Web design and development has significantly changed over the years, as have the tools and technologies involved. With these advancements come tools to make our lives easier, provide higher quality work and better services for our clients. Communication and collaboration over vast distances is no longer painfully frustrating (or impossible) and project or task management is now easier than ever.
Web designers and developers can also jump on virtually any internet connected computer with a modern browser to get work done without their main desktop applications. Wireframe, design, test, develop, deploy and so much more, straight from the web.
Dribbble lets designers upload small thumbnail images (up to 120,000 pixels, or about 400 x 300) of projects they’re working on. It’s a neat way to get a sneak-peek at what other creatives are doing and what their next release might be. Dribbble also allows you to follow other designers and what they upload.
Web Font Specimen
Web Font Specimen lets you test out how fonts will actually look on the web. Combined with browser cross-testing, you can see how the fonts you use with @font-face will actually appear to your visitors.
Sensational Jobs is a job board for web designers and developers. You can browse through full-time and freelance listings, and set up custom alerts via email and RSS for any desired keywords.
Cu3er is a Flash 3D image slider. There are a few different options available and you can create your own quickly and easily.
FontFonter lets you see what different Web FontFonts look like on almost any website. Just type in a URL and then select which fonts you want to replace the serif and sans-serif fonts on the site.
WebMatrixis a free web development tool that was released by Microsoft in early 2011, allowing developers to build websites capable of running on Windows or Linux platforms. It allows developers to use free open source web applications written in either PHP or ASP.NET
dropbox is a free and paid service networked storage that enable users to store and share photos, docs, folders and videos anywhere across the Internet using file synchronization easily.
Anologue is a new way to chat with people online. You set up a “chat room” and share the link with whoever you want, and you can chat with an unlimited number of people (within reason). It’s like combining the best parts of IRC, instant messaging, and comments.
CSS3 PIE (Progressive Internet Explorer) adds support for a number of CSS3 decorative features for Internet Explorer 6-8. It includes support for things like rounded corners, gradients, and shadows.
This is a simple site that lets you resize your browser window to popular sizes for web devices with a single click. Included are resolutions for things like the Nexus One, the iPad, and the iPhone 4G, as well as common laptop and computer screen resolutions.
App Inventor for Android
Google came out with their new App Inventor software to help non-developers create Android apps. That means you can roll your own apps painlessly, custom-tailoring them to do exactly what you need. You can also use App Inventor to create apps for public release.
PandaForm is a new web form creator that lets you create and share forms in minutes. It lets users submit updated forms, too, which is something many form creation services don’t provide for.
iFontMaker is a font editor specifically for the iPad. It lets you create handwriting fonts in minutes, and then convert it to TTF for use in other programs.
With Splashup you have more than basic image editing capabilities at your fingertips, anywhere you go. You can edit multiple images and layers together, use a variety of filters and tools as well as access your stored images just about anywhere (Flickr, Picasa, etc).
Aviary is a collection of web apps ranging from image and vector editing to screen capture and audio editing. These editors are capable of some pretty amazing work, yet are simple, free and fast enough for quick, basic editing.
Like Splashup and Aviary, Pixlr brings image editing to the web. Pixlr is more of a Photoshop clone than the other two, with a GUI that will likely be more comfortable for Photoshop users. Pixlr packs some extra features as well such as RAM usage, FPS performance and lots of tools and filters.
Photoshop.com is a very basic online version of the popular desktop application Photoshop. By basic, I really mean basic. It’s intended for photos and video with a very limited set of tools. It does however, include free photo storage, albums and quick access to your photos on sites like Flickr and Picasa.
Adobe kuler makes it quick and easy to create, share and discover beautiful color schemes to fit your needs. Starting from a base color or an image, you can quickly create all types of color schemes such as analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary and more.
Color Scheme Designer
Color Scheme Designer offers a simpler interface than kuler for color scheme creation while also offering a couple other helpful features. Preview the color scheme and an example light and dark template with the colors. Color scheme types such as complimentary, triad and tetrad are all supported.
