For true web developers, there s no such thing as too many programs. Almost any development program has at least one great feature that makes it stand out from the rest. However, there are a few types of programs and resources you just can t do without. From helpful resources to add-on applications, here are a few must-haves for the burgeoning website creator.
A strong, versatile HTML editor is essential for web development. Whether you use a visual editor (also known as a WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get), text editor or both, you ll need some way to access your website files and create, change or add to your site. If you re new to HTML and editors, our top-ranking HTML editor software may be your best choice for functionality, as well as the most in depth tutorials and training materials for creating websites.
While many HTML editors come with FTP clients so you can upload your freshly created site from within the program, many developers prefer to keep separate FTP programs on hand. You may need to upload a single file, or store a few zipped files on your website server. In this case, a standalone FTP client is a good tool to have. Some are free, some are paid and some have both versions. Find the best FTP software in our FTP software reviews.
Digital media software
Digital media software, such as Roxio Creator or Adobe Photoshop, gives you the ability to capture photos and video on your computer. It also allows you to edit videos, photos or other digital media before saving and uploading. While visual editors provide some of these functions, programs dedicated to digital media have much higher abilities.
Because you re connecting from your computer to your server, you can pass on any nasty virus, Trojan or worm your computer has. When working with websites, a strong internet security sweeper is paramount. Visit our Internet Security Suite Reviews to read about our top-ranking security products.
Internet Explorer, or IE, is the bane of every web developer s existence; it doesn t play well with others. This means a website that looks good in web browsers like Mozilla, Chrome or Safari might not look so good in Internet Explorer. If you don t use IE, you won t know what your website looks like until it goes live and someone kindly tells you. IE Tester lets you see what your website looks like across several versions of IE so there are no nasty surprises.
The ability to see how code interacts on a live site is invaluable. Mozilla s Firefox browser offers a web development plugin called Firebug and a toolbar extension called Web Developer. Google Chrome has a built-in site inspector, and Internet Explorer has a developer s plugin.
With a good site inspector, you can look at each part of your website and compare it to the actual code. Not only is this a great learning tool for understanding how HTML and CSS interact, but it s also a great tool for finding errors and quickly fixing them. Using all three browsers in conjunction with as many development toolbars and plugins as you can find, is an excellent start to becoming a full-fledged developer. You ll be amazed at how much you learn and how fast you learn it.
Even with helpful tutorials in an HTML editor, you re not going to gain all the information you need to really understand website creation and coding. However, there are many fantastic resources available online where you can learn pretty much anything you re interested in learning. Those listed below are only a few, but they offer comprehensive training material.
W3Schools covers many commonly used coding languages. Step-by-step tutorials go hand-in-hand with why a particular code is written the way it is and how each step affects the next; they also give invaluable examples so you can see how each works. From simple code like HTML to high-level programming like PHP, you ll find everything you need to get started.
Website Tips offers tutorials, tips and resources for a wide range of areas. Tutorials on creating website graphics with specific programs, coding HTML pages, using CSS, writing for search engine optimization and tips on marketing are just a few of the rich resources available here.
If you can t figure out how to create a specific effect or you don t have time to search for a tutorial, Dynamic Drive is a great place to visit. Here you can find prewritten code for a wide range of effects, from drop down menus to sliding images. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions and upload your changes to turn your static website into a beautiful, dynamic visitor experience.
How you design your website is as important as whether it s coded properly. Web Reference provides a long list of great resources to learn web design standards. For instance, why should the shopping cart (or checkout) always go on the right side of a webpage? Why should your website links go on the left side? Web Reference can help you understand the necessary elements of any website.
Having these applications and resources on hand in your development toolbox won t just help you create a great website. They ll also help you move forward in your understanding of how websites work and how to make minor to major changes yourself with your HTML editor.
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