70 of the Best HTML Editors for Web Developers

We at Skilledup are a bunch of techies at heart, and as such we regularly research ways to improve our website’s design and workflow. Thus, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of web development, coding HTML, and different apps that help developers. Our last two articles focused on the best web development extensions for Firefox and Chrome. This week we are broadening our focus to encompass any environment in which developers can write HTML code, and the applications and services that facilitate this process. In the past few years, web development like many other processes has started moving “into the cloud,” so we have literally searched high and low to bring you 70 of the Best HTML editors for Web Developers.

  1. Notepad++ is a notepad replacement with the ability to highlight and check code syntax. It also supports tabbed file editing. A great first choice for programmers. Windows, free.
  2. ConTEXT is a simple yet powerful notepad replacement. It has most of the same functionalities as Notepad++, and a few additional features like the ability to record macros. Windows, free.
  3. Coffeecup HTML Editor is a fully-fledged web code editor with some unique functionalities like the ability to take any website and edit its code in your own test environment.Windows/Mac, $69 w/free trial.
  4. Emacs is a Linux specific text editor with a high degree of extensibility and customizability. It is one of the best known Linux text editors. Linux, free.
  5. UltraEdit is another code-geared text editor. It supports extremely large files and even hex files. Windows/Mac/Linux, $59.95 w/ 30-day free trial.
  6. EditPlus is a text/code editor with built-in FTP functionality. Windows, $35 per single user license; group discounts available.
  7. Coda 2 is a Mac-based editor that allows code-folding, has auto-complete and an in-built SWL editor. Mac, $75 w/7-day free trial.
  8. Espresso is another Mac-based editor with real-time preview functionality and code-folding. Mac, $75 w/ 15-day free trial.
  9. Sublime Text is an advanced text editor that has a slick interface with advanced search functionality and advanced viewing modes. Windows/Mac/Linux, $70 per single user license w/free trial.
  10. Topstyle 5 is an HTML5 and CSS3 focused editor with syntax highlighting, auto completion, and a nifty feature that allows you to click on classes and find styles defined for the classes. Windows, Demo version has limited functionality, $79.95.
  11. TextWrangler is a general purpose text editor for Mac with enhanced functionality for different programming languages. Mac, free.
  12. BBEdit is a text editor with powerful code editing features like the ability to search and replace text from multiple files. Mac, $49.95.
  13. Chocolat is an editor that boasts split editing, code completion and a Vim mode that lets you edit text in a shell-style environment. Mac, $49.95.
  14. Textmate brings a unique approach to text editors by combining unix-style functionality into an editor. It allows you to write and edit code Emacs-style and even lets you run shell code within the editor. Mac, single user license, $54.
  1. Adobe Dreamweaver is one of the most well-known WYSIWYG editors around. It is a staple of many web development firms around the world and for some can be considered almost an industry-standard for WYSIWYGS. Windows/Mac, $19.99/month.
  2. Artisteer is a powerful and unique editor known for its ability to generate very aesthetically pleasing templates in only a few minutes. It does not require any formal coding knowledge to operate. Windows, starts at $49.95.
  3. Kompozer. Similar to Dreamweaver, Kompozer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for people without technical computer skills who want to create an attractive professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.Windows/Mac/Linux, free.
  4. Weebly is a WYSIWYG website builder that allows you to create simple sites using a drag-and-drop interface. Broswer-based, free.
  5. Microsoft Expression Web is Microsoft’s offering to the world of web design. While it is no longer actively supported, it is still known as a capable competitor to Dreamweaver.Windows, Free.
  6. Flux is a powerful editor available only for Mac computers, and it contains graphic editing capabilities. Mac, $89.99.
  7. SnapEditor is a unique browser-based editor that lets you edit in real-time inside of the web page you are editing. It was created with the aim of using clean code. All (Server-based), Site License $99, Developer’s License $299.
  8. Amaya is an open-source editor that aims to integrate as many W3C technologies as possible. Windows/Mac/Linux, Free.
  9. Wix Website Builder is a web application that delivers a full WYSIWYG web development environment that is completely code-newbie friendly. You don’t need to know how to code to create a WIX site. All Browsers, Free.
  10. Web Studio is a powerful MS Office-like environment for creating and editing web pages. It caters to both the professional coders and to those who have no experience in writing HTML/CSS. Windows, 30-day free trial, full version $159.99.
  11. BestAddress HTML Editor has multiple editing modes, from WYSIWYG to simple code to shared view. Also allows you to edit sites directly from your server. Windows, limited trial, full version $54.95
  12. BlueGriffon is a neat WYSIWYG editor that is both free and uses the same rendering engine that Firefox uses, meaning that your pages will come out looking exactly like it’s preview in Firefox. Windows/Mac/Linux, free.
  13. Aloha Editor is a very interesting visual editor that allows you to edit directly from the front end of your site; meaning no coding experience necessary. WordPress or Drupal (CMS based), Free.
  14. Net Objects Fusion is a powerful web-building software that uses an intuitive interface and has interesting capabilities like Google Analytics and shopping cart integration. Windows, $129.95.
  15. Trellian Webpage is an interesting editor that has a drag and drop interface and supports Photoshop plugins. Windows, free.

