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My Everyday Web Developer/Designer Toolbox

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

I use Dreamweaver for all of my coding needs. I use it to write (X)HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript for my sites. There are many free options available to do what I need, like HTML-Kit, but I’m hooked on the code editor in Dreamweaver. I don’t ever use the visual design aspect of Dreamweaver, so I don’t actually use everything that Dreamweaver offers. Maybe I’ll choose a free option next time instead of upgrading to CS4. For now though, I love what Dreamweaver has to offer and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an editor they are willing to pay for.

Adobe Photoshop CS3

I use Photoshop for everything graphics. i have been using it for a long time now and you just can’t beat it. There are some other programs out there that offer great features like GIMP, but for me it just doesn’t compare. Photoshop is easy to use, easy to understand, and offers an amazing number of features that can be used to create incredibly unique images. Beyond the basics, there are a ton of tutorials available to get the most out of what Photoshop can do. If you want to use Photoshop, but can’t drop that much money into it, you can try Photoshop Elements which is a watered down version that includes most of the core functionality needed, as well as the new free online Photoshop Express.


I use WordPress to publish this blog and although I’m not able to publish a new post everyday, I am writing drafts and working on posts everyday. I love WordPress because of all the available plugins, themes, as well as the updates to security and features. This is a huge time-saver. I am able to manage the whole blog from an easy administration module of the blog. Maintainance is also really easy because it requires very little coding in the backend; most things can be done with a plugin. Of all the available blog systems, WordPress is my favorite and I plan to stick with it.


I use FileZilla as my main FTP client. To be honest it isn’t my favorite though. I used SmartFTP for as long as I can remember, but as of recent I have been using FileZilla because SmartFTP is no longer free. I have thought about purchasing the new SmartFTP, but haven’t yet because FileZilla is growing on me. FileZilla is fast, easy and although not the greatest looking, it works very well all the time. If you are looking for free FTP clients, check out the 5 Best Free FTP Program, which includes FileZilla.


I use phpMyAdmin for managing all of my MySQL databases. I have been using this tool for as long as I have been using MySQL and have yet to consider a new option. There are other tools out there, but this one has so many great features. I love the import/export options, the ability to create, insert, delete, and update rows visually, and view query output in a nice table form. Although writing SQL isn’t that hard after a few times, it is nice to be able to just click the red X and delete a row or update multiple rows without having to write and update statement for each. I find that some things are a little slow to load and I wish there was some Ajax worked in to speed things up. Hopefully that is on the way in a future release, but even without it, I love this tool.


I use dotProject to manage my tasks and projects, both big and small. There are some other options out there for managing tasks like Remember The Milk, but I found myself using dotProejct for the little things because I had already been in the habit of going to dotProject on a regular basis to check and update my progress. There are a number of great features that keep me hooked on dotProject. There is a Gantt chart, a number of prebuilt reports for tracking projects or tasks or people, and an easy to use interface. I have been very pleased with this app and will continue to use it and recommend it.


This one is a no-brainer. I use Google dozens of times a day. Any time I need to find something out, I look to Google to recommend some answers. Thankfully there are websites out there that offer a plethera of information that I refer to time and time again, but Google is there to help me continue to learn new things. I often look for code examples, web standards, tutorials, news, and so much more related to web development and web design. This one does’t need much explanation, so I will stop here.

Contribute: What’s in your development/design toolbox? Please share in the comments what you find helpful enough to use everyday (or at least close to everyday).

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