As developers, many times we don’t want to just type syntax for everything or search for images, for example. Nor we would create icons or images every time. So, we hunt for tools that make the coding process easier and faster. These “helper” tools can be used in our day-to-day life to minimize coding or searching time.
These “happy to help” tools are available over the internet, but we have to ask, “Which of these tools would be best to use or give the desired result?”
As a Full Stack Web Developer at Cognizant Softvision’s Ahmedabad Studio, I have weeded through the myriad tools to decipher which are the best, most useful tools. Read on to discover my findings and stop wasting valuable time searching for tools.
THE TOP TOOLS:
For any front-end developer, HTML is a basic required technology. Below are some tools that could be especially useful for freshers, which can help when starting with HTML coding.
- HTML code generator: webcode.tools/html-generator
- HTML symbols/entities: toptal.com/designers/htmlarrows/symbols
- HTML5 template starter: github.com/iandevlin/html5bones
- HTML reference: html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/indices.html
- HTML code standard guide: codeguide.co/#html
- Validate HTML: validator.w3.org
The second most essential technology is CSS. Here you’ll find some helpful tools to make the tedious task of writing CSS easier and faster.
- CSS3 code generator: webcode.tools/css-generator
- CSS entities: w3schools.com/cssref/css_entities.asp
- Flexbox grid playground: flexbox.help
- CSS media query generator: giona.net/tools/css3-mediaquery-generator or simplecss.eu
- Create gradients: uigradients.com
- Font unit convertor (px to rem): pxtorem.com
- Transpiling/Preprocessor: sass-lang.com
- Naming color: chir.ag/projects/name-that-color
- Color details: htmlcsscolor.com
- Specificity calculator: specificity.keegan.st
- Responsive check: app.xrespond.com
Code optimization is the most important factor after writing all the code to achieve the best performance of the web and app. There are many factors to take into consideration when working on page performance.
- Minify JS & CSS: minifier.org
- Image optimization: jpeg-optimizer.com and tinypng.com are the most effective free tools for JPG and PNG formats, respectively.
- All image optimization: imagecompressor.com
- Find out page performance: gtmetrix.com
- All beautifier tools: codebeautify.org
- Code beautifier: beautifier.io
It is hard to imagine a site or an app without graphics. They really enhance layout and user experience seems more effective. Below are some valuable tools for finding images and icons that are available for free use.
- Free stock images: pexels.com and pixabay.com
- Free stock images with API: unsplash.com
- Dummy image placeholders: source.unsplash.com
- placeholder.com and picsum.photos
- Free icons: iconfinder.com
- Group package icons: flaticon.com
- Fun world of emojis: emojipedia.org
- UIKit/Icons: graphicburger.com
Browser – Add-ons, Extensions
Chrome is undoubtedly a powerful and popular browser with so many inbuilt tools, such as Chrome DevTools, or pretty add-ons or extensions to make your life easier. Firefox and other browsers also have most of these features/tools available.
- Online coding or in-browser coding: The most popular one is codepen. Others are jsfiddle and liveweave
- Check browser compatibility: caniuse.com
- In browser wireframing: app.moqups.com
- Color picker – Chrome Ext.: ColorZilla
- Page load time – Chrome Ext.: Page load time
- Page ruler – Chrome Ext.: Page Ruler
- Full-screen capture – Chrome Ext.: Full Page Screen Capture
These different types of generators are useful to quickly get the data you desire.
If we do a Google search, there are many types of other generators available, for example, logo, web template, prototypes, and so on. However, the following are my go-to generators:
- Text generator: blindtextgenerator.com/lorem-ipsum
- Favicon generator: favicon-generator.org
- Data Generator: mockaroo.com
Accessibility & Learning
When you develop a web for disability-specific standards these are the most helpful tools for compliance standards.
- Accessibility guideline: accessibility.18f.gov/index.html
- Accessibility resources: webaim.org/resources
- Accessibility evaluation: wave.webaim.org
- All dev tutorials: devdocs.io
- Some excellent courses: Udemy and Wesbos
- Free snippets: freefrontend.com
- CSS snippets: css.30secondsofcode.org
- Good articles: FreeCodeCamp
- Design inspiration: designspiration.com
- Email design templates: reallygoodemails.com
Most popular tools of 2019
These are the tools that we all might be using daily. They are the most popular tools as per a 2019 survey. Most of these tools have been used in many of my projects.
- Code editors: Atom, VSCode, Sublime Text
- Prototyping: Webflow, InVision, Uxpin
- Mockup & designs: Sketch, Photoshop
- Mobile app development: Ionic 2
- Installing packages: NPM
- Task automation: Gulp, Grunt
- Best free CMS (especially for blogging): WordPress
- Code hosting & management: GitHub with Sourcetree
- Manage multiple social media network: Buffer
- File sharing & communication: Slack
- Online surveys: SurveyMonkey
- Email marketing platform: MailChimp
- Free project management suite: Freedcamp
- FTP File upload: FileZilla
- Web hosting: Bluehost
Your search for the best tools is over. Please refer to this handy guide during your next project.
More About this Article
In September 2019, Cognizant Softvision celebrated the 5th edition of Programmers’ Week, a global event where more than 140 speakers delivered technical-talks from Argentina, US, Canada, India, Ukraine, and Romania. Archana Atara, Full Stack Web Developer from our Ahmedabad Studio delivered a presentation about Lifesaver Tools for Developers.