Essential Tools for Web Development.

 

Web developers are modern-day web architects. Instead of brick and concrete, they use code and tools to build everything we see online. 

Web development is no easy task. Developers have to have the eagerness in them to love technology and to be easily adaptable to change. Along with learning code and deciphering it, the internet is also ever-changing.

We sat down with our development team and had them translate some terms for us and give us a deep dive into the VSG web dev toolbox.

 

 

Web Development Tools Definitions:

The terms of web development might as well be another language. We empathize with wanting to understand what your team may be doing, but all of the ASPECTS? It can be overwhelming to understand. 

Here are some need-to-know terms and their definitions.

  • Repository Tool: A repository tool is a place that hosts an application’s code and helps manage the complexities of multiple developers working on the same code. Imagine if your company was trying to edit the same document and how quickly someone’s edits might overwrite another’s. A repository efficiently manages those different versions and gives a team a secure place to store their work. It allows a team to roll back to older versions and see a history of everyone’s contribution.
  • Code Editor: A text editor is a program on your computer that allows you to create and edit various programming language files. A text editor is essentially the place where web developers write code.
  • SEO Tool: SEO tools provide data and alerts about your website’s overall health and success. A high SEO can make your website appear higher on a search engine.
  • Page Builder: Page builders are a type of plugin that allows you to drag and drop elements into the backend of your website. Page builders will enable you to customize your website the way you want.
  • CMS: A content management system (CMS) is a software application that enables users to create, edit, collaborate, publish and store digital content. CMS is the foundation of any website (i.e., like the bricks of a building.)
  • Issue/feedback Tool: A feedback tool offers a way to stay informed of issues on your website. It helps web developers find the problems in websites to fix them.
  • API Testing Application: An Application Programming Interface (API) acts as a contract between two separate pieces of software. So anytime you send a Facebook message or comment on someone’s post, you use an API.

 

 

Our Technician’s Favorite Tools:

 

Best Repository Tool: GitHub

GitHub is an open-source tool, making it incredibly accessible for start-ups and personal projects within the development community. It’s fast to set up and easy to use with a well-designed and intuitive interface. It is also the most popular repository tool in the industry. Our team likes using popular technologies as much as possible because they often have the community’s most comprehensive documentation and support. Not to mention ample integrations with other tools they use as developers. 

Some drawbacks of GitHub are twofold: security and pricing. CodeClouds found that there are some security risks associated with using GitHub. They found more security risks related to GitHub because there isn’t a two-step security login, and a standard login process allows for more hacking. Additionally, it is one of the pricier options for repository tools, rounding out to $50 a year for four users, which can add up for a larger company.

 

Best Code Editor: Visual Studio Code  

Our team loves Visual Studio Code because they can customize it to fit their development style precisely how they like it. Additionally, it has its store for extensions, plugins for codes, shortcuts to debug, etc. A web developer can personalize their coding environment to match how they think and work their best to write code.

 

Best SEO Tool: Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog app allows the user to put in a website, and it crawls the website the same way a search engine pulls data from website crawlers and displays information for you to read. Is it optimized for SEO? Are there broken links? Screaming Frog tells you all of it. Screaming Frog data provides the missing piece that web developers need to see the front end.

One weakness of Screaming Frog is that it is constantly updating. This hinders the user experience because you will have to wait for it to finish updating before you can use it. Secondly, it has a free and paid version, and the free version is limited to what you can do.

 

Best Page Builder: Gutenberg Editor

WordPress is the most lightweight way to build on the platform. Using third-party plugins can sometimes break parts of the website that developers have to go back and fix. Gutenberg is reliable and predictable. Their updates aren’t surprising, so web developers know where to put them and what they will do if they update. Be wary of the newest Gutenberg Editor update, though. There have been some issues with compatibility within the past few months with the Gutenberg Editor. Additionally, with the new update, there have been some shortcuts that have not been working. A user can no longer use (Alt + Shift + 2 (Ctrl + Option + 2 on Mac)) to change a header on WordPress.

 

Best CMS: WordPress

Our web developers love WordPress because most web developers love WordPress. The Search Engine Journal found that in 2021, WordPress powers over 39.5% of the internet! Developers love WordPress because it can be as custom and out of the box as you want it to be. Other website building platforms’ goals want to be accessible for the everyday internet user, which is excellent for people who want to create websites themselves. Still, what you gain in ease of set-up you give up in control and customization. With so much flexibility, developers can build a site exactly how you envision it while also allowing you the capability of editing it on the CMS that has quite literally helped shape the internet.

A drawback of WordPress is that it is not for users who do not understand web development. Due to the amount of customization that can be done on WordPress, it can quickly get confusing. With the number of updates needed for WordPress and the amount of customization, WordPress is best used by professionals who can monitor your website carefully.

 

Best Issue/feedback Tool: Bugherd

Bugherd is the best feedback tool because when a developer adds it to the website, they are currently building, other developers and possibly designers can go into that website and add pins to where they have comments. You can add pins where there may be an issue, create a board of tasks to do, drag, drop and keep track of bugs. It is an intuitive and collaborative tool. Other alternatives aren’t as interactive and have a developer manually put in tasks or don’t let different users in to comment.

Bugherd, unfortunately, does have a poor customer service team. It is known within the developer community that if you have an issue with the tool, your answer will most likely be solved by another developer and not the Bugherd team.

 

Best API Testing Application: Postman

Whether pulling data from an existing API or building your own, there is no better tool for testing endpoints than Postman. In our developer’s opinion, Postman is the best API testing application because it is more convenient to test API endpoints in Postman rather than live testing, logging into the console, etc. Plus, it has a fun option to enter an endpoint, craft a request, and see what you get back.

 

Best Training Tool: Edabit  

To keep elevating their craft and maintaining coding knowledge, our developers like to use Edabit. Edabit is a site that offers over 10,000 coding challenges ranging from very easy to Elden Ring that will help keep any developer on top of their craft. They prefer to use it to practice Javascript, but there are several widely used languages you can practice there.

 

 

Why is this Important?

Having a team of insightful developers is essential to any marketing team. Websites can be very complicated yet sensitive beasts. A website can take a brand from one level to another. Think about all of the times you look at a company’s website before deciding anything. If you’re looking for a nice shirt, a place to eat, or even a doctor’s office, you look at their site. You want your website and your brand to stand out from competitors. Prospects of your business could decide against your product, even though it may be better, because of your site. 

Getting a stand-out website is to have excellent web developers using excellent tools. Using the best tools allows a website to steer clear of bugs, hacks, or crashes. Like building a house out of bricks and not sand, you want the best tools for your site.

Luckily, our team of web developers is excellent and uses excellent tools! 

If you would like to see some of our technicians work, click here.

Like what you see? Click here to work with us today!

 

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