17 Great Tools for Web Development

I have consolidated a list of 17 great tools for web developers. When it comes to development you want to have the best tools available and you want to know how other people will perceive your creation. I give you my list:

WAVE WebAIM – Accessibility

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WebAIM will determine the accessibility of your site or a file that you upload. The tool will provide visual feedback of a page’s accessibility.

Cynthia Says Portal – Standard checker and Accessibility

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Cynthia Says is a WCAG 1.0 or Web Content Accessibility and Section 508 Checker. You can choose to emulate a browser to test different combinations of visitor browsers.

Site Valet – Standard Checker

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Site Valet is another 508 Checker. Input your site and it will automatically analyze your markup and highlight possible accessibility problems. Warnings are shown where they arise.

Colorblind Web Page Filter – Colorblind emulator

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As the name suggest this tool will show you what your page looks like to a wide range of common color blind impediments. If your site passes their standards you are able to display their logo for your visitors.

WDG HTML Validator – Validation

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The WDG Validator will check your entire site’s markup. It is similar in many ways to the W3C Validation service. The checker will give you warning for valid but dangerous html such as unclosed tags. It will also issue warnings for undefined references.

W3C CSS Validation – CSS Validation

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The W3C CSS Validation is the best tool to validate your CSS. Who would know better than the standard creator! Errors and warnings are issued for each problem found. A valid CSS brings more customers and higher search engine ranking.

W3C Link Checker – Link Validation

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The W3C Link Checker will look for broken links. It will recursively search your entire site for every link mentioned. You can also tweak the depth that the tool will go.

Web Page Analyzer – Load time Optimization

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This site will analyze your sites load times. Results are presented in seconds. Expect to see load times increased for images, but pages should load quickly.

Pingdom Tools – Performance tester

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This tool will analyze your site’s performances. How long does it take to load a page or file? Pingdom will tell you. The load time of all objects are presented visually by color coded load bars.

Text Trust – Spell Checker

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Text Trust will spell check your site and email you any errors. Why would visitors keep coming back to your site if you have missspellingss everywheres.

Unitest – Http response

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Http Trace will show you how your server responds to the world and what is responds with. This could help troubleshoot issues or help you tweak your sever for search page optimization.

SE Browser – SE Viewer

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Wonder how your site looks like to a search engine? Now you can know. Find out how you site looks to search engines.

W3C Semantics – XSLT Service

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An Online XSLT 2.0 Transformation Engine.

Whois Lookup – whois

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Did you register your Domain correctly? What can visitors learn about you personally? Check your Whois record.

Microsoft Audience intelligence – Demographics prediction

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This tool will predict a users age, gender, and more. Its all based on online behavior. Give it a try.

Site Analytics – Traffic Estimation

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You have to sign up unfortunately. You will see an estimated visitor count. If you don’t want to sign up, like I don’t, then use logging on your web server.

Basic Web Site Review – Basic

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Learn basic information about your site. This tool will give you a neat score too!

 

With all these tools you should be able to learn a couple things about your site that you didn’t know before. If you use these tools to improve your site I promise you will see an increase in visitors. This is how the world sees you.

Link to your latest Blog entry, automatically

or link to any RSS Links via PHP.

On my home page I have a section near the bottom that has a link to my latest blog entry. This didn’t use to be automatic for me. I used to manually edit every link and title to my latest blog entry to keep that link accurate. That gets boring and really old after a while, why not make it automatic.

I tried to do it via SQL but could never get it to work the right way. Well there are many solutions out there. If you can run PHP files than its even easier via Magpie’s RSS Parser.

Download the parser and create a directory on your server that contains the following files:

  • rss_cache.inc
  • rss_fetch.inc
  • rss_parse.inc
  • rss_utils.inc
  • extlib/Snoopy.class.incimage

That’s all you need. Notice extlib is a directory containing Snoopy.class.inc.

Now create a PHP file that includes the rss_fetch.inc. Examples are available on Magpie’s Page. MagpieRSS is compatible with RSS 0.9 through RSS 1.0. Also parses RSS 1.0’s modules, RSS 2.0, and Atom. (with a few exceptions)

<?php
require_once ‘rss_fetch.inc’;

$url = ‘http://cyberredneck.org//?feed=rss2‘;
$rss = fetch_rss($url);

//echo “Site: “, $rss->channel[‘title’], “<br>”;
$item = $rss->items[0];
$title = $item[title];
$url   = $item[link];
echo “<a target=_blank href=$url>$title</a></li><br>”;
?>

This PHP code will parse my RSS Feed, grab the top entry and produce a link that opens in a new page. For optimum stability I always suggest using relative links, absolute links can fail especially if you have multiple domains like I do.