13 key web development tools: The Best and Most Popular

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Web Development tools are an integral part of web designers and developers’ toolkits. If you’re serious about designing or building for the web, then it’s important to know which are the most popular tools available. Here are some key development tools suggested by NCR Report Cards .

Best web development tools for the Apple Mac for building websites | RAW Mac

1) Adobe Photoshop 

Everything you need to design stunning graphics for your website will be found here, from cropping images to removing unwanted objects. You can even edit each color by adjusting its saturation and brightness levels. Layer-based editing with multiple file formats support only makes Photoshop stand out more as the best tool for all things graphic related on the Web today.

2) Adobe Illustrator 

A vector based drawing program that’s similar to Photoshop, but is much better for laying out text and images as it tends to allow you to work at a larger scale, with more precision. The ability to import JPG images as masks also comes in really handy from time to time.

3) Corel Draw 

Corel’s entry into the vector drawing world, Corel Draw is very similar to Illustrator and has all the same features and tools available. It also has some additional features such as live trace and a spline tool, making it very useful for certain types of design work.

4) Fireworks 

Adobe’s answer to Illustrator, Fireworks is marketed more as a web design tool than one for vector based drawings. However it has all of the features Incorporated in Photoshop, but works with vectors. This means you can create scalable graphics with great detail, and alter their color with great precision too.

5) Flash 

Flash is first on the list of tools to help you create animations for your site. It’s generally used for creating interactive presentations, games and pretty much any sort of HTML widget you can imagine. There’s also script support available, so you can write your own fully fledged applications and games. It’s well supported and the tools used for creating Flash applications are all free, so there’s no reason not to use this tool.

6) Dreamweaver 

The most popular web development platform. It has a very functional editor with loads of features on top of that functionality, including template support for website building. The site builder is very powerful too.

7) Fireworks CSS Designer 

This isn’t really a web development tool but it can be used to improve the look of your websites using CSS techniques, which are all rapidly moving into becoming standard practice in website design these days. The Fireworks CSS Designer works by creating a style guide from scratch, where you can display your website’s layout so you can see what parts need to be changed to improve your site’s appearance.

8) Dreamweaver CS4 

Dreamweaver is a complete web-designing program, with all the tools you’ll need including a text editor and a browser for testing websites. It also has all the necessary features for what you’re using it for. For those that have used previous versions of Dreamweaver, this is a big step up from the previous versions and provides much improved features and abilities.

9) Awstats 

Awstats is a script that runs every X minutes on every web server on your network. This script looks for client-side scripts that might be loaded on your website and gives you a list of all the scripts that were downloaded using the Internet, trying to determine what kind of site they are. If you’re worried about security then this script can indicate who’s visiting your website, how many views they have accessed etc.

10) Open Source Tools 

There are loads of free open source tools available for web development. Some are suitable for beginners but others will allow experienced developers to take their skills up to another level or expand beyond what they are already capable of doing.

11) Xara Xtreme 

A vector based drawing program that’s not as popular as the other applications on the list, but is still used by many web designers and builders.

12) Fireworks MX 

Adobe recently released a new version of Fireworks, which has lots of new features such as support for more formats including PSD, PNG and more. The CSS Designer has been improved too to make it easier to use.

13) Photoshop CS4 

Just like Dreamweaver CS4 this is an upgrade from previous versions of Photoshop too, with loads of changes and improvements. The most significant of which is that Photoshop CS4 is now 64-bit, meaning it has much improved speed and support for large files like video clips. There’s also added support for the Adobe Extension Manager, which allows you to install new features should they ever need updating. But this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are loads of other changes too!

More recent web development tools also include the following:

Aptana Studio 3 – an integrated environment for web development featuring HTML/CSS/JavaScript editor, debugger, profiler, and more.

Cloud 9 IDE – Cloud 9 offers a cloud-based IDE for building HTML5 apps with Node.js.

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