UX, Apps & Web Design Blog

By: Agne Lund | 15 June 2016

The web is constantly changing and web developers face quite frankly, an everlasting battle to remain up to date on which of the web developer tools are ideal for top web development. Whilst this may be exciting and challenging, to many developers these new tools require learning new programming languages and techniques to successfully and professionally implement.

For website developers the challenge to meet the needs of the business includes testing for technical issues, adapting existing frameworks and ensuring the process is optimised for back-end infrastructure.

The team at Opus Online has compiled a list of several web developer tools they can recommend. These tools enable you to be more productive and provide the best web development for your clients or your own company. Due to the unlimited range of tools, the team separated each into categories to allow better comparison and easier understanding of which ones are the most useful.

Web Application Frameworks.

A web application framework is designed to aid in the development of web applications and alleviate some of the headache involved.

Meteor Meteor is an open source platform for web, mobile, and desktop enabling you to build JavaScript based applications.

Django Designed by developers in order to write less code when making web applications. Django is a high-level Python framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

Laravel A Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, open source PHP web application framework to build web applications. It is a free tool as well.

Symfony A set of reusable PHP components as well as a web application framework. Symfony is a PHP development framework and bundled with quality tools to match enterprise development guidelines. Its aim is to reduce repetitive coding tasks.

Ruby on Rails Ruby is a web application framework using the MVC pattern. Ruby includes pretty much everything needed to create database-backed web applications.

Angular.js Angular is a framework in the vicinity, even though it is sometimes referred to as a library. It enables you to extend HTML5 vocabulary for your web application.

Ember.js If you are looking to create extremely ambitious web applications, then Ember is quite likely the most appropriate choice for the application framework.

The majority of the frameworks listed are extensively used by top web developers around the world. For example, the team at Opus uses most of these for creating customised and cutting-edge web development solutions.

JavaScript Libraries.

Being one of the most popular programming languages on the web, JavaScript libraries contain pre-written JavaScript. Using a JavaScript library allows for easier development of JS-based applications, especially for AJAX and other web-centric technologies. Some of the popular ones the team has used are below.

jQuery A quick, nimble and feature-rich JavaScript library.

BackBoneJS Give your JS app extensive models, views, collections, & events.

D3.js A JavaScript library for manipulating data based documents.

jQuery UI A set of user interface interactions, effects, widgets and themes.

jQuery Mobile HTML5-based user interface system designed to make responsive web sites.

Furthermore, has a comprehensive list of the libraries here.

Front-end Frameworks.

For website developers, front-end frameworks are essential tools consisting of a files and folders package like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and more.

Bootstrap Bootstrap is a popular HTML5, CSS3, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. Ideal for projects of all sizes.

Foundation Being a collection of responsive front-end frameworks, Foundation makes it easy to design beautiful responsive websites and applications that look amazing on all devices.

Semantic UI A free and open source development framework that helps to create beautiful, responsive layouts using human-friendly HTML5.

uikit UIkit is used for creating powerful and fast interfaces within a lightweight and modular front-end framework.

Programming Languages.

Programming languages are formally constructed languages designed to communicate with hardware as well as create applications in which you can determine their behaviour. All web development consists of some form of programming language. However, the entries listed below are not always known as programming languages.

PHP Popular (if not the most used) general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development.

NodeJS Node.js is a runtime enivornment built on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine and one of the fastest technologies to build an application. A clever choice especially if a high volume of reading and writing is required, whether to the internet or the file system. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model making it lightweight and efficient. The team at Opus particularly loves programming in Node. Being fast to develop and deploy, it saves both time and cost to the client.

Python Python lets you work quickly as well as allows you to integrate systems in an agile and pretty much instantaneous way. Highly efficient beyond question.

Ruby A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Very easy to write according to the team.

HTML5 The standard markup language on the web. Being unequivocally a keystone to create webpages, HTML5 is the most recent version of HTML.

