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Using the right web design tools can help you organize things better, streamline your workflow and make you a smarter and more efficient worker overall. You’d be able to better invest your energies into creation of beautiful designs, solving problems and delighting users, rather than wasting them on repetitive and dull tasks.

New web design tools are being launched every now and then, most of them with the intent of simplifying processes and reducing the web developers’ time and effort.

Let’s take you through the top 20 web development tools that can make your life a whole lot easier!

The 20 Best Web Development Tools

Web Development Tool
1 Sketch Regardless of the fact that almost everyone has heard about Sketch, the vector UI design tool from Bohemian Coding, apparently a good number of web designers still depend upon Photoshop to design user interfaces (despite the newly released Adobe XD, the new age wireframing and prototyping tool from Adobe).

Experts and creative directors everywhere believe that continuing using Photoshop for web design purposes is proving to be a rather difficult proposition for everyone. A great multitude of web developers have already switched to Sketch, despite having used Photoshop for more than a decade! Talk to any of them and they’d tell you how they have never looked back after using Sketch for the first time!

There are several different reasons why many have permanently switched to Sketch. First of all, sorting documents and making revisions is far easier on Sketch. As it’s a vector-based application, the file sizes in Sketch are comparatively much smaller than Photoshop. The inbuilt grid system of Sketch is excellent and makes the task of interface design a lot easier. It’s minimal fee and the overall impressive UI makes Sketch a far cleaner and user-friendly tool for designing purposes. Placed side-by-side, Photoshop appears far more complicated.

You can avail hundreds of different plug-ins from the Sketch community, solely targeted at making the workflow of designers smoother and easier. In fact, there is a plug-in for almost everything!

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2 Avocode Avocode is a tool that makes application or website coding from Sketch or Photoshop designs very easy for the front end developers. This tool has been developed by the same team that got popular for PNG Hat and CSS Hat. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have successfully managed to take the export process a step further. Although the earlier apps of this kind allowed developers to export assets, how Avocode sets itself apart is that you can employ its Photoshop plug-in to sync a PSD file into Avocode in a matter of just one mouse click.

Avocode does an automatic and quick analysis of a Sketch or PSD file, and brings all the aspects into a wonderfully designed UI. Thereafter you get complete control on how you wish to export assets, including the standard SVG exporting.

You are also allowed to collect different elements inside the design, and then copying and pasting the corresponding code inside a text editor of your liking. In the words of Vu Hoang Anh, the co-founder of Avocode, it’s a tool that gives users all that they require for efficient coding – a design preview, access to every single layer and export assets.

What really takes the cake is that developers don’t require Sketch or Photoshop at all while working with Avocode. It’s the fact that workflow really sucked that led the team at Avocode to create this useful tool. Although no app can ever be used as a 100% replacement of a developer, there are many hard-pressed designers out there who use Avocode to turn their Sketch and PSD files into interactive designs. These designs then form the basis of website creation.

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3 Sublime Text Getting to the basics first, Sublime Text is a highly rated code editor, used by a great multitude of web developers everywhere. What sets it apart from the other similar tools in the market is its ultrafast, superefficient and extremely well-designed user interface. Although there are many code editors in the market that do the same things pretty well, Sublime Text is by far the most popular and best of them all.

The tool actually started out as a one-man development team who created it solely for art purposes. Why sublime text has been so successful in such a short span of time is the wide array of keyboard shortcuts it offers to the developers. For instance, you can carry out simultaneous editing (make the same type of interactive changes to the different selected areas) and quickly navigate to different lines, symbols and files.

Considering the fact that developers normally spend over eight hours on their code editors per day, saving a precious few seconds here and there, can add up to a lot later.

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4 Prodraw Prodraw is an ultimate icon maker that definitely deserves to be on the top among the icon generators and creators available in the marketplace. It provides the ideal web graphics for both new as well as seasoned designers’ needs. Consisting of web buttons, cartoons, image files, animations, clipart, clipboards etc. in the form of different icon formats, as per your requirements, ProDraw serves as the go-to icon solution for all modern-day web designers. Some of the popular icon formats supported by ProDraw are: BMP, PNG, JPG, ICO and GIF.

