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The Best Web Development Tools Shortlist

After test-driving their features, I’ve shortlisted these top tools for developing your sites and web applications.

  1. Flutter – Best for multi-platform app development
  2. Vercel – Best for quick and collaborative deployment
  3. Tailwind CSS – Best for creating responsive user interfaces
  4. GitHub – Best for organizing code, collaboration, and version control
  5. Chrome Developer Tools – Best for fast troubleshooting and debugging
  6. Selenium – Best for automated browser testing
  7. Visual Studio Code – Best all-in-one code editor
  8. TypeScript – Best for code organization and error detection
  9. Auth0 – Best for adding secure user authentication
  10. Postman – Best for developing and testing APIs
  11. Grunt – Best for automating repetitive tasks
  12. Airplane – Best for building custom internal tools

We’ve all been there, staring at the screen for hours, trying to find that rogue curly apostrophe. As web developers, we’re responsible for site reliability and functionality, which can get time-consuming simply to maintain, much less to develop in new ways. And as your web development evolves beyond code writing, incorporating multiple languages, frameworks, and architectures, your project’s complexity spirals quickly.

In my list of top tools, you’re sure to find some welcome additions to your tech stack for improving the performance and security of your websites and applications. Browse my picks below.

What Are Web Development Tools?

Web development tools are any type of software, applications, frameworks, and languages that help you to build, test, and debug websites and applications. They assist developers with web and application development, from code editing and version control to frameworks, testing, and deployment. The right web development tools can save you time, expand your capabilities, and streamline your testing processes.

Overviews of the 12 Best Web Development Tools

Here's my take on the best web development tools. I summarized the features of each tool, focusing on speed, collaboration, and usability to optimize team productivity and eliminate your technical debt.

1. Flutter – Best for multi-platform app development

Flutter web development tool interface
The Flutter team guides you through everything from installing Flutter to developing your first app. (Source)

Flutter is an open-source software development kit (SDK) built by Google that enables you to build apps across platforms from a single codebase. The library of pre-designed UI components and use of the Dart programming language ensures speed and high performance.

Why I picked Flutter: Flutter is an open-source community accessible to everyone and trusted by developers worldwide. I chose it because of its reliability and cross-platform functionality. It’s powered by Dart, a language optimized for fast apps, which allows you to reach users on nearly any device.

Flutter Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include automated testing and flexible UI components. A standout I love is the “hot reload” feature. Any changes made in the code are reflected instantly in the app interface with no reloading required, which enables rapid iterative testing that speeds up the dev cycle.

Integrations are available only through the Flutter API. You can integrate Flutter into any existing app or migrate an existing app to use Flutter.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Multi-platform capabilities
  • Rapid iterative testing
  • Work from a single codebase


  • Can be too heavy for simple apps
  • Need to understand Dart programming

2. Vercel – Best for quick and collaborative deployment

Vercel overview dashboard
The Vercel overview provides detailed information on a clean and organized dashboard. (Source)

Vercel is a platform for deploying and hosting static websites and web applications. It was created by the team behind Next.js to provide a seamless deployment experience for Next.js applications, although it also supports other frameworks and static site generators.

Why I picked Vercel: I chose Vercel because it offers a simple and intuitive interface for deploying projects, allowing you to configure custom domains and environment variables. Vercel focuses on your experience as a developer and enables you to deploy projects with minimal configuration.

Vercel Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include automatic scaling and built-in caching to ensure optimal performance and reliability. I love how much time the automatic scaling can save you with rapid deployments. And no need to worry about server configuration–Vercel does it for you!

Integrations available range from analytics and commerce to testing and security tools. Popular native integrations include Contentful, GitHub, Shopify, Tinybird, Slack, and Auth0. You can create your own integrations, for public or private use, in the Vercel dashboard using the Vercel API.

Pricing: From $20/user/month

Trial: Free plan available (non-commercial use)


  • Generous free plan for personal use
  • Large library of integrations
  • Multi-cloud capability with serverless and edge functions


  • Lacks user documentation
  • No automation features

3. Tailwind CSS – Best for creating responsive user interfaces

Web development tool Tailwind CSS Playground's interface
Here’s the Tailwind Playground, where you can learn how the framework works, prototype a new idea, or create a demo. (Source)

Tailwind CSS is a customizable CSS framework that helps you build modern and responsive user interfaces. It provides a comprehensive set of low-level utility classes that can be combined to create custom designs for absolutely anything.

Why I picked Tailwind CSS: I chose Tailwind CSS because you can build your designs directly in your HTML markup, saving you a ridiculous amount of time. It’s fast and tiny–all unused CSS is automatically removed before shipping.

Tailwind CSS Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include the Tailwind CSS Playground for experimenting with code and a library of ready-made components that you can use in your projects. I like that you can build responsive design directly into your HTML–no more complex media queries.

