Found: Shiny Toys

Working with websites for both hobby and profession is a good thing (or so says the geek in me). I remember, when I was well into my first year at work, a fellow employee replied to my email saying:

New toy? 🙂

Indeed! At that time, I had just installed a third party extension and was in the testing phase. And that, my friend, is something that sparks my interest. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: One of the reasons I love, love, love the internet is because it never fails to give me something new to discover and work on and utilize.

As I am running my own self-hosted WordPress blog over here, it is important that I keep everything there updated and secured (back-end) and fresh (content –> front-end). I love tweaking and testing things under the hood, so I keep my eyes peeled open for tools that I can use to help me with my blogging. I’m sure your list would be different from mine but that’s the fun of it all. Here’s where I list down what helps me in terms of the upkeep of a blog. And then it would be even better if you toss in your two cents and tell me what you use. What did  I tell you? Websites are fun!

Without further blathering and meandering, here’s my list:

  1. Firebug“Web development evolved.” And what would life be as a web developer without this very handy tool? Firebug inspects and takes apart coding of a website. From there, you can have an idea of what went wrong (if that’s the case) or where something needs to be changed. I love how this one can do so many things — debug, analyze, change something in the site real time, know where and what to change amidst all those codes swimming before your eyes.
  2. SublimeText 2“The text editor you’ll love.” And it’s hard not to. This one makes coding easier in so many ways. It also gives you options, like switching from one project to another. I like how when you open SublimeText, all the projects you have previously opened are still there. How’s that for really convenient?
  3. Adobe Photoshop – Okay. Enough said. Need I say more beyond the two words of this photo editing product? It’s an irrefutable fact: This is my number one go-to tool when it comes to web design and photo retouching/enhancing/editing.
  4. The Noun Project – Lots and lots of icons for any project. Personally, I go here to take a look around at some objects that I want to incorporate in my latest theme or even just as a part of an image I’m going to edit. You would want to make use of this if you haven’t already.
  5. DaFont – Every website needs great looking fonts that would align with their website theme. I know there are a lot of other font sites but I always find myself going back here. They have tons of great free fonts that I just can’t get enough of.
  6. Pocket – Okay, this is hands down one of the best tools that I swear by. When I come across an interesting article, I immediately hit the Pocket bookmarklet and I’m golden. You can access your Pocket account in any PC or phone or tablet. It’s synchronized. And it’s integrated in over 300 apps. To avoid confusion when you have saved way too many information and your Pocket account is teeming with saved information, there’s always the smart art of tagging. So the next time you search for something in your account, you could always find what you’re looking for.
  7. Icebergs – This is a pretty recent website and what an awesome tool it is. If you’re the visual type too, you will like this one. To quote from their site: “The perfect place in the cloud for your daily research, projects and online inspiration. Collect and organize websites, pictures, text, notes, files. Enjoy your research again!” I mainly use for image inspirations I stumble upon. It works great, it’s fast and efficient. And yes, the tagging feature is also there. Collect, organize and share all your online finds.
  8. BlogLovin – I use this as my feed reader. (Oh, Google Reader, you broke my heart with your exit.) It’s pretty intuitive and the interface is pretty much straightforward. Want to subscribe to a blog? You simply hit their URL in the search bar and voila! Blog is there. Now feel free to subscribe. You also have the option to save your favorite posts and break down your subscriptions into different categories. (Shameless plugging: You can follow my non-niche blog over here.)

Quite a compact list. I figured it’s best to start out with the basics and give you an overview of what could be the first layer of your toolbox as someone who gets a kick out of blogging and creating websites. What’s on your toolbox? Honestly, I would love to hear what you use to keep you going with your projects.


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