Following is how you can easily create favicons, logos or icons with the help of this tool:
– Start by uploading your selected image onto the website. Once you’re done, you’d be provided with an editable interface.
– Select from a wide range of icon dimensions and formats.
– Apply different special effects and editing filters in order to enhance the overall appearance of your logo. After you’re through with the edits, download the created icon, logo or favicon to your computer.

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5 Atomic This one’s a prototyping tool which takes coding completely out of the equation. Regardless of the fact that it’s a premium tool, the developers behind it allow for a free-of-cost 30 day trial to anyone who wishes to take it for a test ride. It allows developers to try out Atomic in real life situations, without having to shell out anything. As is applicable to any such tool, you must comprehensively go over its elements prior to its active usage. Some of the features that set it apart are:
Easy start – You are allowed to start out either from scratch, using a clear canvas, or can instead draw inside Sketch and Photoshop documents to Atomic.
History track – It shows you all the project changes at any point of time and enables you to return to any of those points, whenever you like.
Craft motion – This feature of Atomic helps you to automatically create amazing craft elements and transitions employing an advanced level motion timeline.
Interactions – You can use different types of interaction gestures and triggers, for instance double tap, swipe and hover.
Feedback and sharing – It’s extremely easy to share the prototypes with web links and comments, in one single place.
Multi device experience – The prototypes can be designed on a Mac or a Desktop, and can then be previewed on any device.

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6 CodePen Projects Chris Coyier, Tim Sabat and Alex Vasquez founded CodePen in the year 2012. It has gradually evolved into the most lively and biggest community on the Internet for showcasing and testing one’s JavaScript, CSS and HTML code snippets. The community has been functioning in the form of an open source learning environment as well as an online code editor over the past few years. You can see a large number of developers creating code snippets, testing them and getting instant feedback for them.

CodePen took a major leap when it launched its own Integrated Development Environment (IDE) called CodePen Projects. It allows you to build websites right from within your web browser. Furthermore, it facilitates easy drag and drop of various website files, their better organization in the form of different tabs and easy review of your site in real time as you create it. You can even make use of templates to speed up the website creation process, apart from utilizing several inbuilt debugging tools.

Please note, even though it works quite like the Pen Editor, the CodePen Projects isn’t intended to replace the Pen Editor, but work alongside it.

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7 MindTouch MindTouch’s range of commercial grade wiki services and products have been appreciated by the likes of Forrester Research as effective alternatives to the similar offerings of IBM and Microsoft. The cloud-based wiki provided by MindTouch can be used by both private and public communities, and is known as ECM or Enterprise Content Management system.

The wiki platforms created with MindTouch demonstrate varied usages, for instance, like the executive dashboards or knowledge bases. Take a look at Autodesk’s wiki help and you’d see how it is a stunning example of what can be achieved with the help of a wiki. It’s a knowledge community created with customer contributions, with the sole intent of supporting fellow users.

In fact, has rated MindTouch Core v10, an open source and free of cost wiki software based on GPL v.2 standards, the number one in the market.

Songbird, a popular digital music service provides a developer repository to its users with the help of MindTouch open source platform, thereby extending its product resources. You can make use of the MindTouch developer resources available in the form of a wiki community website as well.

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8 Trello At core, a project or task management tool, Trello is a wonderful example of how such tools should actually be like. It can be effectively used for managing the web development tasks and workflow, apart from usage in other fields including online businesses, blogs, marketing projects and more. The tool has a very minimalistic and simple user interface, however, has almost everything you require to manage a project comprising of maximum 10 team members. You can do various things including task assignments, task labelling, task scheduling and attachments.

This tool can be best used by a solo web developer who wishes to efficiently run his own side project. Once you start adding members to your team (maximum 10), Trello will provide you with everything you require to effectively manage the project. Please keep in mind that Trello may not be the best tool in the business if your project grows to the extent that it requires more than 10 people.

