Web development is constantly evolving, with so many libraries and frameworks available and appearing all the time and replacing other less efficient tools. As developers, we must always keep up-to-date with the latest trends and find out the best solutions for your digital projects. Today, we will go through the best tools to use for Frontend Development in 2020.
1. Chrome Developer Tools
This is a set of tools which helps developers get easy access using the browser, which saves devs a lot of time. It makes things super easy by showing you errors in the code directly through the console. When it comes to styling, you get a real-time preview of the changes you make on the fly saving a lot of time. It’s super easy to use and it includes so many additional features. You can even audit your website through the console using PageSpeed Insights. If this is a new tool for you, just know it is perfect to ensure that your website is fully optimised for speed, giving recommendations on how you can make your site faster which in turn will improve your SEO.
TypeScript creates a great web development environment for front-end developers.
GitHub is a Git repository hosting service and it includes many features. Git is a command-line tool which provides a Web-based graphical interface. It also provides access control and several collaboration features, such as wikis and basic task management tools for every project.
The key features of GitHub are allowing all the code in one place, coordinating use, staying aligned, and, after each GitHub project management tool, the developers can host the direct documentation through the repositories.
4. Sass / SCSS
Sass/SCSS is the most reliable and robust CSS extension language. This web development tool helps to extend the functionality of an existing CSS such as variables, inheritance, and nesting with ease. Sass is an open-source project that attracts updated CSS preprocessors. This tool gives you a hand in writing a code that can be easily maintained, thus reducing the amount of CSS you need to code.
Usually, with this, you have a ‘mixins’ file which contains code to simplify coding. As a brief example, let’s say you execute the following code to work cross-browser:
-webkit-transition: all .3s linear; -moz-transition: all .3s linear; -o-transition: all .3s linear; transition: all .3s linear;
Well, the awesome thing with Sass/SCSS is that we can condense this to a single line of code as follows:-
@include transition(all 0.3s linear);
It’s a massive time-saver!
Before you can use Sass/SCSS, it needs to be configured on your project. Sass allows you to nest your CSS sectors using a technique that follows the visual hierarchy of your HTML. There are also several applications that will help you use Sass for Mac, Linux and Windows platforms. Some of the key features are that it is simple and easy to use this front-end tool to write any code, it accepts language extensions such as variables, inheritance, and nesting, it has many useful functions for manipulating colours and other values and it has advanced functions such as library control directives.
To get started, I would recommend reading this post that will give you a starter template to use mixins and save a lot of time when it comes to writing CSS code.
6. Sublime Text
Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor which is widely used among developers. It includes wide features such as Syntax Highlighting, Auto Indentation, File Type Recognition, a wicked sidebar, Macros, Plug-in and Packages that make it easy for working with codebase.
The key features of Sublime Text are that it is compatible with many programming languages, offers Python-based plugin API and it has simultaneous editing which allows for the same interactive changes across multiple domains. We 100% recommend you checking this out, once we started using it, we never looked back!
CodePen is a web development environment for front-end designers and developers. It enables faster and smoother development. It allows you to add HTML, CSS and JS code to create test cases before implementing it on websites. Another cool feature is that it has a massive library of functions that could be applicable to your site. What does this mean? Well, it’s going to save you a lot of time coding something from scratch when an already implemented code may just need a few edits to make it applicable to your website.
The key features are that it includes great features for faster CSS writing, allows live viewing and live synchronisation and the API prefill feature allows you to add links and demo pages, without having to code anything. A similar website we tend to use is JSFiddle, which offers all the same features. However, the preference is dependant to each user.
Grunt is one of the best front-end development tools when it comes to automating tasks. It is quite commonly used with NodeJs, which offers plugins for common tasks and is very flexible and widely adopted. It offers an alternative to writing down all kinds of tasks that go well with your requirements.
The key features of Grunt are allowing automation of repetitive tasks without a great deal of effort, creating the workflow simply by writing a configuration file, including activities for extending the functionality of plugins/scripts, it speeds up the development process, it also increases the performance of your projects and reduces the chance of errors while you are performing repetitive tasks.
Some of its key features include the ability to publish and control access to a namespace, you can reuse and discover a massive library of free code packages in the registry, manage public and private code using the same workflow and find out where you have reused code within your teams.
So why is it so important to keep up to date with the latest technologies? Well, as we already mentioned, the world wide web is always evolving and new tools are always being created to make it easier for developers to code. Quite a lot of these tools mentioned help developers by enabling them to create the same functionalities a lot quicker; delivering a project in a shorter time-frame is highly cost-effective and it saves you the time you can use for other tasks. In addition to this, you may have to take over a project that uses a framework that you are not familiar with. That being said, it’s always best to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies to prepare you to complete any given task which in turn will allow you to complete more jobs more quickly and effectively.
Well, we sure hope you loved this post, leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts. If we missed anything you might think that should be in this post, let us know in the comments!