A few of my favorite web tools

I find myself using the same tools each time I go to work on a site, so I thought I’d write a quick post for my own future benefit and perhaps to help other web developer friends.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool – Possibly the easiest way to know if a website will be financially successful is to use the AdWords Keyword Tool to find out if anyone is searching for the website’s topic. No searches, no money. You can also tell what kind of competition advertisers face for specific topics, which can also be a great indicator as to whether your topic can be profitable.

Domize – Once I know a topic has money potential, I head over to Domize to find a domain. This is easily the fastest tool to figure out if domains are available for registration or not.

Gridless – An easy to use, full featured HTML5/CSS3 boilerplate. Works great for pretty much any sort of site (mobile, desktop, fixed, fluid, responsive..), and is easy to plug into any framework.

Browser Shots – Free and easy tool to get screenshots of your site on various browsers on various operating systems. Saves you from having to mess with a bunch of virtual machines (or physical machines) to test your site. I always always always use this when paying someone to do design work for me. I’ve never had a designer deliver the “finished” product that didn’t have major problems I found using Browser Shots.

PunyPNG – The best image optimization tool I’ve ever found. Quick and easy, and consistently gives me the smallest file sizes. Once the site is finished, I run the images through PunyPNG to reduce the site’s payload.

Copyscape – One of the few paid tools I use on occasion. It allows you to determine if a chunk of text has been copied or is original. This is vital if you are paying for original content (like articles) so that you aren’t inadvertently purchasing copyrighted material.


  1. PunyPNG has ridiculously small file size limit, 150KB.
    Better replace it with http://compresspng.com
    Its compression ratio is better anyway.

    • I’ve never tried compresspng.com, but I’ve also never had a PNG over 150KB that I was trying to compress. It doesn’t look like compresspng.com is lossless, as it says it will force the image into PNG-8 format.

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