Web developer (2022 guide)

Web Development Software

BrainStation’s Web Developer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in web development. Learn more about what the tools and software Web Developers use.

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Web development software can be used to help professional Web Developers and non-Developers alike build websites, mobile apps, and other digital products.

Although the basic tools involved in web development are programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, and Python, there are a number of top web development tools, web design software, website builders, and content management systems (CMS) that will help you design web pages regardless of your web development experience.

Web Developers use a variety of tools and programs depending on their specific job responsibilities, but these are some of the most types of development software and tools:

  1. Best CMS
  2. Web Design Software
  3. Front End Development Software
  4. Back End Development Software

11 Best Web Development Software

The best web development software and tools will help you more effectively and efficiently create websites and mobile apps, whether you have web development experience or not.

With the full range of applications in mind, here are the 11 best web development software and tools:

  1. WordPress
  2. Drupal
  3. Joomla
  4. Wix
  5. Adobe Dreamweaver
  6. Weebly
  7. Sublime Text
  8. Chrome Developer Tools
  9. jQuery
  10. Django
  11. Laravel

Best CMS

Not all businesses have the budget or resources to hire a Web Developer or build a website from scratch. For a local web development solution, many organizations turn to the best content management system platforms.

A great CMS will be easy and intuitive to use, customizable, secure, and priced fairly. With that in mind, here are some of the best CMS platforms:

WordPress

The most popular content management system on the market, WordPress has evolved past its roots as blogging software to become the platform of choice for countless businesses and popular blogs.

WordPress is open-source, intuitive to use, and deeply customizable.

Features of WordPress

  • Features a beginner-friendly dashboard and a drag and drop interface that allows you to start designing websites with just a few clicks
  • Massive collection of more than 30,000 themes and nearly 60,000 plugins
  • Robust web design tools allow you to create imagery-rich pages that don’t require custom code
  • Optimized for SEO
  • Robust community support

Drupal

Another open-source CMS that has achieved widespread popularity, Drupal is a web development tool that can be used either by professionals with no coding experience to create a website from a template, as well as by Web Developers who can leverage their understanding of programming languages like PHP, HTML, and CSS to unlock Drupal’s advanced features and functionality.

Unlike WordPress or a comprehensive website builder, however, using Drupal to build a website will likely require the assistance or input of professional Web Developers at some point.

Features of Drupal

  • Considered more secure than the competition
  • Large collection of customizable themes and modules almost rivals that of WordPress
  • Open-source software that is free to download

Joomla

If you aren’t sure whether you prioritize the user-friendly nature of WordPress or the power of Drupal, Joomla is somewhere in between. It’s not quite as straight-forward to use as WordPress, nor is it as versatile as Drupal, but it offers some of the benefits of both. On a similar note, you will likely have to dedicate a larger budget to site design, maintenance, and hosting when using Joomla than you would for a WordPress site, but less than it would cost to run a website with Drupal.

Features of Joomla

  • Free and open-source
  • Thousands of extensions available, but you will need some know-how to implement them
  • Built-in features for creating web pages in different languages, changing your website’s SEO settings, or developing custom post types

Best Web Design Software

When looking for web design software or a website builder, companies are usually looking for a more comprehensive and user-friendly tool than even your most intuitive CMS platforms. For small businesses or companies that want to build a site without input from a Web Developer, a web design platform or feature-rich site builder might be a better option as opposed to a more complex CMS.

With that in mind, here is some of the best web design software in a web development environment:

Wix

No coding experience? No problem if you’re using Wix. One of the most popular website creation platforms on the Internet, Wix has hundreds of attractive templates to help you get started and a drag-and-drop editor loaded with worthwhile features that can be adjusted to your liking.

