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December 5th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Top 20 tools to make a web developer’s life easier

WebDesigner

You sure have your work cut out for you if you work as a web developer nowadays. The influence the Internet has in our everyday lives is undeniable, therefore it is natural for all businesses and organizations to have a strong presence online. This means that there’s a lot of pressure on web developers and designers to produce impressive results in as short a period of time as possible. Luckily for them there are a number of tools that will help make their lives easier and we’ve gathered up the top 20.

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1. Gridgum

gridgum

Among all the templates and themes you can find on the Internet it’s difficult to find one that is both visually appealing and responsive. Fortunately, Gridgum is a niche market place for themes and templates that emphasizes quality over quantity. All their themes are both responsive and beautiful. Gridgum sets itself apart from all the other market places by striving to please and appeal both to sellers and buyers. As a buyer on Gridgum, you can browse through hundreds of cool themes and rest assured they are all responsive. You can also save the points you receive on your orders and redeem a discount on your next purchase, moreover, Gridgum doesn’t have a PayPal surcharge on purchases, like other marketplaces. At Gridgum you can also directly reach out to the author of your theme or template in case you need help. For sellers, Gridgum offers fixed commission. If you’re selling a theme exclusively, you’ll receive 75% earnings, while if your theme is non-exclusive, you’ll only get 45%. It also allows sellers to offer an installation package, as a bonus charge for buyers. Gridgum offers WordPress and Bootstrap themes (check out the awesome collection they’re offering currently) as well as Admin Panels for people who are shopping for their new website. Also, it accepts themes created with Bootstrap, Gumby and Skeleton frameworks and even self-made frameworks.

2. ExpressionEngine

expressionengine

ExpressionEngine is a flexible content management tool created by EllisLab. This tool will help you easily manage the content of your website. With ExpressionEngine the content is separated from the design, which gives you the freedom of displaying it anyway and anywhere you want. You don’t have to make any modifications to the application in order to make it fit a certain type of website, because it already works well with anything from eCommerce to tourism, real-estate or personal blog. Plus, there’s no need for programming knowledge, as the tool is very easy to install and use. However, if you’re a programmer, you’ll find that ExpressionEngine is one of the most powerful and extensible content management tools there are. If you’re having any problem with the tool, there are community resources such as ExpressionEngine Answers at StackExchange where you can get help and solve any problems you encounter. For more information about ExpressionEngine, check out EllisLab website.

3. HTML5 Maker

html5 maker

In today’s world, everything is about advertising, imagery and getting the public’s attention. And what better way to achieve all that than with animations? HTML5Maker is one of the best online services that can help you create animated multimedia content such as banners or sliders and you won’t even need design or development skills for that. With HTML5Maker it is very easy to create something for your ad campaign or a new banner to make your blog more interesting, because the tool comes with a lot of great features. The Online Animation Editor and the Online Image Editor will help you get creative in no time. The animations you create will be compatible with Google AdWords and Google Double-Click. There are many ready-to-use templates you can choose from. Besides, you can embed your animations from the cloud into your website or share them with your friends or customers as a Template.

4. Argento

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Argentotheme.com offers one of the best Magento templates that are available out there. Argento is a great template if you want to give your online store a makeover, since it is both visually appealing and highly functional. Argento was based on the best eCommerce store practices and in accordance to Magento developers’ guidelines. Since SEO is essential for eCommerce, Argento is optimized for SEO with tags and HTML attributes. In addition to this, it is also responsive, so it runs smoothly on any device.  Argento scales to adapt any screen resolution and works just as well with iOS, Android or BlackBerry, so you won’t have to create a separate mobile application for your store. Argento also has many popular extensions such as AJAX search, products highlights, easy slider and many others that will make your website user-friendly. Moreover, the team offers to install the template for free in less than 24 hours so you don’t have to worry about wasting time with installation.

5. Templates master

template master

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If you’re looking for a fully functional Magento template Templates-Master.com is the place for you. The team designs the best templates based on improved HTML and they also focus greatly on SEO. Moreover, they’re constantly coming up with updates, so they’re products will work with any recent Magento releases. Templates Master has developed the Magento Page Cache in order to make your store faster and also to help you pay less for your hosting packages. Page Cache is based on core Magento architecture that supports both static and dynamic blocks. The tool is very easy to install and also has some additional extension settings you can use to set flexible cache rules. You have access to installation instructions and manual and you also get 1 year of free support from the professional developers at Templates Master so you won’t have to worry about any problems you might encounter with Magento Page Cache. To find out more information on this great tool, check out the website.

6. Icon Maker

icon maker

FreeIconMaker.com will allow your creativity to flow free by enabling you to design countless icon sets in seconds. You can stop looking for the ideal icon that will flawlessly blend in with the theme of your web site. Just head over to Icon Maker and make your own custom icon set exactly the way you want it. Browse through Icon Maker’s diverse icon gallery and choose the one you like best. From here on you can play around with the color, gradients, inner shadow and size. If you’re thinking your icon set will lose quality once it’s resized, you can stop worrying because all the files are vector based and they’ll preserve their neat look regardless of dimension. Free Icon Maker allows you to create an unlimited number of icon sets for free. You can make flat or 3D icons without having any design skills and at the end you can even share your icons with the other users as a template.

