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7 Essential Tools You Should Use When Designing Your Website with CSS

Adding a personal touch or a little flare to an HTML website is easy to do with the versatility of CSS. Once the structure of your website has been built, you can create Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to give your web pages an aesthetic edge.

While writing code in CSS may seem a lot less complicated than Ruby or JavaScript, it requires certain know-how to build a truly exceptional website. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a CSS expert to pull off bold and memorable design!

There are plenty of CSS tools out there to help the average coder develop original work that is both dynamic and attractive to visitors.

Read on to educate yourself about seven of the top CSS tools on the market today and how they can improve your coding experience.

7 Outstanding CSS Tools for the Modern Designer

Using CSS to add a personal touch to your website is particularly useful since you can reflect changes across multiple pages by creating a few simple rules.

Below, we’ll go over a few responsive web design tools that will take the simplicity and functionality of CSS even further:

1. Layer Styles

Sometimes you want to just get the design work down without worrying about having to plug in CSS tags. Maybe you just want to experiment with a couple of ideas or try to give depth to an image without using an editor.

Whatever your reason, Layer Styles is an intuitive way to handle basic changes with CSS. Giving quick enhancements to your webpage is a cinch with this program: designate shadows, background images, and borders with just a few button clicks.

This simple graphics editor quickly changes the appearance of your webpage and adds in the corresponding code automatically.

2. Vogue

When you’re building in CSS and you’d like to see how your progress looks, it can be a pain to save and reload pages again and again. With Vogue, you won’t have to worry about waiting to see the changes made to your pages.

Vogue automatically refreshes the CSS in browsers as soon as the style sheet is saved. So long as you’re saving your work, you can see all changes in real time, even in multiple browsers if you wanted!

This program acts as your personal local server so that editing and updating websites is simple and speedy.

3. Ffffallback

Wonder why the name has so many letters in it? It’s your font-choosing saving grace.

After you’ve perused endless font galleries for the perfect typography, you realize you need a few backup fonts to fall back on. This is in case a visitor can’t access your font for whatever reason, and it lets you take control with a ready plan B.

Hopefully, you’ve kept the bank or list of fonts that were runner-ups. You can use Ffffallback to test those various fonts across the page without having to drop them into your code.

This gives designers the freedom to test a range of fonts quickly to determine which primary and backup fonts look the best, saving tremendous amounts of time.

4. Rapid CSS Editor

The Rapid CSS Editor is a rich resource for cutting corners and gaining back a lot of time. The program’s style sheet editor makes editing CSS with shorthand even easier, as its features can do most of the coding work (if you want it to).

The program also comes with handy tools to ensure quality work like the CSS checker, code inspector, and the auto-complete functions.

Users even have the capability of checking work in multi-browser previews to test all the variations at once. Saving time coding CSS has never been more user-friendly or efficient before.

5. CSS Menu Maker

Menus and navigational bars are a must-have on every professional website. Acting like a table of contents, the menu will help drive visitors and customers easily to the hot spots.

Building direct links and organizing your menu will help optimize the user experience. With the CSS Menu Maker, coders can get premade menu designs for free and shave coding time by using the program’s source codes.

All the menu designs here are eye-catching and responsive, giving users the power to make diverse and functional menus in one program.

6. Simple CSS

If you’re not the most proficient CSS coder, the Simple CSS program will help you achieve top-notch website styling with ease. It helps users create new (or adjust current) stylesheets through a simple point-and-click interface.

The program allows you to import .css files and modify the existing code using their easy navigational tools that act as the bread and butter of this system.

Exporting files and managing multiple projects at once is just as easy, thanks to all the built-in features. The Simple CSS program is available for download on both Windows and OS X systems, making it highly accessible to professionals.

7. Macaw

If the idea of code baffles you, or else your taste and criticism exceed your talent, Macaw is the answer! This downloadable program allows users to develop web pages in the system’s easy-to-use drawing board (or artboard).

Similar to creating designs in an Adobe program, Macaw offers users the power to draw boxes and visually create their web page–while translating it into code. A large box drawn across the page can become a container, or header, or banner.

Designers have the flexibility of their imaginations to use without being restricted by the exact code necessary to pull off the design.

Free Resources for Coding Amateurs and Experts

The HTML and CSS tools you’ve learned have created an excellent foundation–if you’re reading this, you likely know how pages are set up. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and skills, though, we’ve got just the resources for you!

At the Web Code Buddy blog, we offer insightful perspectives on coding and teaching yourself how to perfect your design and marketing.