20 key tools to make web development a piece of cake
Today web developers are rushing from one project to another, expected to complete them at an increasing speed and improved quality. That's why many web developers support themselves with an arsenal of powerful tools that help them to make the most from time spent working on a project. Here are 20 key web development tools to help you become productive and increase the quality of your projects.
1. Tickera (https://tickera.com/)
This classic is a simple WordPress plugin and most likely the best event ticketing system ever. It's perfect for those who want to easily create and sell tickets on their websites. Tickera is free and comes with a Barcode Reader which plays an important role in speeding up the check-in process. It's incredibly versatile – it supports more than 85 payment gateways in over 50 countries. Bonus: you can change your payment gateway at any time.
2. Daily Hosting (http://www.dailyhosting.net/)
If you're searching for a reliable web hosting solution, go straight to DailyHosting.net. The platforms offers lots of practical information to help you choose and buy a perfect solution matching your requirements. You'll find a free guide for comparing various hosting options and a selection of useful reviews offering insights about different hosting solutions.
3. WP Adverts (http://wpadverts.com/)
If you're looking for a tool to help you create a classifieds website or add this functionality to an existing one, WP Adverts is your go-to solution. Developed by the team behind WPJobBoard, Adverts is a plugin which helps to easily manage classifieds. The tool works with any WordPress theme, and can be additionally integrated with other plugins – by now, it's only Yoast SEO and Jetpack, but more are coming.
4. XQual (http://www.xqual.com/)
XStudio is basically a test management suite which will be of great help in different aspects of your project – test reports, tests, versions, customer business requirements and problems. With Xqual you'll be able to design, carry through and log manual tests, or schedule fully automated test campaigns. It uses MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server for data storing and works on Windows, Linux or Mac. But that's not everything – the tool also features versioned data to help you instantly receive required metrics and indicators for test coverage, progress or team’s performance.
5. Uptime Robot (http://www.uptimerobot.com/)
This is an online service that proves really helpful for motoring HTTP(s), Ping, Port and Check Keywords. Both website and server owners appreciate its functionalities. Using 50 monitors of Uptime Robot, you'll be kept up to date about your uptime, downtime and response times. It's intuitive to use, easy to set and checks websites or servers every 5 minutes – once it spots a problem, you'll be immediately notified by email, SMS, mobile push message or RSS.
6. HTML5 Maker (http://html5maker.com/)
This is probably one of the best tools around for creating all kinds of animated multimedia. We're talking things like banners or sliders, which can now be made by users who have not a creative bone in their bodies. It's easy to use, features lots of interesting options and can generate great visual elements in a matter of minutes. It includes Online Animation Editor and Online Image Editor to make your life easier. Everything you create will be compatible with Google AdWords and Google Double-Click.
7. Fontello (http://fontello.com/)
Typography is all the rage right now and icon fonts are very attractive visually. To easily create icon fonts, you should check Fontello, which is full of fantastic icons. You can choose required glyphs and compile them into a minimalist set of your own. Everything you find on Fonetello is also available on GitHub, but the tool is much nicer to use – it has a great interface that will help you in icon customization.
8. Opinion Stage (http://www.opinionstage.com/)
Sometimes you need feedback from your users in order to, say, improve the number of daily pageviews of your website and that's when Opinion Stage comes in. This tool is an opinion polling service for websites. It allows to easily create your own polls to boost user engagement or target social sharing. All polls available in this tool can be customized – you can even set details like answer types (multiple choice or head to head kind).
9. D3.js (http://d3js.org/)
10. Load Impact (https://loadimpact.com/)
It's clear that load time is extremely important for the conversion rate of websites. To measure and improve your load time, check what Load Impact has to offer. It's based in the cloud, and will help you to test and optimize websites through a generated traffic load from simulating users. This is the easiest way to test the performance of a website. You can do the same for a web app, a mobile app or even an API with up to 1.2 million concurrent users.