  1. Firebug is known as one of the world’s most popular web-development extensions. It has many powerful and useful features, one of the most noticeable is it’s real-time development environment. As soon as you edit code, Firebug reflects the changes in your browser. Firefox, free.
  2. Easy JsBin is a real-time editing and coding environment that you can access directly from a toolbar tab. Firefox, free.
  3. Phoenix is an editor with real-time syntax highlighting which allows edit, run and test CSS, HTML and JavaScript code. Firefox, free.
  4. Coding the Web lets you preview, edit, save your HTML, CSS and Javascript right in your browser, and has syntax highlighting and autocompletion features. Chrome, free.
  5. Sourcekit is a lightweight programmer’s text editor right inside of Chrome. It saves files directly to Dropbox, so you never have to worry about losing your code in the event of a crash. Chrome, free.
  6. Web Developer is an extension that adds a great of functionality to the bare-bones html editor inside of Firefox. This is a very popular addon for Firefox. Firefox, free.
  7. Firebug Lite is a Chrome version of the popular Firefox debugging tool. It has slightly less functionality than its Firefox counterpart but is still one of the best tools you can use for Chrome. Chrome, free.
  8. HTML Instant lets you edit your HTML in real-time and see the results in a side-pane view.Chrome, free.
  9. Slim Text is a light text editor that runs inside of your Chrome browser. Chrome, free.
  10. Vimperator adds powerful Vim editor-like functionality to Firefox. Firefox, free.
  1. CodeRun Studio is a free cross-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE), designed for the cloud. It enables you to easily develop, debug and deploy web applications using your browser. IE,Firefox,Chrome and Safari, free.
  2. TinyMCE is a very popular CMS based editor. It has a clean look and feel and is very easy to both use and implement. All CMS, free.
  3. CKEditor is another very popular CMS based WYSIWYG editor that is both customizable and open-source. It aims to bring word-processor functionality and ease to webpage development. All CMS, free.
  4. Collide is an open-source collaborative IDE that grants program teams real-time interactivity.
  5. Cloud IDE is a browser-based editor supporting syntax highlighting, code completion, refactoring and more. Supports multiple development frameworks and collaborative editing. All Browsers, $79/year.
  6. Kodingen is a free social coding environment utilizing GitHub where you can write code, collaborate and share it with people all over the world. All Browsers, free.
  7. ShiftEdit is an online IDE that syncs and backs up your code revisions. It supports syntax checking, autocompletion, and real-time validation. All Browsers, free for 1 project.
  8. Compilr another online IDE which supports a wide variety of programming languages. Has user-friendly coding tutorials as well as having useful features like auto-completion and syntax highlighting. All Browsers, starts at $10/month, w/ 14-day free trial.
  9. Neutron Drive auto-saves your code to Google Drive, supports revision control, allows real-time collaboration, and has a nifty tabbed interface. All Browsers, $8/year w/ 45-day free trial.
  10. Orion is another cloud IDE, which allows you to download a client that gives you the ability to host the Orion IDE on your own server instead of using their own servers. All, free.
  11. Cloud9 IDE lets you code and chat together with your fellow developers, share your workspaces or keep them private. Supports node.js. All, free for 1 private workspace, premium plan starts at $12/month.
  12. Codio is a web-based IDE that boasts pure speed and the ability to move your code to any numbers of production and test environments. All (Web-based), free; currently in public beta.
  1. Textastic is a fast and versatile text, code, and markup editor supporting syntax highlighting of over 80 programming and markup languages. Has FTP and DropBox syncing abilities. iOS, $8.99.
  2. Buffer Editor allows you to chain commands in Vim-like text editor environment, with DropBox integration and Bluetooth keyboard support. iOS, $3.99.
  3. Byword is a simple and efficient text editor with Dropbox and iCloud support. iOS, $4.99.
  4. Diet Coda is a code editor with syntax highlighting and SSH capabilities. iOS, $19.99.
  5. Editorial text editor with syntax highlighting and markdown features, syncs with DropBox.iOS, $4.99.
  6. Deuter IDE is an IDE for the mobile phone and tablets that aims at being fast and efficient.Android, $2.99.
  7. DroidEdit Pro is a source code editor with syntax highlighting and infinite undo/redo capabilities. Syncs with DropBox, and SSH and FTP capable. Android,$1.05.
  8. Code Anywhere This is the Android version of the Code Anywhere code editor. Lets you FTP and sync with your Code Anywhere account across all your devices and computers.Android, free.
  9. Syntax Highlighted Code Editor is a syntax highlighted HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP editor.Android, free.
  10. WebMaster’s HTML Editor is a code editor with code-completion, syntax highlighting and supports Japanese, Chinese, Cyrillic and other character sets. Android, $4.99.
  11. PHPEdit is an IDE geared for web development with multiple extensions and supports several frameworks. Windows, starts at $100+ w/ 30-day free trial.
  12. PHPStorm is a very popular IDE that supports all of the latest web technologies. It sports a dark interface and multi-user functionality. Windows/Mac/Linux, Starts at $99 w/ 30-day free trial.
  13. WebStorm IDE is from the same company as PHPstorm, but this IDE has an emphasis on Javascript integration and functionality. Starts at $49 w/ 30-day free trial..
  14. Komodo IDE is a popular IDE that supports most web programming languages and has a plethora of useful features including syntax checking, dozens of add-ons and a team-friendly environment. Windows/Mac/Linux, $295.
  15. HTML-Kit is a well-known and trusted web development IDE. It lets you preview results split-screen or in different devices in real-time. Windows, old version free, new version starts at $39.
  16. Aptana Studio is a very customizable IDE with a deployment wizard, built-in terminal, and GIT integration. Windows, Mac, Linux, free.
  17. NetBeans IDE is a free and open source IDE with a large community of users and developers. You can choose to download different programming bundles to save disk space or the whole package. Windows/Linux, feature limited OS independent version available, free.
  18. Mirabyte Web Architect supports most web programming languages and lets you work side-by-side with your website preview. Windows, Trial-version free; full version $69.95.
  19. PHPDesigner is a full-featured HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript editor that also has support for object-oriented coding. Windows, licenses start at $39; w/ 21-day free trial.

What does a front-end web developer do

Front-end web developers, the “artists” formerly known as web designers are the bunch of people in the company that make sure that the data coming from the backend gets displayed on the browser. They also make sure it looks as closely as possible as the design, that , CED came up with, and that the user can navigate through it, accessing the data.

They don’t need to know about complex OO programming, tricky database structures or how a path is done in Illustrator. They get data from the backend people and an example how the result looks like from CED. All they need to do is to hack some HTML or XSLT together and link the different documents. Piece of cake.

Web developers don’t have it as easy as it sounds though. True enough, markup languages are easy to learn and scripting languages are not much harder, but there is an aspect of uncertainty, that has to be taken into consideration, when judging their skills.

As a web developer you work in an uncertain environment. What looks good and works on your computer can be a popup hell and dire to look at on the machine next to you or on the machine of a customer. The first is not much of a problem, just ask your colleague to upgrade his browser, the second, however, is a problem.

As a web developer, your work can be wrecked by users and customers in many ways:

They can

  • use a browser that is completely outdated
  • set his browser font to “very small” or “very large”
  • use a video card that displays 16 colours only
  • run a resolution of 640×480 pixels and still have the large font setting
  • run a resolution of 1024×768 but still keep his window as large as 200×200
  • use loads of toolbars to make the area of the screen available for your site pitifully small
  • turn off any scripting support for safety reasons
  • turn off images to load the pages faster
  • use a modem with the speed of two tins connected through a wire
  • use a PDA
  • use a text-only browser

and if the site does not work with that, they’ll blame you for it.

In other words, you never know what is going to be the mean of display at the other end.

What to do about that? Don’t fret, there are standards that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defined a long time ago. Just follow these standards and you are safe.

The only problem is that the browser industry keeps telling their products follow these standards, but, in reality, they don’t.

So by doing the right thing, you do the wrong thing. By following the standards, you make sure that your site will perform fine in future browsers and display units. On nowadays and yesterdays browsers though, there might be loads of issues.

What you do need to do is to make sure your site is following the standards and still looks OK on older browsers. This is the perfect option. Another would be to define a certain browser and platform environment. This is possible when we are talking about Intranets and B2B sites, but B2C means you are in trouble.

You are really in trouble, when the design you got was done by a designer who is not firm in web design. The web is a media, not a sheet of paper. Designs that look really nice on paper (and impress customers) might not work on the web. Same as screen layouts do not work on television or game consoles.

Users are able to resize the text part of your page, or, in newer browsers even add own rules of display onto your site (through own stylesheets). This means that every layout, that relies on fixed font-sizes, and text, that can only use up a certain area, is doomed to fail.

You can go the other extreme and keep everything flexible, which may result in really ugly texts, with lines too long to be readable. This is a minor issue though, as, when the user has a problem with that, he can simply resize his browser window.

In any case a good web developer needs to know a lot about the media he works in.

He needs to know

  • what browser/platform configuration breaks your page when you use which technology
  • which technology or elements to use to create the navigation in
  • what to do to avoid wrong display on browsers
  • how to keep the size of the final document small
  • how to convert graphics so that they are small in file size and yet good looking
  • how to deal with data coming from the customer in various and sometimes rather exotic formats
  • how to keep his work from stalling when there is no data coming in that he can use.
  • How to communicate to colleagues or customers that the amount of final data in the product does not really fit the design (which is a case of bad planning to begin with, but it does happen)
  • How to keep up with the rapid web development market and techniques.

These are the most obvious bits. Another obstacle a web developer has to tackle all the time is the media and software market hype.

At every computer fair and in magazines software companies advertise products, that help you do a web site in 20 minutes without knowing anything about code. For good measure you can also add all the multimedia you want and connect it to the database, you don’t know anything about either.

When looking at these ads one starts to wonder why people care about hacking in their HTML. Front-end development is considered a task that can be fulfilled by any application or even the export filter of a graphics development program.

