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Author Topic: Web tools every webmaster should have  (Read 56387 times)
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« on: October 17, 2007, 01:57:45 pm »

There are a number of tools that I use on a day to day basis. I consider them life savers for me. I could do a huge writeup on many of these tools. For now I'll provide a short list and descriptions of each tool.

Fiddler (http://www.fiddlertool.com/fiddler/) - Fiddler is a debugging proxy. I consider this a must have! This tool is a freeware tool utilizing .NET and developed by Eric Lawrence who works at Microsoft for the IE team. The major thing that this tool does is that it shows all those things that are going on behind the scenes inside your browser. Specifically what URL(s) are loaded that are part of the page. It allows you to see what cookies are used, how fast the page loads, any missing files/pages/images/etc as well as diagnose various problems with the website. It's also scriptable and extensible via extensions quite a few of which are available from the program website. There's also a Lite (http://groups.msn.com/HTTPFiddler/news.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=896&LastModified=4675639991598593351) version of this tool that could be placed on removable media and used to troubleshoot things when you can't do a full install.

There are also a number of tools that run inside the browser and help us troubleshoot and diagnose issues with pages inside the browser.

Firefox has a number of add-ons:
Firebug (http://www.getfirebug.com) - this is also a must have. This is your debugger inside Firefox. It contains a ton of functionality including layout and DOM tree navigation and JavaScript debugging.

YSlow (http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/) - this add-on requires Firebug and is produced by Yahoo. It analyzes page download times and shows how long your page loads as well as suggests some things to make things work quicker.

FirePHP (http://www.firephp.org/) - another add-on that depends on Firebug. This one is being actively developed and is trying to assist PHP developers with debugging and troubleshooting problems.

Web Developer (http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer/) - Web Developer extension for Firefox. This is also a must have. This has been around for a number of years and is used by many designers. It has a ton of various web development tools that assist web designers with web design and layout.

Internet Explorer:
DebugBar (http://www.debugbar.com/) - this is also something that I've been using for some time. We also bought a couple of licenses. This one is quite similar to Firebug for firefox. It has a sidebar that allows you to analyze and navigate the DOM tree and do a ton of other great stuff. Recently they are also making it available for FREE for personal use.

Web Development Helper (http://www.nikhilk.net/Project.WebDevHelper.aspx) - another great freeware add-on for IE. Contains a ton of tools including ASP.NET debugging (which I haven't had a chance to use). It also does network/script capturing and DOM tree navigation and a number of other great features.

IE Web Developer Toolbar (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=e59c3964-672d-4511-bb3e-2d5e1db91038&displaylang=en) - this is a tool from Microsoft that tries to add some things that should have been in there in the first place. It's a little weak in some places, but it's free.

Microsoft Script Editor - I thought I'd list it here since it seems that not a lot of people know about this one. This tool comes with almost every installation of Microsoft Office but it's not installed by default. You need to specifically install this for it to become available. This is  a JavaScript debugger that will also install Microsoft Visual Studio like environment for JavaScript debugging. This is also a must have, since this is probably the best way to debug JavaScript issues in Internet Explorer. This is full featured debugger with all the bells and whistles that you would expect.

This should be most if not all the tools that I tend to use quite often. I hope you like these tools and gain some benefit of finding and starting to use some of these. Are there any tools that are not on this list and deserve to be on this list? Post a response and let me know about them and why they should be listed here.

Update: Here is a link (http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/06/22/from-microsoft-teched-2007-web-development-tools-for-internet-explorer.aspx) to a list of tools that is recommended by the guys who develop IE. This list is catered to Internet Explorer users though.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 02:10:40 pm by Gena01 » Logged
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