For any business to succeed online, it requires a functional, professional, clean and attractive website that appeals to its clients and generates their interest. A bad website with an unappealing appearance that drives away business. It is important that the website’s layout and functionalities factor in the business purpose, brand and customer needs. The front end is one of the most vital contributors to this aspect.
This is why the tools that are used for front-end development must be chosen carefully.
In recent years, an entirely new generation of web development tools have been introduced and we have witnessed that these are replacing the existing traditional ones. Most of these tools have made a tremendous difference to the development cycle, helping save cost, time, and ensure scalability.
Starting from browser add-ons and plugins to processors that can help streamline your code, we now have a wide range of possibilities to create amazing web apps. With the number of web development tools hiking, it would sometimes get a little confusing when it comes to choosing the best one.
To make your job easier, we have created a list of some of the best front-end development tools to get you started.
Table of Contents
Chrome Developer Tools
Chrome DevTools or Developer Tools comprises a set of web developer tools that have been built directly into the Chrome browser. With these tools, you can directly edit pages on the go, and detect and fix bugs instantly. This contributes to building great websites, faster.
Advantages of DevTools:
- Rapid debugging
- Easy to use
- Built into Chrome
- On-the-go style changes
Disadvantages of DevTools:
- Inaccurate for mobile testing
Listed below are some of its advantages:
- Detailed documentation
- Lightweight (20Kb)
- Easy to learn and use
- Easily adaptable.
- Empowered HTML (Vue.js has characteristics similar to that of Angular.js, which makes it easier to optimize HTML blocks that handle the use of different components).
- Integration is easier.
- Scaling (Vue.js allows you to create reusable templates in no time).
Also Read: Angular Vs Vue.js
Here are some of the disadvantages of Vue.js:
- Lack of resources.
- Risk of over adaptability.
Vue.js has 140,238 stars on GitHub. Use Vue.js to build APIs for free in no time.
Git Extensions is a standalone UI tool that helps with managing the GIT repositories. This tool can also be used in integration with Windows Explorer and Microsoft Visual Studio (2015/2017/2019). These days, version control is mandatory for projects, regardless of their size.
This tool is a graphical user interface for Git, which not only gives you the power to control Git, without involving CLI. You can access the commit history in the form of a graph, view files’ history and use a rebase workflow.
Advantages of Git Extensions:
- Collaboration friendly
- Network performance is superior
- High availability
- Speed and efficiency is remarkable
Disadvantages of Git Extensions:
- Simple tasks cannot be accomplished without too many commands
- Version control tasks become complex as this burden is being pushed over to contributors as well (in the past, only maintainers were responsible for this, but now contributors are also equally responsible)
- Documentation might not be too easy for beginners to understand and comprehend
- The information model is complex
Angular is one of the best front-end frameworks. The release of Angular 9 is anticipated soon. Once you have mastered application building with Angular, you can reuse the code and abilities to build apps for any deployment target – for web, native mobile, mobile web, and native desktop.
AngularJS is widely used for building apps like Video Streaming apps, travel apps, e-commerce, user-generated content portals, weather apps, and so on.
Advantages of Angular:
- Two-way data binding (Angular offers easier and faster data binding, which doesn’t need developer intervention at all. Any changes made to the model can be instantly viewed in the view, and vice-versa.)
- Document-object-model (DOM) manipulation (since it implements the two-way data binding approach, the developer can save time and effort on coding, translating and updating the DOM elements.)
- Excellent server performance
- Rapid prototyping
- Implements the model-view-view-model architectural patterns
Recommended Reading: How to Choose Between Angular and Vue.js
Disadvantages of Angular:
- Inexperience with MVC could be a drawback.
- Dependency injections could be problematic for traditional developers.
- Difficulty in learning
With 59,426 stars on GitHub, Angular comes with wide community support.
- Only a single programming language is used
- It is faster
- Easy to learn
- Excellent solution for real-time web apps
- Deployment of web apps is easier
- Advantage of caching
- API interface is unstable
- Higher development time
- Not suitable for heavy computing apps
- Does not have a strong library support system
- Asynchronous programming model
Advantages of Bootstrap:
- Lesser cross-browser errors
- This framework is consistent and supports most major browsers
- Easily customizable
- Huge community support
- Free and premium professional templates
- Grid system
Disadvantages of Bootstrap
- It might require a lot of style overriding or rewriting files, which is time-consuming
- All websites developed using Bootstrap look similar
- Non-compliant HTML
- Easy to learn
- Open-source library
- Extendable and reusable plugins
- DOM traversal manipulation
- Limited functionality
Foundation comprises a set of responsive front-end frameworks, which make it easier to design amazing responsive websites, apps, and emails. This framework is semantic, adaptable, readable, and easily customizable.
Advantages of Foundation:
- Cleanest markup
- Easily adaptable
- Grid system
Disadvantages of Foundation:
- Though it offers an excellent grid system, a great deal of customization would need to fine tune your project
- For a novice developer, modifying codes offered by Foundation might not be an easy job
Also Read: Foundation 6 Vs Bootstrap 4
- Easier and faster development of apps
- Several in-built features, containing front-end libraries and NODE js-based server
- Comes with live reloading features, which makes it possible to reload only the required DOM elements
- Real-time web development
- Wide community support
- Easy to learn
- The framework is easy to set up
- Development and testing of lean products is easier
- Project scalability
- Does not support server-side rendering (SSR)
- Data integrity problems
- Absence of a native widget library is a drawback
- Lacks in-built support for progressive web applications (PWAs)
The Ionic framework helps in creating highly interactive, cross-platform mobile apps, which can be deployed across Android, iOS and Windows devices. These apps include exhaustive gestures, native functionalities, and customizable tools, which help in enhancing user-friendliness. Ionic would be an excellent choice when creating basic native functionalities within an app to run across multiple devices and/or operating systems.
Advantages of the Ionic framework:
- Open-source and responsive
- Easy to learn
- Rapid development
- Develop an app once – and deploy it across iOS, Android and Windows devices
- Coded in Angular
- High availability of plugins
Disadvantages of the Ionic framework:
- In-app performance might not be as swift as in apps developed natively for each device.
- Security might be a concern.
- Limited native functionality
- Building in-app navigation could be complex, as the UI-router is tricky
- Early adopter risk
- Developers should need to be proficient in skills, such as Angular
Thanks to the ever-changing web technologies, a large number of new tools are launched constantly. The above list contains some of the best front-end development tools which meet the purpose of most modern-day web apps.