True, these applications do put out HTML and Javascript. True, the results look good. Wrong, they can replace a web developer. They can replace a “web designer”, someone who hand-codes “HTML designs”. When talking about HTML designs, I mean web sites without any other purpose but being eye candy. Standalone, plain HTML documents, a few links, some rollovers, but no back end connections or interactvity. Sites that are nothing but an ad can be safely done with them. As soon as you need the site to fulfil a specific task, be really optimised and fit the other components in your development framework, these WYSIWYG editors (like Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Adobe Pagemill and so forth) stop being that handy.

The worst nightmare for a front-end developer is to be confronted with markup code generated by these programs. A script or application can never optimise like a human being can, the code is bloated, unreadable and not logically structured in most of the cases. Keeping in mind that the outcome was meant to look great for 20 minutes work, why would it? The user never sees the source code. The developer does, and it’s his job to keep it as small, fast and readable as possible. Especially when you remember, that he might have to hand it over to another developer for changes.

The availability of web content is amazing and great, but also has a downside to it. Content and code can be published immediately and is available to everybody. This is very nice and actually one of the main reasons to make people start web developing. After all it’s easier to create your first web site than to try and get some time on TV or radio. The downside of it is that content gets published without any quality testing. Any enthusiastic developer, with more drive than skill. creates some new, cool design or effect, and publishes it on his web site. As it is cool and new, other developers see it, and implement it as well, to stand out from the crowd. Looking at this effect closely makes it obvious that it only makes sense in a very restricted browser environment and only for some content. Sometimes it might not even make sense at all. Nevertheless it becomes more and more spread and used, and sooner or later customers will see it and want it as well. Or colleagues see it, don’t realise the flaws it might have (as it works on their browser) and offer it to the customer.

Then the web developer gets asked to implement it, and gets blamed when it does fail in the quality test.

There is no such thing as free lunch. Also there is no such thing as a perfect web site that you assemble from free content from the web without knowing what you do. Script libraries and personal developer sites advertise their content much like software companies. They claim their products have perfect output. Truth is, you can find anything on the web, and that is great, but make sure you test it thoroughly before you even think about using it in a product someone pays you for.

To conclude, the web developer is the developer on the project that has it all: A very unstable display environment, a skill set that needs to range from code to design and usability, and the blame when the end product does not look the way it should.

It’s a hybrid position, you are someone that paints with code. Programmers don’t accept your work as real code, and designers don’t consider it design.

Now you might be at the point where you ask yourself: If that is such a horrid position in the development circle why bother taking it?

Well, the love for the media I suppose. The challenge to make things visible to users and not exclude a lot of them. The hybrid position in between programmers and designers and dealing with both. The satisfaction of seeing things you have done online and realising that people use it. The immediate satisfaction of hacking in some funny words with brackets around them and controlling the layout of a text by doing so.

It is a position that needs constant improvement, and interest in the media you work for. The days of front-end developers that attend a 2 day course and make a lot of money the week after are over. Now it is the job to clean up the mess those “web designers” left behind. To work with design and backend and project managers to make sure the customer gets something that is looking good and works fast and reliable.

Five Tips On How To Become A Web Developer

Have A GoalWhen you’re not in the tech scene, it can seem almost impenetrable, we should know. But in this post we’re here to tell you it’s really not so hard to get the skills you need to become a programmer if it’s something you really want to do. With the right support, motivation, knowledge and experience your career in tech is within arm’s reach.

In this post we’re going to discuss first what steps to take and in what order to take them when you’re first starting out, and then we’ll provide a list of excellent places you can learn to code to get that brand new career in motion.

Want to learn to code? Here you’ll find what to learn, where and how to get your new career off to a flying start.

Don’t let Kate Ray’s hilarious post on TechCrunch put you off your dream of becoming a web developer, have a read of our five steps on how to learn to code and get into the tech scene.

1. Have A Goal

Decide what you want to create. Do you have an idea for the next big social network? Do you have an idea for a great app? A useful tool that you’ve always needed and not found anywhere? If you think there’s a need for it and it doesn’t already exist, you can be the one to create it. Your app might be something that your family / job / journey to work has inspired you to create. For example, top model and longtime coder Lyndsey Scott created an app for her ‘book’ – the portfolio of photographs, campaigns and experience that models take along to fashion castings to give casting directors an idea of what they’ve done before. The app is called iPort, which allows models to upload their ‘book’ or portfolio onto an iPad. She said:

I built that app because it was something I personally needed,’ she said. ‘My book always ends up looking terrible, the books fall apart, the pages are tearing, it’s dirty, and it’s a mess.’

If you’ve noticed a gap in the market or a need that hasn’t yet been met, that’s where your app or website could come in.

2. Learn To Code

Martin Ramsin our CTO and co-founder at CareerFoundry first learned to code using Codecademy and from free tutorials. He found these online resources helped him with learning syntax but found the real difficulty occurred when he was trying to find out which tools to use, how to deploy, understand Git etc, in other words how to work as a web developer. Raffaela – CareerFoundry’s CEO and co-founder – and Martin founded CareerFoundry based on these observations as they realised that students need more than just tutorials to learn web development, they need the support and expertise of someone who has already been there. It is for this reason that our mentors are at the centre of everything we do. While you are learning to code it’s crucial to have someone you can ask direct questions to about the small, fiddling things to do with programming, but what’s also invaluable is having someone on-hand who can give you advice in your career, help you build a portfolio or find work. We put together a list of 20 ways you can learn to code, so have a read and find out which option is best for you. At the end of this post we’ll also be reviewing the best online and offline schools for learning to code.

As David Shariff, Senior Engineer at Yahoo told us: “Don’t settle for knowing a concept, roll your sleeves up and dig as deep as you can.

3. Google For Solutions

Someone once told me that when you’re learning how to program you really learn how to Google stuff like a pro. This is a key skill as a developer. All of the answers you need to any question you might have you will find online, but knowing HOW and WHERE to find them is the touch part. You need to learn exactly which search terms are going to get you the answers you need, whether you find them on GitHub or StackOverFlow or on some obscure forum. When you understand how to Google for things you’ll find learning code will be much faster. It is part of the learning process to get from problem to solution in as little time as possible – and when you are under pressure in a real, working environment this skill will be invaluable.

4. Copy Cool Things

Copy cool things you find on great websites like widgets, videos, parallax images etc. (do view source on a page). Add it to your code. Then try to understand what it is doing. This is a great way to learn any new skills and impress your friends by having something advanced to show at a relatively early stage in your learning. Websites like TryRuby are great for practicing what you’ve learnt directly in your browser without having to download any software.

5. Showcase Your Work

When you are pitching to do a job as a web developer you’re not asked to show your certificates, you’re asked to show what projects you have been part of creating already. This is why it’s really important to build up a portfolio of work – websites, apps, code, to show in your interview. You may also be asked technical questions in your interview, so it’s good to be prepared – read up on websites like StackOverFlow, ask questions on there and answer questions if you think you can. You’ll be building up a profile and reputation while you’re doing it. The best way to showcase your work to employers is to set up your Github page and show your projects from there.

What’s the difference between programming languages?

 

Ruby

The whole point of Ruby was to be a coding language that is simple and easy to code. It was designed as a scripting language for building websites and mobile apps and is dynamic and object-orientated. Ruby powers the Ruby On Rails framework which is used on heaps of websites, including Groupon and GitHub. Ruby is considered a good starting language for beginners.

 

Java

Developed by Sun Microsystems Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language. It’s a super popular programming language, a standard for enterprise software, web-based content, games and mobile apps, as well as the Android operating system. The way Java is designed is so it can work across multiple software platforms, so a program written on Mac OS X can also run on Windows.

