For the newbie Web designer who is not entirely sure if this is the correct career path, or for the experienced Web professional looking to economize, there’s a multitude of free tools out there. Inspired by an email inquiry from a TechRepublic member, I assembled this list of a few tools that have little or no associated costs other than the required components to run Windows, Mac, or in some instances, Linux operating systems, an Internet connection, and an aptitude for learning new tools.

Note: This list is based on an entry in our Web Master blog.

1: HTML-Kit

You can download and install HTML-Kit on your PC at no cost. You can also take advantage of assorted plug-ins to enhance its capabilities.

2: Komodo Edit

Considered by some to be the best free XML editor available today, Komodo Edit runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and includes a lot of features for HTML and CSS development and coding design. It also offers many extensions, along with add-ons for languages and special characters. It might not be the best HTML editor overall, but it’s at the top of the pack for the price. You can download Komodo Edit from ActiveState.

3: First Page

First Page comes bundled with more than 450 JavaScripts and syntax highlights for Perl, CSS, HTML, CF, ASP, and SSI. It allows you to store your own code snippets in the myCode Library.

(Editor’s note: We have reports that some malware scanners are reporting a problem with First Page, please use caution when downloading this app.)

4: KompoZer

KompoZer is another WYSIWYG Web page editor that combines Web authoring with Web file management. Designed for ease of use, it’s ideal for nontechnical users who are new to HTML and coding. KompoZer runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

5: Advanced Image Editor

Along with creating and authoring Web documents, a good Web developer needs to learn how to manage and manipulate images. Several free online tools are available for editing photos. One good choice is Aviary’s Phoenix Advanced Image Editor.

This tool runs within the browser and offers functionality and editing features that are similar to expensive desktop imaging software. It’s part of a free suite of online tools that includes screen capture, vector editor, effects editor, music creator, audio editor, image markup, and color editor tools. The screenshot below is taken from the video tutorial “Unzipping a kitty.” Aviary offers quite a few tutorials for its various tools.