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10 Best Front End Development Tools in 2020

group of developers working around a table

Web technologies have grown significantly during the past years. As time passes by, more and more companies are seeking to have a strong online presence and want to build a business website. But, building a website is not about choosing pretty backgrounds and a nice font letter. It’s a science that defies developers to give their best. And front end developers have a crucial part in making this happen. They need to be at the top of their game, keeping pace with all the new tools that continuously appear in the market – and there are thousands of them. Fortunately, we created a small list with our top 10 front end development tools in 2020. 

What is Front End Web Development? 

Instead of getting too technical with many of these concepts that can be painful for those unfamiliar with the tech world, let’s analyze them with a simple example. 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 web developer. And the role of the person who takes care of the data management, among other internal aspects, is the back end developer. There is also a developer who can manage both parts called full stack developer.

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 by a front end developer.

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. Or in other words, CSS makes HTML pretty. 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. This language allows websites to be more interactive, which leads to more engaged users. 

need talented developers

What are the Tools Used for Web development?

We briefly mentioned the main responsibilities of a front end web developer and the programming languages that they need to learn to create and manage websites. It all sounds so simple! But it’s not, and this is why many companies hire talented developers and leave that stress to the pros. Yet, even the most talented devs have a hard time debugging and managing difficult tasks, and this is why there’s a vast quantity of tools, frameworks, applications, etc. Here’s our list with the top front end tools for web development: 

top front end tools for web development

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.  Because Vue.js is not entirely a framework and it’s focused on the view layer, it’s easy to pick up and integrate with other libraries or projects. One of their main highlights is that it provides reacting components with lightweight APIs. This allows developers to make 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.

Download Vue.js

2. AngularJS

Angular is a free and open-source JavaScript framework created by Google. 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. 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.

Download AngularJS

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 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.

Download React

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 useful for developing mobile and desktop web apps. Ionic is usually known for its efficiency in building mobile applications. But 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.

Download Ionic

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. Backbone.js main goal is to help devs build sing-page web applications. And also to help 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. 

Download Backbone.js

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. 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 that are 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, Safai, Opera, etc).
  • Easy to use ad it’s also mobile-friendly.

Download Bootstrap

7. Meteor

Just reading the name makes you excited, right? Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript framework released in 2011. 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.

Download Meteor

8. Grunt

Grunt is a popular JavaScript task runner released in 2012. 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.

Download Grunt

9. Sass

Sass brings up all the good stuff. Its name is an abbreviation for syntactically awesome style sheets. It consists of a preprocessor scripting language that compiles into CSS. 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.

Download Sass

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 instant project switch.
  • Extensive customizability via JSON setting files.
  • Use Goto Anything for quick navigation to files/symbols/lines.

Download Sublime

Need a Front End Developer?

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