January 20, 2013
Last year I posted about my top web tools of 2011, so I thought I'd revisit that post to see which ones I'm still using in 2012 (hint: most of them) and if any new ones had found a place in my web development armory.
Old habits clearly die hard as I'm still using most of 2011's list on a daily or regular basis — read through last year's post to see what they are. For example, Google Analytics continues to go from strength-to-strength, and Basecamp keeps me efficient when it comes to scheduling work and managing projects.
However, there were a few additions and changes in 2012:
Although Litmus is a great service for testing emails it is a little expensive for our budget. That's why I switched to Email on Acid which offers an equally rich feature-set at a more affordable cost (for a small business like ours).
We've been doing more webinars over the last twelve months and so I've used Speechpad to transcribe them in order to put a text transcription online with the video. The service is very affordable, easy to use, and the quality of the transcriptions are excellent.
Of the online browser compatibility testing services that are out there, I've settled on Browserstack. The service is very affordable, and makes it easy to test websites in multiple browsers and operating systems in real time. It also includes mobile browser emulators, which is useful.
Like most web workers, I copy and paste things a lot. Which is why Ditto is so useful. It extends the functionality of the clipboard so that you can copy and paste almost anything — it even keeps the formatting. It also saves your 100 most recent copies so that you can find them and makes the 10 most recent available via shortcut keys which is extremely handy. Give it a try and you'll soon wonder how you ever managed without it.
My work laptop is locked down so that I cannot install software on it. Which is why I use portable apps to get access to the software I need without the pain of going through IT, and the Portable Apps Platform to install and manage them. Hundreds of programs also have a portable version — it's just a matter of finding the right one for you. The ones I use most are Notepad++ for writing code, PicPick for taking screenshots and AllMyNotes for note taking.
When writing title tags and meta descriptions it's critical that they fit within search engine limits, which is why I use WordCounterTool to keep track of the number of characters used. It's simple and easy to use. An alternative is Letter Counter which functions the same — I just don't happen to use it.
Am I missing any essential web apps or tools that you simply couldn't live without? Let me know in the comments.
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