Integrations are enabled via pre-built plugins for Visual Studio Code and JetBrains IDEs like WebStorm and PhpStorm. You can find additional plugins and integrations on GitHub.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Library of ready-made components
  • Build directly in your HTML
  • Automatically removes unused CSS


  • Can cause bloated HTML files
  • Can be a lot to learn with the number of available classes

4. GitHub – Best for organizing code, collaboration, and version control

GitHub Dashboard interface
The GitHub Dashboard allows you to collaborate with others and view changes. (Source)

GitHub is the world’s largest developer platform for version control and collaboration, allowing developers to host, organize, and share their code repositories. It enables coders to collaborate with others, track changes, and manage the development process.

Why I picked GitHub: I chose GitHub because it is an industry-standard tool that many web development roles require you to have experience in. It offers networking opportunities and the ability to build your brand as a developer.

GitHub Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include version control, issue tracking, Copilot AI, and collaboration tools. I like that GitHub integrates with continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platforms, allowing you to automate your testing, building, and deployment workflows.

Integrations can be found in the GitHub marketplace. Popular pre-built tools include Slack, ZenHub, Instabug, SupportBee, PR Chat, and Jira. Additional integrations can be found in Zapier.

Pricing: $3.67/user/month

Trial: Free plan available


  • Automated workflows
  • Codespace–Instant dev environments
  • GitHub Copilot AI


  • Command-line knowledge is required
  • More expensive than competitors

5. Chrome Developer Tools – Best for fast troubleshooting and debugging

Chrome Developer Tools inspect interface
The developer inspect tool allows you to view site code and see how changes look on the site. (Source)

Chrome Developer Tools is a set of tools available in the Google Chrome browser that allows developers to quickly inspect, debug, and analyze web applications and websites. They provide insights into sites’ structure and performance, making diagnosing issues easier, so you can improve code quality and enhance the user experience.

Why I picked Chrome Developer Tools: I chose Chrome Developer Tools because it works directly in the browser and it’s fast; no software or platforms to access or install. With a simple right-click on any website, you can inspect the code, live-edit HTML and CSS, and debug JavaScript. You can also run performance, memory, and security reports with Lighthouse.

Chrome Developer Tools Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include element inspection and JavaScript debugging. The fact you can run a network, performance, memory, and security analysis all within the interface is a standout feature for me.

Integrations include Google Chrome–obviously! You can’t integrate additional tools because it’s built into the Chrome browser as a feature. However, many apps allow you to integrate Chrome Developer Tools using their respective APIs.

Pricing: Free built-in browser

Trial: Free plan available


  • Live debugging
  • Easy to use and learn
  • Performance analysis reports


  • User interface can be overwhelming
  • No downloadable reports

6. Selenium – Best for automated browser testing

Selenium IDE user interface
Here’s the Selenium IDE user interface, which allows you to record and playback test automation on any browser. (Source)

Selenium is a suite of tools that automate browsers and software for testing. You can perform tests across browser versions and machines and can develop your test cases with the integrated development environment (IDE).

Why I picked Selenium: I chose Selenium because of its powerful automation features across browsers. It is compatible with a wide range of languages and platforms, too. Selenium supports popular programming languages, including Java, PHP, C#, Ruby, and Python. It also supports all modern browsers.

Selenium CRM Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include Selenium WebDriver, a framework used for cross-browser testing; Selenium Grid, for running parallel tests on multiple machines and browsers simultaneously; and my favorite time-saver, Selenium IDE, a browser extension to record and playback user engagement on a site for analysis and testing.

Integrations include pre-built plugins like SauceLabs, Selenium-Grid, and Extent. You can test any native, hybrid, or web mobile app with the support of Appium or Selendroid. Pre-built connections with TestNG, JUnit, and Allure open up reporting features. You can also connect other tools with an API if you’re looking for more.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Supports mobile testing
  • Large plugin and extension library
  • Active global community


  • Steep learning curve
  • No reporting capabilities

7. Visual Studio Code – Best all-in-one code editor

Visual Studio Code marketplace
The Visual Studio Code marketplace has a vast number of extensions available. (Source)

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight code editor known for its fast performance and extensive customization features. It supports various programming languages, frameworks, and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Why I picked Visual Studio Code: I think Visual Studio Code is the best all-in-one code editor because it is highly customizable yet fast and lightweight. It has a huge extension library, so you can tailor your coding environment to suit you. It also has a clean interface, making it easy to navigate.

Visual Studio Code Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, formatting, navigation, and debugging capabilities. A standout for me is the integrated terminal support, allowing developers to run commands and scripts directly within the editor.

