The web development tools I use

There are a wide variety of web development applications available, from simple plain text editors, like Notepad, to all-in-one IDEs like Dreamweaver and Coda. Everyone has their own needs and preferences, but these are the tools I find myself using most of the time.

Editor – PSPad

A great text editor, lightweight, but still very capable. In particular, it has the ability to "multi-highlight" documents – that is, recognise areas of different languages within a single document, such as HTML and PHP, and highlight each area accordingly. The applications also has integrated project management and file transfer utilities, and a great set of plug-ins. The file browser could do with a bit of work, though.

FTP – FileZilla

Another very lightweight application. Simple to use, but it has all the features you would need for everyday FTP access. It also has solid secure FTP (SFTP) support, which everyone should be using.


Probably the only good graphical telnet and SSH client for Windows. Almost everything that you could need or want to do over SSH can be done from the PuTTY interface – it can handle port forwarding, proxies, numerous different encryption schemes, and even emulate different types of terminals. And, if you need even more than what PuTTY has to offer by itself, there are many, many forks available that add numerous new features.

Browser – Chrome (primary)

While of course websites should be tested in all user agents that your target audience may use (which, in some extreme cases, may be only IE6), I find that I tend to use Chrome more than any other as my primary browser. It’s fast and simple, and the Webkit Inspector (developer tools) is powerful enough to rival Firebug. Best of all, it has an extensive amount of extensions.

Of course, there are many other applications that I use for specific purposes, like TortoiseSVN for Subversion access, and grepWin for batch search-and-replace, but most of my time is spent in the above four programs.

What web development tools do you find yourself using?