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The 21 Essential Web Development Tools in 2023

Are you tired of sifting through endless lists of web development tools and never finding the perfect fit? Look no further! In this article, we’ll reveal the essential web development tools of 2023 that will revolutionize your workflow.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these tools will take your web development skills to the next level. Let’s dive in!

Text Editors and IDEs

Using a specialized text editor for web development can help to make the process more efficient and productive. A good editor offers features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, autocorrect, and customizable user interfaces. Additionally, some text editors offer the option to extend in-built functionality by adding third party plugins.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a popular text editor and integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft. It is free and open-source, and available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It includes features such as syntax highlighting, code completion and autocorrect, debugging tools, and support for multiple languages and frameworks.

visual code studio interface and homepage

It’s highly customizable, allowing users to adjust the layout, color scheme, and other aspects of the user interface to suit their preferences. 

One of the key features of VS Code is its support for plugins, which allows users to extend the functionality of the editor. Visual Studio Code is widely used by web developers and considered one of the best tools in its category.

JetBrains IDE

JetBrains is a software company that offers a range of IDEs for various programming languages and platforms. For example, it offers PhpStorm for PHP, PyCharm for Python, RubyMine for Ruby, and WebStorm for JavaScript – to name just a few. 

It also offers Fleet, a language independent IDE (similar to VS Code) which specializes in working on remote machines in the cloud.

webstorm homepage

These IDEs are popular among professional developers for their advanced features and user-friendly interfaces. All the JetBrains IDEs include helpful features such as code completion, code refactoring, debugging and testing tools. The IDE seamlessly integrates with version control systems, which makes life much easier.

There are a range of pricing options, including free versions for individual developers and open-source projects.

Web Browsers

Web browsers are an essential part of the web development process because they provide a way for users to access, and interact with, the content and applications that have been built. 

You’ll already be familiar with popular web browsers such as Chrome, Edge, or Safari, all of which provide the ability to inspect and debug code. But if you’re looking for something extra, you should check out the following browsers which were specifically designed for web development, and provide additional features not available in mainstream browsers.

Polypane

Polypane is a browser made for web testing using different window sizes with synchronized scrolling. It is built with the Chromium browser engine, and only supports testing in Google’s V8 engine.

However, it is available for x86 and ARM-based computing architectures on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

polypane browser homepage

Polypane offers an excellent experience for responsive testing, with default configurations for popular viewport sizes and the option to add custom breakpoints. Panes can emulate desktop or mobile devices, and include custom values for modern CSS presets such as prefers-reduced-data and prefers-color-scheme.

Additionally, panes can simulate visual impairments such as cataracts, farsightedness, and 8 types of color blindness.

The Polypane browser extension (available for Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, and Opera) can be used to quickly open any URL in Polypane. A custom protocol can also be used to share links along with browser panes. This is a great tool if you are working on front-end applications and need to support multiple screen sizes.

LT Browser

LT Browser is a free browser developed by LambdaTest for testing websites locally on multiple devices.

It offers some advantages over consumer browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, including predefined viewports and the ability to record the screen during tests. It can also generate performance reports within LT Browser to identify any bottlenecks on your website.

lt browser homepage

The best feature of LT Browser is hot reloading, which instantly shows you the latest changes in your code as soon as you hit save. LT Browser is still in the beta version, but it does provide some good features. If you need a free tool to test your responsive websites, it could be a good choice.

Responsively 

Responsively is an open-source multi-pane browser built using Electron. It has built-in support for popular device sizes and allows users to add custom screen dimensions, which makes it useful for testing responsive web pages.

responsively homepage

It’s possible to install a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Edge to send links from the browser to the Responsively app for instant previewing. Additionally, users can add extensions from the Chrome web store, though the Responsively developers warn that some extensions may not work as intended. 

Responsively comes with a live CSS editor and a design mode that makes it easy to temporarily apply design rules and update content. You can also delete cookies, storage session data, and reset the network cache with the click of a button. Other actions, such as throttling the network or loading the website via a proxy, are also supported.

If you’re looking for a free tool to make your browser testing process smoother, then you should definitely try it out.

Version Control Systems

If you aren’t already, you should definitely start using a version control system for web development in order to track changes to your code. Even if you are working alone, having a history of the changes that have been made to the codebase makes it easier to track and manage changes over time.

This can be useful for identifying and resolving issues that may arise, as well as for reverting to previous versions of the code if necessary.

Git

Git is a powerful version control system that offers a range of features for tracking and managing changes to files and projects. These features can help improve collaboration and organization within development teams and make it easier to manage and maintain codebases over time. Although there are a number of version control tools out there, Git is by far the most used and widely supported of them all. 

You can work with Git locally or connect it to a server to collaborate with other people on the project. Most people are already familiar with GitHub, but there are other options, such as Bitbucket, GitLab, and AWS CodeCommit. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even host your own server and invite your friends to collaborate. 