11. MotoCMS (http://motocms.com/)
If you'd like to build a professionally-looking website, but have no patience for coding, MotoCMS is your best solution. A recognized website builder, MotoCMS will provide you with everything you might want for your site (search fields, photo galleries, subscription buttons and many more). Your website will have a nice polished layout and will be SEO-friendly, complying to the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
12. Webflow (https://webflow.com/)
This is another great CMS tool for building websites without writing a single line of code. Its drag and drop interface is really easy to use – it's all it takes to add elements you'd like to have on your website and you'll instantly get a relevant code snippet. Webflow offers a range of tools for customizing the design of your website. Moreover, the HTML5 and CSS3 code will be always W3S compliant and compatible across browsers.
13. Themify (http://themify.me/)
If you're looking for great templates and cannot find anything to suit your needs, have a look at Themify. All themes offered here are easy to customize and include lots of features like Drag&Drop Builder, shortcodes and custom widgets. Again, you won't need to write a single line of code. Their offer is constantly expanding – a recent novelty are the Builder Addons, which significantly extend the Themify Builder functionalities.
14. Kukook (http://www.kukook.com/)
When you're in a development frenzy and one deadline piles over another, you'll hardly have to time for creating a professionally-looking resume. That's when Kukook come is – it's your best solution for building an eye-catching resume. It's a repository of fantastic CV templates, which can be modified to suit your tastes and purposes. Needless to say, creative resumes grab recruiters' attention and will improve your chances at landing great job working on exciting projects.
15. Quirk Tools (http://quirktools.com/)
This is a set of 4 different tools, each incredibly powerful and smart. Smaps allows to build site maps, taxonomy or hierarchy data for private or public projects. All generated content can be exported to PDF. Wires is a tool for creating interactive wireframes and prototypes inside web browsers. The third tool, Screenfly is used for responsive screen testing on monitors, tablets and smart phones. Finally, Retro is a free tool which reports your data of your device (screen and viewport size, pixel ratio, user agent string, IP address and more). Nice set, right?
16. Browser Shots (http://browsershots.org/)
Browser Shots is a tool every web developer should use – it generates screenshots of websites in different resolutions and different web browsers. Perfect for testing, the tool will show you how your website looks at 800x600 and 1024x768 resolution and check whether six commonly used web browsers display it correctly. All you need to do is type in your URL and a group of distributed computers will instantly upload screenshots of the website for you.
17. Free Icon Maker (https://freeiconmaker.com/)
This is a nice alternative to Fontello. Free Icon Maker helps developers to design icon sets with no limits. You can easily make your icons here – you'll find a vast icon gallery and once you pick one that you like, you can easily customize it with color, inner shadow, gradients and size. When resized, you can be sure that your icon set won't lose quality – all files are vector based.
18. Basecamp (https://basecamp.com/)
A classic tool developed by 37signals, Basecamp is easily the most popular online tool that helps web developers to effectively manage and improve team collaboration. It runs in the cloud and most developers are familiar with its functionalities. Basecamp is your tool of choice if you want to deliver projects faster and manage a truly productive team.
19. Paper.js (http://paperjs.org/)
If you're interested in vector graphics scripting, Paper.js is your best solution. Free and open source, this smart framework runs on top of the HTML5 Canvas to provide developers with a clean scene graph and DOM for creating and using vector graphics and bezier curves. Its consistent and intelligible programming interface is a big plus. Definitely a nice tool to check.
20. CoffeeCup (http://www.coffeecup.com/)
This is simply a responsive layout maker to help you with all sorts of requirements with custom, content-driven layouts you might have. You can create your own designs easily and analyze more than 70 factors which impact your website’s usability and search rank. But that's not all! You'll also receive a form builder to make forms useful for your business.
Web developers stick to many classic tools, but once they spot an interesting alternative, they'll immediately dive into it to check how functional it really is. It always helps to read reviews before you settle on a tool or framework, and you can be sure that there's a tool for every single need you might have when creating websites.
Author: Torri Myler of http://www.bankopening.co.uk/