Web design and development tools

1 June 2011

Web design and development involves a lot for work. From the initial stages of coming up with an idea for how a site should look to actually making it happen, a website can take months or longer before it actually exists. Luckily, there are a lot of tools to help speed up and simplify the process.

Graphics Design Tools

Graphics design tools are used to map out the layout of various pages on a website, as well as for smaller more subtle elements, such as the favicon, that small icon that appears in the address bar near your site's URL. Adobe's Photoshop and Fireworks are programs used by professionals. There are also free programs and websites to help generate graphics, such as BGPatterns, which will generate a background image for your website.


Code Editor

All websites are made with some sort of code. This code may be a combination of HTML and CSS. While any text editor can be used to create this code, some make the process easier. One program that is available on Macs is Panic Coda. It not only is a coding program, but it allows users to perform other functions such as FTP processes. Firebug is another program that assists in the coding part of Web development. It is an add-on for Firefox that allows immediate code editing and testing.


Educational Tools

If you are a beginner in Web design or development, all the code and processes can be intimidating. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you over the initial hurdles. Roxer and Weebly, for example, can help you construct a website very easily. Other programs can help you add various elements to your website. For example, pForm helps you create free HTML forms to have on your website. Some sites target specific types of business. LetsEat.at is a website builder specifically for restaurants.


Browser

Browsers are the programs through which you view the Internet. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox are two of the more popular options. If you're on a Mac, you probably use Apple Safari. Other savvy choices are Google Chrome and Opera. With so many browsers, sometimes there are compatibility issues. While one browser can view a site normally, other browsers may display it incorrectly or make it entirely impossible to view. It's important to test your website with as many browsers as possible.

 


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