Here’s a list of tools, tips, and sites that I find very valuable when it comes to developing and learning. A large amount of this list came from my Web Programming professor Les Lusk. Hopefully this list will become useful to someone other than myself if not it will still serve as a good reference when setting up development images for friends to use. As I continue to grow I am sure this list will do the same.
Opera – The forgotten of the top three browsers. Now available for free! This is the number one browser for cell phone users!
Firefox – Firefox is the best all around browser for Web development. It is also the fastest growing and second-most popular.
Safari – You already have this if you are a Mac user, but now Window’s users can also download for free!
All of these utilities work from within the FireFox browser:
- ColorZilla – A collection of tools, including a Color Picker similar to the one found in Photoshop
- Edit Cookies – add, edit and delete session and saved cookies
- FireShot – a Firefox extension that creates screenshots of Web pages.
- HTML Validator – Adds HTML and XHTML validation to your browser
- IE View – adds “View this page in IE” to your FireFox Menus
- Opera View – adds “View this page in Opera” to your FireFox Menus
- Safari View – adds “View this page in Safari” to your FireFox Menus
- Link Checker – Checks for valid links on any given page
- MeasureIt – a ruler to measure height/width for any page element
- Web Developer – assorted Web Developer tools for your browser – a must have.
HTML-Kit – Free full functioned editor with XHTML conversion utility/split screen viewing and the ability to load external plug-in utilities.
Jedit – A cross platform programmer’s text editor written in Java that is customizable with plugins (requires Java to be installed on your machine). Make sure to download the “stable version” not the “latest version” for best results.
HTML Validator Lite – The free lightweight version of the HTML Validator software.
TopStyle Lite – Free CSS editor
FileZilla – FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP client with a “Windows Explorer” type of interface, lots of useful features, the ability to resume downloads and the SSH/SFTP.
FireFTP – a plug-in for FireFox which gives you instant access to FTP from within your browser.
Net Mechanic – Check HTML coding/load time (up to 20 pages with registration)
Net Tuts+ – Web Developer and Design Tutorials (Great Resource to have)
pForm – Quick and easy form creation. (This will save you a lot of time)
SitePoint – Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers (Books and Useful Articles)
TAW (Web Accessibility Test) – A tool for the analysis of Web sites, based on the W3C – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0).
Web Pages That Suck – Learn good web design by looking at bad web design
Windows/Mac Users – install MySQL/PHP at once:
- XAMPP – XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract and start.
- AMPstart – You can use this with XAMPP to allow your environment to run on a USB key!
Windows Users – install the entire package at once:
- WampServer – WampServer is a Windows Web development environment. It allows you to create Web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHPMyAdmin and SQLiteManager to easily manage your databases. WampServer installs automatically (installer), and its usage is very intuitive. You will be able to tune your server without even touching the setting files.
or install all of the services separately:
- Apache HTTP server – The number one Web server in the world. (open source)
- MySQL – MySQL database server.
- PHP – PHP programming language.
- PHPmyAdmin – Web Interface for MySQL. Eliminates the need to do command line administration.
Zone Alarm – Personal firewall software. If you don’t have a firewall on your machine – you should!
Font Lister – Free font viewing and printing utility. You can view the fonts on your machine both installed or in a folder
Cliptrak – Multiple Clipboard Utility
CPUID – Is a freeware app that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system. (Must Have)
WinDirStat – WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows (all current variants). “Great Way to identify what’s eating up your disk space.”