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Developers, please raise your hand if you think that the website development process could be more streamlined. Building a website is a complex and difficult task, and it’s hard as a developer to break old habits and test out new tools.

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5 tools every web developer should be using

The Prototype developer team put together a list of the tools they swear by when it comes to web development. Can you spot any of your preferences?

1. Web Essentials from Visual Studio

Category: Visual Studio Extension Price: Free OS: OS X, Windows, Linux

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Mohammed, our Interactive Producer couldn’t express enough how important Web Essentials is to the web development tool kit. This must-have extension has many useful features for most developers, specifically if you write CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Markdown, CoffeeScript, LESS, Sass, Grunt, Gulp, npm and Bower. Recent updates to the plugin mean it no longer contains features for bundling and minifying JavaScript, CSS and HTML however they now have their own extensions (Bundler & Minifier and Web Compiler) to improve the features of this plugin.

2. Balsamiq

Category: Wireframing Price: $89 per license with a free 30-day-trial OS: OS X, Windows

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The Balsamiq wireframing tool is a firm favourite in the web developer community. It as many drag-and-drop features and each is in the style of a hand drawing. This format keeps the mock-ups sketch-like and rough to convey that the wireframe is still in progress. The hope is to encourage as much feedback from the client as possible. The simplicity of Balsamiq means that it is not designed to show interactions, but just an image of the interface and it has conquered the creation of a simple, static wireframe.

3. Sublime Text

Category: Text Editor Price: Free to download and evaluate, $70 for a personal license OS: OS X, Windows, Linux

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Khodor, our Lead Web Developer uses Sublime Text Editor as his main development text editor. It is not a full fetched integrated development environment (IDE), but it's a powerful text editor with blazing speed. There's nothing you can do in regular IDEs that you can't do with Sublime plugins. In addition, the extensive list of plugins and the incredible community support makes it a "swiss knife" of web development.

4. Appspector

Category: Developer Tools Price: Free OS: Google Chrome Extension on all operating systems

This extension reveals technologies in use in an application, both server and client side. It doesn’t always reveal everything about a site but for most it will reveal the server technology such as PHP, .NET and Javascript. It also reveals client side technologies such as Google Tag Manager and popular CMS’s such as Wordpress.

5. Adobe Edge Inspect

Category: Platform Testing Price: Free for one device, monthly subscription of $9.99 for unlimited devices OS: OS X, Windows

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This tool is a cross browser-testing tool for developers looking to target mobile browsers (which should be most developers by now). The tool wirelessly connects multiple iOS and Android devices to your computer so you can view real-time results from changes to HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Do you have a web developer tool that you can’t live without? Let us know below so we can feature them in our next blog post!

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