10 Completely Free Wireframe and Mockup Applications

Every web designer and developer should have a good and reliable wireframe (mockup or prototype) tool at there disposal. The importance of such a tool differentiates amongst web designers and developers, some use them, some don’t. Personally, I use them. It is in this initial stage of development that makes web design enjoyable, the coming together of the clients needs and your own creative ideas onto a blank canvas, allowing you to plan effectively the visual arrangement of the sites content.

The downside is that a good and reliable wireframe application can come at a heavy price, have you seen the cost of a good wireframe application? Prices can vary from as low as $100 all the way up to over $4000. Who has this kind of mine to throw around? Certainly no freelancer developer I know.

So, what options do you have? There are certainly a fair few free web apps and tools you can use, and that is what I have collated for this article – The Ten Best FREE Wirefame/Mockup/Prototype applications for designers and developers.

Please note that this post really old, so some of the below apps may not longer be free or available. Tread with caution.

Hot Gloo – The Online Wireframe App

Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

The first thing you need to know about Hot Gloo is that it is in Beta, the second thing you need to know is that it is currently free, but with plans to charge a fee later on this year, so, grab your chance now while its free, its worth it.

HotGloo is an easy to use and intuitive Flash built web-based wireframe app, that can create conceptual interactive prototypes of a website in the early development stages.
Features include drag and drop facilities, layers, grid and snap to grid, a fair rew preset elements, interaction between the elements and you get your own custom HotGloo URL that allow you to share your mockup/wireframe with your clients.

Pencil Project

Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

The popular and fairly powerful Pencil Project is a free and opensource Firefox addon tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping with a multitude of features.
With its built-in stencils for diagramming and prototyping, the option for multi-page documents with background pages, its on-screen text editing with rich-text support and with its new capability of exporting to HTML, PNG or Openoffice formats, makes this addon essential for any developer or designer.

Web Site Wireframe Tool

Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

The key to this tool is the simplicity of usage, lending itself to speed, both in wireframe creation, as well as being able to quickly share the results without having to send anything more than a web address.

This particular tool allows the wireframe to be built in minutes, and if desired, a link to view the wireframe can be sent through email, instant message, or even the phone. With both parties able to view the wireframe even from different locations, the wireframe can then easily be updated based on feedback, discussion, ideas, suggestions, and so on.
It is free to register and use, and works in modern web browsers including Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

DENIM is a free desktop application that is available for Windows, Unix, and Mac OS X. It describes itself well as "an Informal Tool For Early Stage Web Site and UI Design".

It is an outgrowth of the original SILK project, a pen-based sketching tool for designing user interfaces. SILK combines many of the benefits of paper-based sketching with existing electronic prototyping tools. It allows designers to quickly sketch an interface using an electronic pad and stylus. SILK preserves the important properties of pencil and paper: a rough drawing can be produced quickly and the medium is flexible.

However, unlike a paper sketch, this electronic sketch is interactive and can easily be annotated and modified using editing gestures. SILK allows the designer to extend the interactivity of the recognized widgets using storyboards


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

Mockingbird is an online tool that makes it very easy for you to create, link together, preview, and share mockups of your website or application.

With its clean and clear interface, drag and drop functions, snap-to-grid, unlimited page linking and pretty much all the UI elements you could ever need, it all adss up to making Mockingbird our favorite wireframe app on this page.


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

Let me start by saying that MockFlow is not entirely free, there is a free package (limited to 1 Mockup with 4 pages and 10MB of storage) which, to be honest, really isn't much use to anyone. The premium yearly package costs $49 (reasonable price), which gives you unlimited mockups, unlimited collaborators, 500MB of storage and, most importantly it gives you access to the marvelous Mockstore.

MockFlow gives you everything you would expect from an online wireframe app, with one added bonus – its Mockstore. This is a large library of templates and presets that you can freely use (with the premium package) and will help speed up your workflow and give some added professionalism to your wireframe.

Prototype Composer – Free Prototyping Tool

Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

Prototype Composer makes it easy for business users and business analysts to collaborate on requirements by building simple, high-fidelity prototypes that simulate a working application.

It is a tool for prototyping data, processes, activities and most importantly, user interfaces. The app also works as a Project Management tool, which is fairly simple to use, but a little bit too much for what I need, making this application more suited for a larger company.


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools
FluidIA is an emerging agile design tool for prototyping rich user interfaces. This web based tool allows for rapid refinement and exploration of concepts using an object-oriented approach to design.

The big idea behind this experiment is whether a group of interaction designers, IA’s, UX professionals and developers can create there own prototyping tool in an open way. They have almost succeeded. FluidIA is still a little bit buggy, but looks very promising.


