Jan 17, 2019

Website Development Tools

While you can build a website with nothing but a text editor and coding knowledge, modern web development tools make the process so much simpler, particularly if you have to design complex sites over and over again. This overview of useful front end tools is handy for everyone from complete beginners to intermediate developers who want to take their work to the next level.

Front End Languages

Though technically not a ""tool"" per se, the three most important programming languages for a Front-End Web Developer must be on the list of things you'll need to know in order to develop websites.

Text Editors

Like a word processor, a text editor is the program in which front end developers write their code. There are plenty of great text editors to choose from, many of which are open source. The option that works best for you is likely to depend on everything from your workstyle and aesthetic taste to your operating system. Some text editors, like Atom, have customizable displays and allow you to open multiple tabs as you work on complex projects. Other options include Sublime Text and Notepad Plus Plus.

Collaboration and Version Control Tools

Most front end developers end up collaborating with other developers, particularly when they work for a large company. Even if you go it alone, it's still helpful to be able to share your work before you actually push it to the web, and it's also nice to look at what other people are doing. This means that sharing your work can be important. CodePen is an online community with a text editor feature that allows you to upload your code and show it off. GitHub is a much more popular and essential collaboration tool because it allows for version control, which means that multiple people can work on the same codebase without irrevocably messing anything up.

JavaScript Libraries

Code libraries are useful repositories of code that other developers make available in order to make life easier for everyone. Front end developers tend to work with JavaScript libraries more than any other kind, though other languages, like Python, also have libraries. React is one of the more popular JavaScript libraries available, and some companies may even post job listings specifically for React developers.

Design Tools

Front end design tools are often the same tools that graphic designers use, like Photoshop and less-expensive (and often less powerful) tools like Canva. Many front end developers also work with wireframing tools. A wireframe is basically the initial design for what a website will look like. Wireframing tools like Adobe XD and Wireframe.cc can also be considered part of the essential front end toolkit, though some devs prefer to use other tools to create their initial layouts.