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The web designer's toolkit

Tools and resources that help speed up development and enhance the user experience.

Kris Jeary

Published: 10th January 2013

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There are a few websites out there that make being a web designer just that little bit easier. By way of showing gratitude, here are a few of my favourites, and all free to use :

  • Pingdom Tools

    A suite of tools that allow you to do geeky things like check the load time of web pages and see what components are loading quickly and which and slowing it all down. Complete with handy recommendations.

  • W3C Markup Validation Service

    Essential pre-launch testing to ensure my coding is standard compliant. Lacking a little on the HTML5 front at present, but a good yardstick nonetheless.

  • Adobe Kuler

    Another from the Adobe camp, this time Kuler which serves up a host of colour palettes, I have been known to turn to it for inspiration from time to time.

  • Google Web Fonts

    Don't be fooled by the amount of naff fonts here, mixed in with the awful there are also some beautifully crafted ones and Google makes it a doddle to get them working on a website.

  • Font Squirrel

    I'm tending to prefer Google Fonts these days which means my visits to Font Squirrel have dropped off a little. That said, when I can't find the style I want with Google I can simply upload a font to Font Squirrel and it does all the conversion to leave me with a set of files ready to be used with @font-face.

  • Credit Card Number Generator

    This handy page generates dummy credit card numbers which pass through validation routines, very handy when testing eCommerce websites.

  • CSS3 Generator

    A useful site that helps me remember the correct syntax for a host of CSS3 techniques when my brain refuses to co-operate. Also generates the proper stack order and fallbacks.

  • Kraken

    Love this site, throw an image file at it and it crunches it down (possibly by way of witchcraft) into a much smaller filesize. Note: It may be science but it's so awesome I'm willing to believe it's the dark arts.

Have I missed anything obvious here? Let me know if there is a web resource you simply can't do without.

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