50 Best Free Web Design Resources, Freebies, and Tools for Your Project
If you’re planning out a website or marketing project, you are probably looking for ways to make that project easier. Thankfully, designers, developers, programmers, and other specialists across the web have elected to share their content in various forms so that other people can share in the fruits of their labor.
Great places to find freebies and web design resources are sites that also sell resources for these same purposes. User interfaces and mockups can be used in marketing materials, newsletters, and other offerings to provide a continuous theme throughout your company’s materials. You don’t have to be a large company to have professional looking designs.
There are also plenty of tools and communities that designers and developers rely on that you can also put to use to make sure your graphics, ideas, or site will generate positive feedback. These types of communities often also make recommendations for tools and give tips, so even if you don’t have anything built yet, you can look over what other people have put together and, if you like it, see the feedback they got to help you figure out what else you can do.
Lots of articles and sites that share resources for designers and developers fluff out their lists by adding single fonts or new updates from designers. This list is different, in that it compiles sites putting out new content so you can find the sources you like best for your purposes and follow them or check their complete catalog of free products to see what they’ve put out in the past that you can use or get ideas from.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in use on the web today. As such, there are plenty of designers putting out quality themes that are easy to install for your WordPress build. Below you will find plenty of styles to meet the needs of nearly any website you want to build.
- WordPress.org – tons of free themes for WordPress for every style and type of site. Also has plugins and rating systems.
- Aristotheme – lots of free themes for websites. Many of them are minimalist type themes with lots of whitespace.
- Colorlib – lots of contemporary free themes for WordPress in similar style.
- FancyThemes – free and paid themes for WordPress. The themes are good for eCommerce, journalism, and other types of sites professional looking sites.
- AThemes – free themes for WordPress in different styles. Well worth a visit.
- AlienWP – minimalistic, mobile responsive themes for WordPress.
- DesignOrbital – more minimalistic themes for WordPress.
- ThemeArt – colorful, contemporary free WordPress Themes to suit different needs.
There are plenty of other offerings for themes across the web as well. If you’re in the market for themes, you might also be looking for good, quality plugins for WordPress sites. Code Canyon often has free, quality plugin offerings, and free plugins are available all across WordPress.org.
There are stock images available for personal or commercial uses all over the web. It’s good practice to make sure that if you’re using images on your website, you pick images that won’t invite copyright conflicts. While many websites across the internet use the standards set forth by the Creative Commons License, some sites specifically focus on images that require no attribution, meaning you don’t have to link back to the creator. These types of sites are a treasure trove of images for nearly every purpose. It’s still a good idea to have a working understanding of how the Creative Commons license works for other websites, like Flickr, so that you can know what permissions you have to use or edit images by other creators and whether attribution is required.
Because photo and image sharing sites are plentiful across the web, we haven’t focused heavily in this category but will increase this portion of the list if we find other really good offerings.
There are also plenty of sites across the web that focus on compiling fonts. We’ve tried to stick to free font resources that allow commercial usage without attribution in this article, but there are many other resources with fonts available for free for personal use.
Everything Else – UIs, Icons, Mockups, Fonts, and More.
For sites that may have stock images, themes, and fonts, but also focus on other useful goods like mockups for marketing, user interfaces, and icons for myriad purposes and industries, we have listed them here. The ones that also have fonts, themes, templates, and stock images mixed in with their other offerings will have those listed as well.
- Visual Hierarchy – free UIs, sketches, icons, mockups, and fonts.
- Behance – free social media mockups for graphics arts projects, as well as fonts, icon sets, and more.
- Pixel Buddha – free UIs, icons, graphics, and more for websites.
- Dribbble – free UIs, brushes, icons, and more. An excellent resource for various design needs.
- Graphics Fuel – UI kits, vector icons, mockup templates, brushes, website layouts, and more.
- DB Freebies – more freebies from Dribbble and Behance.
- TheStarterKit – templates, code bits, vector icons, mockups, stock resources, and more.
- Freebie Jar – free templates, mockups, graphics, fonts, icons, and more.
- Icon Store – freebie icons in many styles to suit many needs.
- StackSocial – rotating list of freebies that often include templates or themes, graphics, and other web design resources. Also occasionally contains freebie or deeply discounted classes in web design and development and game development.
- Web Designer Depot – free images, icons, wireframe kits, and more from across the web.
- Smashing Magazine – freebie icon sets, lots of unusual ones for specialized purposes.
- Speckyboy – lots of design resources and tools, including WordPress themes, icon sets, tutorials, and more.
- Market Me – freebie UI kits, templates, mockups, and more.
- Tympanus – plenty of web design freebies, especially icons for various purposes.
- Sketch App Resources – plenty of freebies that can be browsed by category. Many of them are focused around UIs, wireframes, and icons.
