Designing and editing websites and blogs can be much easier with the right tools. Here is a list of my top 5 website building tools:
Smultron: A free text editor for the Mac which is both easy to use and powerful. It is designed to not confuse newcomers nor disappoint advanced user. I have been using Smultron for well over a year, and it has become my default text editor of choice for .txt, .html to .php
Website: Smultron by Peter Borg. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.9 Tiger or later
CSSEdit: This little application is quick, clean and offers superb CSS styling of absolutely any web page. It is the fastest, easiest CSS editing application I have used, and find using anything else a real pain in the …
Website: MacRabbit. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.
Adobe Photoshop: Possible slightly over the top, in price terms, for most web-designers, and can be a bit daunting to use for the first time. But I’ve been using Photoshop for fifteen years now and know it like the back of my hand – so I never start a new design project or website without mocking it up in Photoshop first. It is always running on my Mac and allows me to edit any image instantly.
Website: Adobe. Requirements: PS CS3 Mac OS X v.10.4.8 or higher.
Price: from $649.
Transmit 3: If you design your site locally like I do, then you need a way to get it from your desktop to your server! For pure simplicity I have used Transmit for years now, as it does just that. It is the FTP app of choice for a lot of Mac user, allowing perfect Synchronisation between Your Stuff and Theirs (local and server).
Website: Panic. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.
Parallels: If you build it you really (really) should make sure it works in every browser! I must confess I am slightly cynical on the whole browser testing thing because I use Safari for most of my browsing these days, and generally it seems to work with 99.9% of every website I visit. Firefox does come a close second, and I do use it for writing and editing posts on my WordPress sites as this is one thing that Safari doesn’t like (sigh!).
But if I am building a website for a client, I really need to make sure it works in everything, yes, even the lovely Windows browser Internet Explorer! And that is where Parallels comes in as I really cant see the point in also owning a PC when the Mac can now do both! On my XP install I use the excellent Multiple IE app which lets me test in every version of IE, I can also test in Firefox and any number of other browser I like – all from the comfort of my Mac.
Website: Parallels. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4+ running on an Intel Mac.
Although this is a Top 5 list, I can’t really leave out two very important application that I use when designing and testing websites. So here are 2 extra apps I always use, and wouldn’t leave home with out!
MAMP: It stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP, and installs a local server environment in a matter of seconds on your Mac, be it PowerBook or iMac. MAMP is much quicker and easier than fussing around with trying to install and configure a server manually, and to top it all, it’s Free!
iTunes: Yes I know, it is not a design app, it can’t make wonderful website or clean up your messy code. But what iTunes does do is to block out surrounding noise and distractions, thus helping me to concentrate and maximise my time and energy so that I can get away from the computer every once and a while so I can have a life!
My Top 5 web building tools was inspired by Mark over at 45n5, who originally wrote his own Top 5 Website Building Tools. Unfortunately, his website is no longer available!
What do you use? If you want to write your own top 5 and let me know the link, I will add it here.