5 Best Free Software for Website Developers

There is so much good software out there that is free to download and use. Below are five software applications that I use all the time. I haven’t included Web based software such as WordPress (only locally installed desktop software for now)

Ubuntu

Move over Apple OS and Windows. Ubuntu is a free alternative that takes the good bits of both Apple OS and Windows and combines them into an easy to use and free alternative. Best of all there is a massive amount of help available for free via a simple Google search but if you use Windows or Apple OS you’ll have no problem with Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution but forget about any apprehensions you may have about Linux being difficult to use.
Also consider: Linux Mint, OpenSUSE.

LibreOffice

What, you still use Microsoft Office? LibreOffice is just as good as MS Office and in many ways better. Of course it’s also free which helps a lot. LibreOffice also opens, saves and lets you edit Microsoft Office files. Why New South Wales (NSW) Government departments continue to use Microsoft Office when there is LibreOffice is just crazy.

Also consider: Google Apps (although this is an Online service … and not free).

Notepad++

The best text and code editor without exception. I’ve used Notepad++ for years as a CSS, HTML, PHP and JavaScript editor. It’s very extensible and is totally reliable.

Also consider: Brackets (new but looks promising).

FileZilla

The king of FTP. As a Web Developer you’ll use FTP very often and FileZilla can’t be beaten. I have  FileZilla setup so the Site Manager is in Dropbox so any changes made on one computer are almost immediately available on my other computers.

Also consider: I’ve only every used FileZilla and haven’t had a reason to try any other FTP client.

Chrome/Firefox

Safari is terrible and Internet Explorer is almost as good as Chrome and Firefox but the best Browsers out there are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. I tend to use Chrome most often by do like Firebug for Firefox so use Firefox often when troubleshooting.

Also consider: Opera.

Honorary Mention

Yes, this post is meant to include only five free software products and not six. I can’t have a free software list however which doesn’t include 7-Zip which I use all the time for compressing files.

Disclaimer: I haven’t included an image editor in the list. The reason is that I’m definitely a far better front-end developer than I am a graphic designer. I use Photoshop (expensive!) and that tends to do me well. I have heard however that Gimp is a very good free alternative.

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