Software development has come a long way in the past few years and has allowed typical computer users to easily learn how to use a computer, design basic web pages and start businesses online with little or no previous experience. Usually a little software company can give small businesses what they need with custom software but most of the time, it is the big corporations like Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Google, and Adobe that provide the world with intelligent, usable software that helps revolutionize how people use computers and the internet. Trust me, I am not saying it is easy to design a website from scratch because it isn’t, by any means, but tools have been developed to let normal computers users develop simple, template based websites with ease.

I will be the first to say that I am mostly self taught. I started with learning how to style a web page with tables to using only style sheets to do the same thing. I began with Dreamweaver building most of my code to now writing most of the code in notepad with no WYSIWYG editor. It just feels natural, but I started with software that help me blaze the path.

In this article, we will give you a list of the top Free and Paid software a designer can have. Like always, we don’t expect to know everything….so leave us a comment with your best software or just tell us how you use the software we have listed. Enjoy the article, and happy coding.

Dreamweaver (for website developers / designers)
Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG HTML editor that allows even the newest website designer to be able to develop websites and make them look good. Designers and developers can use this tool.

Photoshop (for graphic designers / website designers)
Photoshop is a great program for creating essential graphic elements for a website, publishing, or pretty much anything that requires graphic art. It has a learning curve that some people cannot get over, but once you figure it out, the world is yours to edit.

Flash (for designers in general)
90% of Internet users have Flash installed on their computer so being able to create flash is a great tool. I hate it however, but in the end, it is an essential tool in developing and designing websites. Hopefully, for my sake, HTML5 replaces any need to flash.

Abobe Suite (for everyone in general)
Includes all of the above, plus much more. i have CS4 and I use almost every program they have. I highly recommend getting the suite to complete your daily tasks.

This is a simple tool that a lot of people use to write HTML code without an editor like Dreamweaver. It is a notepad editor like, well, notepad, but it highlights code to help the developer create valid and useful code.

The most awesome FTP client I have ever used. It is so easy to use that someone who doesn’t even understand FTP could upload a site to the internet….of course they wouldn’t need to, but the possibility is there.

Google Services (see our previous post)
See other article for all the good details of what Google has to offer.

Microsoft Office 2007+
Office outdid themselves with this one. All except for the Ribbon, which I have heard is removed from the Office 2010 edition. Lets keep our fingers crossed. The Office suite contains Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, Visio, and so much more. So basically it is a do everything efficiently suite.

Avast! Antivirus
It is a FREE antivirus that works better then most of the paid antiviruses. You can download a free copy of it or you can purchase it from them to enhance some of the features.

Malware Bytes
With Avast!, this little bit of software is great. It usually get rid of malware that I didn’t even know was there. It is free with the option to upgrade if you want all of the features….but without them, you are pretty well protected.

Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 8, Opera
This is just a list of all of the browsers that I use when I am making sure the sites I designed look the same for all viewers. You notice how I didn’t list IE8…that is because it is dead to me….as it should be to the rest of the world.

Great piece of software that allows you to develop 3D artwork and skins for gaming characters and worlds. It is a great tool, but this one requires experience.

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