JavaScript

Netscape developed JavaScript as a client and server-side scripting language. It’s functional across a variety of web browsers and is considered essential for developing interactive or animated web functions. It is commonly used in game development and writing desktop applications.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the look and formatting of a document written in a markup language. The language can be applied to any kind of XML document, but is most often used to style web pages and user interfaces written in HTML and XHTML. CSS is a cornerstone specification of the web, and almost every web page use CSS style sheets to describe their presentation.

C++

C++ is an intermediate-level language with object-oriented programming features, originally designed to enhance the C language. C++ powers major software like Firefox,Winamp and Adobe programs. It’s used to develop systems software, application software, high-performance server and client applications and video games.

 

Python

Python is a high-level, server-side scripting language for websites and mobile apps. It’s considered to be a relatively straight forward language for beginners due to its readability and compact syntax, meaning developers can use fewer lines of code to express a concept than they would in other languages. It powers the web apps for Instagram, Pinterest and Rdio through its associated web framework, Django, and is used by Google, Yahoo! and NASA.

Where can I learn to code?

Now if you talk to any web developer they will assure you that they’ve been tinkering around on computers since they were in nappies, or even before. Maybe that’s true, but just because you haven’t doesn’t mean you can’t learn now. It’s easy to feel intimidated by technological language or jargon, but see it as a challenge and don’t feel disheartened; it is never too late to learn and there are a number of fantastic resources out there, both paid for and for free, to get you to where you want to be: working as a web developer. And the pay off will be worth it, for once you’re working freelance or in a small team as a programmer you’ll have the opportunity to create beautiful tools, apps and websites that impact on people’s lives. Quite an incentive, eh? But where do you start? Do you try to do it alone? Do you ask friends? Look online? Sign up to a course? The numerous options can be a mindfield to someone new to the industry. Here are just a few that might help make that decision a little easier for you.

8 Design Best Practices Every WordPress Developer Should Use

In a perfect world, every WordPress developer would have access to their own crack team of battle-tested designers and front-end wizards, leaving them free to get their hands dirty with the code they love.

However, if you’re working on your own and your platform of choice is WordPress, most clients will see you as a one-man army. You’ll frequently be expected to make design choices you might not be comfortable with tackling.

Like it or loathe it, design is a crucial aspect of every web development project. It doesn’t matter how elegant your code is if your layout makes users wince.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at eight design best practices you can use as a developer to up your design game and expand your overall marketable skillset.

1. Keep up with Current Design Trends

This isn’t Vogue, so we’re not going to devote thousands of words to analyzing the in-and-outs of every current design trend. You’re probably already unconsciously familiar with what’s hot purely by virtue of general web browsing. However, it’s well worth your while taking the extra effort to deliberately investigate major trends in order to stay current.

Topping the “Most Used” list these days is parallax scrolling: a simple but effective motion design technique where foreground images move faster than those in the background. This creates an eye-catching effect, is easy to implement and lends depth and visual interest to the design of pages. You’ll see this effect employed quite often tomake headlines really pop and draw readers in.

Parallax is just a single trend highlighting the overarching scroll-heavy focus of much of today’s design. Infinite scrolling is another popular, though mildly controversial, technique.

Another current trend that rewards close study is material design: Google’s attempt to create a cohesive visual language across their products and services. Material design is focused on providing a seamless design experiences regardless of platform, with a mobile-first mindset.

Moving along, we come to card-based design (of which Pinterest is a classic example), a technique with an emphasis on the elegant visual display of condensed information.

These trends are so popular because they create visual engagement by following a simple set of good design rules. We’ll touch on many of these rules as we go through the rest of our list. Getting familiar with current trends, like the ones we’ve highlighted, is a great way of turbo-charging your learning and almost instantly improving your overall design sensibility.

2. Commit to Responsive Design

Responsive design simply involves the ability to appropriately adjust to every user’s screen size, device orientation and platform. In a mobile-first world, it’s an absolute requirement for modern sites on the front end but can often feel like a duct-taped nightmare of media queries and assorted hacks under the covers.

There’s no getting away from it though: users rightly expect websites and apps to display and function flawlessly across myriad devices. As a developer, you know that a seamless experience across platforms requires a lot of testing and fixing, but that’s no excuse to slack off.

To underline how important this is, overlooking this crucial design element means you could be kissing goodbye to a third of website traffic.

Implementing responsive design needn’t be a daunting task however, and developers these days have it much easier than even a couple of years ago in this regard. Make sure you’re getting this right and not sabotaging your designs for a considerable part of your audience.

3. Make Content Easily Accessible

Bounce rates vary wildly across websites, but one of the uncomfortable truths of online design is that a large number of people will be hitting your carefully constructed content and heading straight for the virtual door.

People make astonishingly quick decisions about whether to stay on a site or not, and your job as a designer is to make it as appealing as possible for them to linger and look around. Poor layout choices, lack of search options and plain old irrelevant or low-quality content are all things that will send visitors packing.

From a design standpoint, you want users to be able to quickly determine which part of your website holds the information they seek. Keep the navigation friendly and label everything clearly to avoid confusion.

4. Remember That White Space Is Your Friend

By the nature of their work, developers are an organized bunch most of the time. More often than not, however, they are optimizing for efficiency rather than aesthetics. This is why they often tend to treat websites like old-timey newspapers – filled to the brim with information, but a nightmare for users to actually consume.

You want users to be naturally visually drawn to the most important information in any section of your website. Effective use of white space is one of the most elegant and time-tested ways of doing this.

Not only does white space serve to highlight important information, it also improves reading comprehension and makes your overall design look substantially sleeker. Add it to your arsenal of design tricks and your sites will instantly start looking more polished.

5. Understand the Importance of Fonts

In design terms, fonts are a very big deal indeed. There’s a reason designers don’t just slap everything up in Comic Sans or Courier and call it a day. Unless you’re running a gallery-based portfolio, the chances are that the vast majority of the content of your projects will be in text form.

In the bad old days, you could only choose from a limited set of fonts while doing web design, but those days are thankfully gone. Browser support for web fonts means that you’re now only limited by how much time you want to spend finding the perfect font fit for your site.

An ideal font will not take attention away from the content itself, or look out of place in the overall design. Choosing fonts and font pairings is a design decision that rewards careful thought.

Begin with a simple typographic primer, such as Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers, and you’ll feel those design muscles starting to flex straightaway.

6. Don’t Make Forms Difficult

Nobody likes filling in forms. Whether online or offline, they’re a chore. There’s no getting around them in web design though; they’re the main way users interact with your site: registrations, lost password recoveries, contact pages, submissions – the list goes on.

Taking a little bit of extra time and effort to actually make your forms intuitively usable, friendly and stylishly presented instantly raises the overall design profile of your pages.

You’ve got a slight advantage as a developer here as well. Many designers instinctively shy away from the technical side of implementing forms, but it should be relatively trivial compared to some of the other problems you’re used to wrestling with daily.

7. Provide Friendly 404 Pages

Every website breaks or goes down eventually, even if only for short periods of time. While that’s to be expected, regular users often take this as a sign that your website shouldn’t be trusted, so why not take a bit of extra time in order to build a unique error page to reassure them?

Anything looks better than a default server error message on a white page. A well-designed error page reassures visitors and gives the impression that everything is under control and things will be back to normal soon.

When using WordPress, there are a lot of great plugins that can help you set up a custom 404 page with little effort. You’ll find a great breakdown of these in our article on the 7 Best 404 Plugins for WordPress.

8. Accept That Small Details Are Important

So far we’ve covered basic design trends, responsiveness, accessibility, using white space to your advantage, typography, forms and 404 page designs, but we’re still only scratching the surface of all the elements you could consider in terms of raising your design game.

