Web developers’ toolboxes require more and more tools to build stellar websites. Identifying and testing them requires much time that may be used for the client’s work. New competitive tools are released every day, and developers should constantly update their tools.
We know how precious your time is, so we made a list of 20 free tools for website development. The list isn’t exhaustive, and we encourage everyone to share their favourite tools with us. Some suggestions are pretty well-known, while others are less known but have promising potential. Bear in mind that while some have free-forever plans, paid plans come with more features and extended functionality. You can test them yourself and add what works for you to your toolbox.
Team Management & Workflow
Team management & workflow is the first category in this list. These are tools that don’t effectively help you write code but skyrocket the efficiency of developers. Instead of listing the suggestions in a compact format, putting them into categories may help you identify the tools you need the most.
Trello isn’t a tool for developers, per se. It’s a collaboration system that helps individuals from all across the globe work together. Its main advantage is that people working remotely have a unified perspective over the evolution of the business. Trello is the ideal tool for development agencies—the project manager can create lists and tasks, assign deadlines, and update the team with client feedback. All this can be achieved within the friendly and straightforward Trello dashboard.
It’s hard to believe that you can call yourself a web developer if you haven’t heard of Github. Its tagline – “where the world builds software” – genuinely expresses the essence of the platform. Platforms that host software development are almost irreplaceable to the modern web developer. Github is the favourite place for web designers, thanks to a few noteworthy features.
First, it allows you to keep your files on the platform and have complete control over them. Second, Github is the perfect environment for collaborative coding. In a world where remote work has become the norm, Github has become even more prominent. Project management is a breeze thanks to Github’s automatization and enhanced security. Third, a Github account plays the role of a portfolio. Many recruiters ask the candidates for their Github public repositories – it’s a simple and effective manner of showing your skills. If possible, create a few public projects that might pique recruiters’ interest.
You know those movies where a geek works in front of a huge monitor, using two-three command-line interfaces and typing like crazy? Some people believe that coders work in this manner. Nobody is so skilled that they can write code that fast. In fact, both amateur and experienced designers frequently use Stackoverflow to ask for help. Getting stuck while coding is quite frequent, even for the most advanced programmers. Jokes like “Stackoverflow is the best friend of a developer” aren’t far from true.
Stackoverflow is a professional site where developers can ask for and offer help. Visit Stackoverflow if you’re having trouble with your coding projects. Search for questions similar to your issue and ask for help if you can’t find a solution. Briefly describe your project and issue to save the time of people willing to help you.
Make time to offer answers to other Stackoverflow users. Recruiters may also check your Stackoverflow account. It has an answer rating system, and getting a good reputation is an outstanding achievement. A good reputation might help you get a better job.
You won’t be a better coder by using browser extensions, but some of them save precious time. A few extensions inspect the webpage visited, others test the responsiveness, and others evaluate the sites’ performances. All in all, the below extensions deserve your attention.
You’d better check out this extension because it comes with many other time-saving features. The extension lets you play with the CSS styles—it disables all CSS code, or separately the inline, embedded, or browser default styles. In addition, it allows you to test all the images and forms of a webpage.
Visual Inspector is another Chrome extension that does a lot of practical jobs. Use it to inspect a webpage and learn the CSS styling of an exciting element of that page. In addition to the CSS code, it shows you the fonts, colour scheme, and visual assets of any webpage. Visual Inspector conveniently reveals accurate information for developers, so it’s no surprise that so many people love it.
Chrome Dev Tools and Firefox Developer Tools aren’t extensions, but they work only through browsers. Extensions are more convenient and simpler to use, but these tools provide many actionable data for developers. Use them to inspect elements, debug, monitor performance, and improve the site’s accessibility. Both offer complete documentation for these resources, no matter which browser you prefer.
A solid web design project starts with 360-degree research. Then, the designers put on paper the initial prototypes of the product. These works should be a faithful representation of the final product but be flexible enough to implement client feedback. Therefore, you need powerful tools that allow sketching high-fidelity designs while permitting fast revisions.
