My Top 10 Web Developement Applications
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Over the last 10 years of web site development I have seen applications come and go, many are indeed useless and deserve to be cast off into oblivion never to be seen again, but every now and again an application comes along that meets the needs of a web developer, below are listed 10 tools that I use at least every week, they are robust and function well.
The coolest File transfer program ever, my criticism is the Mac version lacks the functionality of the Windows version, and later versions of Cute FTP don’t export the passwords in clear text, making transfering the setting to a new machine a little difficult. I love being able to switch file extensions on upload and is one of my favourite features.
Built by a friend of mine “Leslie Rhode” this bit of kit allows you to reverse engineer a competitors site link structure and break the information down into easy to follow information. I have lost count of the amount of times I have used this tools to batter my competitors into submission.
OpenCube Infinite Menus
The Web is full of drop down menus, but in my humble opinion no application does the job better than the OpenCube version, it’s expensive, but it’s worth it, aside from the multiple output options it allows the interface is very easy to work with, it works on Mac and PC too.
I work on both PC and Mac, and setting up PHP, MYSQL on the Mac is like a 2 minute job, however on the PC it’s a different matter, if you have the time you can manually configure IIS to work with PHP and MySQL can be downloaded and installed, but rarely is this a painless task, forget even trying, just download WampServer and have everything taking care in a heart beat, but wait it gets better, you can run different versions of PHP and switch between them with ease, you can install different Apache Mods with the click of your mouse, access the httpd.config and php.ini files, enable PHP settings all without typing a single line of code, and it’s free.
Zoom Web Site Search
With a little simplistic customizations you can make the results page like very professional, CSS can be added and the look and feel of the search pages can match your site exactly. It also suggests other search terms if a user miss spells a search word, best of all I love how you can image images along side your results.
Web Assist Site Import
XML Site Map Generator
Any Web Master who does not use Goggle Web Master Tools should be banished to the Salt Mines of Siberia, it’s free and you can quickly see if Google is having some issue in crawling your site, and apart from all the other cool tools included this is reason enough to use it. Part of the process of setting up a GWT account is creating a XML sitemap correctly, the XML Site Map Generator does just this, it can also be set up on a cron to find new pages daily. Google will download your site map daily along with information about all your newly added pages.
I can’t for the life of me think why anyone would not include a RSS feed on their site, I can only assume they think it’s difficult to do, Feedforall works on PC or Mac and makes adding a well structured RSS feed simple. Once in place your site will benefit instantly.
Live HTTP Headers (firefox)
For a start all web developers should use (or at least have a copy installed ) FireFox, apart from being very stable and fast it allows you to easily download extensions made by third parties. One of the most useful extensions as far as the web developer is concerned is the Live HTTP Headers, I have lost count of the number of times this little app as helped me find a problem, once launched it records every single header request and returned status code, it makes finding redirects easy and even allows to see the values of cookies used, best of all it’s free.
I know I said 10, but here’s an extra one that I just can’t leave out…
If you use MySQL like I do this application really makes things a lot easier, sure I can jump to the command line and type the MySQL query direct, the same way I can write HTML code in Note Pad. This program really makes managing MySQL data easier, it’s not free, if you want free, download and install PHPMYADMIN, if you want to be able to control your MySQL data in an interface no more daunting then Excel this application rocks.