20 Awesome Tools for Web Development
The Internet is more accessible now than it ever was. You can go online straight from your handheld, browse it from your laptop as soon as you sit down in a coffee shop and surf it at leisure from your own home. Naturally this has put quite some pressure on the shoulders of all web developers and designers out there. They now have to produce both engaging and memorable websites and layouts for them that would scale to any resolution. Luckily there are a number of tools and services out there that were designed especially to make their life easier. Here are out top picks.
Looking for beautifully designed themes and templates that are also fully responsive? Then head over to Gridgum, a niche market place where you will find stunning themes and templates created by passionate authors who will even help you out if you need any help. Gridgum emphasizes quality rather than quantity and this is why both sellers and buyers are encouraged to use it. The marketplace offers WordPress and Bootstrap themes and also Admin Panels for people who are shopping for their new website. Gridgum accepts themes created with Bootstrap, Gumby and Skeleton frameworks. As a buyer on Gridgum you will receive points with each purchase that can be redeemed as discounts on future orders and Gridgum doesn’t have the PayPal surcharge other markets do for those clients who pay through this service. You can also reach out to the theme or template author if you need help with anything, or you can contact Gridgum support who will assist you on any topic. As a seller, a few short guidelines would be to make your themes responsive and give each of them a unique name. Also, the themes have to be tested in multiple browsers, the documentation must be in English and you should emphasize the visual quality. On an exclusive theme you’ll receive 70% and for selling a non-exclusive one, 45%.
One of the easiest ways of managing the content of your website is by using ExpressionEngine. ExpressionEngine is a powerful and flexible content management tool created by EllisLab. With this tool the content of your website is completely separated from the design, which gives you the freedom to display it however you want or need: responsive, mobile-first, cutting-edge desktop displays or even powering REST data used for integration with other apps and services. ExpressionEngine will perfectly suit any type of website, whether you have a personal blog, an online shop, a tourism or a real-estate site. Plus, the tool is very easy to use for anyone, even if you don’t have design or development skills. However, if you’re a programmer, you’ll find ExpressionEngine to be one of the most flexible content management tools. If you encounter any problems, getting help is easy thanks to community resources like ExpressionEngine Answers at StackExchange.
HTML5Maker is the perfect tool for people who are dealing with advertising, ad campaigns or even for people who want to bring a spark to their personal blog. HTML5Maker is a tool that helps you create animated multimedia content such as sliders or banners that you can embed in your website. If you’re worried about not having any programming experience, don’t be, the tool is very easy to use and you don’t have to write any code. There’s a large variety of ready-to-use templates at your disposal that you can edit and download anytime. The Online Animation Editor and the Online Image Editor will get you started with your animations. The animations you create will be compatible with Google Double-Click and Google AdWords, making them perfect for any type of ad campaign you might have in mind. Furthermore, you can embed your animations from the cloud into your website and share them as a Template with your friends or customers.
Whether you want to revive your online shop or start a new business and create your own eCommerce website, Argentotheme.com is one of the best places to get started. The Argento theme is the best Magento template you’ll find. It was created based on the best eCommerce stores practices and according to all Magento developers’ guidelines. The template is optimized for SEO and speed and it’s also completely responsive. Argento works great on any sort of device, because it scales to fit any screen resolution so you don’t have to create a separate mobile application for it as it also runs on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Although Magento is a complex eCommerce platform, you don’t have to worry about the installation of the template. Professional developers will get your template installed for free in less than 24 hours. Argento is powered by 14 of the most popular extensions such as AJAX search, easy catalog sliders, products highlights and many others that will make your website more user-friendly.
MeridianThemes is one of the best places to find a wide variety of responsive WordPress themes. All of the themes are well designed and highly functional. Besides, they’re highly customizable with the help of features like the Drag&Drop Builder, custom widgets or shortcodes and the good news is you don’t have to write a single line of code.
MeridianThemes has now come up with a new set of tools to help you make your website even more appealing and user-friendly, called the Meridian Styler.
Free Icon Maker
If you are tired of using the same pre-defined icon sets for your web site and you are ready to start making your own, then head over to FreeIconMaker.com to let your creativity flow. Free Icon Maker allows you to create an unlimited number of icon sets in just a matter of seconds. And you don’t need designer skills either. Just look through their extensive gallery of hundreds of icon sets, choose the one you were looking for and then customize it to suit your web site. You can also upload your own vector (SVG) icons and share the icon sets as a template with other users when your work is done. You can experiment with color, gradients, shadows, depth and size. Your icon’s quality will not be affected by resizing it because it’s vector based so, it will still look neat. So head over to Free Icon Maker and create your own beautiful iOS 8, Flat and 3D icon sets for free.
BugMuncher is a helpful tool that will enable you to receive feedback and bug reports on your live site from you users. BugMuncher helps you help your users, so everyone is happy. If you are familiar with the scenario in which you receive an email that only says “your site is not working properly” you know there are users who have a hard time properly explaining their issue. Therefore, you have a hard time pinpointing the problem and moving on to fixing it. BugMuncher will allow your users to highlight the issue on your site and take a snapshot of it. This will then be sent directly to your mailbox. Along with the snapshot you’ll also receive precious data about your user like his operating system, his browser and his installed plugins. By passing custom information about your users into BugMuncher you’ll be able to use all of it to recreate the conditions under which the feedback report was sent to you.