Some of the best practices Trello users talk about are:
– Boards must be used for different projects assigned to the same team. A board can be opened for front-end development, back-end development, marketing etc.
– The left menu should be kept open to benefit from faster navigation
– Different background colors can be used for different boards, to make recognition easier
– It’s best to define labels at the time of starting a project. You can do that by opening up a task and then clicking on the labels. Thereafter, name your labels with different titles, which you can later use for labeling the tasks
– The tasks can be assigned to team members. You can oversee these tasks yourself by dragging and dropping different profile pics from the right hand side menu to a particular task

The Trello free plan provides you all the essential features of the tool. Anyone wanting better support, security and integration can opt for the software’s Business and Enterprise Plans.

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9 Bootstrap Although not a new web development tool by any standards, the new version of Bootstrap, the most popular and extensively used front-end framework in the world is being talked about many as a rewrite of the original project in complete entirety. Ever since its launch, Bootstrap has revolutionized the task of web development and there’s no denying the fact that the ubiquitous framework will indeed continue redefining the way people build stuff on the Internet. Some of the noteworthy changes of the tool include:
– Addition of Flexbox support in the grid
– Drop of support for iOS6 and IE8
– Older components replaced by an all-encompassing and new age ‘cards’ component
– The movement of CSS source files from Less to Sass (i.e. .scss)
– Re-factoring of almost all the components, so as to use classes without the child selectors
– Global font size increased from 14px to 16px
– Switched to rem from px for the primary CSS units

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10 Affinity There are several good reasons why a good percentage of web developers view Affinity by Serif as the potential Photoshop killer. A quick look at it would tell you that it’s an incredibly well-composed application, and has been designed in a manner to serve as a dedicated visual and web design tool. There are a couple of standout elements that are appreciated by many, including the customizable nondestructive layers, implying that you can modify vectors or images without damaging them.

The ability to zoom to 1,000,000 percentage (compared to 32,000 of PhotoShop) can be ecstasy for any web designer. This can be especially helpful when you’re working with vector art and would like to get up and close with everything. Equally helpful are the history and undo components, allowing you to get back to the level of 8000 stages.

The user interface of the tool feels commonplace when it comes to designing. Whenever anyone makes a big move such as from Photoshop to a software of this type, he/she would obviously feel the pressure of starting once again, which can often be a big test. Affinity has made things easier by keeping the design familiar, fixing up everything and strategically concealing any diversions. In fact any seasoned Photoshop user can effortlessly dive straight in and start designing. On the whole, Affinity has everything to emerge as a solid competitor to Sketch, Illustrator and Photoshop.

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11 Grunt This one’s a widely adopted, flexible and highly popular task runner on NodeJS. Counted amongst the best front-end web development tools, Grunt is the go-to option for task automation purposes. You can make use of a wide range of bundled plug-ins for the common tasks when you use this tool. Some of the popular features of Grunt include:
– It allows you to automate repetitive tasks quite easily, without putting in much effort
– Using Grunt, the workflow definition becomes as easy as writing a setup file
– The tool offers a good number of inbuilt tasks to extend the functionality of scripts and plug-ins
– Regular use of Grunt reduces the possibility of errors if you need to perform repetitive tasks
– Grunt has a fairly huge ecosystem and hence you can possibly automate anything and everything, putting in very less effort
– It puts the development process in fast track mode and significantly increases the project performance
– Grunt uses a fairly straightforward approach. It has tasks in JS format and config in JSON

