20 Front-End Development Tools in 2021

front-end development tools

To build a website and grow your online presence, you need a front-end developer – and the right front-end development tools. Websites and apps need constant updating, and new front-end development tools pop up every day to make interfaces more interactive and user-friendly. Front-end developers take care of application development services to ensure site efficiency, interactivity, and, more importantly, user interaction.  

To give these results, a front-end developer can use a vast variety of tools, but which is the most suitable for your project? The choice between hundreds of front-end development tools can be challenging, especially considering the constant updates or new tools coming up. 

Fortunately, we created a small list with our top 20 front-end development tools in 2021. 

What is Front-End Web Development? 

Front-end web developers, who also go by the name of client-side developers, are those in charge of producing HTML, CSS, and Javascript for a website (or a web app) that helps users interact with the site easily. Whenever you visit a web page (like this one), all you see visually, things like buttons, landing pages, the aesthetic, etc. were all created with front-end development tools.

There are three types of developers who specialize in building and managing websites. There’s the front-end developer, the back-end developer, and the full-stack developer. Now let’s imagine that we have an old rusty robot that we want to sell. Nobody would want to buy it if it looks ugly and doesn’t work, right? So we need to take care of both the functional and physical aspects. We need to paint it beautifully, take care of the looks and functionality of the robot. But that’s not it. We need to make it work in a way that the robot efficiently manages its own data. Otherwise, it could overheat and collapse. To do all this, we need someone who takes care of both the front and the back parts that make a robot work correctly. 

A website works the same. In this case, the person who makes sure the robot is user-friendly and looks good is the front-end developer. And to make your website smooth and efficient for your users, you need to find the right front-end development tools to make your developer’s work easier.

What Core Technologies Do Front-End Web Developers Use?

  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML) provides websites the basic structure. HTML uses tags to differentiate all the types of content on a website. All the paragraphs, headers, and images you are currently seeing are because of HTML.
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a programming language that commands how all the HTML elements must appear on the website. In other words, CSS makes HTML pretty. In short, HTML provides the structure, but CSS styles it to make the content of a website look attractive and engaging to the users.
  • JavaScript is a logic-based programming language used to modify content on a website to make it behave differently. For example, whenever you see confirmation boxes or call to actions, they are all thanks to JavaScript. Therefore, this language allows websites to be more interactive, which leads to more engaged users. 

What Are The Right Front-End Development Tools In Web Development?

Even the most talented front-end devs have a hard time debugging and managing difficult tasks – which is why there’s a vast quantity of tools, frameworks, applications, etc. 

To simplify your job, here’s our list of the top front-end development tools for web development: 

20 Tools For Front-End Development Tools 

1. Vue.js

Vue.js is a JavaScript library created in 2013 that has improved significantly over the past years. It’s gained popularity because of its efficiency to build User Interfaces and single-page applications. Vue.js is not entirely a framework and it’s focused on the view layer. Therefore, it’s easy to pick up and integrate with other libraries or projects. Further, one of their main highlights is that it provides reacting components with lightweight APIs. This allows developers to do their job faster but also to work on complex applications.

Features:

  • It has a very small size (12 to 21KG).
  • It’s flexible, making it suitable for cross-platform applications.
  • It has great tooling (Unit testing, State Store, Routing, etc.).
  • It combines the best features of Angular and React.

2. AngularJS

Angular is a free and open-source JavaScript framework created by Google. In short, its main purpose is to simplify the development and testing of the applications by providing a framework for client-side MVC architectures and other powerful features. So, Angular solves the main challenges developers find when developing single-page apps. 

Features:

  • It handles JavaScript code for every program.
  • It’s able to create a client-side application by using MVC.
  • User interface with HTML.
  • It has a two-way data binding.

Read more: 8 Angular JS Alternatives

3. React

React is an open-source JavaScript library used for building user interfaces. It’s maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies. React is popularly known as one of the fastest frameworks available. It’s an excellent library for web app development, and it has great features that make it one of the top choices for developers. 

For example, ReactJS uses a virtual DOM instead of the real DOM, meaning that a web page no longer recalculates every time the DOM changes the browser. This and other features allow React developers to build fast and clean websites.

Features:

  • Easy to understand and learn.
  • Great for mobile app development.
  • Provides stable code and useful tools for developers.
  • It’s component-based.