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

Cacoo is a user friendly online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts. It allows for multiple users to edit the same diagram in a simultaneous collaboration with all the tools and features you would expect from an online wireframe app.

Diagrams created with Cacoo can be shared and allows you to paste the code into Web applications such as Wikis and Blogs, and when the original diagram is edited the pasted graphic will be automatically updated, removing the need to upload the diagram each time it is updated.


Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

With Lumzy, you can create prototypes of how the site or application will function by adding events within your Lumzy controls. For instance, what happens when the user clicks a button? You can create Message Alerts, Page navigation or Links to external content, when your client interacts with your Mockup, yet with the hand drawn feel of a sketch.

With Lumzy, you can easily create your mockups and send to clients on the fly. It also features collaboration tools for team editing, a chat engine for deliberating over designs, file versioning and so much more.

iPhone Mockup Web App

Wireframe - Mockup Free Tools

This very simple web app allows you to create your own iPhone app mockups, share them with other people, and make changes which will by synced to everyone who has the mockup’s URL.
This app is currently in Alpha and offers no password protection (everyone with the mockup’s URL can access and change it), so use this app with care.

(648 Posts)

Paul Andrew

Paul is the founder and editor of Speckyboy Design Magazine. He has many years experience within the web design industry and a passion for the latest web technologies and design trends. He lives in the small town of Inverness in the north of Scotland. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.


  • A recommendation for MockFlow, been using this myself over the past few weeks and its a really powerful piece of kit

  • Torsten Kelsch

    Thanks for the tip, I tried MockFlow and I must say, it’s a good one in deed.

  • Bogdan

    completely free? yeah right…

  • Jay H

    Thums up for Mockflow here to. Like you say, it’s not entirely free, but $49 a year is reasonable for what you get.

  • Such a wonderful post. I liked it.

  • welton max

    After the introduction of computer fonts based on fully scalable outlines, a broader definition evolved. Font is no longer size-specific, but still refers to a single style. Bulmer regular, Bulmer italic, Bulmer bold and Bulmer bold italic are four fonts but one typeface. However, this distinction is often ignored by non-typographers, who often instead use font as a synonym for typeface.

  • Great list! I’ve been looking for a useful wireframe/mockup app for a while now. I think you should do a list about client review sites/applications *blatant hint* :)

  • Awesome resources these for wireframing. Iphone app one looks cool.

  • Cacoo looks very interesting.  Going to have to try that one.

  • Antonio

    Great post, thanks for share! =D

  • Mockup Builder

    Mockup Builder is free 

  • Can you please mockuptiger in your list. It is a beautiful application for wireframing

  • Dsdsds

    Almost none of these are free.. what the hell?

  • Paul Andrew

    Apologies about this, at the time of publishing ALL of these apps were free.

  • Debbiesteinberg

    Any experience w/Axure?

  • Lxz

    Try AppSketcher. It is not free. But price very reasonably.

  • Anonymous at major bank

    Axure is awesome! Now if I could just get my multi-trillion dollar company to spring for this luxury, maybe I could do my job more effectively!

  • Luis Pedro Perez

    Small Update, MockFlow has increased in price to $69 a year, still sounds fare, I’ll give it a test drive to see how it works.

  • zardinuk

    I tried it too. One of the worst pieces of software I’ve ever used.

  • Awesome post man. The stuff may not be completely free, who cares it does the job. After looking at all my favourite is Cacoo. Very fluent…

  • good thing is it is for free…so will surely try this… thanks!! 

  • Machamster

    At THEIR disposal!!!! Not there. 

  • GusDeCooL

    Like the other application. in the first they give us free. and after there going much user it will be pay. thats why i prefer choose open source.

  • Benjamin Ulecia

    brilliant, thanks a lot!

  • NO

    Hi, this are cool but some are not, I would rather just do the wireframes in photoshop where its much easier, rather than learning new guis for this softwares, plus with all the great free UI kits like from teehanlax, making mock up designs for photoshop is easier, 

  • Jim Ryan

    Is that really the most intelligent comment you can make?  The capitals and multiple exclamation marks suggest you’re shocked.  Have you not seen this sort of typo on every second blog?

  • Somadden

    How are any of these better than just drawing a quick picture in Photoshop? Besides the price.

  • black4eternity

    Completely free ? You cheat!

  • Privat Bruger

    Denim is a PowerPC app for Mac. Not support on Mac any longer.

  • Thanks for the useful post. I am going to try Mock Flow and iphone mockup

  • Brock Henry

    GusDeCooL, what is a good opensource program for this purpose?