XStudio is a highly advanced test management solution that allows you to control the entire life-cycle of your products: design, carry through and log your manual tests much easier than before. XStudio comes with a bug-tracking database that will help you handle your defects and link them to your tests, specifications, requirements and products. XStudio is the ideal tool for your customer because it has outstanding tools to measure the coverage of your testing, like the traceability matrix, the execution progress and the quality index of your web site. Another cool feature is that XStudio is the only test management tool that can be interfaced with proprietary tests due to its particularly flexible and easy to use Java SDK. You will also be able to schedule or run fully automated test campaigns. And since it uses MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server for data storing, XStudio can be used from Windows, Linux or Mac.
VirtueMart is a full online eCommerce solution that is free for everyone to use and has no limitations: it can support an unlimited number of products, orders, clients and categories. Keep your clients happy and satisfied with VirtueMart by offering them a customizable input form, so they don’t have to always fill in the Bill To and Ship To fields. VirtueMart is used together with the Content Management System Joomla and they are both free to use and download. You can change the look and feel of your website by using the templates for Joomla! sites, which use CSS and XHTML. With VirtueMart you can keep a stocking or inventory and send warnings to your customers when stock is almost gone. The Dynamical Calculator will make sure your prices are always up to date. It will also calculate tax and discounts for you, taking into account the shopper’s group and geographical location. Also, go to their website right now and check out all the new features they’ve bundled up in their newest release VM3. With this new version of VirtueMart, the development team aimed to get cleaner code in their tool and eliminate some of the dependency issues it had, while at the same time increasing the integration with Joomla!.
MotoCMS is a website builder (content management system) that enables the users to update their websites by applying and viewing the changes in the blink of an eye. Their Admin Panel promises that customizing the look of your website is no harder than arranging the icons on your desktop. The truth is MotoCMS will allow you to create attractive, functional and SEO-friendly websites easily, without having any coding knowledge or programming skills. With just a few clicks you can improve your personal site to make it look like you’ve always wanted. You will be able to create multilingual sites, you will have an Image Editor and an extensive Media Library. Add search fields, subscribe buttons or a photo gallery in no time. MotoCMS will make sure everything looks neat. However, if you have problems and need some help, reach out to MotoCMS’ staff that will gladly assist you with anything.
If you need to quickly gather feedback from your users, to attract new viewers to your website or just collect some answers, Opinion Stage will help you create the poll you need. Opinion Stage helps you make standard or social polls, enabling you to customize them the way you like. Decide what information you want the poll to display (number of votes or voters), add your question, choose what type of answers you expect from your users (multiple choice or head to head) and your poll is all ready to be posted on your Facebook wall. Opinion Stage will keep you informed about how your polls are performing at all times: check how many times they have been shared, see on what social platforms they are trending and even how many new users they are bringing over to your site. Once you have the results, you can filter them by country, gender, age and time span.
Webflow is one of the best website builders available online. Using Webflow you will have access to a drag and drop website maker that will help you create your pages and take care to generate all the code for you. What’s more you can even handle your design needs straight from Webflow, no need for additional Photoshop work. Webflow will make sure to create all the code you need in order to have a fully functional website as soon as you’re done creating it visually.
Uptime Robot is a tool every web developer, website or server owner must have. This tool offers you 50 monitors with 5 minute interval checks completely free. What this means is that Uptime Robot is a service that will help you be on top of every situation when your website or server might go down. As soon as you set up a monitor form Uptime Robot’s simple to use dashboard, that monitor will check every 5 minutes to see if there are any isuess with the server or website and let you know as soon as a problem arises. You have complete freedom to choose the way in which you want to be informed be it e-mail, Twitter, SMS or more. And that’s not all Uptime Robot offers, this service also offers you the posibility to monitor your uptime and your response time, serving you up the statistics straight into your dashboard.
The team behind WPJobBoard has just launched a plugin for WordPress that helps you create a classifieds page in no time or add a classifieds section to your already existing website. Adverts benefits fully from all the experience gathered by the team and can be easily installed like all WordPress plugins and will work seamlessly with all properly coded WordPress themes. What’s more, Adverts can easily be extended with your own shortcodes and developers will also find that adding hooks and filters to this plugin takes a very small amount of effort. Adverts was designed to be modular, meaning that you have complete freedom to choose what features you want to activate and which ones you’d like to keep deactivated. Also, Adverts is easy to integrate with third party plugins, the development team is working on offering you a full list of them and the first ones available are Yoast SEO and Jetpack.
When thinking of a layout for your website there are a lot of things you must take into consideration, but CoffeeCup is the tool to help you keep everything under control. CoffeeCup is an online development tool that helps you create your very own website without any coding skills. Aside from the responsive layout maker and HTML Editor, CoffeeCup will also give you access to more that 70 factors on which you can analyze both your website’s usability and its search rank.
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