15 sites web developers and designers should know

by Jean. 172 Comments -

Creating a good website isn’t an easy task, but there’s a few tools that can definitely make your developer or designer life easier. In this article, I have compiled 15 extremely useful website that any web developer or web designer should have bookmarked.


When designing a website, one of the firsts (and most important) steps of the process is to choose a color scheme.
Color Combos allow you to browse thousand of different colors combinations for getting inspired for your upcomming design. Color schemes can be browsed by colors.
Visit colorcombos.com


Who doesn’t know the extremely popular Lorem Ipsum text? This text is used by webdesigners worldwide to simulate the render of real text on a design.
Lipsum.com allow you to create th desired number of paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum, quickly and simply.
Visit LIpsum.com

What the font?

You just saw a logo or website using a particular font and you enjoyed it. You’d like to use the same font in a design of yours…but you don’t know the font name. At this point, you have only two solutions: Searching for the font during hours, or using the What the font service.
What’s the font allow you to upload a logo or an image containing a font, and it will tell you which font is it. Results are incredibles.
Visit What the font


Favicons are a must have for any website, mostly because on modern browsers as such as Firefox, it is displayed along with the site name in tabs. It is also used in bookmarks.
Favicon can be in various file format, including the popular .png. The only problem is that using png as a file format for your site favicon will not work on Internet Explorer. Happilly, there’s ConvertIcon a free online service that allow you to upload an image and get a .ico file, for maintaining compatibility with Microsoft’s browser.
Visit ConvertIcon


background Patterns is definitely one of the current webdesign trends.
On BgPatterns.com, you’ll be able to browse a wide selection of patterns that you can freely use on your designs.
Visit BgPatterns

HTML Encoder

Do you display code on your website? If yes, you probably know how boring it can be. In fact you have to type &lt; to display <. If you have to display a 50 lines code, this may take a while to manually convert HTML symbols.
The HTML Converter simply takes a code and returns it to you after converting HTML entities. I use this service daily for displaying codes on my blogs.

Note that a HTML Decoder is also available.
Visit HTML Encoder

Xenocode Browsers

In my opinion, Xenocode Browsers is the ultimat tool for checking your website in different browsers. Xenocode Browsers allow you to lauch IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Google Chrome and Opera directly from the web. The only weak point: The service isn’t available for Macs and GNU/Linux powered PCs.
Visit Xenocode browsers

Test Everything

Do you ever wished to be able to test your design in many browsers as well as checking a page PageRank, and even validate your code standards compliance all in one place?
If yes, Test Everything is definitely a site that you should visit. It aggregate over 100 different tools to test almost everything on a webpage.
Visit Test Everything

Sprite Generator

CSS Sprites is definitely a great technique to use, mainly because it reduces the number of HTTP requests. Thought, CSS sprites require time and particular knowledges, which make the technique kinda hard to use, especially for begginners.
The amazing Sprite generator allows you to send a zip file containing your images. It will returns you your images combined into a sprite, and even better, the CSS code that you’ll just have to paste in your main css file.
Visit Sprite Generator


Sure things, good looking buttons is a must have for any serious blog or website. If you don’t know, or haven’t the time to create some cool buttons, don’t worry: Buttonator is an advanced button generator that you can freely use.
By the way, don’t forget to check out our Top 10 CSS buttons tutorials list if you have an interest in CSS buttons.
Visit Buttonator

Load Impact

How many time have you ever seen websites down after they were featured on the frontpage of popular sites as such as Digg or StumbleUpon?
The free Load Impact service will allow you to test how your website can handle various blasts of traffic. The results with sites hosted at WpWebHost are excellent.
Visit Load Impact


Good looking icons are a must have in any professional website. There’s plenty of free icons on the web, so the folks at IconFinder decided to create a collection of free icons for you to use them in your designs. It is definitely easy to find what you’re looking for in seconds.
Visit IconFinder


Testing how fonts will renders on your design is sometimes a fastidious operation. Happilly, TypeTester allow you to test how fonts and their attributes will look. A definitive gain of time.
Visit TypeTester

CSS Tidy

Even advanced developers often needs to optimize their CSS code. CSS Tidy is a free, online application that will fix errors and optimize your CSS code. For example, it can automatically detect redundant styles, a very common problem of CSS codes.
Lots of settings are availables, to ensure you’ll be happy with the results.
Visit CSS Tidy

Contact Forms Generators

Forms are a very important part of any website, because they allow your readers or customers to interact with you. By using Contact Forms Generator, you’ll save a precious time by creating your forms, including the PHP, ASP or even Perl code needed for sending emails from your site to your mailbox.
Contact Forms Generator doesn’t even require programming skills.
Visit Contact Form Generator

Comments (172) - Leave yours

    • Daniel said:

      ahhh I wish I had this list 5 months ago when I started my webpage. Better late than never though – thanks this is very helpful!

  1. popurls.com // popular today said:

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  2. Tim said:

    Just added it to my delicious list.
    Very good! Thank you for posting this list – several new items for me to make use of and recommend to others!

  3. Vernon said:

    Great set of links and tools here. I like the Color Combo site. I already use ColourLovers and Kuler but you can never have enough input on colors! This post is making it as a choice for tomorrow.

  4. Luis Lopez said:

    I love this article because some of those tools i already know them but some ohters i had no idea and they can be very useful for webdesigners.
    Thanks for this article.

  5. McTwist said:

    i have completed the web designing recently but i am not a professional & i dont have a experienced at all i am new in this field but you gave me some tools thanks for it!it is very useful for me!

