Free Development Tools
Although Joel test number 9 states that you should use the best tools money can buy, that may not always be practical. If you want to get started in web development, or even set-up as a freelancer, you don't need to break the bank.
This is a list of some of the most useful and more importantly free tools I have come across over the years.
- Free Git or Mercurial hosting for 5 users and unlimited private repositories. Always a good idea to have your code repo's backed up offsite, this is great for small teams or individuals
- Uptime Robot
- Get notified of site downtime, monitor up to 50 sites every 5 minutes for free. Don't wait for your client to tell you a site is down this service will email you.
- Free dynamic DNS, get up to 3 hostnames these expire every 30 days. Good for creating test sites that are externally accessible without having to buy domains or mess around with DNS.
- MX Toolbox
- Lots of diagnostic tools for troubleshooting DNS issues, but there is also a email blacklist checker you can use for free. This is good for monitoring your server does not get blacklisted.
- Google mobile friendly test
- Now essential more than ever check if your site is mobile friendly.
- Google page speed insights
- Check how your site ranks for page speed, Google will find the problems and suggest solutions.
- w3 developer tools
- Loads of diagnostic tools available to check for invalid markup,CSS,broken links,RSS feeds and mobile friendliness.
- Great for generating custom font icons from your own files or selecting from freely available font icons to create a custom set.
- Fontsquirrel web font generator
- Handy tool to generate font files from a TTF, this is useful if you want to host fonts on your server or you need to generate EOT,WOFF,SVG files.
- Visual Studio Community Edition
- If you are developing with ASP.NET and C# then Visual Studio is essential. The Express edition has a huge amount of features for a free IDE.
- Win Merge
- If you need to compare files this tool is excellent it can also be used as the default tool for viewing version differences with SVN or Git.
- Really handy little text editor, great for converting or manipulating files. Lots of language highlighting options.
- Jet Brains Dot Peek
- C# Decompiler, need to have a nosy around a library then use this.
- Jet Brains Team City
- Another great freebie from Jet Brains, Team City is a continuous integration server that has a tonne of features and you can use it for free with 20 build configurations and 3 build agents.
- Telerek Fiddler
- Web Debug proxy, debug network traffic, simulate slow connections, test site security.
- Ensure you never forget those super secure passwords you generated by storing them in Keypass.