and what you’re comfortable with. So, be sure to use the criteria we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best web design software for your new website.