15 Tools for Monitoring a Website’s Popularity

Oct 10 2008 by Jacob Gube | 153 Comments

As a web designer or developer building a site, it’s helpful to first scout similar websites (i.e. the competition) to help you make design and development decisions. Knowing what websites work and which ones tank can give you insights and inspiration on what design elements, website features, and website content is effective.

To help you in your analysis, here are 15 top-notch, free, and simple web tools to help you learn more about a particular website.

1. Yahoo! Site Explorer

Yahoo! Site Explorer - screen shot.

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6 Exceptional Web-based Image Editors

Oct 6 2008 by Jacob Gube | 49 Comments

Web-based image editors have several advantages to its desktop counterparts. The most obvious benefit is that they allow you to work on any computer (that has a browser). In most cases, you can save your work online, avoid having to install desktop software, and interface with other web based services such as Flickr or Picasa. This article shares 6 of the finest, free online image editors that are capable alternatives to desktop applications like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.

1. Pixlr

Pixlr - screen shot.

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6 Tools to Help You Analyze a Web Host

Sep 11 2008 by Eva Vesper | 28 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Eva Vesper who works with Web Hosting Search – a small, independent hosting review site. She’s here to share some insights on how to evaluate and analyze your hosting provider.

You have a website.  You are satisfied with the web hosting provider but you still think it could be better. What to do? There are fortunately a few excellent tools that will help you monitor how web hosts are performing.  We will cover 6 popular tools to help you analyze your hosting provider.

1. DNSstuff

DNSstuff - screen shot.

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10 Adobe AIR Apps for Web Designers

Aug 19 2008 by Jacob Gube | 34 Comments

Adobe AIR – a cross-platform runtime environment for rich-internet and desktop applications – is just starting to get popular outside of the early-adopter circles, but there’s already a growing amount of tools and utilities that can help web designers with various design-related and managerial tasks.

If you’re a web designer that’s into experimenting and trying out new applications (they don’t cost a dime), check out these 10 Adobe AIR applications perfect for web designers. Graphics designers, interaction designers, and web developers might also find this collection useful.

Em Calculator

Em Calculator - screen shot.

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15 Tools to Help You Develop Faster Web Pages

Jun 12 2008 by Jacob Gube | 98 Comments

Response times, availability, and stability are vital factors to bear in mind when creating and maintaining a web application. If you’re concerned about your web pages’ speed or want to make sure you’re in tip-top shape before starting or launching a project, here’s a few useful, free tools to help you create and sustain high-performance web applications.

I’ve tried to include a wide variety of tools that are easy to use, and have tried to keep them as OS and technology-independent as possible so that everyone can find a tool or two.

1. YSlow for Firebug

YSlow for Firebug - Screenshot

YSlow grades a website’s performance based on the best practices for high performance web sites on the Yahoo! Developer Network. Each rule is given a letter grade (A through F) stating how you rank on certain aspects of front-end performance. It’s a simple tool for finding things you can work on such as reducing the number of HTTP request a web page makes, and compressing external JavaScript and CSS files. A worthwhile read is the Ajax performance analysis post on IBM developerWorks that outlines practical ways of using YSlow in your web applications.

2. Firebug

Firebug - Screen shot

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20 Useful Tools to Make Web Development More Efficient

May 14 2008 by Jacob Gube | 103 Comments

There are many available tools to help make web development projects quicker and more productive. Aside from a handy text editor or WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver, you can find plenty of tools and utilities that can greatly increase development speed, reduce debugging and testing time, and improve quality of the output. The tools described below are a variety of utilities, optimizers, testing, and debugging tools aimed towards helping developers create websites more efficiently.

1. CSS Grid Builder

CSS Grid Builder - Screenshot

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7 Applications to Make Working with MySQL Databases Easier

May 12 2008 by Jacob Gube | 35 Comments

MySQL is the most popular open-source database. Whether you’re an aspiring web application developer or a person working on an existing database-driven web application like a content management system, ecommerce platform, or blogging platform — there are a variety of handy applications that you can use to make MySQL database design and administration (relatively) a breeze. So if you find yourself in a position where you have to work with MySQL, you don’t have to use a command-line interface, check out these 7 outstanding applications to help you create, write, manage, and visualize your database.

1. TurboDbAdmin

TurboDBAdmin - Screenshot

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