Top Ten Tools and Resources for Web Developers

If you are a budding web developer then you should be aware of some of the amazing resources that are available online. No list of this type can ever be definitive but I’ve tried to gather some of my particular favourites in one place.

Firebug Plugin

This is an absolute must in my opinion. The Firebug plugin is a free add-on for Mozilla Firefox that really lightens the work load when styling HTML elements. I allows you to view changes to your page in real-time as you tinker with the CSS. Great for positioning awkward elements, where pixel perfect precision is required. It also helps you to identify inheritance problems within your style rules.

Blog.Spoongraphics

Home of graphic designer, Chris Spooner. This blog has an abundance of great tutorials and tips. Some of his resources are free and some must be paid for through ‘access all areas’ membership but there really is plenty of great stuff that can be viewed or downloaded for free. Excellent creative advice on Photoshop and Illustrator as well as some insightful writing about the design process, where he explains the reasons behind some of the design decisions in his work.

CG Textures

I absolutely love this site when I need to make a background ‘pop.’ Thousands of textures can be downloaded for free although some of the larger sizes require registration.

W3 Schools

Definitive reference for all developers and designers. Need to know the correct syntax to use is your code, the W3 Schools will have a page dedicated to the particular task that you are looking to achieve. One of my first ports of call when I hit a programming stumbling block.

Webmonkey

Web developer’s resources from wired.com. Includes cheat sheets, color codes and re-usable code snippets. Also has a tutorials section with a design and development tutorials and Javascript help.

Colour Lovers

In my opinion, this is the best place to go for inspiration when choosing a colour scheme for your site. Users submit their own palettes and colour HEX codes, which are then voted upon and can be browsed through by popularity. Also features sections on the latest web and print trends and is quite a bustling and friendly community.

iStockphoto

Not a free site but the ability to download a water-marked comp to try out in a design before purchase is invaluable. I use this to present ideas to my clients and let them make a decision on whether or not to pay the extra for the larger image. There are quite a few stock photography sites online but this one is my favourite choice due to the large number of images and the site’s ease of use.

DevShed

Comprehensive list of developer’s tutorials. Great for learning about the fantastic world of open-source development and adding the latest functionality to your projects.

CSS Zen Garden

The beauty of pure CSS design. The next time someone tells you that Flash is required to make a site look good, tell them to go here!

Web Know How

More tutorials and free code snippets. Also feature free to use design templates, which can be a great starting point when learning or when struggling for inspiration.

I hope that if you are reading this and choose to visit one of these excellent sites then you will find them as useful as I did. Of course, I might well have made a glaring omission and would be glad to hear any suggestions to make this list better.

Using Web Development and Programming Forums

When developing a website one of the terms that people are going to come across is parallel programming, among other things that the person may or may not have any clue as to what they are. In order to make sure that the person is doing their job right, there are tons of information out there that is just waiting to be found in order to help the person do their design right and make sure that it is going to satisfy everyone.

One of these sources is the various web development forums that are out there. The web development forum is a collection of people talking about things concerning web development. For example, there may be categories of design, such as color, layout and so forth that can help the person to get a good idea of what they want with their own web format, as well as helping them to not make the mistakes that others have made. There are also going to be technical categories that are going to explain to the person that parallel programming is something that the person wants to make sure that they have on their web page in order to make it run properly, as well as other technical terms that people may have a hard time with.

Another source is a programming forum and this is going to be extremely useful for those programmers out there that may have ran into a glitch with their program. They are going to find that usually the fix is something that is simple, though at the time they cannot see it because it is so simple, which is a common problem. However, with the use of these programming forums, the person can get the advice that they need. So why should people use forums when they are in need of advice?

One of the first and probably the most popular reasons for using these forums is the fact that the person is getting some great advice for free. Most people are going to find that if they were to go to a professional or a service that they would be paying for this. Why pay, when the person can find the same information for free? Secondly, these forums are a great place to bounce ideas off of one another. In this way you may prevent yourself from going down a dead end path because someone else has already tried that and failed. Plus, if you have a problem, even if there is no clear cut solution, some of the best minds in the business are passing ideas back and forth that may fix it.

Finding these forums is relatively easy since most people have the Internet. They simply need to do a search for these types of forums and they are going to have numerous results that pop up that they can utilize.

Four Recommended Tips for a Team of SEO for Web Development

If a company decides to rely on an expert to create a window to the web he does to have an advertising return and wants to be located more quickly and comfortably than the old systems (e.g. yellow pages) as the potential customer relies increasingly on search engines like Google.

Unfortunately, not all webmasters, designers are often helped by Dreamweaver & Co, are aware of the dynamics necessary to satisfy the SEO company, then forced to turn to experts to optimize the visibility of your site.

The best case is the presence of an SEO expert in every field of web development company that creates an initial guideline and are consulted each year by the client to update the web space under the new rules SEO: remember that the web and its rules vary very quickly, updating the site code and content is essential for lasting results.

The worst case for the company that wants the site is well positioned to find a study of web development even without knowledge in SEO, at which point the company has to go to another studio or find a freelance SEO expert puts his hand the code and possibly a redesign of a project born evil, or to update.

This is clearly not the optimal situation even for the SEO expert who will have to hand code to others, placing emphasis on analyzing the structure of spider traps, check for broken links, robots.txt misconfigured, not having a semantic structure (wireframe) lacking in content and so on.

So let’s see recommendations 4 and 4 things to avoid for a web agency that is planning the site of a customer and want to avoid him spending more money (possibly losing the contract when the customer will notice that your web provider is “lame”) offering rather than a service with bows and complete 100%.

4 things to do to provide a quality product:

Planning

The site must be planned together with an SEO expert right from the first drafts, by studying the semantics, the positioning of various frames, the right keywords.

Access

The collaboration must be horizontal: the SEO expert must have decision-making power in the team and give advice during the chosen code, create a site with perfect code badly positioned just a waste of time.

Communication

The coder needs to communicate at any time of the project on choices, ideas and possible errors with the expert in SEO. It should not be a consultant but a real team member.

Competence

Although the company has knowledge of SEO does not mean that I know what an expert. The SEO changes dramatically, just see the news in the social environment. Having a full-time SEO worker who knows the news is essential to have a result: if the web development company is large enough there is definitely need more experts – why pay 10 programmers flash and then have only an expert in optimization and positioning on search engines? And ‘counterproductive.

4 things to do to be filled with problems:

Wait

Show the wireframe to SEO expert to work day after day is over or even very serious mistake. If you follow the expert advice to assist the team, may be too late and having to redesign entire pages.

Afraid

The team should not be afraid to see the creativity stifled by the expert in SEO: working together to find viable solutions, achieving a balance between creativity and accessibility.

Underestimate

Many webmasters think that the SEO expert is only a marginal figure of the team: the result is to underestimate the SEO aspect and get a website invisible to search engines and therefore useless. If the SEO is not in accord with the design ideas should not hide our heads in the sand and ignore it but you have to ask alternative routes.

Seek Perfection (no reach)

If your SEO expert is competent and the team did not collaborate in the production process need to be afraid to launch the site. You have to constantly worry about instead of work: often the most common mistake is to start well and then rest on their laurels.