What I've used
Since I use Macs, there is some software that I can't try out. But, most of the free software I like also comes in Windows versions. The basic tools I use are described in the Web Design Tutorial - TextEdit (plain text editor) Kompozer or SeaMonkey (HTML editors) and pixlr.com (online graphics editor) Here are some more tools that I find useful.
Free Photo Gallery Software http://jalbum.net/en/software
for Mac, Windows and Linux.
It's very simple to use. You can drag and drop pictures
into the work area, make some choices and then click to
preview the album. You can choose different "skins" and
make some other choices, such as number of pictures to a
page and size of pictures. The software creates the
thumbnails, the HTML pages for each pic as well as the
HTML pages that hold the thumbnails. All you have to do is
upload all the files!
The software is free, but they offer to host your albums
for a fee. When you click to download, you will be taken
to a sign-up page, but if you look at the bottom
right, you'll find a link to skip straight to the
Jet Photos Studio
Free Photo manager and flash gallery/movie creator http://www.jetphotosoft.com/web/home/
Versions for Mac, Windows.
It's also simple to use. A few features I've found very
helpful is the batch resize (under web tab) and the batch
rename (under edit tab). You can also create a flash photo
gallery or a flash slideshow of the pictures. I love the
flash slideshow maker. I've used it to add photos to a
website. You can choose the size of the slideshow which
helps on bandwidth if you plan to upload it to your site.
The flash slideshow will start automatically, but you can
use code to limit it to one loop. I have an older
computer, am using an older version for Mac 10.4. The
newer versions of the software may have more features and
The Jing-ProjectFree recoding software (Jing) and free storage (Screencast.com). http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html Mac and Windows
You can record a video of onscreen action (with or without sound) or take a screenshot - for FREE. If you take a screenshot, you can add text to it, also. You have to sign up for a free account with screencast.com, but then you can use the free account to store your videos and images and then share them in emails, social networks etc. quickly and easily. If you would rather, you can download the files and upload them to your own site. There's a five minute limit - but it's FREE.
I've used this software and really liked it. In fact, the flash movies used in some of the tutorials were made with Jing and are stored at Screencast. Alas, the updates to the software outgrew my old computer. But, eventually, I'll upgrade and be able to try it again.
Just for Fun
If you are in the mood to just play with graphics or text, you might want to check out some links on the Fun Sites Hotlist