Luckily for us web designers, there is certainly no lack of great web tools available out there. Many online services, often free, are launched on a daily basis and with our busy schedules, it’s not always easy to stay up to date. I recently came across a great list of web tools and below, I’ll be sharing 10 of them which you might not be aware of.
1 – LoadStorm
Building a scalable website or web application is not easy – while it may work fine when we are testing it alone, what would happen if there are 10,000 users on the site at the same time? LoadStorm.com is an online service which aims to answer this by simulating up to 100,000 concurrent user requests. It also provides real time graphs with performance metrics which can help you determine whether your application is scalable enough or not.
2 – Pixlr
Imagine opening Photoshop in your browser. That’s exactly what Pixlr.com is. From a technical point of view, it’s remarkable to see just how much Pixlr can simulate what Photoshop does using web technologies. Even if you’re not interested in design, you should definitely check this out to see just how easy online photo editing has become.
3 – PeoplePods
PeoplePods.net claims to be a “framework that makes it easier to create community or ‘social’ applications”. Their application comes with popular social functionality including friend lists, voting, personalized content views and booking and it can be used to either build stand-alone websites or can be integrated into an already existing platform. If you were thinking of developing a social website, you should definitely check them out.
4 – Visual Website Optimizer
If you’ve ever had a website that encouraged users to complete a goal (such as purchase, fill in a form or go to a specific page), then you might already know just how useful AB split testing can be. Visualwebsiteoptimizer.com is a service used by some of the biggest Internet companies out there (Microsoft, foursquare, Groupon) to find out how they can improve goal conversions. Recommended? Definitely!
5 – Link Tiger
Don’t you all hate broken links? The bigger your site gets, the harder it becomes to test for broken links. LinkTiger.com is an online service which searches your website for broken links 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When errors occur, the link checker will inform you via email and you’ll be able to log into their dashboard to see where the problems lie.
6 – PSD To Any
Some web designers I know absolutely despise coding – they’re happy designing the actual design of the site but cringe at the thought of having to put that design into lines of code. PSDToAny.com can convert PSD into xHTML, WordPress, Joomla, OSCommerce and more. If you choose WordPress, they will even provide the WordPress installation and configuration. This can be just what you’re looking for if you have a PSD design ready but no desire to actually code the site yourself.
7 – Htaccess Guide
Rather than a web tool, this is a free online guide that teaches you all you need to know about htaccess files. Htaccess-guide.com is split into many sections, each explaining how to achieve a different objective using htaccess files. Even if you don’t consider yourself a server admin, knowing what you can or cannot do with these files is an extremely important skill to have as a web designer.
8 – Feindura
Feindura.org is a CMS that runs on flat files. What that means is that unlike most CMS’s which need a database to run, this CMS simply uses normal text file to store data. Although this can be considerably slower for larger website, it can be just what you need if you have a very simple site which just needs a few editable text areas. To use Feindura, you will need some basic knowledge in PHP – they have quite a few examples on their site which can help you get started.
9 – YouGetSignal
Rather than one web tool, Yougetsignal.com is a collection of domain, IP and port tools including a network location check tool, a port forwarding tester, a visual trace route test, a reverse IP domain check and more. It’s a pretty useful bookmark to have, especially if you often take care of your server’s administration.
10 – Uptrends
Uptrends.com is an online service specializing in web performance monitoring which can check your website up-time from over 60 locations in the world. They do offer a free version which allows you to track up to one website every 30 minutes but the paid packages are not too expensive. If you own a website which sells online or has a lot of traffic, you will know how important it is to ensure your website performs well at all times.
For more web tools, check out www.webhostingsearch.com. They have quite a long list of web design tools divided into different sections related to web design.
Are there any web tools you find useful? Comment below.