When most web developers start out, all they need is a copy of the infamous Notepad++ and a native LAMP stack with phpMyAdmin to get coding. For some web developers PHP will be a tool used to simply enhance websites, however the majority of good developers will eventually find themselves firmly ensconced in the realms of what I would call “Web Based Application”.
While the Notepad++, phpAdmin setup maybe enough for the ‘webs site enhancer’, I am of the opinion that web application development requires an entirely more sophisticated toolkit to be efficient. You may already have your own web development set-up down to a tee, but if not let me share with you what we use. I’m hopeful this list will save you some time as this combination is the result of years of trial, error and experimentation.
1: A Macintosh Computer
A modern intel mac with a decent amount of RAM should be your main web development work horse. If you are a PC user, no problem, you may find that many of the tools mentioned below either run on linux/windows, or have equivalent programs which will.
I use a 27″ iMac for web development and love it! I prefer the single, large screen to a dual monitor setup. It just feels easier to move around it and position things how I’d like. If you can’t afford to buy one, consider leasing one on your company.
This is our main IDE at Organic Development and is by far the best we have tried so far (we were previously using eclipse). PHP storm has all the features you could need including code completion, code folding, library and git integration etc.. The best part is it works seamlessly for debugging (MAMP – PhpStorm debugging tutorial coming soon).
Our favorite php IDE by a mile.
While PhpStorm is a great IDE for application development, sometimes developers need to access a site and action a handful updates or fixes on the fly. In this scenario my go-to tool is Panic’s Coda.
The latest release of coda includes integrated MySql editor, terminal, git integration and a fantastic general code editor. While the latest version of Coda is more feature endowed than the previous Coda 1, however I still prefer the more minimal Coda 1 interface, and find it smoother to use than it’s successor.
A light Coda called ‘Diet Coda’ is also available on the iPad.
Coda 2 an Awesome web development tool
Panic also make some other seriously cool apple apps such as transmit and prompt so check them out.
4 . MAMP Pro
MAMP is out favourite automatic LAMP stack installer. It’s seriously easy to use and allows you to set up unlimited vhosts as well as switch between PHP versions instantly. Well recommended and it’s free.
MAMP Pro our Go-to LAMP stacker
5. Sequel Pro
Sequel Pro is a fantastic graphical user interface for managing your MySql databases, it will do everything phpMyAdmin and other database managers can with the edition of allowing you to use and save unlimited standard, SSH and socket database connections.
Sequel Pro our favorite MySql database interface.
If you’re not using Less yet, try it! It makes managing CSS in larger projects so much quicker and easier and can be easily monitored and compiled using this simple little app:
Quick and easy less compiler
It’s available for free from http://incident57.com/less/ or the enhanced ‘CodeKit’ app with more features costs $25.
7. Live Reload
We love live reload, it automatically updates your browsers output to reflect CSS changes and can reload the page for you when you make PHP or HTML changes. Live reload has a browser plugin which you can use to quickly enable/disable automatic browser refreshing. We recommend you give it a go.
Live Reload sames time and prevents wear on your F5 button
That’s it for now, for those users who will be using this setup and would like to know how to use debugging, I will be posting a tutorial soon!
What are your best 3 tools?