Tools of the trade – the best apps for web design.

I use OS X as my main operating system. I try to use as many Open-Source applications as possible because they offer an unbeatable price – FREE! The support open innovation and tend to be available across a wide spectrum of operating systems. It is not uncommon to see Open Source software which operates in Windows, OS X and Linux distros which makes it very versatile. But why this need for versatility? Clients come in all flavors, open source allows me to get them involved in their websites for free and in their native operating system. For myself, OS X is a great stable OS, however its restricted by Apples profit interests, same applies to Windows; By using Open-Source software I could very easily switch over full-time to say, Ubuntu Linux without interrupting my work flow. There are still some must have applications unsupported by Linux, hence my romance with OS X.

Do a quick search for this applications for their most recent versions.

WordPress.org

User Friendly CMS, Secure, Powerful, SEO Friendly, thousands of plugins and Free!

Magento eCommerce

User Friendly CMS, Secure, Powerful, SEO Friendly, thousands of plugins and Free!

Komodo Edit

Open-Source, powerful, elegant, extensive, supports Zen-Coding.

CSS Edit

The Best CSS editor on any platform, live previews, CSS overrides, lightweight. OS X only, not free – but worth it! This is the main reason I use OS X.

Cyberduck

Open-Source FTP client. Great interface.

FileZilla

Open-Souce FTP client. Not pretty, but more reliable. I use it for large file transfers.

MAMP

Run a LocalHost server on your computer so that you can test out your websites before launching them live.

Fluid

Create applications of any website – say Gmail – OS X only. Free.

MindNode Pro

Mind mapping and prototype application. Free and Premium. OS X

Skype

Affordable Video Confering and great for those clients that like to spend too many minutes on the phone.

Firefox and Firebug

Standards complient browser and Firebug development testing tools.

iPhoney

Free. OS X. Iphone browser emulator.

VirtualBox

Emulate Windows, Ubuntu, etc. Its Open-Source and its in my opinion better and easier to use than the for profit competition. A must for debuggin evil Internet Explorer bugs. IE Tester is the windows app of choice for this.

Paparazzi

Free OS X website capture application.

WebCut Adobe Air

Free. Cut snippets of live websites.

Contrast-A Adobe Air

Free. Great color matching application.

Pixus Adobe Air

Pixel Ruler for your monitor. I have a high resolution/ dpi monitor and it really helps visualize the size of elements across a range of monitor resolutions.

Adobe Photoshop

The industry standard and for good reason. Gimp and Gimpshop are good Free alternatives.

Pixen Adobe Air

Free pixel based editor.

Shrink-o-Matic Adobe Air

Free. Batch image resizer.

Open Office

Free. I like it better than the Microsoft equivalent.

EverNote

Free. Server synched note taking tool. Save code snippets, To Do lists, client details, etc.

DropBox

Free. 2gigs of server synched files. Usefull if you use multiple computers.

This list could go on forever!

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