It can be overwhelming to discern the best tool for front-end web development. Here’s a cue for making the right choice!
In this article, we have collected the best build tools that you can use in frontend development. These are different from the build tools for Frontend web Development that run in the command line plus which do not have a graphical user interface like package managers, task runners, module loaders, module bundlers, sublime test, GIT, Gulp, CodePen, etc. We know that the code used in production is different from the development code.
Kindly note that ‘build tools’ for front-end web development are the same as the UI tools for front-end web development. However, the tools differ for front-end web development and front-end mobile app development. Let’s begin!
To name a few, here’s the list (Illustrative)
- Sublime Text
- Chrome Development Tools
Learn every tool but use only the ones that you need, else you might end up cramming every available tool without reason:
It comes with a lightweight editor, which is fast and highly customizable. Offers a plugin Emmet for creating HTML, that expands abbreviations to valid HTML tags. It is still the best tool for frontend development although it is not yet fully supported by many teams on board. Sublime Text features an easy-to-use interface, which can be customized with themes. It supports multiple programming languages, markup languages, plugins, and debugging tools to debug HTML and CSS in the browser. It also identifies runtime performance problems.
GIT/GITHub is a popular build tool for front-end development. It lets developers manage the source code, track the changes, lets all developers view and edit it, and reduces the risk of conflict. GIT is free, open-source, and secure. It is also better known as a version control system, and control changes without accessing it via the command-line interface. It lets you branch your project, test new functionality, and undo changes. GITHUB extensions make it easy to revert to a previously saved state. Download Git from ‘git-scm-org’ and follow onscreen instructions.
Gulp and Grunt
It automates the creation of frontend assets. It makes extensive use of plugins. Gulp and Grunt are different approaches to the same problem. It makes use of a configuration-based approach to accomplish tasks like copying files, replacing text, adding banners, checking font style, etc.
It gives you a feature of IDE with drag-and-drop editing and live previews. It offers unlimited projects, asset hosting, and custom domains to PRO users. CodePen is an online development environment for HTML/CSS developers to showcase their code, and build and deploy websites. A collection of CSS stylesheets establishes it for common web design functions.
It is a set of packages that enables you to write production code much faster. NPM packages contain libraries that make the task of linking to the external modules easy. It minimizes duplication – optimizes the dependency tree, deletes unnecessary versions, scans the local package dependency tree, and identifies common versions of dependencies. It saves time and makes for an easily manageable tree. And once the process completes, remove unnecessary versions from the local package. It reduces the code size and is much easier to use than most development frameworks. Its built-in library manager makes it easier to organize the frontend development process. It easily manages multiple projects at once. It is usable with webpack, which makes it one of the best tools for frontend development. Download NPM and install the packages.
Chrome Development Tools
Sass tools can help you understand the basics of Sass; examples are Sassmeister, Scout, TheSassWay, Bourbon, Compass, Bourbon Neat , Bootstrap Sass, SUSY, Breakpoints, and Koala. It is an essential part of modern web design and facilitates web design workflow. It is short for Syntactically Awesome Stylesheet. Sass is an extension to the CSS pre-processor. It is compatible with all versions of CSS and reduces the repetition of CSS, and saves time.
Top web development companies use frontend development tools discussed above, plus some more like Atom, Visual Code Studio, Sass, LESS, HTML5 Boilerplate, CSS Reset, Bootstrap, ESLint, Jasmine, Jira, Basecamp, etc. to improve user experience. Frontend developemnet offers the ability to author modules, development server for local development, and Hot Module Replacement (HMR) to target legacy browsers with polyfills, shorter feedback loops, and process filetypes. Frontend tools make the application feature-rich and more capable to perform code-splitting, prefetching, caching, and some other resource optimization techniques.
Recent developments in the web frontend development space focus on ease of use, performance, less complex configuration, and coming times. If you’re already excited, this is the way to go!