Have you ever considered how websites are created by web developers, or what tools they use to actually put one together? Maybe you are considering a career as a web designer and want to find some basic tools that will make the job easier?

The digital and design world is constantly evolving, but there are a number of tools that web developers keep in their arsenal to make their workflow more efficient. Here are a few of these tools.

Notepad editors: These are simply text editors that allow you to create a file from scratch using a specific programming language, such as HTML or CSS. You can also edit these files very easily using a notepad editor and they can be downloaded form the internet. Examples include Notepad++, Brackets, Komodo Edit, Visual Studio Code and MeetingWords.

The latter text editor is the only one that is web based and allows multiple users to collaborate and edit the document at the same time. If you are working as a team and need this collaborative functionality, then explore MeetingWords, otherwise start with Notepad++ and if that doesn’t work for you try one of the other editors mentioned above.

Dreamweaver: Although not as popular as it once was with developers, Dreamweaver is still the HTML editor of choice for many professionals. It can also edit PHP, Javascript, XML, CSS and related files, even uploading these files to the website. This is a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get) and so it’s very popular with beginners to web design. Developers however, like Dreamweaver because it makes it easy to write code when they are creating their websites (they  usually ignore the WYSIWYG editor) and they can also create grid responsive layouts for desktops, tablets and smartphones all at once, as well as creating native apps.

WAMP/LAMP development environments: WAMP refers to Windows OS and Lamp Linux to OS stacks. Essentially, each of these environments is composed of four pieces of software in stacks, three of which are identical: A = Apache web server, M = MySQL, a database management system, and P = PHP, Python or Perl scripting language. The L in Lamp refers to Linux and the W in Wamp refers to Windows. Both Lamp and Wamp are perfect for local development of your websites before they are uploaded to the server.

Staging Servers: These are servers where web developers host the websites that they are working on after they has gone through local development and been uploaded to the internet. These websites that are still in development are usually loaded into subdirectories or subdomains of the parent site and are not available to the public. Clients can be given access to these staging sites to provide feedback and since they are now online, they can be tested in a real hosting environment.

Management Software: This software is just about essential when you are managing multiple websites, because it allows you to manage them from a single dashboard. Examples include ManageWP, Main WP, InfiniteWP, iControlWP and WP Remote. Each has their own idiosyncrasies, but all allow you to update plugins and themes, as well as perform backups and core updates for multiple websites without having to access each website individually.

GIT: This is a version control system that tracks changes in computer files and updates these files amongst multiple users. This means that other developers in your team can make changes to the code and these changes will be shown on your version of the code, as soon as you update the version on your computer. GIT makes it easier to collaborate on web development projects, saving you from having to email code or save it to a flash drive.

WordPress: This is an open source CMS (content management system) used by more than a quarter of all online websites. Many clients prefer their websites to be built in WordPress as it’s simple for them to update their content without knowing anything about programming or writing code, so it’s very user friendly.

Photoshop: Used by graphic designers, photographers, video editors and web developers, Photoshop is a piece of software that allows you to edit images, illustrations, artwork, videos and photos. You can change colours, manipulate or retouch the images and videos, create compositions, add text, remove people and generally do just about anything you need to do to these files using Photoshop, you can even create website layouts.

Icon Fonts: Before the internet, fonts just applied to letters and numbers, but now there are icon fonts that refer to symbols and glyphs and are just about essential to web developers. These can include social media buttons, shopping cart buttons, envelopes and so on. The huge benefit of icon fonts is that they can be created off the cuff by the designer and can be changed just using CSS. The number, types and designs of icon fonts are limitless, so you can easily create custom icon fonts for each of your clients.

With all of these tools for website design and development, you shouldn’t have any problems getting your business up and running.

Featured Image Source: Pexels/Picjumbo.com

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