Web developers need to stay on the cutting-edge while maintaining efficiency of work. There are a lot of balls to juggle. Fortunately, using the right developer tools makes a complex job easier.

That’s why I teamed up with our newest web developer, Brian Landi, to outline 10 developer tools we can’t live without in 2021. Some of these tools require subscriptions or a one-time purchase, but we believe in these tools and their developers. Any money spent is well worth it. Costs are noted in the descriptions.

1. Yeoman


Yeoman is a tool that causes debates that are as pointless as arguing over tabs vs. spaces. I love it for bootstrapping repeatable tasks like generating configuration files.

Bonus: It challenges users to think creatively about writing JavaScript.

2. Visual Studio Code (VS Code)


The only Microsoft updates we look forward to are new releases of VSCode. With an integrated terminal and tons of robust extensions, there isn’t much this editor can’t do.

3. Run JS


It has been described as a JavaScript playground for your desktop, but this app is so much more. I love it for abstracting away WordPress when I am stuck on a JavaScript specific issue.

4. Tinkerwell


Run any PHP locally, for real. Tinkerwell comes with AHHHHHHHH!!!!MAZING features. Once you integrate this app with WordPress, mind-blowing things will happen.

Cost: $15 (worth it!).

5. Loom


Loom is an awesome recording software for making videos of any kind. From quick demos to full training sessions, Loom is an indispensable tool for working remotely.

Cost: $0-10/mo

6. Notion


This tool has transcended traditional digital organization. Notion’s format can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the basics down, it is really powerful. Plus, Notion has a great community of people building templates.

7. Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)


Advanced Custom Fields [PRO] is great because you can give the user a lot of flexibility without worrying about compromising the original design’s integrity.

Plus, all of its options allow developers to get creative with developing custom CMS experiences for each client. We recommend going PRO.

Cost: ($49-$249/yr depending on your needs).

8. Local by Flywheel


Getting a local environment set up that developers can collaborate on can be tricky sometimes. Local by Flywheel makes it easy with a straightforward UI, the ability to change stack setups on the fly (pun intended), and integration with Sequel Pro and Table Plus for database management.

9. Gulp


Once you’ve written in Sass, you never want to go back to CSS. Gulp helps compile and minify those Sass files into CSS, all from one simple file and an NPM package.

Honorable mention: webpack.js.org

10. WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI)


Developers love getting stuff done from the command line. The WP- CLI lets us update plugins and core, add or update users, flush the cache, and a whole host of other WordPress tasks right from the terminal.

Top Developer Tools

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list; there are many excellent developer tools out there for use. However, these are the ones we have found ourselves returning to again and again throughout our careers. As web developers, we lead busy lives, and anything that boosts our efficiency is a win. Explore these developer tools to find the right ones that can make your workday that much easier.

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