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12 Macaw Macaw is a highly intense web design tool that is ideal for composing concise CSS and semantic HTML. It ensures the adaptability of the top-rated picture editors out there. Let’s go over some of its main elements:
Stream – It is Stream, the continuous design motor that fuels Macaw. It determines margins, floats and other important properties for addition of components to static document stream.
Responsiveness – All websites created with the help of Macaw are optimized for viewing on tablets as well as other regularly used mobile devices.
Alchemy – Alchemy is a potent design-to-code engine used by Macaw for conversion of the created design into HTML and CSS.
Components storage – The Macaw elements can be easily stored inside a library and used again later on any page.
Interactivity – You can embed scripts and set variable names for easy and quick prototyping.
Typography – It’s up to you whether you wish to add web fonts to Macaw or use system fonts instead.
Styling – Macaw facilitates easy application and modification of a style to different elements, in a single location.
Positioning – It allows for use of absolute, static and fixed positioning for creation of dynamic layouts

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13 Canva Anyone wanting to mock up something like a diagram or an infographic fairly easily and quickly must definitely take a look at Canva. The web development tool used by many people throughout the world as also the favorite of the person who founded Solve Web Media, Lawrence Harmer! Canva is a browser-based and free-of-cost tool that can help you create graphics for both web and print purposes.

In the words of Harmer, Canva is an extremely good tool for creation of nice images. Images are a reflection of a website’s soul and its social media presence, hence, using a tool like Canva can go a long away in building the right brand image.

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14 Sass Web development tools that save you time are your best buddies and one of the first few things anyone’s taught about coding is that your code should be DRY. DRY stands for ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’. However, once you start coding you’d gradually come to an understanding that CSS is normally never very DRY.

This is where the CSS preprocessors come into the picture. A CSS processor is essentially a tool that helps you in writing future- proof and easy to maintain codes which significantly reduces the amount of CSS code you must write (thus keeping it DRY).

Sass is counted amongst the most popular CSS preprocessors of the modern times. It’s an age-old open source project that pretty much laid the foundation for a large majority of new age CSS preprocessors out there. Although you might find it a little tricky initially, the mixins, nesting and combination of variables in Sass will always deliver the simplest of CSS codes upon compilation, implying that your stylesheets will always be easily readable and DRY!

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15 Antetype A UX design application which is specifically meant to boost the productivity of UI designers everywhere, Antetype is the application you need if you wish to create high quality prototypes for android and iOS devices wherein the main focus is on the visual aspect of them. UX designs are basically designs which are created in a manner that they are reliable, easy to use and accessible to users from anywhere. Although applications that help create elegant UX designs are not too hard to find, but it’s selecting the right one that can be a very difficult task.

The tool consists of all the necessary features that can help you design high-end UI prototypes. It allows you to create complex UI designs courtesy its hierarchical nesting support. The design layout created with Antetype is fully responsive, implying that it would look excellent on any device or platform. Not only do these designs have excellent visual appeal, they give a very professional outlook too.

Another notable feature of Antetype is that it allows you to test drive the created UI design in a manner that the entire layout would be presented to you and you can then decide where to head from there. As users can create quick prototypes with Antetype, it significantly improves the workflow.

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16 Zapier Many a times developers wonder how great it would be if they could somehow push data from let’s say Facebook ads to Google spreadsheet! Few minutes later they try doing it and face a grueling time with the APIs, eventually giving up on the integration. Zapier is an excellent tool that must be checked for specifically that purpose. It teaches developers that it’s not important to run and implement every single integration. Furthermore, the less code you have in your system, the better it is.

Zapier facilitates easy and automatic movement of information between the web applications, integrating over 750 apps. It enables you to create automated workflows and processes in a matter of few mouse clicks. For instance, using Zapier you can push every single issue from BitBucket to Slack within 2 minutes, or use Google Form responses to create Trello cards.

The tool is ideal for developers who deal with APIs every day. They must definitely check what all they can do with Zapier the next time they think about coding their own integration. The tool can save them a lot of time!

