Top 5 Web Development Tools

Awesome web development tools to give your website an edge

Top 5 Web Development Tools.Developing a new website for your business is an exhilarating experience. You need to work through designs for all the pages your site needs and decide how visitors will move from one page to another. You may decide to pay for expert skills for the design, the build, or both. Custom web development is a fairly straightforward task, thanks to the wide range of web services and tools now available. You can do the web development and design yourself or use web development services. Whichever path you choose depends on your confidence and your computing skills.

A number of web services now offer online templates that automate the web development and design process, making custom web development a task that anyone can perform. Consider the web development tools outlined in this review before you decide whether you can tackle the job yourself.

1) Balsamiq

Balsamiq may influence your decision about whether to perform your own web development and design. This easy-to-use web service enables you to create mock-ups of your webpages. If you want to have the program on your computer so you can work with it offline, Balsamiq offers a downloadable version. Nowadays, you have to produce several different versions of your site because people may access it from desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones. The mobile versions of your webpages will require different layouts because a phone screen is much smaller than a laptop screen. This makes custom web development a little more complicated than it was a few years ago. Creating mock-ups of your pages before the final build means you can test their appearance and get feedback from others on the look and feel of your new site before you go to the trouble of building it.

2) 99 designs

If you aren’t going to do your own web development and design, you need to find someone to do it for you. 99 designs enables web designers to showcase their abilities and pitch for work. You fill out an online form with your requirements and specify how much you are willing to pay. This information is then accessible to freelance web designers, who come up with a pitch and post their ideas for your project. The competition closes after seven days, and you pick the design you like the best. Don’t forget to specify that you need SEO web development, because that will get you search engine-friendly web services built into the submitted designs.

3) Amazon

You probably know Amazon as an online retailer. The company extended its platform from selling books to creating a marketplace for a wide range of products. Selling online requires many specialized web services, not just web development and design. For example, you will need a shopping cart and some form of payment processing. Amazon Web Services helps users of the Amazon platform set up their online shops through a series of web development tools. You can create your own pages online with the Amazon templates, which simplifies the decisions that must be made in custom web development. Amazon is highly experienced at web marketing, so you can be sure that its templates include search engine optimization, thus guaranteeing SEO web development for your enterprise. Another advantage of Amazon Web Services is that the company is so well known; plenty of blogs and web development and design advice sites can give you tips specifically related to using Amazon Web Services. Some small businesses, however, may find Amazon’s standardized design procedures too restrictive for their needs.

4) Wufoo

If you like the idea behind Amazon Web Services but want a little more originality in your web development and design, take a look at Wufoo. This company offers web development services similar to Amazon’s in that you can create your own pages using templates. However, one big limitation in Wufoo’s web development tool is that it is restricted to producing forms. Forms can be used not just to input data but also to display it. If you have a catalog of products, you can set up input forms that only you can access and then construct the main product pages of your site as forms to display search results based on the data you input into your database. But not every website needs input forms, and those that do have forms also need other pages that are not centered on forms. However, you can integrate your Wufoo forms into an Amazon shop. Websites are more than just the layout you see in the browser. Often there are complicated behind-the-scenes programs and databases at work in a webpage. Wufoo generates all these programs for you. Handling forms input, storing the input data, and accessing it is a complicated programming task, so if you need forms on your site, look into Wufoo.

5) Swiftype

Swiftype won’t help you with your web development and design, as it isn’t a web development tool; however, it is a search facility that you can integrate into your website. A search facility is more complicated than just an input field labeled “Search.” The search engine needs to index the site and record keywords against different points in your webpages. Swiftype stores this information on its own server, and the Search button on your site prompts a call to a program on its computer. This may slow the response of the search, depending on the performance of the Swiftype computer and the speed of the Internet connection when a user tries the function.

Considerations

If you are completely new to web development and design, Amazon Web Services is probably the best solution for your custom web development project. The limitations of design decisions in this system will actually help you get the job done, and the automatic integration of a shopping cart and payment processing simplifies the work you need to do to get your online shop running. If you don’t need to collect payments through your website but have a lot of products to display, you might be more interested in Wufoo’s web development services, where you get more design options but fewer services. The prototyping facilities of web development tools such as Balsamiq will enable you to test the usability and visual appeal of your planned webpage layouts. Remember to create mobile-friendly versions of all your pages, and check them out on a range of devices before settling on your design.

Image source: venimo/BigStockPhoto.com

 

Disclosure: If there are links to a product in any of the reviews, a commission may be paid to us if you purchase the product. We will never write a review on a manufacturer’s product, nor will we promote a product, if we believe the product will not be beneficial to you.

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