10 Tools Developers Can’t Live Without

Trevor Plumley is a developer with Social@Ogilvy Washington.

With the ever-changing landscape of digital trends in web development, it is imperative that today’s web developers make use of tools and shortcuts to make their work faster and more efficient.  As a front-end developer, you have to keep up with the latest technologies and libraries. The list of supported devices continues to grow.

One of my absolute favorite tools that has saved me many times is It is an open forum that allows developers to submit issues with code and receive answers from fellow developers.

The Social@Ogilvy developers team has assembled a list of invaluable tools that save time in the entire development process – from conception to final testing.

  1. MAMP (Free) This allows you to run a virtual Apache server for testing PHP sites like WordPress.
  2. Emmet (Free) Formerly called Zen Coding, this plugin enables shorthand typing to help jump-start manually coded pages.
  3. Modernizr (Free) This JavaScript library detects the capabilities of the user’s browser and enables HTML5 and CSS3 alternative experiences on older browsers.
  4. iOS Simulator (XCode) (Free)  Apple has included an iOS device simulator for free within the Xcode SDK. This is quite helpful for testing responsive websites across iPhones and iPads.
  5. Window Size (Free) This Chrome plugin dynamically displays the browser dimensions when it is resized. This is crucial for setting up break points for media queries.
  6. Font Squirrel (Free) This online service catalogs and converts fonts into web-fonts for easy implementation and embedding.
  7. DiffMerge (Free)  This application allows you to visually compare differences in two files. This is particularly helpful for checking to see what was updated in newer versions of code.
  8. Integrity (Free)  This crawler will quickly scan your website to check for broken links (internal and external).
  9. VirtualBox (Free) A flexible virtualization program that allows emulation of many different virtual machine environments which is helpful for testing.
  10. Yeoman (Free)  This is a powerful workflow manager that combines several tools which can be used to automate the setup of a new site.