Over the years I've gathered a small list of software that sees daily use for my web design business.
Whether for coding, image manipulation or accessing the website files via ftp, here are my daily essentials:
1) FileZilla - https://filezilla-project.org/ (free)FileZilla is a fantastic piece of software that covers any FTP requirement I've come across in many many years. It does way more than I've ever needed, but at a basic level, it lets you connect to normal and secure FTP servers and has many useful features that let you export settings to use on other computers (useful if you have lots of clients and FTP servers to connect to) or as a backup. Allowing for mirrored browsing that changes the local and remote directories as you click around, it makes access to your hosted files a breeze.
2) Paint.net - https://www.getpaint.net/ (free)Paint.net has been around for years - it was initially a Microsoft created product, that has since branched off on its own. Whilst it is no Photoshop clone, if you want to do basic image manipulations like resizing, altering quality, cropping sections out and managing basic layers, this software is both fast and quick to use. Supporting many image file formats, it is my go-to software for altering photos and images without the expense or complications of commercial software and is probably used more than any other software I have aside from Microsoft Outlook!
3) Microsoft To-Do - https://todo.microsoft.com/en-us (free)
Any busy business should have some way of keeping on top of tasks and jobs that need done. Being available on almost every platform, including Windows, Android and iOS, syncing your lists across all devices, this one continues to be a great tool for me. Outlook links exist for tasks and flagging emails as well, so it keeps everything nicely in one place.
4) Notepad++ - https://notepad-plus-plus.org/ (free)
Editing CSS, php and html files can be difficult unless the software you use intelligently highlights code sections and tags etc. Notepad++ is another long standing piece of software that just makes the life of a website designer easier. Allowing for multiple files open at the same time, in a tab-navigation system, it hands-down beats the basic Notepad included with Windows (and others that exist on Mac etc.).
5) Serif DrawPlus - No longer available
This one is paid commercial software, but for an easy and flexible vector editor, DrawPlus is a great bit of software that I still use regularly for small-scale logo work and similar. It has been replaced with Affinity Designer, which I personally find less intuitive than DrawPlus, though Affinity has more features that you may find useful if you need something closer to Photoshop or Illustrator.
6) FastStone Photo Resizer - http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm (free)This one is great - along with renaming, it covers so much more, from batch resizing, batch conversion of file types, adding borders, shadow etc. Regularly I may be sent a large group of images to use on a website, and this software allows me to quickly make them all the same size and file type without having to manually alter each one. With the pattern-match rename feature, it is also easy to add a more SEO-useful naming convention to groups of photos too :)