When it comes to sketches and prototypes, everyone thinks of Figma. It has many top-class competitors, but Figma is the tool most appreciated by designers. Although Figma isn’t a completely free tool, it has a free plan for sporadic usage.
The app is user-friendly and intuitive—you don’t need special training to get the basics. Use it to create fantastic designs, prototypes, and design systems. It fits both creative and web design projects. This nifty tool supports collaborative work, so designers worldwide can join together on the same platform, on the same project. Considering this, it’s apparent that Figma will continue having a large pool of users.
Google Chart has a pretty apt name—it’s a Google product to display charts. It’s not wrong to consider it a data visualization tool and one of the most remarkable tools for website development, too. What matters is that Google Chart is a powerful tool needed to display different types of charts. It’s completely free and straightforward to use, has a large set of templates, and may show data in real-time.
You need a tool for choosing a good colour scheme for your project. It’s time to give Coolors a try if you don’t have a tool in this respect in your toolbox. This tool generates colour palettes, provides inspiration, picks colours from images, and creates collages. The app is free, but you have to pay for extra features and ad removal. Coolors has a Chrome extension that lets you extract the colours directly from any webpage opened in your browser.
You tend to ignore the role of fonts if you are more passionate about coding. However, you may be coding in vain if the fonts are unreadable or ugly. As folks involved in website development, we tend to view a web page differently. It’s paramount to understand that casual people look at a web page differently than a web developer. Those people don’t inspect the CSS style; they read your content, so the font pairing is relevant.
Fontjoy is for those website crafters who care about the users—it helps to single out beautiful font pairings. The tool is extremely simple, and you will love how it deals with font pairing.
Like fonts and colours, icons are small elements that make a big difference. A productive developer should have collections of icons. Still, it’s pretty unproductive to save the icon collections on your computer hard drive. Iconfinder is like Google for icons, and it simplifies your work. Just search for the proper icons and use them in your projects. Pay attention that some icons require you to own a premium subscription.
Steve Jobs once said, “The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works.” However, code is responsible for a functional design. You need clean and robust code for good design. Any dev could greatly benefit from the following tools.
The number of unresponsive sites and apps is in a considerable decline. Online entrepreneurs realized that mobile users expect high-standard experiences, and responsiveness is a must. However, responsiveness alone isn’t enough! People want mobile-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and visually appealing. It complicates the life of a designer, but the customer is always right!
The Responsively App is a tool that deserves your attention. It allows you to verify how your site looks on dozens of screens. Select a webpage, the screen sizes, and start testing. The app mirrors all your interactions—clicks, mouse movements, scrolls, on all the screens. In this way, you can instantly see how your website looks on a bunch of screen sizes.
We couldn’t skip featuring a code editor in this list, and Visual Studio Code is one of our favourite suggestions for writing code. We recommend Visual Studio Code because it’s a developer-friendly editor with a modern interface that works for an extensive array of purposes. It has macOS, Windows, and Linux versions, so don’t worry about compatibility issues. On top of that, the countless extensions save the time and nerves of the devs.
Atom is a modern and good-looking alternative to Visual Studio Code. This code editor isn’t suitable for large projects, but it covers the needs of the majority of developers. It works on all major operating systems, allows multiple panes, and has a smart autocomplete system, a built package manager, and numerous cool themes.
Are you tired of articles highlighting how important the loading speed is? Speed is capital, and designers and developers should do everything possible to deliver a fast-loading site or app. PageSpeed Insights is one of the best and simple tools for website development. Don’t consider it just a tool to assess the site speed. PageSpeed Insights is a resource to create modern digital experiences. Build a website with speed in mind; don’t treat speed as an optional feature. PageSpeed Insights is a must-have resource for web development.
Are learning resources simple tools for website development? To some extent, a learning platform isn’t a tool to improve the workflow. On the other hand, self-preparation isn’t a fad, and every website creator should spend some time learning new techniques. The following suggestions are enjoyable and effective.
Over to You
We hope that at least one tool from this list piqued your curiosity. As a site creator, you must always stay updated on what’s new in the industry. All of these suggested tools will help you design better websites in less time. Give them a try, and let us know which one is your favourite.