Online web design tools for beginners

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If you are not an advanced web designer and don’t want to pay a company to build a website for you, there are services on the web that can help you build whatever site you want. All of the tools listed below are designed specifically for beginners. If that’s you, give them a whirl.

Get your design on

Color assistant: Having trouble finding the right color for part of your site? The Color Assistant will help you determine which color works with your current color scheme.

When you get to the Color Wizard site, just enter the color you want to match. From there, the service spits out several colors that match your base color well. If you are not happy with all of the colors on your site, you can also use the site sliders to create the color you want. It then gives you a color tag that you can place in your site’s HTML code. It is a simple and neat tool that I use quite often.

Color Wizard helps you match colors or create your own.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

CSS composition: If you’re looking to quickly change portions of CSS on your site, CSS Typeset is one of my favorite tools for doing so.

The principle of CSS Typeset is simple: take some CSS from your site, modify it with the drop-down lists presented at the bottom of the page, and CSS Typeset generates the CSS code that you can paste back into your site. You can change the font type, color, alignment, etc. If you need a little help with CSS, CSS Typeset is the service for you.

CSS
CSS Typeset will help you change your site.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

Dotemplate: Dotemplate provides several free templates that you can customize right from the company’s webpage. From there, you can download the template and place it on your site.

When you go to Dotemplate, you can choose from a bunch of free templates. You can change the color of the navigation bar, enter text in different sections of the site, etc. You can even change the colors of all the different headers on the site. Dotemplate allows you to use your template anywhere on the web as long as you provide a link to the service. You can also donate $ 10 if you don’t want to join.

Dotemplate
Dotemplate allows you to edit templates quickly and easily.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

Favicon generator tool: Every site needs its own unique Favicon, that little image you find next to a URL in your address bar and on your browser tabs. But creating one might not be easy for newbies. This is where the Favicon Builder tool comes in.

The favicon generator tool is about as simple as it gets – upload an image you want to shrink. From there, click “download” and the service will convert the image to a favicon. Simply upload the image, upload it to your site, and you’re good to go. It is so easy.

Favicon generator tool
Favicon Generator Tool is simple and easy to use.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

Flickrslidr: If you’re having trouble adding a slideshow to your site, make it easier with the help of Flickrslidr.

The principle is simple: enter the link to a Flickr album that you want to add to your site. From there, you can name it and enter tags. Flickrslidr then spits out HTML code, allowing you to quickly and easily enter the slideshow on your site.

Flickrslidr
Add a Flickr slideshow from Flickrslidr.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

Roxer: If you want to build a quick site that doesn’t feature all of the Web 2.0 features that have become so common on the web, Roxer can be a good place to start.

Roxer allows you to drag and drop different elements of a site onto your home page. You can add images, drag and drop YouTube videos, change your page header, and more. You can also create content to make it a bit more useful to visitors. I should note that Roxer is GeoCities-esque in that your site is free to create and has a Roxer domain. Either way, it’s a great way to quickly build a site for simple purposes.

Roxer
Roxer makes it quick and easy to create a simple web page.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

Web 2.0 button generator: If you want to add a Web 2.0 touch to your site, you will need to consider using the Web 2.0 Button Builder. The site allows you to create a Web 2.0 type button for your site.

When you start using the Web 2.0 Button Builder, you will find that you can choose from three button designs. From there, you can choose a color, change the button text, and decide if you want to add logos to websites including YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and others. It only takes a few seconds to create the button. Once done, you can download it as an image, place it anywhere on your site, and voila.

Web 2.0 button generator
The Web 2.0 Button Builder is free and easy to use.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

WordPress theme generator: If you are not satisfied with themes created by other WordPress users, you can create your own using WordPress Theme Builder.

WordPress Theme Generator allows you to create a two or three column WordPress theme. To the left of the design page is a list of all the things you can change, including font type, text color, tag clouds, and more. To the right of the site, you can see what your site looks like. It will change as you modify the many elements of the site. When I used the service, I was very happy with what it offered. Certainly it won’t allow you to change all, but if you want to create a basic yet unique theme, I think WordPress Theme Generator is a useful tool.

Wordpress
WordPress Theme Generator offers a simple WordPress theme creation.

Screenshot by Don Reisinger / CNET

My top three

1. CSS composition: If you want to quickly change the design of a site, CSS Typeset is the place to go.

2. Color assistant: Find the right color with Color Wizard.

3. WordPress theme generator: It’s not advanced, but if you want a simple and unique WordPress theme, WordPress Theme Generator is worth trying.


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