Typetester is a fast way to test and compare up to three types of fonts with customized settings all side by side. Change the sample text and font options, then when you’re done you can get the custom CSS.
With PXtoEM you can get a full set of EM conversions based on a specified body font size. If you’re only in need of one quick PX to EM conversion there’s also a calculator available to do the math for you.
How often do you see a font somewhere on the web or in a magazine and wonder what it is? Upload an image of the font via URL or locally to WhatTheFont and get a list of possible matches. You’ll also get links to buy the possible font match(es).
With FontStruct you can create and share high quality TrueType fonts, which they call FontStructs. The editor provides easy to use tools, an alignment grid, a wide array of shapes (which they call bricks) and more.
CSS Sandbox is a simple but helpful tool for experimenting with and learning CSS. The preview is live so as you select different options you’ll see the change immediately, no refresh required.
templatr is a template generator which gives you the ability to build a website template online and download the finished package. Select your desired layout, upload your graphics and customize every element by clicking it to select, then specifying its settings.
iPlotz lets you create and collaborate on mockups and wireframes quickly and easily. It provides a huge selection of elements for websites and applications and is very easy to use. It also offers multiple levels of collaboration for clients, co-workers, etc.
Launch Splash is a fast way to get a splash page online right away. It’s clean, simple, quick and a great way to satisfy an antsy client or friend while you build the real deal.
Let’s face it, forms aren’t exactly fun to create. Wufoo has managed to change that with their easy to use, drag-n-drop form creator. You get a lot more though like reports, security and payment integration. You can also use it just to create valid HTML/CSS forms for your own development if you’d like.
Like Wufoo, JotForm lets you create forms using a drag-n-drop interface. JotForm isn’t as pretty as Wufoo but it still has a lot to offer and simplifies the process of creating all sorts of different website forms. Reports, payments and more is also supported.
Although BgPatterns’ selection and background creation tools are somewhat limited, it’s a neat and creative idea. You can quickly create and download a background pattern from a selection of options and pattern images.
Quickly create repeating stripes with Stripe Generator. You can customize stripe size, spacing, colors, background style, shadow and orientation. Then download the 18px * 18px repeating image and you’re good to go.
With Genfavicon you can create faivcons of different sizes quickly and easily. Upload your image from HDD or URL, select the desired size option and use the image selection box to select and position the image how you would like. It’s a basic but a useful and nifty app.
Create custom menus and preview them before downloading the final work. IzzyMenu offers an easy to use interface to customize graphics, colors, fonts, etc. You can also find prebuilt menus from their catalog. Signup is required for some of the more advanced features like jQuery effects.
Create custom flash widgets and applications for your website with stats tracking, sharing and many other options. The editor is drag-n-drop simple and provides lots of customization options.
Ajaxload is another really basic web app that lets you generate a customized “loading” image commonly used with AJAX applications. It might be basic but it’s come in handy time and time again for many of my projects.
Mozilla Labs Bespin
Bespin is an extensible code editor in the clouds. With it you can create, edit and share projects or even connect to other open-source projects and publicly accessible repositories. There’s a tremendous amount more that can be done with it, even theming it if you’d like.
Like Bespin, PHPanywhere is an online code editor supporting PHP/HTML (possibly more?). It even includes a fully featured and integrated FTP client. Tabbed editing, graphic file management, unlimited “undo” and “redo” and many more great features are included. There are many more features currently in development as well.
Yahoo Pipes gives you the ability to easily pull content together from around the web into several different forms like widgets, badges, maps, etc. Using the visual editor, you can create all sorts of great things without writing any code.
Google Code Playground
Google offers a tremendous number of services and API’s. Fortunately they also provide an easy way to test, learn and build virtually anything via their Code Playground. Access API examples, customize, debug, run, save and export your work.
serFISH’s SSH client gives you quick access to a full SSH client right from the web. With it you can get around firewall and proxy restrictions, connect anonymously (no IP reporting) and more.