If you take away nothing else from our article, remember this: design is all about detail.

Considered in isolation, all these small points don’t amount to much but, as they are all piled on top of each other, they form a cohesive whole that people instinctively recognize as good design.

As a developer, you’re used to focusing on details in a very different context, but they’re equally important in this arena. Recognizing that truth goes a long way towards making you a better designer.

8 Tips to Land Your First Client as a WordPress Developer

So you’ve decided to set up shop as a WordPress developer. You’ve got a lot of personal projects under your belt and have set up several websites for friends and family. How hard can taking things to the next level be?

Let’s not mince words – it can be quite rough out there for a freelance developer. There’s an enormous amount of competition and a seemingly endless supply of service providers willing to work for a tenth of what they should be charging.

That doesn’t mean it’s an impossible market to break into, however; it just means you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease to get things moving.

We’ve put together eight top tips to point you in the right direction. Let’s dive in!

1. Make Yourself Stand out

It stands to reason that the easiest way to get hired is to strongly differentiate yourself from other applicants. To do this, you need to understand what your strengths are and use them as selling points for potential employers. This can be as simple as having an outstanding portfolio or crafting a personalized pitch.

In other words, what can you offer that other WordPress developers can’t?

Some developers take things further by focusing on niches. Are you a cooking enthusiast? You can use this experience to make your food-related web projects really stand out and connect with local businesses in that area. Customers always appreciate dealing with someone who shares their passion and understands their business.

Another way to stand out is to emphasize which programming languages you’re fluent in and showcase personal projects that reflect your expertise in your public portfolio. Just because you’re looking for work as a WordPress developer doesn’t mean you should let your other skills rust away. JavaScript, for example, is likely to be heavily in demand for the foreseeable future.

2. Negotiate and Don’t Undersell Your Services

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting your career as a web developer is to hobble yourself with cheap rates just to land those first few crucial clients.

Don’t believe me? If you’ve spent any time in the web development community you’ve likely seen veterans chastising newbies for this repeatedly; it’s basically gospel at this point.

Lowball pricing attracts problematic clients like bees to honey. Good clients – the kind who understand the value of your work and time – will be ready to pay you a decent living wage. You might have to look hard for that first big break, but it’s out there.

If you do allow yourself to be bullied into underselling your services, you risk falling intoan endless loop of cheap clients and stressful projects where you work for the equivalent of minimum wage. Make the smart choice and avoid this from the outset.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Look Offline

As a web developer, your first instinct will naturally be to look for that first gig online. But, since you’re probably not going to have an extensive portfolio or many professional references yet, your best bet might be to try to close the deal in person with those first few clients.

Many businesses have been burned online in the past by less than scrupulous or incompetent freelancers and welcome the opportunity to deal with a developer in the flesh. Being just a phone call or drive away might be enough to actually seal the deal in such cases.

If using this approach, steel yourself for rejection. You’ll likely have to contact a lot of businesses before finding someone who’s interested in hiring you.

Every developer has their own tactics here. Some limit themselves to scouting for local businesses, others target outdated pages or focus only on high-income clients. Find out what works best for you and start making calls and sending emails once you’ve tailored a pitch for each potential customer.

4. Explore Lesser-Known Online Marketplaces

Everyone knows about Upwork and Fiverr, but what about Reddit’s hiring listings, the official WordPress job listings or Codeable.io? These are just a few of the many less densely populated alternatives out there.

That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of competition on these platforms as well, but it pays to cast your net as widely as possible while still maintaining an up-to-date profile on each of these sites.

5. Polish Your Online Presence and Portfolio

If you want clients to find you, you need to make it easy for them. I’m not talking about spamming advertisements for your services across all social media outlets you happen to be a member of here. At the very least, you need to review your job-seeking profiles, ensure that your “current job” statuses are up to date and include links to your portfolio wherever pertinent.

Start by making sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. The platform attracts a lot of flak, but it’s still the network of choice for a huge amount of potential clients. A polished presence there is a great calling card and might even get you new business all by itself.

A word of warning about social media sites. The first step many clients will take is doing a little background digging on public-facing profiles to get a feel for what type of person they’re dealing with, so make sure you’re presenting an appropriate image online.

As for your portfolio, it’s pretty common for people trying to get into web development to make excuses as to why they haven’t set theirs up yet. Don’t let yourself fall prey tocobbler’s children syndrome. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes; would you hire someone with no previous work experience who doesn’t even have a couple of personal projects to show off?

Not having any completed client work shouldn’t stop you from putting together a portfolio either. Share your most polished pet projects, online repositories, or open-source project contributions – whatever it takes to show clients you’re the real deal.

6. Get Out There and Network

There are thousands of online communities for every kind of freelancer – from designers to WordPress developers – to share their work experiences. These can prove an invaluable resource when you’re just starting out for all kinds of advice.

Some examples of these include the web development and freelancer sections on Reddit and Stack Overflow Careers.

It’s pretty much guaranteed that no matter what doubts or problems you might be experiencing, somebody somewhere online has already gone through the same thing. In many cases, they’ve taken the trouble to write about their experiences and compiled handy lists of solutions that can help you out.

Your networking endeavors shouldn’t be limited to the virtual world, though. Meeting people face-to-face and handing them your newly printed business cards (you have some of these ready, right?) can sometimes make a more lasting impression than email.

There are all sorts of real-world networking opportunities available if you take the time to research options in your area. These could be local WordPress meetups, hackathons or conferences. Keep your ear to the ground and start getting social!

7. Tailor Your Approach

No two customers are the same. If a potential client approaches you with some basic information about a project, make sure to do your due diligence and research his business and market sector as much as possible.

This should help you make informed suggestions about good practices relating to the project in question. For example, if building a portfolio site for a photographer, you’d naturally suggest putting the work front and center. If you’re dealing with a store, the nitty-gritty of e-commerce customer flow is where you’ll be spending most of your time digging into details.

These examples may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many developers simply offer cookie-cutter solutions to clients without taking the time to explore their exact needs.

8. Pitch Solutions, Not Technology

Gone are the days where a business could afford not to have a web presence. What this means for you as a developer is that in most cases you won’t have to sell customers on the actual idea of having a site; they’re more interested in results.

This means you need to sharpen up your sales skills in many cases. Remember, you’re not selling a simple website or a particular technology, you’re selling a solution.

Maybe your client’s business is leaving money on the table by not being able to process online orders. Maybe they’re crippling their sales pipeline by not letting customers make appointments online, or sign up for a mailing list in order to receive future offers. Find the problem and pitch the solution.

Part of your job as a developer is to sit down with your client, analyze their requirements and come up with ideas that they may not yet have considered. Don’t worry about these ideas getting occasionally shot down. You’re building the ability to identify and solve problems in the wild, a skill that will pay off hugely down the line.

How to design websites developers won’t hate

For the best visual precision, every Web design project eventually requires fully-composed mockups for each page and interface. Informed by technical constraints, these mockups must act as collaborative visual design documents for regular discussions with developers – not just something you hand off as though the person on the other end is a WYSIWIG factory.

Graphics, textures, typography, and other little tidbits all must be transferred from a simple graphic into a living interface. But just because you understand how to design great mockups doesn’t mean that you understand how to design them for developers. In this piece, we’ll provide tips for building mockups that transition as smoothly as possible to development.

After all, if you want the project to move forward, you must always ensure that your works of digital art are clearly understood by developers who think in terms of frameworks and systems.

Plan for Limitations

As recommended in the free Designer’s Guide to Collaborating With Developers, the first step to proper implementation is predicting  UI limitations that may (and usually will) arise during development.