7. BugMuncher

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BugMuncher is the perfect tool for receiving feedback from your users on your live site. The users will be able to take a screenshot of the highlighted problem on your website and send it directly to your mailbox or to other third parties. You can also pass custom information about your users into BugMuncher, like the authenticated user’s ID. This data is then saved along with the feedback report and screenshot. Using all of this information you received with a single screenshot from BugMuncher you can recreate the conditions under which the feedback report was sent, which means you can fix the issue quicker. BugMuncher automatically captures the really important data that many of your users simply don’t know, like the name and version of their browser, their operating system, the browser plugins they have, and the path they took through your web site. BugMuncher is user friendly, quick to install and can be integrated with other tools like Zendesck, Trello and ActiveCollab.

8. Tickera

tickera

Tickera is a simple event ticketing system that will help you create and sell tickets straight from your web site. This WordPress plugin is commission free and comes with a Barcode Reader that will significantly improve your check-in process and leave less people waiting at the door. Tickera also supports over 85 payment gateways in over 50 countries. That means you can use any payment gateway you want, they are all built-in and you can change them at any time. Tickera works well and looks good with almost every WordPress theme out there. Another cool thing you can do is create an unlimited number of discount codes available for all your tickers or just a certain type. The ticket builder feature lets you create ticket templates for each kind of ticket. You can do this by dragging and dropping elements, rearranging them, changing font sizes and colors, changing the ticket paper size or its orientation and even adding your own background image.

9. Kukook

kukook

If you’re in the market of a new job and you want to make sure that your resume gets the attention it rightfully deserves, head on over to Kukook and get yourself one of the best CV templates available anywhere. Kukook offers you a gallery of professional, elegant resume templates which will ensure that your application will pique the interest of a recruitment manager. All of Kukook’s templates are easy to modify using Word so you will be able to add all your personal and professional information to them effortlessly. By using creative, unique templates for your CV you can show that you are both innovative and in tune with all the latest trends on the market. It also shows that you put thought into selecting the way your resume looks and you’re guaranteed to make the right impression with the templates you find on Kukook. Be one step ahead of your competition and let Kukook help you get closer to the job you want.

10. Themify

themify

For a wide range of functional templates you can check out Themify.me. They offer themes that are very easy to customize with the help of features like Drag&Drop Builder, custom widgets and shortcodes, so you don’t have to write a single line of code. Themify.me recently came up with a new set of tools – the Builder Addons. The Builder Addons extend the Themify Builder and can be used with any Themify theme and the Builder Plugin. Here are some of the addons. The Pointers tool places animated text boxes and other pointers on your images in order to draw attention. The WooCommerce module helps you customize you shop pages. There’s also a Timeline tool that allows you to create list views or timeline graph layouts of your posts. You can also display the progress of an ongoing project in an animated way with the help of the ProgressBar tool.

11. Opinion Stage

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In need for quick feedback from your users? Or are you looking to increase the daily numbers of views on your site? Opinion Stage will help you achieve this and more. Opinion Stage is an opinion polling service for websites. It lets you create your own polls that target social sharing or boost engagement. Opinion Stage is very intuitive and quick to use: from registering you’ll only need a few minutes until your poll is online, ready to be used. You can customize your poll by choosing between answers with multiple choice or head to head (only 2 answers). You can also choose what else will be displayed, like, for example, the numbers of votes. With Opinion Stage you can even make a profit from your polls by adding commercials or promoting other polls from across the network. The rich reporting dashboard will keep you posted with the results of your polls and will inform you how your polls are doing on the social networks.

12. Webflow

webflow

Webflow is the best application to turn to in order to design your website without having to write any code. With this tool you will be able to simply drag and drop the elements you need within a visual design tool and let it worry about generating all the code. Webflow gives you all the tools you need in order to customize the design of your website in any way you see fit straight from ints editor, no more Photoshop needed. Also, you can be assured that all HTML5 and CSS3 that comes out of Webflow is completely W3S compliant as well as cross-browser compatible.

13. Uptime Robot

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Uptime Robot is an online service that will help you monitor HTTP(s), Ping, Port and Check Keywords. It is extremely useful for website and server owners alike. By using the 50 monitors that Uptime Robot gives you access to, you can be constantly kept up to date about your uptime, downtime and response times. Uptime Robot is easy to set up thanks to its intuitive and modern interface and will start checking the websites or servers you tell it to every 5 minutes and notify you in the event a problem is detected. You have complete freedom to choose the way in which the notifications reach you: email, SMS, mobile push messages, RSS and more.  Also, from within the interface you will have quick access to all the statistics that Uptime Robot has gathered for you. What’s more, Uptime Robot has a full featured API for developers as well. You can use this API to integrate Uptime Monitor in your apps and benefit from its usefulness fully.