- Zippy Pixels – lots of free templates, UI kits, and other useful freebies for mockups.
- UI/UX Assets – design assets and resources for user interface and user experience designers.
- EpicPXLS – plenty of free illustrations, icons, themes, templates, and more.
- Symu – free PSD resources for lots of types of projects.
- Designmodo – icons, UI kits, and more.
- The Hungry Jpeg – plenty of free mockups, fonts, and more. All high quality.
UI kits can be used in countless ways to make whatever you’re making look professional. From PowerPoint presentations to marketing emails to newsletters to websites themselves. They’re often easily recolored and can include many components for seamless presentation including brushes, patterns, and more. They also help you with ideas to solve common problems like navigation styles and icons, and are inherently detail-oriented. Downloading and investigating UI kits can give you solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had yet.
They also have the added bonuses of saving you time, as well as money.
Free Tools For Design and Development
Designers, developers and other web professionals can make parts of their job easier with plenty of different tools from all across the web. Some help with collaboration, some help with marketing, some help specifically with design. We’ve tried to stay away from tools specifically for web development as they will only benefit a smaller portion of our readers. Rest assured that tools for developers, often involving code modification, exist as well and are only a Google search away.
- PSDGator – web developers that can convert graphics to HTML5/CSS3 for a fee, and offer free consultations to convert design projects to WordPress and/or responsive designs for newsletters, eCommerce sites, and more. They will also bring legacy websites up to date with a new build, theme design, and plugin development.
- Pixlr – free online graphics editing program.
- UpdraftPlus – though WordPress.org has plenty of free plugins, this one in particularly is highly recommended for backup and restoration. It can backup to s3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, email, and other locations. Tools like UpdraftPlus can ensure that if your site ends up corrupted, you can easily restore it and prevent downtime or having to rebuild.
- Unsplash It – placeholder image generator customized to your size specifications for your temporary website build.
- Skala Color – highly rated color picker for designers and developers, Mac only.
- Coolors – color theme generator, fast and easy to use.
- Window Resizer – see how your site will display on screens of various sizes with this Chrome plugin.
- FontFaceNinja – browser plugin that lets you figure out which fonts are being used on websites.
- RealFaviconGenerator – if your site needs a favicon and you aren’t sure what the requirements are, this site will help you build one. You can also check your current favicon to see if it needs optimization.
- Page Ruler – Chrome plugin that makes it easy to get pixel dimensions and positioning in order to easily design and tweak your own website.
- Modular Scale – calculate appropriate ratios for font sizes and generate CSS font size codes to paste into your stylesheet.
The web is full of resources that can help you create professional websites in a short amount of time. Whether you’re building a site for a company or for personal use, you can benefit from the vast amounts of creativity being shared across the internet. If you build websites regularly, you may even want to subscribe to newsletters or feeds that list content updates for some of your favorite sites in this list.
Tools for the web also change rapidly, so keep on the lookout for other useful plugins. Some of them are recommended from the Chrome Web Store based on other plugins you are interested in.
They are also rated so you can be assured you’re getting a quality plugin.
Free Tools for Marketing
Marketing, especially on the cloud, can be complicated. It can be difficult to know which tools to use in order to make a great presentation. There are plenty of options available based on what type of presentation you’re looking to make and how you’ll be collaborating or sharing that presentation with team members or clients. Much marketing skills are easily transferrable to website builds or integrated into them in portfolios or throughout the site itself.
- Proto.io – prototyping and collaboration tool for interactive and animated prototypes. Offers free trial.
- PowerMockup – allows PowerPoint to be used as a prototyping tool. Features a library with over 800 mockup and wireframe shapes that provide increased functionality. Offers free trial.
- Frame – quality free product mockup design tool free for personal and professional use.
- TeamInk – are you using Slack to collaborate on projects? Easily send and edit documents and store them on slack with this powerful tool.
- Niice – “Pinterest for designers.” Drag and drop files to create mood boards for clients in minutes. Keep pics organized and clip favorites in a private space that isn’t searchable by the public.
Some of the resources listed above like mockups or UI kits are also useful not just for web design but for marketing purposes as well. They are one of the ways to integrate marketing materials throughout your website in a seamless manner.
If you’re interested in making sure that all of your materials for your business, large or small, coordinate with one another in order to personalize your marketing campaigns and add professional touches, these resources will help you complete those goals.
Many sites also offer tips on how to install or use themes, icons, mockups, and other offerings listed above. Some of the tools listed can help you use them effectively and seamlessly throughout all your materials. Some of the offerings are just fun to play with for really impressive personal sites for friends and family. You don’t have to be building a business website in order to use these resources. Have fun gathering ideas and seeing what options are available for fun sites as well. Just because things are invented with business purposes in mind doesn’t mean they can’t also be used for personal projects.