Useful Tools in Web Development
As a front end developer at Blueprint, I work on a lot of projects. I work on many different stages of front-end development, starting from converting PSD to WordPress templates to implementing cool jQuery effects. Today, I want to share with you the tools I use to make the front-end web development process easier.
I am a Mac user, both at work and at home. TextWrangler is a good choice for both my work and personal projects. TextWrangler is a free text editor available for Apple computers. I use TextWrangler to edit CSS and work on WordPress themes. I started using TextWrangler even before working at Blueprint, and the main reason is because the program is completely free. However, considering it is a free program, TextWrangler has a lot of capabilities. One feature I really find useful is comparing two files to find differences. For any situation when I need to make sure I am not overwriting something important, I use the “Compare Two Front Windows” option under Search menu.
If you are a Windows user, you might want to consider Notepad++ as a choice for a free text editor.
Adobe Photoshop is pretty self-explanatory. Here at Blueprint, our designers make the website mockups as PSD files, and the developers use Photoshop to get what they need from those mockups. Photoshop is particularly useful to me for grabbing HEX and RGB values for writing CSS. Most of the time, I use HEX values, but RGB values do come in handy when using
Of course, Photoshop isn’t used only for making website mockups. It could be useful in editing images as well.
My personal choice for FTP clients is FileZilla. It is the program that I started out with, and although I have used other FTP clients in the past, I always come back to FileZilla. It is available for free for both Mac and Windows computers.
Blueprint uses a different setup for working on client websites, but when I am working on personal projects, I like to set up a local server on my machine. MAMP does exactly that. MAMP installs Apache, PHP, and MySQL on the computer so you could set up CMS sites locally. I use MAMP to set up WordPress sites locally on my computer so I could work on WordPress themes on my computer instead of doing all the edits on a live website.
MAMP is only available for Mac computers. If you would like an alternative program or if you use Windows, you could use XAMPP instead.
If you are a more “advanced” front-end developer and would like to get started in mobile development, you could check out my other article: Useful Tools in Mobile Development. I hope you found the programs I listed useful in your front-end development process, and if you have other program suggestions, leave a comment!