For web developers, there's no such thing as too many programs. Almost any development program has at least one great feature that makes it stand out from the rest. However, there are a few types of programs it will be helpful.
A strong, versatile HTML editor is essential for web development. Whether you use a visual editor, text editor or both, you will need some way to access your website files and create, change or add to your site.
While many HTML editors come with FTP clients so you can upload your freshly created site from within the program, many developers prefer to keep separate FTP programs on hand. You may need to upload a single file, or store a few zipped files on your website server. In this case, a standalone FTP client is a good tool to have. Some are free, some are paid and some have both versions.
Digital media software
Digital media software, such as Roxio Creator or Adobe Photoshop, gives you the ability to capture photos and video on your computer. It also allows you to edit videos, photos or other digital media before saving and uploading. While visual editors provide some of these functions, programs dedicated to digital media have much higher abilities.
Because you re-connecting from your computer to your server, you can pass on any nasty virus, Trojan or worm your computer has. When working with websites, a strong internet security sweeper is paramount.
Internet Explorer, or IE, is the bane of every web developers existence; it doesn't play well with others. This means a website that looks good in web browsers like Mozilla, Chrome or Safari might not look so good in Internet Explorer. If you don't use IE, you won't know what your website looks like until it goes live and someone kindly tells you. IE Tester lets you see what your website looks like across several versions of IE so there are no nasty surprises.
The ability to see how code interacts on a live site is invaluable. Mozilla's Firefox browser offers a web development plugin called Firebug and a toolbar extension called Web Developer. Google Chrome has a built-in site inspector, and Internet Explorer has a developer s plugin.
With a good site inspector, you can look at each part of your website and compare it to the actual code. Not only is this a great learning tool for understanding how HTML and CSS interact, but it s also a great tool for finding errors and quickly fixing them. Using all three browsers in conjunction with as many development toolbar's and plugins as you can find, is an excellent start to becoming a full-fledged developer. You ll be amazed at how much you learn and how fast you learn it.
Having these applications on hand in your development toolbox won't just help you create a great website. They will also help you move forward in your understanding of how websites work and how to make minor to major changes yourself with your HTML editor.