The intention of this post is NOT to be a super-long or detailed post but the beginning of a series that will highlight three of my current favorite web development tools at a time. I will continue this series over time and add new tools and technologies that may prove helpful to you as a web developer as well. It does no good to continue to rehash the “good ‘ol days” when everyone in the world has continued to move on. The only way to personal and professional progress is to keep oneself on the cutting edge of what is new, what is best, what is most helpful and actually have the know how of putting it all into practice.
The most fundamental web development tools that I am using to move my web development journey along. Have to do with the server and backend management of a website. My first days learning web development involved me setting up a code editor on my computer and working through tutorials that involve HTML & CSS. When I wanted to work with more complexities the tools got a bit more advanced and I needed to run a server environment on my computer so that I could write a sever based scripting language like PHP.
Beginning with the code editor I have actually been going back and forth between two code editors lately because I have not completely migrated to the later in practice. The two editors that I am working with are Espresso for Mac & Sublime Text 3.
I am using Espresso to connect a bit to my servers because there is a handy-dandy FTP Client that added directly to the user interface. Espresso was actually my preferred editor at one time because they positioned themselves to be a direct competitor to the popular editor by Panic Software called Coda but Espresso seems to have stopped actively developing new features for espresso and has fallen behind in my mind of being a top-notch code editor.
I have almost completely migrated my workflow to the amazing Sublime Text 3. The interface of sublime text in comparison to Espresso is incredibly simple and does not give off much of a show. With regard to features in sublime text I have found that there is a robust community that is backing the software and building all types of extensions for it that make life easier. Because Sublime Text is a million times more feature rich and configurable than Espresso I made the decisions many months back to phase out my use of Espresso.
I find myself using FTP less and less these days but when I do use FTP, the FTP client of my choice has been Yummy FTP for Mac. Yummy FTP is just easy. It was created the Mac way with ease of use and simplicity in mind. The one feature I use the most in this software is the basic feature of bookmarks. If you are on a Mac and want to go into more detail and get really advanced with this FTP client then the possibility is certainly there. My current workflow does not need the daily FTP use.
Local Server Environment
The last few years I have been very involved in the WordPress community and I have primarily developed, maintained & built WordPress websites for clients. Because WordPress is powered by PHP and is a database driven (MySQL) content management system, You need both a server & Database to install the software and actually experiment with it.
When I first started PHP development I tried several methods including the popular MAMP. I have since wised up and switched over to the use of DesktopServer by ServerPress.com for all of my local WordPress Development. DesktopServer is second to none with the technology stack they offer in addition to the PHP & MySQL Server. The technology is intended to be used specifically with a WordPress powered website but if your really wanted to you could actually install any PHP & MySQL powered site on the program. The software allows for you to create a directory of WordPress Websites that can be installed via a click-through interface on your computer’s local host and your choice of port.
Other features of the software that make it a knockout choice for WordPress Web developers include:
- The Ability To Create Blueprints
- A suite plugins to extend the core functionalities of the software
- One Click Deploy to Remote server from local with the premium version
- Exceptional technical support for premium users
There are many features that I could go into tons of detail about but I will save that and more for a later post.
Overall, my current tool set for web development has helped to make my workflow a bit more pleasant. These three tools are just a few. In future posts we will cover more. Thanks for reading.
Even though Sublime Text is a commercial product costing $70 per user that price becomes negligible if we divide it by the number of hours usage 🙂