CSS3 Current version of cascading style sheets (CSS) used in front-end development of sites and applications. Great for animations, gradients and transitions.

Golang Open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.

Rust Systems programming language that runs blazing fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety.

Elixir Dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Its flexibility makes it a popular choice.


Database is a collection of data, a location where all the information is stored and managed so that it can updated and retrieved.

MySQL You have probably heard of this one, as it is still one of the world’s most popular open source databases.

MariaDB Made by the original developers of MySQL. MariaDB is also becoming quite popular as an open source database server.

Redis Redis is an open source, in-memory data structure store, used as database, cache and message broker.


Almost every web developer, especially front-end developers will at some point or another need icons for their project. The team at Opus designs their own icons and can do that for you but should you wish to get some your own, the below entries are top tools you can use.

Font Awesome Font Awesome gives you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized — size, colour, drop shadow and anything that can be done with CSS3. One of this author’s favourites.

IconMonster A free, high quality, monstrously big and continuously growing source of simple icons. One of the team’s favourites, and with over 3,400 icons in 246 collections you can see why.

IconFinder With nearly a million icons for designers and developers IconFinder has ample choice, although not for free, there are two plans from $9 per month.

Git Clients and Services.

When working within teams, using a git client to push code changes from development to production is a way to ensure code is tested before going live, and hence breaking your website or web application.

SourceTree Made by Atlassian, leaders in team development. SourceTree is a free Git & Windows or Mac. Atlassian also makes a pretty cool team Git client called Bitbucket.

Tower 2 Trusted by many, Tower 2 is very easy to use and has a beautiful, efficient, and powerful app. Has a free 30-day trial available, too.

GitHub Public open source application, GitHub is a seamless way to contribute to projects. Furthermore, it is a free tool that is easy to use. Having more than 10 million users and over 35 million repositories, GitHub is clearly the world’s largest host of source code.

GitLab GitLab has both a free and annual pricing version (around $10 annually per user) where you can host your private and public software projects. The paid version is primary for customer support so the free version should suffice for experienced web developers.

Code Sharing and Experimenting.

Discussing with other web developers to have a quick look at your code can be challenging, especially when sharing a code with a high level of security. Skype, Slack and Google Hangouts are great collaboration tools but to ensure security, take a look at this code sharing tools.

JSfiddle Simple project management tool like software where you can customise the environment to test your JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 code right inside your browser.

Codeshare Share code in real-time with other developers. Its user friendly and glossy interface is proving very popular, even including a web video call type functionality.

Dabblet Interactive space that you can access for quickly testing snippets of CSS3 and HTML5 code.

Website Speed Test Tools.

The website speed is a critical factor to its success, with Google’s algorithm paying more attention to website speed (including its speed on mobile devices). Faster loading websites benefit from higher SEO rankings, higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates and a better overall user experience and engagement. After finishing your web development use one of these website speed test tools to ensure your newly developed (or existing) web meets all the optimal requirements.

Google PageSpeed Insights PageSpeed Insights analyses your web page content and generates suggestions to improve page speed.

WebPageTest Great tool for running website speed tests determinate on multiple global locations on several browsers, and localised consumer connection speeds.

Pingdom Test the loading time of your webpage, great for investigating where it can be slowing down and impacting performance.

GTmetrix Another splendid tool, somewhat similar to the previous ones, GTmetrix provides insight into how you can improve and optimise the loading time of your website.

All in all, there are hundreds of web development tools and resources available to help streamline the workflow and make you a highly productive developer yourself. Alternatively, in case you prefer a team at a top web development company to build you something unique then why not contact Opus and tell us what you need? Indubitably, the team would be delighted to partner with you.

Share this article:

  • Estonia

    • Pärnu mnt 141, Tallinn
      11314, Estonia
  • US

    • 600 First Ave, Seattle
      WA 98104, US
  • Germany

    • Wattstrasse 11
      13355 Berlin