  • Nathan Rose

    Not everyone owns Photoshop.  Plus, it is faster to mock these up using drag-and-drop than to mock them up in Photoshop.  Granted, Photoshop is ultimately better for the final mock-ups, but if you just want to create something quick and dirty, these work well.  Wish they were still free.. Love mockingbird.

  • shynes1

    Hola! Thank you for a great post! Does anyone know of any of these frameworks that export teh INDIVIDUAL nodes as HTML pages. So that if you have a tree of lets say one parent and six children, it creates the full website with links?

  • ~ The Grammar Ninja

    Every web designer and developer should have a good and reliable wireframe (mockup or prototype) tool at there disposal.  THERE should be THEIR…

  • Karakireronald

    Are there any opensource related tools please??

  • That’s Me

    The Pencil program is completely free and a nice application…easy to use and exports png files.

  • Great post thanks a lot!

  • kingq

    Prototool is one for the iphone, and it’s free.

  • Thank you to The Grammer Ninja, the world is a better place because of your keen insight.

  • Rod

    This is great,I never knew tools like this existed.I like the storyboard idea,never thought of that as a mock up but I guess it makes sense.

  • Zozosucks

    pencil project is an opensource !!

  • Caroline

    Highly recommend Keynotopia. It’s not free like Mockflow but is a one time cost (unlimited time/applications + free updates!) Very comprehensive UI libraries with both a wire framing option and high fidelity graphics. HUGE time saver :)

  • poilkj

    I can recommend Balsamiq, another tool of this type that works really well and v.intuitive to use. 

  • Ravi4bng

    Mockups.Me is amazing  try it!!!!

  • Tex

     GusDeCooL: most frustrating comment ever…

  • Anushri Tayal

    Microsoft Expression Blend sketchflow is also an awesome experience for Rapid prototyping and this is great from UX point of view

  • Petr

    Mockflow is perfect. Pages, links, sitemap you can add. Some template is prepare.
    …. 69 dolars unlimit. Very good price what you can make. Recomende.

  • Asda

    None of them are free………………..

  • My Dad

     It’s ‘World’ lol

  •  According to me mockingbird is the best tool. Photoshop is also good but that needs lot of practice.

  • raj1982

    I love Balsamiq Mockups. I have even taken it with my client and let them help in the design process.

  • zaff

    Im not sure about all of these apps. Any of these able to mimic the web page like IE, mozilla, Chrome? can we create a custom dialogue box to intercept the interaction in the web page that we create? I really hope anyone can advise me pertaining this… tq very much folks

  • Lucas

     You don’t want photoshop to draw your wireframes. Because you want to focus on the flow chart and funccionalites only and not get lost in design.

  • Andre Van Kets

    Hi – thanks for the useful list. Does anyone know where I can grab a library of free icons/UI elements/controls to use in photoshop?

  • Nice post.. agree with you Raj,  Balsamiq  is the best! Im using it every day.

  • Guest

     i recommend balsamiq, it does the important job, which is letting you create the site layout. in mins you can have your website design in this cool “sketch drawing” animation. you can also add images to a project, and notes. it’s not free anymore, but worth the pay, and you get 1 week free trial.

  • parsonbarley

    Denim looks fun! I personally quite like caccoo and am paying £5 a month for that. Am gonna try some others now I have found this! cheers!

  • Peter

    Mockflow is okay, I certainly would not rave about it. The problem with Mockflow is every time you open is Adobe Air updates. In fact it updates so regularly it has become an interoffice joke.

    I am also concerned that Mockflow changed its charge model and all of a sudden your access to certain features has become unavailable. 

    We have used Axzure before and it does nto suffer any of these issues. I would almost definitely recommend Axzure over Mockflow any day.

  • Abhijeet

    Great post Paul

  • John Romaine

    Wow, awesome resource!

  • Eloy

    Free version doesn’t support UI export, so you can’t share prototypes with user community. Those who wants to interact with created prototype must install software

  • tricia

    hi – i wonder if you have any updates to this column. I see that mockingbird is now not free, could you recommend an alternative please?

  • Fabio

    “cababiltity” :D:D

  • bigbudda

    balsamiq is a very good one thats not on this list.

  • Great posts. Not all are free anymore but very helpful anyway.

  • Paul Andrew

    Thanks. I have just updated the links :-)

  • Jo

    Not secure. Then people will see your ideas.

  • jaime

    Congratulations for this greatful list of wireframes apps

  • KinDn3sS

    Paul, you might as well add an update to the top of this page, so future individuals who review your post will know not to waste their time with “Free App Reviews”. Your page is outdated, and should be considered a change.