14. Adverts

adverts

If you’re looking to create a classifieds website or just add this functionality to your existing website, then Adverts is the tool for you. Freshly launched by the same team that created WPJobBoard, Adverts is a WordPress plugin that handles classifieds in an elegant and professional manner. Created to work seamlessly with any properly coded WordPress theme, Adverts is as easy to install as any other WordPress plugin and it comes with the possibility for you to setup your own shortcodes and be sure your website runs the way you want it to. The team over at Adverts is already working on giving you the option to integrate it with other plugins, for now you already have Yoast SEO and Jetpack with more to come soon. Also, Adverts was created to have a modular build, which means that you will be able to choose the modules you want to work with in addition to the core functionality provided.

15. CoffeeCup

coffeecup

CoffeeCup is a responsive layout maker that will help you with all your custom, content-driven layout needs. CoffeeCup features a special layout maker that will let you create your design easily and with great results. Also, CoffeeCup provides you with the possibility to analyze over 70 factors that influence your website’s usability and search rank. In addition to all of this, you get a form builder that will help you design all the forms you require for your business. CoffeeCup makes creating your very own website easy.

16. Daily Hosting

daily hosting

Looking for the perfect web hosting solution but don’t know where to start? Head over to DailyHosting.net where you’ll find all the information you need to know before choosing and buying a hosting solution for your web site. Daily Hosting has a wide range of hosting examples for all types of web sites. It even offers its users a free guide which allows them to compare various hosting companies once they’ve narrowed down their search to just a selected few. The reviews at Daily Hosting are also very helpful since they give a lot of insight on the features you should bear in mind before buying a hosting solution. Among these factors is your budget. Keep in mind how much you’re willing to invest in your web site and be realistic about your site’s future profit. You should also take into consideration how much traffic your site is bringing in, as well as its purpose: personal blog, photo portfolio, eCommerce site or application based web site.

17. GoJS JavaScript Library for HTML5 Canvas

gojs

GoJS is a feature rich JavaScript library which will allow you to implement interactive diagrams across modern browsers and platforms. GoJS has a wide range of advanced tools that will make user interactivity more fun: you can pan, scroll, select, delete, undo operations, drag and drop, copy and paste elements and even play around with GoJS’s extensible tool system for custom operations, event handlers and overviews. Due to the fact that this feature rich JavaScript library does not depend on any JavaScript libraries or frameworks, your users will be able to enjoy interactivity without installing plugins like Flash or Silverlight and without round trips to servers. GoJS supports graphical templates and data-binding of object properties to model data. Only the model, consisting of simple JavaScript objects, needs to be saved and restored. GoJS makes it easy to read and write models in JSON format. So head over to GoJS where you can also find the technical introduction with its hundreds of live interactive examples and the GoJS technical overview.

18. XQual

xqual

XStudio is an integrated and intuitive test management solution that will handle the versions, customer business requirements, tests, test reports and defects of all your projects. XStudio will allow you to design, carry through and log all your manual tests. You will also be able to schedule or run fully automated test campaigns. Since it uses MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server for data storing, XStudio can be used from Windows, Linux or Mac. XStudio incorporates a bug tracking database which will enable you to handle your defects and link them to your tests, specifications, requirement and products. What is more, XStudio is the only test management tool which can be interfaced with proprietary tests due to its particularly flexible and easy to use Java SDK. What sets it further apart from the rest is the versioned data which allows you to quickly get the necessary metrics and indicators like the test coverage, progress and team’s performance.

19. VirtueMart

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If you need a solution to help you stay on top of your eCommerce site, then VirtueMart is the answer for you. This is an Open Source E-Commerce solution for the Joomla! Content Management System that will allow you to have an unlimited number of customers, categories, prices and orders. VirtueMart is extremely easy to use and can be run as a shopping cart, or in catalog mode. It’s suitable both for beginners and experts. Among the smart tools that VirtueMart has to offer there is the Dynamical Calculator which will help you calculate discounts and tax according to your shoppers’ group, country, state and time. VirtueMart will also allow you to display different prices for the same product according to shopper group and time zone. Furthermore, the team over at VirtueMart has just launched VM3 (also known as VirtueMart 3 core), which will bring big changes to all customers that have been using VirtueMart, amongst them you’ll find: reduced dependencies on Joomla, which means that VirtueMart has become more robust, with cleaner structure and less code, advanced cart with enhancements for better update compatibility and a lot of other improvements to help developers. This core version has undergone through testing in order to be assured that you will not run into any snags while using it.

20. MotoCMS

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Looking to have your own professional looking website that does not require programing or coding skills? Then MotoCMS is the ideal tool for you. MotoCMS is a website builder (known also as content management system) that allows users to update their web sites by implementing and viewing the changes immediately. It offers you everything you might want for your site: within seconds you can add a search field, a photo gallery, a subscription button, and you can rest assured everything will look polished. MotoCMS will help you create SEO friendly sites and its incredibly helpful Admin Panel allows you to customize and manage every detail. The Image Editor and Media Library will keep your media organized and your posts always looking sharp. MotoCMS’s websites are optimized to comply with the Google Webmaster Guidelines, keeping everything up to date at all times. Handling your own web site is now easier than ever. But still, if you need help on any topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to their friendly staff who’ll be glad to help.

Photo credit: Career Foundry

Via DWB

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