The programs listed below are in regular use by blechtrottel.net and explicitely recommended. Many of them are usual suspects, which are recommended by other websites as well. Some on the other hand are less obvious. It is a personal selection which is not at all complete.
Phase 5 is blechtrottel.net's first choice for designing websites. This editor, which is in German only, offers vast opportunities for configuration and that for every project you define. You can have it work with an external references, use syntax highlighting and even create your own syntax schemes with the integrated editor. You can enhance its functionality with several plugins. All pages by blechtrottel.net are written with this program. It is free for private use.
Our add-ons for phase 5 can be found on a separate page.
FTP-Uploader is the logical supplement to phase 5, to get your pages onto a webserver, as it was written by the same developer. This program too is free for personal use.
Filezilla may be the most popular FTP alternative. It is freeware and open source.
WinSCP is another FTP program and offers the interesting feature of being highly scriptable. Repeating tasks can thus easily be automated. Freeware.
Mozilla Firefox is not only the browser that made it happen that the development of the WWW did not stop at Internet Explorer 6, it also offers interesting add-ons for web developers. The most attractive are Web Developer and Firebug.
IrfanView is a very useful image viewer that belongs into the toolbox of every webmaster. Most standard options for image manipulation are included. Saving files in ico format is no problem. Many plugins leave little to be desired. This program, too, can be controlled by scripts.Freeware.
Macromedia Fireworks is often underrated. But it is one of the handiest programs for image manipulation for websites. Both pixel and vector graphics are supported, photoshop filters can be used. You can optimize photographs and generate animated gifs, photoshop filters can be used. The help file is a rare and shining example. Macromedia was bought by Adobe, Fireworks is no longer developed. It is advisable to buy one of the original Macromedia versions starting with Fireworks 3 second hand.
Inkscape is the first choice for working with images in SVG format and others. It also offers script support. Freeware
@iconsushi is one of the few free programs to work with icon files. It is a good choice for creating favicons.
FreeFileSync is an easy to use and fast program for comparing directories and saving files. This freeware is essential for backing up one's work.
Multi Commander is a two-window file manager with many customization options. Freeware.
7-Zip is one of the most popular file packers. There is a version for the commandline, which can be used in scripts. Freeware.
Bulk Rename Utility has an interface that needs some getting used to, but offers powerful options for renaming several files in one go. That comes in handy for photos, for example. A version for use in scripts is also available. This program too is freeware.