Read more: React Vs Swift: Which one is Better

4. Ionic 2

Ionic is an open-source user interface created in 2013 capable of building both mobile and desktop applications.  Iconic uses web technologies such as CSS, Sass, and HTML5 to develop tools and services for mobile and desktop web apps. In short, Ionic is usually known for its efficiency in building mobile applications. However, many front-end developers, due to its great features, use it often for websites.

Features: 

  • It has pre-designed components.
  • Can deploy across multiple platforms.
  • Developers can use native device functions with the JS code.
  • High availability of plugins.

5. Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a JavaScript library used for building client-side apps that run in a web browser. The magic this library has is that it gives structure to web applications by offering models with key-value binding and custom events. Therefore, Backbone.js’s main goal is to help devs build single-page web applications. In addition, it helps them in keeping diverse parts of web applications synchronized. 

Features:

  • When the model changes, Backbone.js automatically updates a developer’s HTML.
  • It has separate business and UI logic.
  • It offers more than 100+ extensions.
  • Makes a developer’s code simple and organized. 

6. Bootstrap

Bootstrap was created by two developers working on Twitter in 2010. It’s known because it’s easy to use and allows devs to build fast and responsive websites. Subsequently, more than 18 million websites use Bootstrap! Because of its increasing popularity, many developers learn this library in the early stages of their web development careers. Bootstrap contains CSS and JavaSCript designed templates useful for typography, forms, navigation, and other essential components of the user interface.

Features:

  • It provides a responsive system.
  • It has powerful plugins built on JQuery.
  • Suitable for modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc).
  • Easy to use and it’s also mobile-friendly.

7. Meteor

Just reading the name makes you excited, right? Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript framework released in 2011. To clarify, it allows rapid prototyping and produces cross-platform (Web, Android, and iOS) code using NodeJS.  Meteor contains a vast collection of libraries that help developers build websites and apps faster than other frameworks. 

Features:

  • It has several built-in features.
  • Speeds development time.
  • Offers a MongoDB database (written entirely in JavaScript).
  • Automatic updates when there are modifications in the database.

8. Grunt

Grunt is a popular JavaScript task runner released in 2012. Above all, developers frequently use it because it automatically performs frequent tasks such as unit testing, compilation, and minification. Grunt uses a command-line interface to run custom tasks. In a few words, this tool makes developers’ work life easier.

Features:

  • It has more than 5,000 plugins.
  • Widely used by companies such as Microsoft, WordPress, Mozilla, Adobe Systems, etc.
  • Allows developers to automate almost anything.
  • Easy installation.

9. Sass

Its name is an abbreviation for syntactically awesome style sheets. In short, it consists of a preprocessor scripting language that compiles into CSS. Therefore, it allows developers to use variables, nested rules, mixing, and functions. One of its awesome features is that it also helps developers with sharing design across projects.

Features:

  • Developers can organize large stylesheets.
  • It’s compatible with CSS.
  • It has multiple functions for color manipulation.
  • It offers advanced features like control directives for libraries.

10. Sublime

Sublime is a text editor with a Python programming interface that provides support to programming and markup languages. It also supports split editing mode, meaning that developers can edit files side by side.  

Features:

  • Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
  • It’s a cross-platform with an instant project switch.
  • Extensive customizability via JSON setting files.
  • Use Goto Anything for quick navigation to files/symbols/lines.

11. Sencha Ext JS

Sencha is one of the most complete JavaScript frameworks. It allows building data-intensive, cross-platform web and mobile applications for any type of device. In addition, Ext JS includes over 100 pre-integrated and tested high-performance features to improve and create UI components.

Features:

  • Among 140+ UI components are HTML5 calendar, grids, pivot grid, D3 adapter, trees, lists, forms, menus, toolbars, panels, windows, and much more.
  • Hundreds of available user extensions in the Sencha community.
  • The Ext JS Big Data Grid is 300x faster than most competitors.
  • Flexible layout manager to organize the data display and content across multiple browsers, devices, and screen sizes.
  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design
  • Data package included in Ext JS decouples the UI components from the data layer.

12. Creative Tim

Creative Tim provides Bootstrap design elements. To clarify, it supports web development work creating fast and functional web and mobile apps. Therefore, it’s one of the easiest tools to get started by providing different pre-built example pages.

Features:

  • Easy to use Admin Templates.
  • Admin Dashboards to save development time. 
  • Pre-made Sections & Elements

13. Envato HTML Templates

Envato provides over 1000+ ready-made HTML5 templates. It’s a great tool to save your developer’s time in writing code. The templates can be customized and are built for SEO optimization, CSS, and JS to improve Page Speed scores.

