Finding The Best Web Development Tools
When coding a website for the first time, finding the right tools to develop efficiently can be a headache. With all of the options out there, it can be deceiving which ones are actually useful when coding and developing a website. Luckily I am here to give you the 4 essential tools that I use everyday when developing.
Granted these are merely opinions, but I stand by my workflow and choices because they have made my life enormously easier. The following 4 tools for web developers are what I believe are the best on the market. Plus they’ve really nailed down features that are useful for developers of all skill levels.
Top 4 Tools For Web Developers
1. Sublime Text 3: (Free + Paid)
This is by far the best text editor I have ever used. There are tons of options out there, but sublime I find to be the simplest to use at its core. It also doesn’t have a lot of “fluff” to it which is why I am so attached to it. Other editors such as Coda and TextMate I find to be too bloated with features, and can oftentimes be confusing to use.
At the end of the day, all a text editor needs to be is a spot to open the program and start typing within seconds.Some of the key features that I absolutely love about Sublime Text is that the default Monokai syntax color scheme is perfect. I never feel overwhelmed looking at code with this highlighting compared to others. It does a fantastic job at contrasting different portions of code so that they stick out in unique ways. In addition, the code completion and assistance is amazing.
As you type specific elements or characters, it does a great job at guessing what the statement is going to be. If you haven’t tried Sublime Text, be sure to check out the link above and download it for free. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
2. MAMP Pro: (Free + Paid)
Working on a website locally and setting one up locally can be a nightmare if you don’t know how to use Terminal (Mac) or the Command Prompt (Windows). Luckily, MAMP Pro does all of the work for you. I have never used a more simpler program to get a new site built in a matter of minutes.
Simply create a folder with the install for your new website somewhere on your computer, and then in MAMP Pro click the “+” symbol, make a development name, select the folder that your website is in, and click start. This software really could not make it any easier to get a local website up and running in no time at all.
3. Tower (Git Client): (Paid)
There’s one aspect of development that can be extremely overwhelming, and that aspect is Git. Git is also known as version control. Git is essentially a way to create mini backups of all of your code files and record a history for them every time you make a change. This is very powerful when handling multiple files, folders, etc. But out of the box, Git can be overwhelming and kind of confusing if you don’t fully understand how to use it. Especially if you use it in terminal or command prompt.
Many platforms out there have attempted to make software to simplify this process, but I found pretty much all of them to be even more confusing than using the command line. The best one I have found for this is Tower. Tower is a Git client that has done a remarkable job at using Git to its full potential, while at the same time making it incredibly easy to use.
The UI (User Interface) is very straightforward and easy on the eyes. Its compatible with almost all platforms out there that host your repositories. And they also make having multiple repositories easy to navigate and use all in one place. It’s certainly a program you will want to take a look at especially if you use the command line and are just tired of using it.
4. Cyberduck: (Free)
One of the last key tools you will need when developing a website is an FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This will allow you to have access to live files and folders on a live web server. An FTP is an absolute must when developing because you can see exactly what files are on your website at all times. It is essentially one large hard drive in the cloud. Unfortunately, most of the options for FTP software out there are not easy on the eyes, lack a lot of features, and require paid subscriptions.
Well the good news is there’s an option that’s not only free, but it surpasses all of its competitors with ease of use, functionality/features, and overall user interface: Cyberduck. This software is one of the easiest programs to use and I never once have found myself struggling to know how to work it.
The whole program opens to an interface similar to the Finder window on a Mac, and navigation is a breeze. It comes jam packed with features such as the ability to edit files live on a server (which is cool but overall a terrible habit to get into), as well as offers a wide variety of connection types ranging from simple FTP, all the way to a Dropbox account. This software really handles it all and I highly recommend trying it out.
Develop Websites Faster
Keep in mind that all of the above tools are merely my opinions and recommendations, and by no means are they 100% the best out there. But overall, from my time developing, I have experimented with a variety of the competitors and have concluded that these are the best. They not only work for me, these tools help me develop at a faster, more efficient pace. I definitely recommend trying out at least one of these programs because I’m sure you will feel the same way about them.