What tools & programs do I need?

Hi all! I’m a beginner web designer. I’ve just gotten my first few clients and will make enough money to buy better programs and tools that I will need. Currently I use GIMP and have been using it for around 5-6 years, haha! It’s a good program but I need something more. I want to be able to create website icons and logos mostly. It’s very hard to do in GIMP and GIMP doesn’t save them as the right file type. I also still need to be able to do simple edits to photos (flipping, color enhancement, cropping, etc) and make complex photo manipulations. Eventually I also want to learn how to make and print brochures, flyers, business cards, etc.

What are some good programs, tools, etc that I need to be looking at right now? A list from most important to least would be great!
Currently what I’m using:

HP Laptop (not even mine. i’ve been borrowing it from a family member)
Small nightstand as desk
Not-so-comfy chair

GIMP 2.8 as graphics program
Notepad++ for HTML & CSS coding
Chrome, IE, and Firefox for browser testing

What filetype are you trying to use?

Chrome, IE, and Firefox for browser testing

Are you using the firebug and web developer tools addons?

I want to be able to save icons as scalable vectors so .svg or something and I don’t think GIMP does that.
Also no I have never used firebug or any such thing. I’ve heard of firebug but not quite sure what it is or how it works.

GIMP supports importing and exporting of SVG 1.1. You may have to use the export feature, rather than the “save as” feature.

Firebug is a tool you can use to see the final HTML, CSS, and DOM (and more) of a rendered website. This helps with troubleshooting and testing.


Oh! Thanks so much. I’ll check into both. Thanks again!


Seems you are squared away for the image software. Did you know that there are a lot of free web development tools out there as well? You could look into Aptana or Netbeans instead of using Notepad++. They are very handy (and free) programs.

Here is also a list of some other ones,

Also, you can get a copy of photshop elements for about 99 dollars. It’s a dumbed down version of the full program.

Hope that helps,


I am using firebug and I think it is best. NO need to go any where. Firebug is too which one show us on live website how we can apply changes in website files. I suggest you firebug and Dreamveiwer…

Dreamweaver is about $400 retail. It isn’t the best option, as it tends to spit out garbage code when using the WYSIWYG editor.

More and more people (as well as myself) are starting to use Sublime Text 2. I went through a lot of editors (crimson editor, jEdit, NetBeans, Notepad++), but Sublime Text 2 beats them all. It’s incredibly fast, and there a lot of nice features, like multiple cursors, jump to anything, etc.

If you want to create vector images, you can have a look at inkscape. Haven’t used it myself, but I hear good things about it.