Feature:

  • Templates based on Bootstrap, Vuejs, Laravel, Angular, and the most popular frameworks.
  • Responsive SASS templates and multi-file upload support.
  • Light/Dark Options
  • Charts Library, Chat, Email Apps and Widgets support.
  • FREE Lifetime Updates.
  • Unlimited color.

14. Elfsight

As a SaaS service, Elfsight is a web development tool allowing sites to upgrade without any coding. Your developer can customize your website by working on the interface. Elfsight widgets allow to increase sales, engage visitors, collect leads, and more.

Elfsight Apps work on platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Joomla!, Drupal, BigCommerce, OpenCart, Adobe Muse, and can be added to an HTML website.

Features:

  • Embed content from Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and more.
  • Displaying customer reviews from Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc.
  • Chat facility.
  • Forms for contact, feedback, survey, quiz, and more.
  • Integrations with WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and more.

15. Npm

Npm is the Node package manager for JavaScript. The primary features of this installation tool are the ability to organize modules and manage dependency conflicts intelligently. Because of its features, nmp is extremely configurable and can support multiple use cases. Usually, you can use it to s.

Using this tool, your developer can publish, discover, install, and develop node programs, and discover packages of reusable code to reassemble them according to your priorities. 

Features:

  • Over 470,000 free code packages are available in the Registry.
  • Publish and control access to a namespace.
  • Manage public and private code with the same workflow.

16. TypeScript

TypeScript is an open-source scripting language. The tool is a syntactical superset of JavaScript that enables adding optional static typing. It is specially designed to develop large applications with any environment running on JavaScript.

Features:

  • TypeScript supports other JS libraries.
  • Definition files containing information of existing JavaScript libraries, like C/C++ header files.
  • Portable across browsers, devices, and operating systems

17. CodeKit

Codekit’s primary feature is the ability to automatically refresh and sync browsers as you work. It provides support to develop websites faster, by combining minified and syntax-checks JavaScript. In addition, it is a great tool to optimize images.

Features:

  • CSS changes are injected without reloading the entire page.
  • Combine scripts to reduce HTTP requests.
  • Minify code to reduce file sizes.
  • Works automatically with most languages.

18. WebStorm

WebStorm provides smart coding assistance for JavaScript frameworks, including assistance for Angular, React.js, Vue.js, and Meteor. It is built for complex client-side and server-side development with Node.js. Thanks to this flexibility, your developer can write code faster and work with large projects.

Features:

  • Built-in tools for debugging, testing, and tracing client-side and Node.js applications.
  • Integrated popular command-line tools for web development.
  • Smart code insight, autocompletion, refactoring features, on-the-fly error prevention, etc.
  • Spy-js built-in tool to trace JavaScript code.
  • Unified UI working on many popular Version Control Systems.
  • Customizable to suit different coding styles.
  • Built-in debugger for client-side code and Node.js apps

19. HTML5 Boilerplate:

HTML5 Boilerplate allows the building of fast and adaptable web apps and websites. The tools comprehend a set of downloadable files that your developer can use as a foundation for any website. 

Features:

  • Use of HTML5 elements.
  • Normalize.css for CSS normalizations and bug fixes.
  • Apache Server Configs for performance and security.
  • Optimized version of the Google Universal Analytics snippet.
  • Protection against console statements avoiding JavaScript errors in older browsers.

20. Github

GitHub is one of the most popular web development platforms, which allows code review, project managing, and software building. Its web interface facilitates social coding, and developers can follow each other’s work on the run. 

Github can store the source code for a project and track any change of the script. Using a public repository, developers can change, adapt and improve the software.

Features:

  • Easy coordination among team members working remotely. 
  • Provides multiple tools to build a fast and efficient application.
  • Code on a single platform. 
  • Host developers’ documentation directly from repositories

Conclusion

With the popularity of front-end development tools being on the rise due to ever-changing web techs, it might be challenging to pick the right tool or set of tools for your project. Hopefully, this list with popular front-end development tools we put together with our developers will give the answer you were looking for. Moreover, if you want to hire highly skilled front-end developers, then we are your guys. Because here at DistantJob, we spend our days matching the best global development talent with organizations around the world.

front-end development tools

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

or... Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive content and bloopers

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina is the writer and executive editor of the DistantJob blog. As a former freelance journalist, she has covered a wide range of topics throughout her career. She was featured in Datasciencentral, Simpleprogrammer, to name a few. She is currently specializing in the areas of technology, leadership, and remote work.