In the design world, it seems like any beautiful idea should be possible to create in code. HTML5/CSS3 specs have certainly come a long way, but some ideas are still very difficult to build with full support.

When collaborating with developers in the wireframe/prototype stage, always keep in mind the limitations of HTML5, CSS3, or whatever your language of choice. That way, you’ll know what to design and how to design ideas visually so that developers can actually build the interface.

Keep a list near your desk (or in Google Docs) with a collection of hurdles, obstacles, and interface ideas to avoid. While It may be possible to add these features later, you should focus initially on prioritizing interface elements that are most feasible. As you progress in the design, review this list on a weekly basis with developers so that you don’t get lost in a high-fidelity design of something that’s actually a technical nightmare.

Now that you have a good starting point for design feasibility, let’s examine some other methods to keep in mind as you design.

Expand on Interactions

When it comes to exploring interactions, prototyping is the most efficient platform for discussing feasibility. Aside from actually coding your designs, prototypes are far more effective than simply describing or annotating flat wireframes and mockups.

Even rough low-fidelity prototypes (also known as interactive wireframes) can show developers the overall framework of content, and the dependencies between content as users click through the experience. While the visual details won’t be anywhere near polished, developers can still provide feedback on design infrastructure.

 

For example, you might be dead-set on an infinite scroll for a large blog design, but perhaps a cards UI pattern can still serve as an elegant compromise between usability and site load times. On a subtler level, developers can also provide you device-specific feedback. Your navigation header might work beautifully in the prototype, but it may be completely hidden by the address bar in certain browsers and devices.

You simply won’t uncover these technical setbacks (some of which may require a complete revamp) unless you let developers play with your prototype. In fact, part of the reason our app integrated with Photoshop and Sketch was to encourage more designers to cross over into the interactive design stage (even if they prefer to first add fidelity to the visual design).

2. Create Browser Fallbacks

The field of Web design is quite different compared to mobile app design.

Android and iOS apps run on a single OS with various screen resolutions. Websites, however, introduce far more variables – they must run on different screen resolutions and on different operating systems, in different browsers, also with different screen resolutions (and devices).

 

The process of designing a website interface feels similar to designing a mobile app interface. But development is vastly different between these two mediums. When designing a mockup,  you’ll want to consider the potential pitfalls and drawbacks of each feature.

This is especially true of newer CSS3 techniques that are not supported in all browsers(ex: transforms, reflections, clip-path, and masking). While Photoshop and most other design programs let you insert notes next to your design, there is no substitute for a quick feasibility discussion with developers as you prepare for a major iteration.

Below, you’ll find some of our favorite free open source scripts to help with browser compatibility. These resources may not help you directly when designing, but they are certainly an important conversation point when collaborating with developers.

  • Modernizr – In the world of Web standards Modernizr is a cherished asset for any project. It’s a customizable library for cross-browser HTML5/CSS3 support. Use the download page to customize your own features or just grab the whole library from GitHub.
  • Fallback.js – This tiny JavaScript library is meant to control every possible fallback method and library. By centralizing all of your scripts it becomes easier to check which files aren’t working and provide alternate solutions.
  • Selectivizr – Selectivizr is similar to Modernizr but it focuses more on CSS selectors. This JS library emulates CSS pseudo-classes and attribute selectors to improve support for older versions of Internet Explorer.
  • Video.js – HTML5 video has taken the spotlight but Flash video is still a reliable fallback. Video.js makes it easy to embed any video format into an HTML5 player with a Flash fallback for older browsers.
  • IE7.js – Older versions of Internet Explorer put up a tough fight against common web standards. IE7.js forces older browsers like IE6-IE8 to support typical rendering methods like transparent PNGs and RGBa() colors.
  • Detect Mobile Browsers – This isn’t so much a library as a code generator for mobile detection. You’ll find snippets in all languages from ASP to jQuery for detecting a mobile browser. Developers can choose to execute(or not execute) code for mobile users based on these results.

Even if you don’t understand how these scripts work, you should still bring them up with your developers. In our experience, we’ve found that developers appreciate the proactive gesture and don’t mind spending some time explaining any compatibility issues. After all, it is in both of your best interests since late nights are usually a shared misery between designers and developers.

Dealing With Alternate Pages & Resources

While the homepage design may require the most effort since it’s a portal to the entire site, you also need to apply the same precision to the inner pages.

 

In some large companies, project managers demand full mockups for every single page due to strict internal processes. In other companies, some developers may have design experience, allowing them to build multiple similar pages from a single mockup (freeing up more time for you to work on unique pages). Adapt the level of mockup detail depending on your company protocol.

Now, let’s examine some of the development considerations for your mockup elements.

Inner Page Graphics

A keen sense of graphic design is required for great mockup design.

For example, even if two pages are distinguished only by differences in icons, the safest option is to still create two separate mockups to avoid any confusion. Most of the time, you’ll find it’s safer to create all inner pages and then export icons separately – that way, developers can access the individual icon images and the page designs as reference material.

 

Before wrapping up your mockup design, follow along with this checklist to see if you missed anything. Here’s a quick list of some things to check for:

  • Graphics should be sized exactly as they need to appear
  • Illustrated different JavaScript interaction states (ex: dropdown menu open + closed states). Even if it’s demonstrated in the prototype, it never hurts to leave a paper trail.
  • Logged in & logged out states
  • Label form fields, buttons, and inputs as needed
  • Error/success messages
  • Include separate graphic files for all images including the favicon, animated loaders, 404 page photos, etc.

On larger projects, we’d recommend including a short document for developer notes. Just be sure to clarify the referenced mockup (and page sections) which pertain to the notes. If you’re working in UXPin, you can add a note to the design itself and while you’re in Preview mode, or you can also just upload a separate document into your project folder.

 

2. Separate Responsive Mockups

While mobile app mockups must consider landscape and portrait view, websites must support any view at any dimension from smartphones to widescreen monitors.

If your design is meant to be responsive, then we recommend creating different mockups for each breakpoint to show developers how the layout adapts.

 

Consider a few of the following changes:

  • Do logos, graphics, and/or icons change size or position?
  • Should font size increase or decrease? What about line height?
  • How does the main navigation adapt to smaller screens?
  • Will sidebar columns drop below the main content or perhaps disappear entirely? What about footer content?

There are no right or wrong answers because each project needs to be handled individually.

When in doubt, the mobile-first approach championed by Luke Wroblewski is always a good starting point (once you’ve completed the initial user research). Design around the content for the smallest screen size, then scale it up as the screen size increases. By building upon the essentials first, you ensure a more enjoyable device-agnostic experience.

To prepare for the transition to development, make sure you label your responsive mockups properly. Filenames must include the responsive breakpoint in pixels along with any other important details(revision date, draft number, retina screen, etc.)

Your goal is to design for every possible situation so the developer doesn’t have to think.

As always, if you’re unsure about how to deliver something, just ask one of the developers what format they prefer. Keep the communication lines open to reduce problems and avoid confusion.

Design Tips to Make Development Easier

Digital design programs come in many forms from Adobe Photoshop to Fireworks and the popular newcomer SketchApp. Despite the differences in capabilities, the overall mockup design process remains relatively uniform across these different applications.

The following tips are geared toward designers who create mockup assets for developers. Some of these ideas are easy to overlook on the surface, but they make a world of difference when it comes time to write code.

Mockup Design Best Practices

Mastering any design program takes time and switching up your workflow can be daunting. But once you try incorporating these tips, they’ll feel like second nature. When you design with developers in mind, it makes everyone’s job a whole lot easier.

