10 Very useful web design and web programming tools

Web development today

Web development today isn’t just HTML editing or basic php scripts. Web development and programming today is usually achieved with a wide set of tools — any popular website around today uses a wide set of tools. For example,

  • reddit.com — reddit uses Python and PostgreSQL, which spit out html (of xhtml syntax), javascript and CSS.
  • slashdot.com — slashdot.com uses Perl and MySQL, sitting on top of Apache.
  • microsoft.com — microsoft.com uses a combination of ASP.NET, running on top of IIS. The output is html (xhtml syntax), css and javascript.

The tools

Web Developer / Firefox Extension

Firefox Web Developer Extension is a useful tool for being able to disable various features on a page, manage cookies, view specific css information using a picker tool for any specific elements and being able to manager userstyles. You can also manage images and various other tools including the ability to view generated source.

You can download it at Mozilla Add-ons

ColorZilla / Firefox Extension

ColorZilla is an extension to firefox that adds a color picker tool to the browser UI. It is then possible to return information for a given pixel on a website.

You can download it at the Mozilla Add-ons site.

MeasureIT / Firefox Extension

The measureIT Firefox extension adds a measuring tool that appears as an overlay on any webpage you need to use it on.

You can download measureIT at the Mozilla Add-ons site

DOM Inspector / Firefox Extension

The Document Object Model Inspector is a tool to inspect the DOM of any webpage. It often comes with the default install of firefox as an option.

You can download DOM Inspector at https://developer.mozilla.org/en/dom_inspector

Firebug / Firefox Extension

Firebug is an extension which is useful for editing css, html or javascript elements within a webpage.

You can download Firebug at the Mozilla Add-ons site.

Google page speed / Firebug Extension

Google page speed is a Firebug extension that is able to give you a wealth of information on the download speeds and execution time of your website. It can also give you tips on how to reduce overheads and improve code.

You can download the Google page speed Firebug extension at the google page speed site.


Notepad++ is a tool I often use when working on smaller projects where I do not need a full IDE.

Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.
Based on a powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size.

You can download it over at the notepad++ sourceforge project site.

Netbeans with PHP Development plugin

Netbeans is a Java IDE developed by Sun. It supports various plugins — one being PHP development extensions. When working on large projects, Netbeans proves useful.

You can download it at the Netbeans site.

Visual SVN

VisualSVN is a SVN server for Windows. It is quick and easy to use and requires little previous knowledge of server administration or svn experience, but it can also be quite powerful.

You can download it at the VisualSVN Server site. It is free for both personal and commercial use.

Tortoise SVN

TortoiseSVN is an SVN client that interfaces with Windows Explorer to interface with SVN.

You can download it at the TortoiseSVN site.


XAMPP is a quick and easy way to get an apache server, MySQL daemon and PHP all running on Windows for a development environment. It also supports an FTP server and a few other things.

You can download it at the XAMPP site.

You can come and discuss web development, get website reviews and also SEO information at the Transcendental Labs forum.