On this page you will find a collection of links to resources that we currently use or suggest using. We are very conservative when it comes to hardware and software, so you may notice most of the items listed are not the newest tools. We like what works and continue to use it if it does. Some of the links on this page will be affiliate links, using these links will not cost you anything, if you purchase anything using our links we will earn a small commission.


ideaCreate a folder on your Desktop and name it “Web Development” or “Developer Tools“, then save all your links to your software there. It is really handy to have everything in one place when you are creating your applications.


Web Hosting

Bluehost – At some point you might need a place to host a WordPress blog or website, if you do then take a look at my guide How to Create a Self Hosted WordPress website.


HTML and CSS – The foundational framework for every website on the internet.  This is what everyone needs to learn first when starting a career in Web Development.  We highly suggest starting with a book like Head First HTML and CSS: A Learner’s Guide to Creating Standards-Based Web Pages.  The format is really easy to follow and the content is very entertaining.

JavaScript – With this language, you can manipulate almost anything your client will see in the browser.  Use this along with PHP, C#, ColdFusion etc. to speak to your database.  This is also the foundation for a huge list of frameworks and libraries.  You will really want to spend some time learning this. Again, we suggest starting with a book like Head First JavaScript Programming: A Brain-Friendly Guide.

PHP and MySQL – These 2 languages power a huge portion of the internet, so of course you will want to be familiar with them. Check out Head First PHP & MySQL: A Brain-Friendly Guide to get a really good introduction.

ASP.Net and C# – If you are thinking about working for a larger company, then you may need to learn this framework and language. I would start by following some simple tutorials online first, then if you feel that you need a more structured approach check out this book Professional C# 7 and .NET Core 2.0

Developer Tools

Visual Studio –  This IDE has support for a large number of languages, this is really the go to tool when developing ASP.Net C# applications. The community version is free to download and use. The community version is very capable of almost anything you need to do.

Visual Studio Code – This tool has so much to offer.  Completely free, support for almost any language you can think of.  If it doesn’t support your language of choice out of the box you can probably install a plugin that will. Install this because you will probably need it at some point.

SQL Management Studio – If you need to manage Microsoft SQL databases then you will want to have this tool. This platform is free to install and use.

phpMyAdmin – This is a free MySQL management tool.  It is usually provided with your hosting environment or you would install it if you are using your own home built hosting environment.

Navicat for MySQL – This is an expensive tool, but if you prefer something a bit easier to use than phpMyAdmin then it may be worth the price tag.

PHPStorm – If you don’t mind dropping some cash on your IDE then PHPStorm is a great tool.  This is subscription based and currently gets cheaper in the 2nd and 3rd year then stays at the 3rd year price onward.

Adobe Dreamweaver – This is still a useful tool if you happen to do a lot of front end mock up work, ColdFusion or Lucee development.  We prefer the older CS3 version because the newer versions are so bloated, slow and expensive. Maybe grab a version from eBay if you need this.

Adobe Photoshop – We don’t really use this tool that much.  For us it is really only useful for creating layered images. I guess if you are a photographer or a designer you might get a lot of benefit out of the newer versions.  But, we are still using the CS3 version and completely happy with it.  You might be able to replicate most of the Photoshop functionality with Gimp (free) if you are willing to spend time learning how that tool works.  If not, then see if you can find a CS3 version of Photoshop on eBay.

Free Software

Just Color Picker – If you see a color on a web page that you like, use this tool to grab the HTML code value.  Before becoming commercial software ColorPic was my favorite tool, it’s still a great option for a few dollars.

IrfanView – This is a great tool to use when you need to view or resize an image fast.  It also has batch processing if you need to resize a large number of photos all at once.

WinSCP – This is a free SFTP client.  You will be working with FTP sites at some point and this is a great tool to use for that purpose.

PuTTY – This is a free SSH and Telnet client.  This is what we use to manage headless Linux servers using a terminal (command line) interface.  You will most likely need to use this tool or a similar tool at some point in your career.

Notepad ++ – We all need a great text editor with colored syntax, I use this editor constantly.  Sometimes you just need to make a small change to a CSS file or some other source file, but you don’t want to wait for the IDE to load.


ideaWhen choosing a computer to use as your development machine, you want to keep a few things in mind. First of all it may sound cool to use a laptop so that you can write code at your local coffee shop, which is fine for short periods of time. But, having a computer with 2 large monitors is the way to go when you spend between 8 and 12 hours writing code. Your computer doesn’t have to be the newest, fastest or most expensive piece of equipment on the market.  You can really get by with a machine that is a few years old and has 4 gigs of ram (more ram is preferable) and a good sized hard drive (250GB minimum).

Monitors – Pick 2 monitors that allow you to see text clearly.  You will be sitting in front of these for hours and hours, so you want it to be as pleasant as possible.  24″ monitors work great for us.  We have been using dell monitors for years and they work really well. Just make sure that the computer you are hooking them up to can support the connectors.  You may need adapters if your computer is more than a few years old.

Keyboard – This really depends on what you are comfortable with.  There are so many styles and types that you may just need to find what you like.  I am typing this on a 25 year old IBM keyboard that works great for me.

Mouse – We prefer the Logitech mice, more specifically the older Mx518 series gaming mouse.  We don’t really play games, but this one has a great design and lasts forever.