 

Here’s a few best practices we’ve learned through the years:

  • Organize and label your layers Developers may not always need to open your PSD/Sketch files, but the contents should always be organized. Use layer groups to rank similar layers together. Also, assign every layer a clearly recognizable name since mockups are very detailed and usually require a lot of digging to find exactly what must be changed or extracted.
  • Prepare a nice asset package Remember that asset preparation saves everyone a lot of time and stress. Once the mockups are finished, export graphics, icons, photos, and other assets into separate files. Developers may not feel comfortable exporting PNG/JPEG/SVG files and it’s a lot easier if you hand off everything in one neat collection.
  • Use in-app export tools In Photoshop, you can export graphics using the slice tool or by manually creating new documents. Sketch includes its own export options designed specifically for interface graphics. Organizing your design files doesn’t take much work and your developers will love you for it.
  • Show, don’t tell – If interactive elements require visualization, try converting your PSD/Sketch files into layered prototypes. In doing so, you’ll be able to actually show complex animations and interactions, leaving none of it to the risk of imagination.

For more practical tips, we recommend the Photoshop Etiquette site which includes advice for dozens of topics like effects, layer organization, and typography. To learn more about the anatomy and process of mockups, check out the free Guide to Mockups.

2. Version Control for Designers

Every developer should at least know about version control systems, which are like digital archives that store previous versions of a script, database, or an entire website. Aside from organizing files, version control is useful for rolling back changes or comparing differences between two(or more) files.

 

Although version control is mostly used in programming it has found small pockets in the design community. While design-based version control is still new, there are some great resources available. Pixelapse is an online storage application for managing design documents in the cloud. And while GitHub is primarily a code storage platform, they’ve recently added support for PSD files.

Now it’s possible for designers to use GitHub as their own version control system for PSDs. Granted, the site is open source and it may not be a great choice for private enterprise projects – but it is a good way to practice and learn about version control.

Here are some alternatives for design-centered version control:

  • Cornerstone – The Cornerstone app is a Subversion client for Mac. This does require some initial setup but it can be great for localized work. Check out this stack answer for more info.
  • PixelNovel – Adobe has released their own version control platform named PixelNovel. This also runs on Subversion but is much less technical to setup. It has a Photoshop plugin and even allows file sharing among multiple users.
  • GitHub for PSDs – As mentioned earlier GitHub does support PSD diffing. While this can be a great method for learning Git, most GitHub repos are free and open to everyone. So this is great for practice but not for large enterprise projects.
  • Kaleidoscope – This Mac OS X application doesn’t offer traditional version control, but instead can be used for file comparison. Kaleidoscope is great if you don’t need a full timeline archive and just need to compare the differences between files and/or folders.
  • Pixelapse – The widely-known version control platform Pixelapse is great for any designer. They have free open source accounts and paid accounts that can support small freelancers and large teams. Pixelapse runs across all operating systems and even includes a project dashboard for team collaboration.

Helpful Plugins

Photoshop and Sketch both support a wide assortment of plugins for automating tasks and improving typical design workflows. Even though Sketch was built from the ground up for Web design, Photoshop has a larger selection of plugins simply because it’s been around longer and focuses on a broader spectrum of tasks (photo editing, print work, UI design, etc).

 

We chose the following plugins specifically for UI designers who create interfaces from scratch. These plugins will help you achieve pixel-perfect mockups with less time and effort than traditional workflows.

Photoshop Plugins

  • GuideGuide – Setup guides and grids based on columns and pixel values.
  • Cut&Slice Me – Cut and export graphics to different devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  • PNG Hat – A faster way to slice & export Photoshop mockups.
  • CSS Hat – Export any Photoshop layer into CSS code.
  • Renamy – Dynamically rename your Photoshop layers in seconds.

Sketch Plugins

  • Sketch Generator – Export all of your design assets with a single keystroke.
  • Text Styles – Export Sketch text styles from a mockup into CSS code.
  • Measure – Obtain the exact dimensions and coordinates of any graphic in your mockup.
  • RenameIt – The best way to rename layers in Sketch.

 

 

12 BEST WEB DEVELOPMENT BLOGS YOU SHOULD BE READING RIGHT NOW

web development blogs developers should read

The more you actually create, the more you’ll learn. And since there are many developers out there who share their experience, it’s a hard game to follow all of them. Because of this, we collected the following resources and present you a list of 12 web development blogs worth reading.

Be on top of the web development game

In order to stay up-to-date on the latest web development trends we put our heads together and curated this list of what we believe are the 12 best web development blogs you should be reading right now. Besides those web development blogs, we also curated a list of 24 great web design blogs, 12 inspirational podcastsand those 20+ web development newsletters.

1. Six Revisions

I wouldn’t call Six Revisions a classical web development blog anymore, rather than a major news site for developers. Six Revisions publishes practical and useful articles for web developers and designers as well. Articles are published on a regular basis every 2-5 days.

2. Specky Boy

The Specky Boy blog calls itself a design magazine. Paul Andrew – the publisher of Specky Bloy – not only focuses on design resources, but also provides useful insights on the latest web technologies. Especially for front-end developers the blog is definitely a great source for staying up-to-date.

3. WebResourcesDepot

WebResourcesDepot is a great web development blog offering new posts every day. Developers will definitely find some great content here. It’s definitely a blog to follow.

4. DailyJS

DailyJS is a great blog when it comes to JavaScript frameworks. It publishes great news articles, tips and resources on a variety of JavaScript frameworks and modules. Also their twitter account @dailyjs is worth following.

5.Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is another well-known news site, which cannot be overlook. With new articles every other day it offers you great resources about HTML, CSS, JavaScript-related topics.

6.David Walsh

If you get yourself comfortable in the field of software development, you’ll definitely stumble upon the blog of David Walsh. You’ll find great articles about CSS, jQuery, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL and many more. Make sure to check out his web development blog.

7. OnextraPixel

I guess OXP is more a web design blog rather than a web development blog. Nevertheless, it provides some really useful articles in the field of development too. Whether it’s an article about some useful HTML5 tips or a new jQuery library. You’ll definitely get some inspiring content.

8. Stoyan’s phpied.com

A great blog worth mentioning is the personal blog from Stoyan Stefanov, who’s a Facebook engineer and the author of some really great books! It’s one of the best places to discover new articles, tools & frameworks.

9. Coding Horror

Coding Horror is a great blog resource from Jeff Atwood. It offers great insights in the developments of software engineering. You’ll get loads of great tips and resources from Jeff sharing his experiences.

10. Alex Sexton

The personal blog of Alex Sexton covers a broad variety of JavaScript related topics in a very plain and easy-to-understand way. You may also discover some new tools and trends on his blog which are waiting to be explored.

11. Paul Irish

As a developer, Paul is well-known for creating tools that improve workflows and make life easier for other developers. He’s currently working on Google Chrome DevTools at Google. You can gather useful insights on his personal blog where he regularly publishes web dev related articles.

12. Scotch.io

Scotch.io is an aspiring site publishing articles, tutorials, videos about AngularJS, node, JavaScript, Bootstrap and a lot more. It’s definitely a place to go when looking for some new inspiration or development resources.

6 Reasons To Consider WordPress Web Development For Online Business

Being evolved as a blogging platform, WordPress has gained worldwide popularity as a powerful content management system. Millions of websites worldwide are built on this platform. WordPress web development is the best and most affordable way to obtain a solid web presence in a convenient manner. Easy-to-manage, simple to use and SEO-friendliness are some of the major features of this incredible tool. Powering over 17% of the internet, WordPress can be used to develop all sorts of site, including simple blog sites, enterprise websites, sophisticated online portals and even e-commerce sites.

