Open Source Web Design Tools for the Novice | Blogging, Small Business, Web Design & Hosting Tips - A Small Orange

Open Source Web Design Tools

So, what is “open source” software? For the average person not “in the industry”, open source software means is its free.

Open Source actually means a lot more than that. From The Open Source Initiative (OSI):

Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.

Ok, and its free.

Designing

While OS content management systems (software that lives on your site so you use your site to manage and create and design the public facing area of your site) have become more and more prominent, some people do still like to design on their computers.

Lucky for you, there are a number of open source software packages that will allow you to do just that, with a snippet of the description taken from the respective web sites.

http://www.kompozer.net/

KompoZer is a complete Web Authoring System that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing capabilities found in Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe DreamWeaver and other high end programs. You can use it on Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux.

http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm

Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.

http://selida.camelon.nl/selida.html

Selida features a very effective WYSIWYG editor, Code Completion and a complete HTML 4 reference. Selida was engineered to be complete and capable – all with the decidedly best price on the planet – $0 ! (Windows)

http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Amaya is a Web editor, i.e. a tool used to create and update documents directly on the Web. Browsing features are seamlessly integrated with the editing and remote access features in a uniform environment. (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Transferring Files

Even if you have an FTP program built into your software, its a good idea to have one that’s handy. These two are extremely good open source alternatives.

http://filezilla-project.org/

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface. (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

http://www.coreftp.com

Free Windows software that includes features like SFTP (SSH), SSL, TLS, IDN, browser integration, site to site transfers, FTP transfer resume, drag and drop support, file viewing & editing, firewall support, custom commands, FTP URL parsing, command line transfers, filters, and more.

Templates

Believe it or not, there are designers in the open source community, and they’re just as happy to release their work as software developers.

http://csstinderbox.raykonline.com/

Open Source Templates that provide a very basic layout and framework for you to build off of.

http://www.opendesigns.org/

Over 1500 free and open source designs for you to use as is or change to suit your needs.

http://www.oswd.org/

Over 2000 free and open source designs for you to use as is or change to suit your needs.

Downloadable Documents

http://why.openoffice.org/

Open Office is a an office software suite similar to Microsoft Office, only free and open source. If you need to create PDF files for download, you can do it with Open Office.

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