22 Extremely Useful Tools for Web Designers and Developers

22 Extremely Useful Tools for Web Designers and Developers

22 Extremely Useful Tools for Web Designers and Developers


As a web designers or/and developers, I believe we all have our own favourite tools. For me, I have heaps of them and some of them are extremely useful. Because of these plugins, air apps and editors, I able to finish my projects on time, going back home on the dot. :)

To all the fellow developers who have make all these wonderful plugins/applications.



Firefox Plugins

A lot of Firefox plugins have changed web designers and developers' life. :) For myself, I'd be least efficient if I work without firebug and web developer. Debugging html, css layout is so much easier with all those plugins. The following is my favourite plugins:

  • Web Developer Tools

    The Web Developer extension adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser with various web developer tools. It is designed for Firefox, Flock and Seamonkey, and will run on any platform that these browsers support including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • ColorZilla

    Advanced Eyedropper, Color Picker, Palette Viewer and other colorful goodies for your Firefox
  • Screengrab!

    Screengrab! Firefox Extension is a handy web development tool with 6 excellent options. Screengrab! saves or copies to clipboard web pages as images.
  • HTML Validator

    HTML Validator is a Mozilla extension that adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing. The details of the errors are seen when looking the HTML source of the page.
  • Firebug

    Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of web development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.
  • FireRainbow

    FireRainbow brings javascript syntax highlighting to Firebug.
  • Live Header

    View HTTP headers of a page and while browsing.
  • Dust-Me Selectors

    Dust-Me Selectors is a Firefox extension (for v1.5 or later) that finds unused CSS selectors.
  • CSS Validator

    CSS Validator is a Mozilla Firefox extension which Validates a page using the W3C CSS Validator.
  • IETab - windows only

    IE Tab, an extension from Taiwan, embeds Internet Explorer in a Mozilla/Firefox tab.

Adobe Air Applications

Adobe Air application is like mac widgets. They are small but extremely useful. The following are the apps that I think can be very inspiring for designers and helpful to developers.

  • colorPicker

    colorPicker is a widget-like AIR application that lets you either choose a "web-safe" color from a color grid or design a color using sliders to adjust the red, green, and blue values of the color.
  • Color Browser

    This application is a simple way to create and organize your favorite color palettes. Sets of colors are easily viewable in a clean interface. Edit them, rearrange them, create new sets, make them your own.
  • Kuler Desktop

    Browse, search, and save themes directly from your desktop with this Adobe AIR™ application. Drag individual themes to your desktop, where they can be scaled to any size
  • Em based layout

    A calculate to save the hassle in calculating the em of any give px.
  • Polaris Google Analytic Reporting

    Polaris is a cross-platform desktop widget for Google Analytics. With 8 standard reports it's the easiest way keep your data always instantly available. The rich interface and swift navigation make it a pleasure to use.
  • Pixus

    Pixus is a tool to measure the screen objects in pixels using both mouse and keyboard control and preview your design with skins and presets.
  • JustResizeIt!

    JustResizeIt! introduces a brand new way of resizing images – just drag and drop them!

My favourite Mac & Windows Tools

For me, I have two different working environments - windows and mac. Therefore, I have the chance to try out different kind of softwares. In my opinion, I think notepad++ is the best editor I ever used. I have been trying out all kinds of solution out there, forexample, coda and textmate, none of them can give me the robustness that notepad++ offered. The rest of the software I find myself has been using it, and I'd like to share it with all of you.

  • Notepad++ - win

    I have to admit, this is the BEST web development editor! Unfortunately it's only available on windows! It comes with tabbed interface, configurable syntax highlighting, syntax folding, line numbering, multi-view, bookmarks and regular expression search and heaps of useful features.
  • Putty - win

    PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator.
  • Filezilla - mac, win

    FileZilla is free and powerful cross platform FTP solution.
  • Clyppan - mac

    Clyppan is a free and Open Source clipboard history application for Mac OS X that’s always at your fingertips.
  • TextWrangler - mac

    TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator’s tool.


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Author: Kevin Liew

Kevin Liew is a web designer and developer and keen on contributing to the web development industry. He loves frontend development and absolutely amazed by jQuery. Feel free to say hi to me, or follow @quenesswebblog on twitter.

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Ben Burleson
Wed, 1st July 2009
Filezilla is also a Linux app. Reply
Wed, 1st July 2009
before i use Filezilla, now i use FireFTP - Firefox. Reply
Wed, 1st July 2009
great list!
i discover "Dust-Me Selectors", but it doesn't work in FF 3.5 jeje, i have to wait...

I agree with Notepad++, excellent software, and it become with an FTP client out the box

Pehaps, you should add the new Google's PageSpeed utility :)

thanks, adeux from argentina Reply
Rubens Mariuzzo
Wed, 1st July 2009
I agree that n++ and putty are two powerfull apps. Also, FireRainbow is new for me, I'll give it a try.

Thanks for this article. Reply
Mike Kivikoski
Wed, 1st July 2009
@dlv to get Dust Me to work try doing:
Open about:config,
right-click new boolean ´extensions.checkCompatibility´,
set false,
(via @jeresig) Reply
Wed, 1st July 2009
Awesome useful tools. They boost your productivity Reply
Wed, 1st July 2009
oh yes, i forget that solution
thanks Mike to tell me that !
now "Dust-Me Selectors" is working in FF 3.5

adeux! Reply
Thu, 2nd July 2009
Great list. I love Notepad++, it's the best editor out there. Reply
Fri, 3rd July 2009
Thanks these are very handy indeed! Reply
Muhammad Siyab
Fri, 3rd July 2009
Great tools. I especially like Em based layouts.. :) Reply
Sat, 18th July 2009
I had no idea.This is great.Really really great.Bookmarked... Reply
Mon, 27th July 2009
nice..I use some.. Reply
drain cleaning
Fri, 2nd October 2009
I am a web designer...new to this proffession and your tips are really useful for beginners like me. Reply
Mon, 7th December 2009
I Love kuler Desktop! Reply
Thu, 29th April 2010
I found another interesting resource, http://clipardo.com/ that searching clipart images by black&white sketch. Try it! Reply
Mon, 15th August 2011
Great set of tools!

Maybe you could look at some online tools, like http://codey.co a webbased on-FTP code editor. Reply

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