12 Essential Tools for Frontend Developers

12 Essential Tools for Frontend Developers

Reduce your working time and improve productivity

Two men working at their computers
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Are you a frontend developer? You know and use several development tools now, but you gain experience, and the speed at which your industry evolves requires you to be more efficient and more productive with each mission.

You need to discover new tools. Here are 12 tools that should help frontend developers reduce their working time and increase their productivity.

1. Sublime Text — To Edit Your Texts

Sublime Text is a powerful text editor based on a cross-platform graphical interface. It integrates valuable features for frontend development, performs redundant tasks, and allows developers who spend time coding to increase their productivity.

Among the features it offers, we distinguish:

  • The autocomplete
  • The find-and-replace functionality
  • The syntax highlighting Customizable or the highlighted text
  • The automatic backup
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts
  • The macro media
  • Etc.

But Sublime Text goes much further than that. It offers the possibility of importing new features, new themes, adding new languages, etc. And speaking of languages, the editor can support around 44 programming languages and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

2. Bit (GitHub) — For Component Sharing

Bit (GitHub) is a frontend development tool that helps improve collaboration with your team, maximize code reuse, create more scalable code, and maintain a consistent user interface. For example, it allows you to:

  • Isolate components from different repositories to ensure that you are sharing components that are truly reusable and not coupled to your project.
  • Share said components with other members of your team.
  • Use them in any other project.
  • Discover building blocks shared by other members of the community.

So, Bit (GitHub) is a great tool to gradually build a library of modular components. You and your team can browse the library and import a shared component using the “NPM Installer,” modify said component in your local development environment using the “Bit Import,” and if possible, place the modified version of the component in the library.

3. GitHub Desktop — To Control the Version of the Source Code

GitHub Desktop is the desktop graphical tool to manage Git repositories. It only supports Windows and Mac operating systems. The tool gives you a graphical alternative to commonly used Git architectures.

GitHub Desktop easily integrates with your GitHub repositories that you can then manage without visiting the website. The GUI tool will be particularly useful to you when reviewing code and browsing the history of a project. Atom also integrates quite well with GitHub Desktop.

4. Chrome DevTools — For Real-Time Debugging

Very important when testing your end product in the browser, Chrome DevTools is a built-in tool with Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. It offers an integrated environment that allows you to:

  • Make the debug and modify a web page in real-time.
  • Edit CSS and DOM live.
  • Execute custom JavaScript to debug your code at different levels.
  • Analyze the execution time of functions in order to optimize the execution speed of your applications.

All Chromium-based browsers come with a version of Chrome DevTools, making it one of the most readily available tools for real-time debugging.

5. CodePen — For Code Playground

CodePen is a cloud-based development platform with which you can develop and test HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code live. Concretely, it allows you to create and share demos of your work or a frontend code snippet on multiple platforms and/or devices.

With this tool, you can, for example, share snippets or a fully interactive overview of your projects with your peers to get feedback or integrate them into tutorials, guides, etc. You can also use externally hosted resources in your CodePen demos and projects.

6. JAWS — For Accessibility Verification

JAWS is a screen reader that checks the accessibility of your web content. The tool reads your content and assesses the vulnerabilities that can limit access. Web accessibility represents the ability for users of all abilities and disabilities to properly access your web content.

Concretely, JAWS will check, for example, if your content is accessible to users with a given visual problem or if the content complies with accessibility laws in the countries in which you intend to promote it. Such a tool will be of crucial help to you.

7. PageSpeed ​​Insights — To Monitor Site Speed

PageSpeed ​​Insights is a free tool to monitor your site’s page load speed on Google, which is very important for SEO optimization and retention. You just need to type the URL of the page to perform the test.

You can check the operation of the test on a mobile phone or a PC. PageSpeed ​​Insights will also give you specific suggestions to improve the speed of your site.

8. BrowserStack — For a Multi-Browser Test

Popular with frontend developers, BrowserStack allows you to evaluate the functioning of web applications developed on a wide range of devices and browsers. The tool offers the possibility of selecting “browser-device” combinations and testing their use.

BrowserStack uses Selenium Server to automate testing on real devices kept in remote locations. When deploying the application, you can, for example, trigger a series of tests on a predetermined list of devices.

9. Adobe Color — To Inspire the Designer

Formerly known as Kuler, Adobe Color is an app that lets you create, browse, and share color themes that you can then sync with other Adobe apps.

Since the use of color is a crucial component of design, Adobe Color will be a very rich source of inspiration for frontend developers who want to discover colors that work well together on their projects.

10. Minify — For Faster Loading

Minify is an online tool that allows the developer to reduce the total size of their application code before sending it to production. With Minify, you will be able to remove white space, dead code, etc.

As the size of the application code is reduced, you can benefit from faster loading times on browsers.

11. Babel REPL — To “Retroconvert”

Babel is a free open source JS transcompiler used to convert modern ES code to legacy ES5 JavaScript so that it can be used on older devices.

It will allow you to try out recent additions to ES or certain features that are in certain stages of addition to ECMA. It can also refine the code further, limit the size of the files, etc.

12. BundlePhobia — To Optimize Your Storage

BundlePhobia is a web service that will allow you to download a package.json file and view its total size, download time, and the number of dependencies that will be installed from it.

If you have ever doubted the size of your node_modules folders or have once felt the need to know the size of a package.json that will be installed in your device, this is the tool for you.

Conclusion

The various frontend developer tools listed in this article will help you reduce your working time and improve your productivity. They meet major frontend development needs.

If you use any of these 12 tools, share your thoughts in the comments. If you use others, do not hesitate to share them in the comments.

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