Features of Wix

  • Available in a free version, though it will feature ads and space limitations
  • Plenty of powerful features
  • Good for people with no coding experience

Adobe Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a more advanced option for professional Designers. You still won’t need extensive coding experience to create your own attractive website design, but it won’t be as easy as simply selecting a template and hitting the ground running. You will also have more control over the styling of your website compared to more restrictive site-building tools.

Features of Dreamweaver

  • Allows you to create responsive designs so you can optimize the appearance of your website for desktop computers and mobile devices without sacrificing user experience
  • Available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which also includes Adobe Photoshop
  • Support for HTML5

Weebly

For beginners with no programming experience at all, Weebly is likely the easiest web builder available. With its drag-and-drop tools and a small but solid collection of themes, Weebly will allow you to put together a professional and clean website without a steep learning curve. Even though Weebly is intuitive, it still offers useful features relating to responsive design, SEO, and analytics.

Features of Weebly

  • Allows you to manage, save, and easily reuse your designs
  • Functionality for email marketing campaigns
  • Offers a free plan with all key features, though you will have to upgrade to one of the paid tiers to avoid ads

Best Front-End Development Software

The best front-end web development tools and software include libraries to boost our processes and workflow, version control systems, and browser plug-ins to ensure your designs are responsive.

With that in mind, here are some of the best web development tools for working on the front end:

Sublime Text

Front-End Web Developers can always use an efficient and fast code editor, and Sublime Text might be the most popular option. Once you’ve mastered Sublime Text’s huge variety of quick-navigation options and keyboard shortcuts, this text editor will save you valuable time as you write code.

Features of Sublime Text

  • Offers support for many different programming languages and markup languages
  • Includes Python-based plugin API
  • Implement edits to multiple areas with simultaneous editing feature

Chrome Developer Tools

It’s often helpful for Developers and Web Designers to step back and preview their web designs with a real-time performance analysis on their sites. Google’s Chrome Dev Tools is built-in to Chrome and Safari and allows a Front-End Developer to see the internal code behind web pages and web applications to optimize loading flows and gain a better understanding of what the browser is doing.

Features of Chrome Developer Tools

  • Easily accessed on mobile devices or desktop
  • Updated frequently by Google
  • Core workflows include debugging JavaScript, debugging and prototyping CSS, and analyzing load performance

jQuery

jQuery is a feature-rich, cross-platform JavaScript library, one that has completely changed the way Front-End Developers use and write JavaScript. Simply put, jQuery makes Front End Web Developer jobs easier by simplifying things like event handling, animation, and HTML document manipulation.

Features of jQuery

  • jQuery is fast and small, with a lightweight footprint
  • Offers cross-browser compatibility with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Android, iOS, and more
  • Supports CSS3 selectors

Best Back-End Development Tools

Where Front-End Developers focus on the client-facing elements of a website, Back-End Developers are responsible for making sure a website functions properly on the server side. To accomplish that, Back-End Developers will typically use a variety of server-side languages — including PHP, Ruby, and Python — as well as frameworks, web servers, database management systems, and a host of other Back-End Developer tools.

Here are some of the best back-end development frameworks, tools and software:

Django

Django is an open-source back-end framework based on the Python programming language that is especially useful for developing complex database-driven websites. A highly scalable and versatile framework, Django is thought to have a relatively low learning curve compared to other back-end frameworks.

Features of Django

  • Can be used with many different types of application, including content management systems, computing platforms, and more
  • Offers strong security, with support to help users prevent a variety of cyber threats and cybersecurity issues including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and request forgery

Laravel

Laravel is perhaps the most-used PHP framework in the world. The open-source web framework offers a variety of useful packages for tasks like defining tasks you frequently run on your remote servers or keeping track of billing services. Its modular packaging system features a dedicated dependency manager, while other important features include pre-installed object-oriented and modular libraries, eloquent ORM (object relational mapping), and more.

Features of Laravel

  • Offers many built-in templates for seeding content or generating layouts
  • Boasts strong web application security
  • Makes testing easier, with user behavior simulation and support for PHPUnit

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