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17 WebStorm This tool works as a smart coding assistant for JavaScript. It can be used for advanced coding assistance with Meteo, Vue.js, React.js and Angular. WebStorm also aids developers in efficient coding, specifically when they are working on large projects. Some of its main features are:
– Inbuilt tools for tracing, testing and debugging Node.js and client-side apps
– Highly customizable, thus perfectly suited for different coding styles
– Aids developers in efficient coding, specifically in case of large projects
– Integrates very well with all popular command line web development tools
– Provides unified UI for working with Version Control System
– The Spy-js inbuilt tool allows for easy tracing of the JavaScript code

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18 Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP) While majority of individual bloggers and small businesses don’t need ad servers, as in most cases ad networks are more than sufficient for them, there are many web masters ranging from agencies to premium publishers to large corporations who require solid control over their ad campaigns. This is where ad servers come into the picture. They make ad management simple, yet allow to mix things up as and when one wants, enabling better targeting towards specific visitors.

Doubleclick for Publishers or DFP is an ad server solution that offers a wide range of features like various management tools, simple reporting, Ad Exchange dynamic allocation, different monetization options and high degree of reliability.

A premium product from Google, it is available in two different versions – the small business version which is free of cost and caters to the needs of small users and a more robust version (the original DFP) targeted at premium publishers.

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19 jQuery Developers everywhere have considered JavaScript as the most essential front-end language for a long time, regardless of the fact that it too has its own unique problems. It is quite complicated, has browser inconsistencies and features an unapproachable syntax (implying that the functionality is often compromised).

That was the case until jQuery came into the picture in 2006. It rapidly emerged as a quick, cross-platform and small JavaScript library aimed at simplification of the front-end process. Abstracting a good amount of functionality, something that’s usually handled by developers on their own, jQuery offered a better scope for adding plug-ins, creating animations or simply navigating documents.

And it has been very successful so far. JQuery was in fact the most popular JavaScript library used by developers in the year 2015, having being installed on 65% of the top 10 million highest-visited websites on the Internet.

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20 HTML5 Boilerplate When it comes to HTML 5 development, the HTML 5 Boilerplate serves as the default go-to template for everyone. Essentially an open source system, HTML 5 Boilerplate combines the work done by a large amount of developers into one hyper-refined system which is easy to understand, easy to use and is extremely fast. Although Boilerplate has various useful features, some of the favorite ones of developers are:
– JS extensions such as Modernizr and JQuery are incorporated in an out of the box manner, making use of Google Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), along with local file fallbacks.
– Out of the box optimization for Google analytics
– Out of the box refinement of server side Apache files (for instance, htaccess) for better speed. Therefore, developers no longer need to worry about optimizing the server configurations.
– The bundle includes CSS helpers and resets (with the inclusion of Normalize.css too)

HTML 5 Boilerplate serves as an excellent web development tool for new projects and comes into its full colors when used alongside UI-based frameworks. On the whole, it has almost become a necessity for web developers everywhere.

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Being a web developer who uses all kinds of website tools, it is inevitable that you’d witness bugs in your codes and frequently come across development methods that you think would work very well with your existing websites. As websites are essentially mirror of the digital world, they must be created in a manner that they deliver the most optimum performance for the customers and readers. Hence, it is important that developers use the right kind of website design tools to ensure that their sites live up to that expectation.

Such website tools can be of immense help and available in all forms and types, for instance, browser plug-ins and add-ons that help you add various functionalities to your website. They can make your web development task more productive and better than before. Furthermore, the most effective website building tools would give you easy access to the new age techniques. While some of the web browsers have inbuilt web development tools, it’s always a better idea to continuously monitor your sites on different browsers, to ensure optimum user experience. The crux of the matter is - you should always be certain that your websites are performing at their best.

You might already be taking help of the support offered by big web browser brands such as Google Chrome. In addition, you might also know about the HTML 5 headaches and how responsive websites have become the need of the day.

But what about all those website creation tools that you aren’t using right now?

Learning about their features and offerings can help you a great deal in your day-to-day web development affairs. That’s where all the above-detailed tools come into the picture.

Please note that web development is a rapidly changing industry and no one can be excused for slacking off even a bit. You cannot do without constantly learning and improving your skills if you’re serious about staying on top of the game, and ahead of everyone else.

