Software for Web Developers: Top Five

By Scott Clark

During the development of a website, developers must use a variety of tools. Software to create the site, edit graphics, transfer files, SSH or telnet into your server--this article will cover five of the best.

NoteTabPro

NoteTabPro is a text editor on steroids. It supports HTML, Perl, LaTeX, ASP, Java, Javascript, PHP, AutoLISP, SQL, COBOL, 4DOS, JCL, VHDL, ADO, VBScript, VRML and more. It features a tabbed interface, as well as "clipbook" libraries for HTML, JavaScript and CSS that make the task of editing a web page a lot easier. They have a "light" version that is free, a full "Pro" version that retails for$29.95, and a Standard version for $19.95.

WS_FTP Pro

Obviously you will need a tool that enables you to move files from your local machine to your web server. IPSwitch's WS_FTP Pro is an industry standard that has been used by web developers for years, with over 40 million users worldwide. It allows you to transfer files over FTP, SSL, SSH and HTTP/S transfer protocols. It is also secure, with 256-bit AES encryption, FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography, OpenPGP file encryption, and file integrity validation up to SHA-512. This isn't your father's File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software. It retails for $54.95, or $89.95 with a one year support agreement, and also they have a free demo version available for download.

PuTTY

PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH which can be used on Windows and Unix platforms, and it includes an xterm terminal emulator. It supports standard telnet sessions, SSH-2 and SSH-1, as well as local echo. The software isn't as full featured as some commercial SSH tools, but it will get the job done--and well. If you need to telnet or SSH into your web server, this is the tool to use.

Dreamweaver

Adobe's Dreamweaver CS5 is a full-featured WYSIWYG editor that allows developers to design visually as well as directly within the code. It supports PHP-based CMSes such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, and enables developers to create websites using HTML 5. It also features CSS Starter Layouts to get you started, and is integrated with Adobe BrowserLab, which allows developers to preview dynamic web pages and local content using multiple views and diagnostic and comparison tools. It retails for $399, and a demo version is available for download for free.

PaintShop Pro

Corel's PaintShop Pro has been a web developer's friend since Jasc Software owned it over six years ago. It allows you to import, edit and share your images. It enables those of us without graphic skills to make quick fixes to images via its Express Lab feature. Creating GIF images with transparent backgrounds is a snap. It also allows users to upload images directly to Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. PaintShop Pro retails for $99.99, and a free trial version is available for download. As you can see, the software you choose can make your life easier, and enhance the development process from start to finish. If you know of other tools that belong in every web developer's toolbox, let us know so we can spread the word!

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