Integrations are limited natively. They include Docker, Azure Tools, and TypeScript. You can use the Visual Studio Code Extension API to open more options.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Lightweight and fast
  • Vast extension library
  • Clean user interface


  • Some extensions crash when used simultaneously
  • No SVG file preview

8. TypeScript – Best for code organization and error detection

TypeScript playground interface
Here’s the TypeScript playground – where you can experiment with the language. (Source)

TypeScript is a programming language based on JavaScript, with additional syntax to allow for static typing. Developed by Microsoft, it is highly trusted, with over 5 million weekly downloads of its compiler on GitHub.

Why I picked TypeScript: I chose TypeScript because its static typing abilities are great for helping you catch mistakes before runtime. It allows you to specify variables, elements, and function parameters, resulting in better code organization and high-quality output.

TypeScript Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include the TypeScript compiler, which analyzes your code, checks for type compatibility, and provides helpful feedback and warnings. I love that completed TypeScript is transformed into plain JavaScript, meaning it can be executed in any JavaScript runtime environment.

Integrations with build tools are natively built into the TypeScript language and use npm install in some instances. Tools include Babel, Grunt, Gulp, Browserify, MSBuild, Rollup, and Webpack.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Simplified code management
  • Early error detection
  • Runs anywhere JavaScript runs


  • Bloated code
  • Another language to learn

9. Auth0 – Best for adding secure user authentication

Using Auth0's dashboard interface for web development
Here’s the Auth0 dashboard that provides a clean interface and sidebar menu to access all areas of your account. (Source)

Auth0 is an access management tool that allows developers to add secure user authentication and authorization to their websites and applications. From single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to passwordless and user profiling, Auth0 provides a simple solution to modern identity management.

Why I picked Auth0: I chose Auth0 because of its simplicity in providing more control and security to your apps. The Auth0 dashboard lets you connect your apps, set up rules, customize login pages, select identity providers, add users, and access analytics. Popular authentication methods like social logins, SSO, and MFA are all supported, as well as the traditional username and password combo.

Auth0 Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include universal login, SSO, MFA, machine-to-machine, and passwordless authentication. I like the access and control provided by Auth0, allowing developers to manage user registration, logins, password resets, account linking, user roles, and permissions.

Integrations include hundreds of native tools and apps in the Auth0 Marketplace. Popular integrations include Gmail, Facebook, Datadog, GitHub, Splunk, PayPal, Bitbucket, Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon. You can request any not listed or build your own with the Auth0 API.

Pricing: From $23/month

Trial: Free plan available


  • Central dashboard
  • Built-in analytics
  • Detailed user documentation


  • Limited free plan
  • Add-ons can get expensive

10. Postman – Best for developing and testing APIs

Web development tool Postman API's dashboard
Here’s the collections tab in Postman, a clean interface that shows your APIs organized into folders. (Source)

Postman started as an extension for Google Chrome and is now among the best application programming interface (API) testing and development tools. Postman simplifies the API lifecycle from API requests and testing to design and detection.

Why I picked Postman: I chose Postman because it provides an easy way for web developers to build, test, and debug APIs. Shared workspaces and tools like Team Discovery and Workspace Improve allow collaboration. Postman Flows lets you create workflows and automations without writing code.

Postman Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include domain capturing, security assertion markup language (SAML), API monitoring and testing, and mock servers. I think the API governance is a real standout, thanks to inconsistency and security issue identification features that help secure your APIs.

Integrations include various pre-built software development pipeline tools, such as AzureAPI Management, Dropbox, BitBucket, GitHub, Splunk, Helio, Datadog, and Workato. The Postman API and open-source technologies make connecting anything not in the integration library easy.

Pricing: From $12user/month

Trial: Free plan available


  • Powerful collaboration features
  • Low-code workflows and automation
  • Extensive integrations library


  • Limited sharing capability on free plan
  • Desktop version is process heavy

11. Grunt – Best for automating repetitive tasks

An example Gruntfile in the web development tool Grunt
This example Gruntfile shows how project metadata is imported, and a plugin is configured to minify a source file. (Source)

Grunt is a JavaScript task runner – in other words, an automation tool. You can automate anything you like with a Gruntfile, and if it doesn’t already exist, you can build and publish your own Grunt plugin.

Why I picked Grunt: I picked Grunt because it saves you time. Grunt allows you to automate repetitive tasks and focus on more complex workflows. Minification, unit testing, linting, compilation, you name it – Grunt can automate it for you.

Grunt Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include custom task and script creation, file compilation and minification, and image optimization. The extensive plugin library, which I think makes Grunt better than most task runners, allows you to configure Grunt to your needs. You can create your own plugins for additional customization.

Integrations include run commands for node package manager (npm) and the Git version control system, meaning you can deploy changes automatically to your project repository. I think this integration is valuable for complex projects with frequent updates.