Dabble DB gives you an easy way to create online databases but it does a whole lot more. Take the information in your databases and create reports with charts, maps, etc. or collaborate with others and it’s all done in a easy to use user interface.
The thought of cross-browser testing will make many of you cringe. Adobe Browserlab makes this task faster, easier and much less painful. Several additional options are available as well, such as viewing multiple browsers side by side or even overlaid.
Test your website in all the major browsers from IE6+ to Firefox 2+ (Windows and OS X) and Safari 3+ (Windows and OS X).
Like Browserlab, BrowserCam lets you capture screenshots of websites of your choice but in a much larger selection of browsers, including handheld devices like BlackBerry’s, iPhones and more. If you need to interact, you can also get remote access to testing systems.
ViewLike.us is basic but quite useful. Input your web URL of choice and select a browser size to view it including iPhone, Wii and many of the most popular screen resolutions. Testing websites but your screen is too small for testing 1929×1200? No problem, just scroll the viewing window.
W3C Markup Validation Service
If you’re not already familiar with W3C’s validation services, now is a good time to do so. Validate your markup and CSS via URI, file upload or direct input. Specify additional options such as document type, clean up markup with HTML tidy and more.
Are My Sites Up
Monitor your website status and receive alerts via SMS, email, Twitter or more depending on the level of account you choose. Get error codes with your notifications and even get keyword searches.
Google Analytics gives you easy website tracking and analysis with easy to use tools. Automatically generate reports, grant other’s viewing or control access, view your statistics graphically and much, much more.
Although Mint is a self hosted website tracking web application, it rivals Google Analytics and offers many of the same features. Graphical statistics and easy break downs of your website information are all included.
Pingdom Tools is a collection of tools for testing page load time, ping and traceroute. You’ll get a breakdown of all sorts of information for each test that is very helpful for performance and error testing and more. You can even monitor website performance and uptime for free.
clickdensity is a different type of website tracking application that lets you analyze visitor clicks, searching and other usability functions. View click heat maps and other reports to help you improve your website interface.
Springloops is a code collaboration and management tool for teams to work together more efficiently and prevent overwriting files or code. Easily manage, collaborate and deploy projects as a team.
Box.net gives you a simple interface with enough tools and features for businesses and teams to share, collaborate and manage files. It’s about more than just files though, it improves workflow and communication unlike many other similar solutions.
Like Box.net, drop.io focuses more on workflow, sharing and collaboration and file management. Real time collaboration, faxing, twitter, phone (voicemail, conferencing, etc.) and much, much more.
Dimdim is a powerful platform for web conferencing that doesn’t require any downloads. I’ve used it for several client (and family) demonstrations and even a few presentations. It works very well and the distance factor for many clients.
Jumpchart really takes the pain out of the concept and project approval and workflow between web guru’s and their clients. Collaboration, wireframing and more in a visual and easy interface for both you and your clients.
Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk is an easy to do list and task management application. It works with Google Calendar, Twitter, Gmail, iPhone and Android and much more. It’s easy but also flexible.
Domai.nr is another simple but creative and useful tool. Easily search for domain names by word and get instant availability results and creative suggestions. Then view additional links for registrars, TLD and tools like WHOIS.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter already, I highly recommend doing so. For designers and developers, it’s one of the best communication tools available. Although there are many Twitter clients for different platforms, Twitter.com is always fast, reliable and easy to use.
Zoho is a competitor to Google Apps (below) and offers a multitude of web applications for just about everything. With Zoho, you can tackle email, document editing, web conferencing, invoicing and a lot more.
Google offers a staggering number of web apps covering email, document editing, RSS, calendar, 3D model builder and a lot more. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Picasa and Reader or just browse their full list of products here.
Used any of the website and apps on the list above and want to offer your opinion? Please let us know in the comments!
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