Shelley Bassett

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Web design on multiple screens

A professional web developers setup


March 30, 2020

Are you a budding web developer, unsure about the best programs for your workflow? Here are some tried and true options.

The world of web development can be a daunting place. And the software options are vast and numerous. Don’t expect to find your perfect setup first try. It’s taken me 10 years to decide upon this, and I still think it could be improved upon. But pending further changes, this is my current web development setup.

This list includes options for both Mac and Windows, as I tend to switch between operating systems regularly, and like to have consistency to my work flow. This isn’t a comprehensive list, just a collection of my personal favourite options.

Have I missed your favourite program? Leave a comment, and let me know, I’m always trying alternative solutions.

Text Editors

Text editors are one of my most frequently trialed pieces of software. It’s the program that gets used no matter what is being developed. When I first started (and knew no better) just the default Notepad was enough to get going. But over the years, I’ve looked for better features and nicer interfaces.

Dreamweaver was one of the first editors that I used, although opening it now fills me with anxiety at the clunky interface. Notepad++ is always a solid choice, and has many loyal fans that swear by the clean workspace and easy integrations. Brackets has integrations with web browsers that lets you view web changes almost instantly, which can be great early on in the development process.

If GitHub and GitHub Desktop are your choices for versioning, Atom is a great choice. I really like this editor, and find myself using it when managing repositories.

Current Favourite: Sublime Text

There’s no doubt though, Sublime Text is my go-to editor. It can be packaged onto a USB stick for easy transportation between Mac machines, has an almost unlimited amount of packages and plugins and can be customised in a wide variety of ways.

Web Browsers

Web browsers might seem like an odd choice for a developers setup, because a website should work across all browsers. It’s even recommended to include legacy browsers like Internet Explorer, despite how fussy they can be with newer implementations.

I’m not super fussy when it comes to browsers. If a machine has Safari or Firefox, I’m pretty happy.

Current Favourite: Google Chrome

My daily driver, however, is Google Chrome. It has a really nice development interface, and easy to interpret console makes debugging really easy.

Web design on multiple screens
Web design on multiple screens

FTP

File transfers are the only way to get your site up and running. You could always do it directly via cPanel’s File Manager, but that’s not really the recommended method.

Current Favourite: FileZilla & Sublime Text

I use a combination of FileZilla and Sublime Text to manage my file transfers. FileZilla is great for large files and large volumes of files, but the SFTP package in Sublime Text allows uploading to the server on save, a feature that is incredibly useful.

CDN’s

Finally, CDN’s. This is very optional, but useful if you want to increase the speed of your site. I’ve tried both Cloudflare and Google’s Cloud CDN over the years, and both are quite good.

Current Favourite: Amazon S3

Currently, I’m using Amazon’s S3 services to host the files for this website. I think it’s doing a pretty good job, and it was fairly straight forward to set up. Plus, I have the confidence that a company like Amazon is managing the infrastructure.

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