Web Extensions

Browser extensions can be incredibly useful for web developers, as they can provide a range of tools and features that can help improve the development process. Here are some of the things an extension can help you with.

Identify Fonts

There are several browser extensions that can help you identify fonts used on a website. You can either just hover over or select a piece of text on the page, and then the extension can provide information about the font that is being used. WhatFont, Font Finder, and Fonts Ninja are some of the popular extensions to identify the fonts. 

Get Colour Code

Just like for fonts, you can also get the exact hex code of a color being used on a website, and there are a ton of different extensions available to help you with that. If you would find this useful, you could try out ColorPick Eyedropper, ColorZilla, or Color Picker.

Generate Dummy Text

During development, developers often need to put some placeholder text before the actual content is made available to them. Lorem Ipsum Generator is a browser extension that can help generate this placeholder text quickly and easily. 

Edit Cookies

Cookies are often used to store information about the user’s preferences or settings, and the ability to quickly change browser cookies is immensely helpful for testing out different user scenarios and debugging issues. If you think this would be helpful for you, then you should try out EditThisCookie and Cookie-Editor.

AI Assistant

Any list in 2023 is incomplete without mentioning artificial intelligence!

In the past year, we have seen a steady increase in the usage of AI tools for assisting in coding. These tools can significantly speed up productivity and create high-quality websites that provide a great user experience.

GitHub Copilot

As the name suggests, GitHub Copilot was made by GitHub, and it uses OpenAI Codex, a new AI system from OpenAI. You can use GitHub Copilot in two ways: by starting to write the code you want to use, or by writing a natural language comment (in English) that describes what you want the code to do.

GitHub Copilot will analyze the context in the file you are editing, as well as related files, and offer suggestions within your text editor.

github copilot homepage

It can be integrated directly into web editors such as Neovim, JetBrains IDEs, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code. Currently, the quality of suggestions varies depending on the language you are using. For example, you can get good suggestions for JavaScript, but you might get poor results for COBOL.

Tabnine

Tabnine is a code completion tool for professional developers. It provides you with the option to accept whole-line completions with a single keystroke or keep typing to get more real-time alternatives that adapt to your code context.

It also allows you to describe the function you are looking for using natural language, and it will suggest the right code for you to use. 

tabnine homepage

It provides an integration for almost all the popular IDEs and can even be self-hosted behind a firewall. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you are missing out on a lot of cool features. 

Aws CodeWhisperer

Amazon CodeWhisperer is a code generator that uses machine learning to provide code recommendations in real time. These suggestions can range from small, single-line comments to larger blocks of code, such as fully formed functions. 

At the time of writing, this tool was not publicly available and users had to sign up on a waitlist to get access. This version supports a limited number of languages (C#, Typescript, Python, Java, and JavaScript) and only works with Visual Studio Code, AWS Cloud9, and JetBrains IDEs.

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools are vital for effective web development because they allow teams to work together and share information in real-time. These tools can also facilitate remote work, and enable teams to collaborate across different locations and time zones. 

Atarim

Atarim is a cloud based collaboration platform that provides centralized project management tools for web agencies and their clients, projects, teams and tasks. It streamlines workflows by reducing the need for multiple tools.

With Atarim, you get a secure dashboard, client interface, support desk, and management boards to effectively manage tasks, track time, and communicate with clients in one place.

atarim web development software dashboard

The client interface on Atarim allows clients to add requests to their own website in a visual way and see updates on their tasks. You can use the support desk to organize email communications, and turn requests into actionable tasks, making it easy for you to manage your workload.

The management board is especially useful to agencies as it allows them to drag and drop tasks between columns to prioritize and organize work. Sign up to the Free Forever plan and see how Atarim streamlines your workflow.

Other Tools

Here are some tools that don’t fit in any of the categories: 

Browsersync 

Browsersync is a tool that can help improve the web development process by making it easier to test and debug websites in multiple browsers. It is available as a free NPM package, which syncs browser states and interactions such as click, scroll, form input, and submit on multiple browsers on different devices. 

It can be used to host static files and update web pages when any file is updated, or can be connected as a proxy to a website already hosted on a server. Coding skills are required to set it up properly, but a few recipes are available which demonstrate basic functionality and can be used as starter templates.

Trunk Check

If you’re collaborating on a large project, having a consistent code style is essential. Not only does it make things more readable, any new team members will be able to come up to speed easily if a standard way of doing things is defined.

Trunk Check is a code analysis tool that works with 50+ linters, and enforces standard coding practices in the project. If you have it enabled on a project, it will give you a list of violations and ask you to fix them before you can commit your changes in the repository. 

Conclusion

The essential web development tools in 2023 are those that allow developers to write, manage, and test their code, as well as manage and organize their projects. By using these tools effectively, web developers can create high-quality websites that are both functional and user-friendly.

If you develop websites, you should consider using Atarim for managing your clients, projects, team and tasks. It makes your workflow easy, enjoyable, and profitable. If you are interested in this, you should register for a Free Forever plan today.

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