If you’re like a large majority of developers, one look at a code would make you curious as to what else you can do to make it better. Although the old saying, “Practice makes one perfect” applies perfectly to the web developers, regardless of whether they develop applications or websites, there are some other important ways in which they can take their development skills to a new high. Let’s quickly take you through five important things you can start implementing from this moment on to transform yourself into a better web developer.

Contribute to different open source projects

Regularly contributing to different open source projects, for instance, the kinds you find on GitHub can enable you to get completely involved in the coding activity. It’s up to you whether you wish to focus on some already running project or create an iteration of your own. On the other hand, you could also contribute to an already running project by taking it to its final stage, or improving its stability by fixing the minor bugs. Regardless of the choice you make, it would inevitably help you gain a better understanding of your code and also familiarize you with other people’s coding methods. Who knows, you might find a new method of doing things!

Furthermore, you’d also get a chance to collaborate with other programmers on fun projects. These people can provide you with objective overviews of your codes. There is nothing better than improving your performance as a part of a team!

Code every single day

Talk to any seasoned web developer for his/her best tip on improving your skills and almost every single one (without exception) of them would urge you to code on a daily basis. Although it might seem an obvious advice (and hence probably not very useful), it cannot be denied that it works and is indeed the truth.

Just as you get better at any particular skill by practicing it on a regular basis, the best way to become a better web developer is by coding regularly. Doing so would enable you to catch your mistakes more quickly and improve your typing skills too (that would further reduce the percentage of mistakes). Please note, this doesn’t imply that you must work on new projects each day, however, it means that you must practice consistently.

While you practice consistently, you must also thoroughly master your favorite code editor. Master each one of its shortcuts and try using all of them without ever having to rely on your touchpad or mouse again. You’d be amazed how your productivity would reach sky-high once you’re completely aware of the features offered by your code editor.

Push your limits through new skills

A quick search on the Internet would tell you there’s no dearth of development tutorials out there. Considering the fact that no particular trend sticks around for very long in this industry, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to stay inside your comfort zone. You must break the monotony by working on multiple projects, or perhaps learn a new programming language altogether. So, if you’ve been developing WordPress websites, why not explore the possibility of developing a plug-in; if you’re a hardcore web software developer, trying your hand at mobile app creation can open up new possibilities.

Understood that you won’t reach the mastery level by referring to just tutorials, you’d at least get exposed to something new and would be constantly involved with something to do with coding. Please bear in mind that in most cases these tutorials are written by developers that have years of experience under their belts. They also throw light on new technological features, APIs and languages.

Teach others

Although you might not think too highly of yourself as a writer (that too about coding), there’s no harm in starting a blog where you casually share your learnings with others. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to continue the learning process.

Once you start writing about the things you know, you’d slowly master the art of organizing your thoughts and structuring different topics. It will enable you to review the things you already know and back them up with the help of practical examples. You might feel the need of researching some topics further, and thereby learn new things about them.

Not just that, blogging on a regular basis will increase your visibility among the masses and slowly position you as an expert in that specific field. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Take some downtime every now and then

Although coding on a daily basis is highly beneficial, you must know the importance of regular downtime too. Studies have shown that the time spent not doing anything can actually increase your productivity! Working non-stop, round the clock only increases the burnout risk and often leads to missed opportunities, missed deadlines and sloppy codes. Not taking ample rest can also significantly reduce your ability to solve problems and clear thinking, eventually leading to deterioration of health.

Hence, it’s very important to take some downtime on a regular basis. If you feel you can’t be away from work for very long, schedule it and make it a part of your monthly calendar. In this way you’d be able to take such a regular breaks without feeling guilty all the time. It might even give you the required push and motivation to sail through those highly intensive coding sessions!

Final Thoughts

Regardless of where you might be in your web development career, you’d always see some room for improvement. While beginners must consistently work on their skills to get better at their craft, seasoned programmers must also consistently strive for code optimization, and improve the maintainability, performance and availability of their codes. You must make effective use of the best website design tools to create a portal that would be equally cherished by you as well as the website visitors!