With all the web development tools out there these days — both open-source and proprietary — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the options. So it’s helpful to get some personal recommendations to winnow down the list of possible tools. After all, the whole point of using developer tools is to make your life easier.
Whether you’re a Web Developer or an aspiring one, we’ve rounded up 21 web development tools to add to your arsenal. Ahead, a few of our Codecademy developers discuss the best resources, frameworks, tools, and software packages that make web development tasks a (relative) breeze.
Insomnia is a versatile tool that makes it easy to experiment with different web design ideas. Available for macOS, Windows, and Linux, it’s an API client that can send API requests via HTTP, gRPC, and GraphQL which are commonly displayed as JSON and XML. Other rich content format responses like images, audio, and CSV are also supported.
Alan Lin, a Senior Back-End Engineer at Codecademy says, “It’s an open-source API client that lets you create and save HTTP requests. I have different folders for different services that help me run experiments quickly.”
“I’ve also been using jQ (jQuery) a lot recently. It’s very useful to have in your back pocket whenever you need to transform JSON data in the terminal,” Alan says.
Atom is a code editor that’s praised for its flexibility thanks to the numerous customizable features and open-source or third-party packages that have recently been developed. It also has collaboration tools that allow you to connect with other programmers in real time.
While Notepadd++ may not be big on aesthetics and is available only on Windows, it’s great for creating small programs that execute quickly. It’s a compact source code editor written in C++ and Notepad replacement that supports many programming languages, making it a convenient option if you need a simple, fast, and easy-to-use coding environment.
Wappalyzer has specific web development tools that enable you to automate time-consuming tasks that would normally require hours of manual work, like technology lookup, competitor analysis, custom reports, email verification, and security recon.
Curriculum Director Zoe Bachman says she is a “big fan of the Wappalyzer chrome extension for analyzing the tech used in different web apps.”
Vim is a customizable text or code editor that is compatible with Unix and macOS. It can double as pretty much any kind of editing tool you’d like, for anything from emails to HTML. It’s also compatible with many languages resulting in syntax files that are highlighted accordingly, speeding up the dev process.
7. Firefox Developer Edition
Firefox’s developer edition is complete with tools in beta that help you make products for a wide range of browsers. It runs side-by-side with Firefox’s browser, making it a go-to option for many developers.
8. Visual Code Studio
Visual Code Studio is built by Microsoft and runs on a variety of environments such as macOS, Windows, and Linux. It can perform a wide range of tasks, from entering Git commands to debugging your apps. You can also use a remote machine or container to run it. It even allows you to add languages, debuggers, and tools to your installation to support the development workflow. For example, you can add an extension like Live Server to see real-time changes on your website.
Django is a Python framework noted for the ease with which you can use it to build web apps. Maintained by Django Software Foundation, Django is free and open source, and you can use it to build almost any type of website, from social networks to content management systems.
If you’d like to master Django, you can use Codecademy’s Build Python Web Apps with Django Skill Path, which will get you started creating apps with Django’s impressive resources.
Angular is a flexible front-end framework that was created and is maintained by Google. Its command-line interface (CLI) makes it easy to create and maintain apps right inside the command shell.
11. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails, often referred to as “Rails,” is a framework written in Ruby. It’s a great solution for server-side apps and uses the MVC pattern. Rails is used by companies like Twitch, Shopify, and Hulu. It’s noted for its ease of use and integration. (Check out our Learn Ruby on Rails course to learn more.)
React, made by Facebook, is popular for its flexibility. With React, individual components can manage their own state (the data that populates and may change on a web app). Components can then be combined to create customized and complex user interfaces.
With Codecademy’s Learn React course and Create a Front-End App with React skill path, you can learn how to get the most out of this popular web development tool.
You can get a handle on Vue with our Learn Vue.js course, which will teach you how to design front-end web apps that appeal to users and businesses alike.
ASP.NET, developed by Microsoft, makes use of C#, which makes it capable of stronger performance, particularly for some more experienced developers. Extending from the .NET framework, it’s used to develop server-side web apps. It’s used by companies like Walmart and Stack Overflow and can help you build fast, secure, and maintainable web apps.
16. Semantic UI
Semantic UI streamlines the process of designing an interactive and attractive UI. You can add and manipulate a ton of different collections, elements, and behavior modules, making UI creation significantly easier. It has over 3,000 theming variables and over 50 UI components, giving you plenty of options.
Bootstrap was made by some of Twitter’s developers and has been a leading CSS framework for several years. It’s a mobile-first framework that allows you to incorporate prebuilt components, plugins, and the Bootstrap SVG icon library.
To get started with using Bootstrap in your development arsenal, you can check out our Learn Bootstrap course, which gives you a step-by-step intro to this user-friendly framework.
Materialize is based on the Material Design language from Google. It gives you access to animations, a range of user interface elements, and more. It hones in on the user experience while giving developers enough options to ensure their products appeal to a broad swath of people, regardless of the platform they use.
Svelte is one of the leaders in low-code development. Svelte, unlike React, doesn’t have a virtual Document Object Model (DOM), which means fewer re-renderings of the user interface and a sped-up overall experience. Since it was built to enable users to write less code, it’s ideal if you’re new to coding.
Build your developer career
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, these tools can make development easier. Of course, the first step is building your foundational knowledge and coding toolkit.
If you’re looking to further build your career as a web developer, check out our Web Developer Skill Path and our catalog of developer tools. You can also browse our course catalog or take our coding sorting quiz to see where your coding strengths may lie. No matter where you start, the good news is that you can get started today.