Open Source Web Design Resources and Tips
While there are a myriad of applications and platforms available for professional web design, there is no denying the advantages and flexibility of open source web design apps. They are preferred by millions of web design professionals worldwide over costlier commercial apps.
Before a newbie web design professional opts for open source apps and platforms, it is important for him to learn various aspects of such tools. Open source web development tools are best suited for small web development firms and freelance web designers. These apps can be used for free and designers using them need not churn out steep licensing and renewal fees. There are numerous online support forums and communities for open source web design apps which can be accessed by web designers. Majority of open source web design apps can run on multiple OSes and so they can be run in setups involving various platforms. As a consequence, web designers using these tools can maintain production cost within control and maximize their productivity without many hassles. However, there are plenty of web design apps available and a web designer need not master all of them. Depending on his areas of expertise and proficiency level, a designer can pick a few open source web development apps.
CMS based websites are in much demand these days and thousands of web design professionals are using these free open source tools for making client websites. There are various CMS apps that can be used for making personal as well as commercial websites but the trio of WordPress, Drupal and Joomla rule the roost. Joomla is used mostly for making complex websites and ecommerce sites than blog sites .It scores owing to its huge number of extensions and modules. WordPress another popular CMS app is used worldwide as the preferred blogging platform. It is possibly the most user friendly CMS and can be used to design stunning websites even if users lack knowledge in web programming and HTML. Drupal, another widely used CMS app is preferred by web designers worldwide. Its high quality themes and configurability has made it a favorite with CMS developers.
Flex, RIA Development App:
Those web designers who want to focus on making dynamic and interactive websites, should opt for Flex. It is mostly used for developing quality Rich internet applications for PC and mobile web access platforms. This is an open source web design framework which can be used to make dynamic web apps that run on various mobile OS platforms like BlackBerry, Android and iOS. Powered by ActionScript, this SDK comes from the stable of Adobe.
No discussion on open source web design apps and framework can be complete without mentioning PHP. This open source scripting language is robust, versatile and can be used for developing various types of websites. It is platform independent and integrates well with a number of database applications. This makes it suitable for using with database driven websites. It also runs on a number of web servers without any hassle. This open source scripting language is also used in top CMS apps like Drupal and WordPress.
Open Source graphics applications for web design:
Needless to say, web design professionals need to use graphics editing apps for making websites with stunning visuals and images. For those web designers who cannot afford steeply priced image editors, open source image apps like GIMP and InkScape come across as worthy choices. Inkscape is useful for making professional looking vector graphics for web pages. This app runs on Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Unix variants. While its implementation of SVG and CSS are not complete but it offers multi-lingual support. GIMP is an open source raster graphics tool that can be used for editing and publishing web images. Its vast repository of tools and user friendliness has made it a favorite with thousands of web design professionals.
Source code editors: