Must-Have Tools for Web Developers

Web developers can improve their workflow and simplify their tasks when they make use of web development tools. Web technology is constantly evolving and improving, and web developers must have constantly increasing skills to keep up! It’s no longer enough to be skilled with HTML, and no web developer can compete if he or she attempts to create every application from scratch.

When you get ready to design and develop a website for yourself or a client – you should rely on many of the following must-have tools for success:


Web developers should be familiar with PHP, a great programming language to create functional websites. The code itself borrows much of the syntax from Java, C and Perl, with the addition of new PHP-specific features created. PHP is specifically useful in web development applications because it can be embedded directly into HTML code, and is designed to help web developers create dynamically generated webpages quickly.


MySQL is the industry standard for databases. It’s easy to use, offers high performance and is extremely reliable. It’s used in some of the largest and fastest-growing applications like Google, Facebook and Adobe, and can be used on more than 20 different platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linus and Solaris.


A web-hosted application, Kuler helps you create colour themes for your web development projects. You can start from scratch and see how colors look together, or you can browse thousands of themes other Kuler users have shared with the community. The site is free, and can be used from any computer with a web browser. It can also be used in conjunction with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks, and InDesign software programs.

W3C Markup Tool

You need to develop websites with code that is up to standards. Not only with your website look better and function better, but it will often perform better in the search engines if all your web design code is compliant to the industry standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) determines what the current standards for web coding is, and offer a validation tool for validating your html, xhtml and css code. They’ll give you the green light if your code is up to standard; or let you know if it needs to be changed.


Use the industry standard for sample filler text on any web design you create for a client. It helps the client focus on the design and layout of the website, rather than worrying about what the content says. Once the design is approved, you can remove the sample text and replace with the real words that make up the website.


Photoshop is a professional graphic system to create designs. It allows professional web developers to create a toolbox or asset library, which will save you a lot of time when putting new websites together. You can save different brushes, colours, patterns, backgrounds, textures and more – and each item you add to your Photoshop toolbox can save you valuable design time.

Published by Mitch Fraser

Mitch Fraser is currently the director of two successful Australian companies that provide time and money saving solutions for their customers: Tomorrow Finance and Drawstring. At Tomorrow Finance, Mitch helps people find the cheapest home loan products to bring Tomorrow's dream into today; while at his web development company, Drawstring, Mitch focuses on the outcomes for his clients by taking the time to understand each client's business and unique situation while maximising their return on investment. Mitch obtained his Bachelor of Science in Computing Science and Diploma in Information Technology and Professional practice with first class honours, from The University of Technology, Sydney, in 2005.

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  1. Thanks for sharing these tools. I’m trying to start my own freelance business. Are there any others that anyone recommends?

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