Tools of the Trade

That said, here's my pick of essential tools. If the items come in a group, or individually, I've mentioned the group and the 'essentials' underneath. 'Essentials' for what? Well, these just happen to be the programs that I can't go very long without :)


  • Macromedia Studio 8
    • Dreamweaver and Flash
  • Adobe Creative Suite 2
    • Photoshop and Acrobat
  • Firefox 1.5
    • with the Web Developer and HTML Validator extensions
  • additional browsers as necessary - check your Web site's traffic, or world-wide trends
  • file comparision utility, like WinMerge
  • a FTP client like Core FTP or FileZilla
  • a good office program, like Microsoft Office or OpenOffice
  • an email provider that allows large storage limits, and an easy way to receive notifications of new email
    • I use Gmail and Gmail Talk
  • a good chat utility, if you'll be working with a group of people, like Trillian
  • a good computer 'management' (?) utility, like Coolmon, SysMetrix, or Samurize - what's your RAM, disk space, and network connection like? there's a quick way to find this out, and the rather slow way
  • if you're looking at IP addresses and domains, Sam Spade is going to be a big help
  • MWSnap, 'cause sometimes you just need a small screenshot without loading a number of other tools
  • XnView or IrfanView, 'cause sometimes you just don't need to load Photoshop for an easy task
  • a good zip utility, like 7-Zip
  • Knoppix - see how one of the other groups works
  • having a similar setup to your host's computer - in my case, Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed on my computer. being able to type http://localhost/ in a browser and having it load an actual page is something that any serious Web person should have, even if you're only creating a small site

That's probably it, right there. I'll unfortunately think of more, but on the bright side I'll be able to add a couple of alternatives (like HTML-Kit) that wouldn't suit my needs, but would at least be something.