Pricing: Free open-source

Trial: Free plan available


  • Git and npm integrations
  • Minimal infrastructure for working on multiple codebases
  • Highly customizable


  • Plugin updates depend on npm authors
  • Multiple scripts needed for configuration

12. Airplane – Best for building custom internal tools

Airplane dashboard interface
The clean and simple dashboard is where you can navigate your library, schedules, and deployments. (Source)

Airplane is a powerful platform designed for building custom internal tools. It transforms scripts, APIs, and SQL queries into production-grade apps with one click, and you can automate complex multi-step workflows and internal UIs with just a few lines of code.

Why I picked Airplane: I chose Airplane because of its user-friendly approach to internal tool creation. In minutes, you can create admin panels, billing dashboards, and customer ticket support workflows. The large library of templates means you can get started quickly.

Airplane Standout Features and Integrations:

Features let you write code to create interactive workflows and automation. You can run tasks from Slack, schedule tasks with Cron, collaborate with input and approval capabilities, and write workflows as code instead of drag and drop, which I think provides great collaboration options.

Integrations include pre-built connections with BigQuery, MongoDB, Postgres, Redshift, Snowflake, SendGrid, and Mailgun. You can integrate other tools using any API or SDK.

Pricing: From $10/user/month

Trial: Free plan available


  • Extensive template library
  • Generous free plan
  • Active and responsive customer support


  • Limited UI components available
  • Can be buggy at times

Other Web Development Tool Options

Here are some web development tools that didn’t make my top list but I think are worth checking out:

  1. Node Package Manager – Best for JavaScript file sharing and deployment
  2. Firebase – Best for app development
  3. Firefox Developer Tools – Best for Firefox browser users
  4. Gulp – Best for automating repetitive workflows
  5. CodePen – Best for sharing code snippets
  6. GitLab – Best for AI-powered DevSecOps
  7. Safari Developer Tools – Best for Safari browser users
  8. Sublime Text – Best for cross-platform and lightweight code editing
  9. Marvel – Best for designing digital products
  10. Docker – Best for customizable, accelerated workflows
  11. Next.js – Best for building React-based web applications
  12. Laravel – Best for PHP developers

Selection Criteria For Web Development Tools

I’ve used various tools and frameworks throughout my years of web development. They’re not all necessary to every process, but each one aims to streamline a different facet of your workflow, speeding up the mundane, organizing code, and optimizing test plans.

Here’s a summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best web development tools for this article:

Core Functionality

In order to be considered for my list, the tools had to offer these key functions:

  • It saves you time, whether that be by keeping code organized or automating entire processes
  • It allows your teams to collaborate on multiple workflows
  • It simplifies your workflow and boosts productivity by reducing the amount of complex manual tasks

Key Features

Here are the essential features required to deliver the core functionality outlined above:

  • Customization: The ability to customize any element in your development process, including any extensions or tools you use, is imperative to allow your creativity to flow and build without restrictions.
  • Active: We all know that things are constantly evolving in web development. This changing environment requires updated tools to keep up with new technology and frameworks.
  • Team communication: Web development is ideal for solo working, but we also need to be able to communicate with clients, designers, marketers, and management. Tools that allow collaborative input and feedback are essential.
  • Automation: For tools where it makes sense, automation can pick up repetitive tasks, such as test plans and deployment, allowing you to focus on the building and debugging of your websites and apps.


Web development is complex enough without spending days learning new tools. These tools are meant to save you time and not unduly complicate matters. I prioritized tools that offer a clean interface and actionable user documentation to guide you through any required setup.


I chose tools that integrate with frameworks and languages that you most likely already have in your workflow. To save you time, I’ve detailed available integrations for each option.


Web development can be frustrating at times. It can also be isolating when you’re working with designers and marketers who don’t understand what you do.

Ever had a problem you’ve been scratching your head over for nine days only to reach out to the discussion board and find your peers can have it solved in 9 minutes? Try it; you can thank me later.

Active developer communities are essential in this industry. That’s why I chose tools with active user bases, allowing you to share ideas, support solutions, and experimental code.

People Also Ask

Still unsure how web development tools can streamline your workflow? These frequently asked questions and answers should help:

Other Web Development Tool Reviews

If you’re looking for more resources, explore these other reviews:

Mobile App Prototyping Tools

UX Tools For Interface Design

Wireframe Tools

Rapid Prototyping Tools

What Web Development Tools Do You Use?

Web development tools are here to support you and your processes in whatever way works best for you and your team. Try them out, add them to different workflow stages, and see what you can develop with a few sets of ‘extra hands.’

Join the conversation and tell us which tools work best for your development processes and workflow. Any missing from my list?

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By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.