When it comes to the usage of content management systems, WordPress beats Drupal and Joomla with the biggest market share of 54%, where Drupal and Joomla hold 7% and 9% share respectively and rest of the CMSs hold 30% share. Around one-sixth of all the sites are built on WordPress. A few popular sites that are empowered with this robust tool are eBay, Forbes and TechCrunch.

Benefits of WordPress Web Development For Businesses

  • A WordPress-powered website has enough potential to rank higher in the popular search engines.
  • It provides easy integration with the social media sites, which is the best way to give your business maximum exposure. This enables you to drive more traffic to your website and gain potential customers.
  • If you have various sets of content written in advance and do not want to post them all at the same time, WordPress allows you to upload the desired number of contents and schedule date for every post.
  • RSS feeds enable your users to get the latest updates as soon as they are published with the tool (RSS Feeder). Your subscribers can choose to get the posts through email or newsletters.
  • WordPress takes care of the mobile users as well. It can automatically identify the type of device, which is being used to access the site and instantly adjusts the settings for optimal mobile viewing.
  • It is affordable for the small businesses to create a website using WordPress as it eliminates the need to spend money on the maintenance of your website in the long-run.

Thus, there are many reasons to use WordPress for developing your business website. But, if you want to compete in the cutthroat online market, it is recommended to seek a reliable company, which promises exceptional quality WordPress web development service at the affordable prices.

15 Useful Free Android Apps for Web Developers

Firefox MobileThe apps that you will find below have not been designed to be an alternative mobile solution to typical development desktop software, but are, in there own right, really handy apps to have when you are out and about and on the move. You just never know when you will be struck with a dev idea or are suddenly struck with a code solution, and these apps have enough functionality to write and test and your inspired code ideas.

Firefox 4 Beta Mobile

Firefox 4 Beta is currently available for most Android 2.0+ devices (sadly not for my Hero!). The browser itself is fantastic and feature-rich, but accompanied by some of its currently available developer extensions (yes, it does support mobile specific addons) it truly is an essential requirement for any developer.

touchqode Code Editor

With touchqode you can view and edit source code that comes with syntax highlighting, autocomplete and other features found on a regular desktop IDE. It currently support Java, HTML, JavaScript, Python, C++, C# and Ruby.

HTMLeditor

HTMLeditor is a super-simple HTML,ASP,JS and CSS editor for quick coding when you are on the move.

Eval your Javascript Code

Eval your Javascript Code is a simple tool for test-running Javascript snippets directly on your Android.

Phoenix Mysql Client

Phoenix Mysql Client allows you to connect to a Mysql server, and perform SQL quires, insert, delete, select,… and list the tables,views and sprocs.

AndFTP

AndFTP is an FTP, SFTP, SCP, FTPS client that allows you to manage several servers. It comes with both a device file browser and an FTP file browser. It offers download and upload features with resume support. You can rename, delete, copy, set permissions and create folders.

Android Codepad

Android Codepad is a simple source code viewer that supports all C-like, Bash-like, and XML-like languages and automatically syntax highlights depending on the file.

View Web Source

With this app you can view the source of any website. You will also be able to select text, search for text, copy and paste the HTML and also share the snippet with your friends and colleagues.

PhoneGap Developer

This app is a useful resource for PhoneGap developers, it includes docs, guides, API reference and a handy tool for testing your application.

Design Snack Mobile

Design Snack Mobile is a featured-rich, interactive and socially-powered inspirational web design gallery.

HTML Test

This free app puts your HTML skills to the test. This interactive testing approach is used in dynamic real-world environments to test and train professional Web Developers.

Magic Color Picker

Magic Color Picker is a color selection tool for designers, artists and programmers for selecting colors using different color models. It supports 7 different modes and RGB, HSV, HSL and YUV color models.

devcheats

This free app is a must for every developer by offering a concise collection of cheatsheets, including: PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, CSS, SEO, Apache, Regular Expressions, SVN, C++, Drupal, HTML5, Javascript, Mysql, WordPress and much more.

W3C Cheatsheet

The W3C Cheatsheet provides quick access to useful information from specifications (incl HTML5) published by W3C, the leading international Web standards community.
W3C Cheatsheet Downloads & Info →

CSS Reference

This CSS reference & cheatsheet includes syntax, examples and limitations for CSS1 and CSS2 properties.

6 Reasons for using a Professional Web Developer to Build your Site

They make it look and sound so easy, don’t they? The ads you see on social media offering a DIY website platform for free or for a low monthly fee. They make you believe it is a fraction of the cost of a professionally built website and have you believe that building your own website is so simple, a child could do it. It’s often not until you start to actually use your site that the shortcomings of this way of creating your online presence become apparent. This post explores the world of the DIY website and provides you with 6 reasons why you should think twice before building one.

First, let’s be clear – there are plenty of people running blogs, not for profit organisations and the like, for whom a DIY site is perfect. Blogger, and those who read their work, don’t care if their site looks very similar to a host of other blogs. People who visit the websites of volunteer organisations are less likely to be deterred by a less than professional looking site and appreciate that the money the organisation saved by building its own website will be spent instead on the activities they care about. So for these people, a DIY site can be a perfect solution. But if you’re in business, relying on your website to attract and keep customers, a DIY site can be a disaster. Here’s why:

  1. Time: Web design is among the fastest changing elements of modern business. However bright you may be, it’s going to take you a substantial amount of time to master the necessary skills. Now a professional developer is applying his skills across their client base. By contrast, as your own web developer, you have a client base of 1! Accordingly, your business must bear the time cost alone. Properly accounted for, that makes your time extremely expensive, even if you have all the necessary skills.
  2. Design: it’s easy to fool ourselves that because we know what we like to see in a website, we’ll easily be able to turn the telescope around and create a compelling design at the drop of a hat. In reality, professional and qualified web developers have been through a good deal of training and more than a little trial and error, to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to create designs that speak to the client’s customer-base.
  3. Coding: We’ve all been irritated by sites that take ages to load or refresh – that’s bad for the site-owner’s business. Behind every web page lies a blizzard of code. It’s in every website operator’s interests to keep the code as “slim” as possible. Professional web developers have a bag of tricks for achieving this. By contrast, many of the drag-and-drop DIY platforms that look so appealing are notorious for delivering bloated code and code which is not “liked” by the search engines – a disastrous outcome for the online presence of any business.
  4. Search engine optimisation: a lot of people, even if they are familiar with the concept of SEO, think that it’s just about writing copy that the search engines “like”. And it’s true that optimised content is, in itself can be a persuasive reason to use a pro. However search engine optimisation goes a lot deeper than the published text. There are meta tags, image attributes and links that must be correctly constructed and applied, if a site is to succeed in its primary function – to grow your customer base and transact business with them. SEO is fast moving that depends on keeping abreast of developments that may radically affect the success of your site. Few people in other areas of business can devote the resources needed to stay current. “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client” is an old saying that has a lot of truth for the development of successful websites!
  5. Cross-platform compatibility and responsiveness: Most of us use just one browser to visit sites. Perhaps we just assume that all browsers work the same – but in reality this is not the case. The truth is that we need our sites to work equally well on all the browsers and on difference devices. With the rise of smart phones and tablets, it’s increasingly important that your website is “responsive” – meaning that they detect the platform being used to display them and adapt automatically to display optimally. Having a responsive website is now more important than ever with the latest Google algorithm update which you can read more about here.
  6. Functionality: most businesses’ sites exist not merely to advertise and inform – they are there to take orders. It’s essential that your website’s secure payment facility is set up properly, and that, should it ever break down, you have someone to call on who can fix it in short order. There is nothing worse for your business than to turn away paying customers because – they can’t pay.