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There are a number of tools you can use to make the job of building and maintaing your website easier. Here are some that I would not be without. Send me an email if you know of a tool that you think would be a good addition to the list.

Browser extensions

Firefox: Web Developer Toolbar is indispensible. It does too many things to list here. Read the docs on the website, download it, play with it. You’'ll be glad you did.

Firefox: IE View Lite and Opera View allows you to open the current page in an IE or Opera window thus making it super easy to see how the pages render in those browsers.

Firefox: Colorzilla is an “Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies.”

IE and Firefox: CSE HTML Validator ($69) is a Windows application for validating your HTML, XHTML, and CSS. Originally designed as a stand alone application, they have created extensions for both IE and FF that allow you validate the currently displayed page. Click the CSE icon and instantly get a report of HTML and CSS errors. Much easier and faster that using the W3C HTML and CSS web based service.

Internet Explorer: Developer Toolbar, IE Tech Ed blog


Filezilla (free) FTP client.

InfoRapid (free) search and replace within documents.

Photoshop Elements Image editor. ($99) from Adobe, cheaper elsewhere.

Xenu link checker (free) Finds broken links on your website.

MapEdit ($10) Image map editor. A handy tool if you use image maps.

Cool Ruler (free) For on screen measurements.


Email Address Protector (free) anti spam measure. This Javascript takes a mailto link with encrypted address and decodes it before it is passed it to the website visitor’s email program.

ThickBox (free) user interface dialog widget. That’s what the author calls it. I call it a Godsend. ThickBox is a variant of LightBox JS, LightBox Gone Wild and a number of other similar scripts. The one thing they all have in common is they display output overlaid on the current page against a translucent background. ThickBox in my opinion is the best and least overhead lightbox script out there. It supports single images, slide shows, inline content, AJAX content, and content within Iframes.


Special characters reference sheet .

Color references: CSS color chart tints and shades color scheme generator another color schemer

Lorem Ipsum text generator A handy tool for creating chunks of text to test a layout.

Stu Nicholls CSS PLaY Experiments with Cascading Style Sheets. This is THE place to find a large variety of menus, layouts, boxes, rounded corners, special effects and more. All done with CSS. No background images, no Javascript. It is truly amazing work.