  6. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing said:

    Hey Jean, great post!! You article is indeed very helpful especially for the freelance web developers and designers. I have used HTML Encoder and Color Combo sites. But I had no idea about Contact Forms Generator. Thanks for the mention!!

  7. arifn said:

    hi.. great list.. I don’t know if there is some site providing Lorem Ipsum text.. :D

    I found another site similar to Color Combos, the name is ColourLover (http://www.colourlovers.com/),.

  8. Hodgeman said:

    Fantastic list. Great resource of tools and services that shouldn’t be overlooked when designing and testing websites. Extremely useful. Have bookmarked!

  9. Michlle said:

    thanks for this list of the tools really they are very helpful for the web developers like us because we always seek for the new tools for our web development!

  10. links for 2009-07-22 said:

    [...] 15 sites web developers and designers should know Sites muito úteis para quem desenvolve aplicações web (tags: design web programming css development photoshop) Compartilhe essa página: [...]

  11. Edward Moore said:

    Thanks for sharing this great article with all these great resources. I really appreciate seeing post like this that I can use for a long time down the road.

    I “dugg” it for you on “Digg”.

    To your health,
    Edward Moore

  12. Bill said:

    Awesome stuff! That font identification site is absolutely great! I’ve been faced with trying to identify a font so many times I can’t even remember. But each time it has always taken a long time to identify the font. That site will be a big help. Thanks!

  13. Jorge Moore said:

    What a nice list of tips. And yes, loading time is important for every web page as it can also help to convince your visitor to stay. The longer the page load, the bigger chances that your visitor will leave your site right away.

  14. Kiran said:

    Of the whole list IconFinder was the only one known to me before. Its a great place to find all sorts of icons. thanks for the rest of the list. I am going to try out Test Everything and What Font

  15. 七平米 » Web 设计与开发者必须知道的 15 个站点 said:

    [...] 如果你要在网站中显示 Web 代码,那将是非常烦人的事,你必须将诸如 < 一类的符号用编码表示,这个网站可以帮你做这些事情,只需将你的代码复制进去,他们会帮你生成可以直接使用的代码。还有 HTML Decoder 帮你做相反的事。 [...]

  16. 老狼博客-前端开发- Web 设计与开发者必须知道的 15 个站点 said:

    [...] 如果你要在网站中显示 Web 代码,那将是非常烦人的事,你必须将诸如 < 一类的符号用编码表示,这个网站可以帮你做这些事情,只需将你的代码复制进去,他们会帮你生成可以直接使用的代码。还有 HTML Decoder å¸®ä½ åšç›¸åçš„事。 [...]

  17. John said:

    Thanks, a few of these ive never come accross before, whatthefont looks handy, ive seen people asking in a forum a few times what a particular font is.

    Thanks for putting this list together.

  18. Yoke said:

    I just put this post url in my “Favorites” list. I do know some of these sites and to know more of them is great. I think Icons finder, buttonator and colorcombos add to my collection. Great tools for webmaster…Thanks for putting them all together, it will surely make life easy.

  19. 15 sitios que un diseñador web debe conocer | Tecnología, Emprendimientos y Experiencias de Vida said:

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  20. John Pape said:

    I found this to be a very useful list for web development. The Test Everything tool is awesome. So many ways to fix errors in code, check SEO and so much more. I’ve used the What’s My Font website and is great for finding the Font style when you don’t have access to the original font. The other site I’ve used quite a bit is the LIpsum.com. Nice tool for creating visuals of text areas. Another site for this is http://www.html-ipsum.com/. This site will give you the html that you can paste into code.

  21. Bjarne said:

    Hi Jean-Baptiste!

    Thanks for this great list – there’s are defiantly a couple of them I don’t know. Especially Load Impact is useful…

    BTW I found this through the article on Webdesignerwall about “20+ WordPress Recipes”, which led me to wprecipes.com and from there to this post. It’s funny how you can surf yourself through to this kind of useful stuff by coincidence.


  22. Chris said:

    I was tempted to keep Stumbling when I saw the title; I’m glad I didn’t – most of these were sites that I was unfamiliar with. Great work.

  23. Charlene- trading systems said:

    What the font sounds like a great idea. I actually felt really excited as I read about it because JUST TWO days ago I came across a font that I really liked and I could not find it anywhere. I emailed the “contact us” and haven’t received a reply, but I don’t have to wait for one anymore!

  24. Kiki said:

    Great list of must haves!! Sometimes it’s killer trying to find exactly what you need, what with all the free choices available on the web these days. Now I have a place to start when I’m looking for just the right edge. I especially like colorcombos, buttonator, and whatthefont. Awesome design implements when you have something specific in mind. Thanks a bunch!!!

  25. MegaMad said:

    I like the list and have a (possible valuable) addition:

    browsershots.org shows your page in 86 browsers on 4 different OS’es.

    It ques your request so results will have a delay of several minutes.
    If you create a free account you will be able to save your history.
    If you create a paid account you will get priority processing.

    Keep up the good work!

    MegaMad – Leo

  26. 相请不如偶遇 » Web 设计与开发者必须知道的 15 个站点-转 said:

    [...] 如果你要在网站中显示 Web 代码,那将是非常烦人的事,你必须将诸如 < 一类的符号用编码表示,这个网站可以帮你做这些事情,只需将你的代码复制进去,他们会帮你生成可以直接使用的代码。还有 HTML Decoder 帮你做相反的事。 Xenocode Browsers  [...]

  27. Tony said:

    Wow! Great post, Jean! I haven’t heard of any of these sites! Either that’s a good thing or bad thing, I can’t be too sure…

  28. You are now listed on FAQPAL said:

    15 sites web developers and designers should know…

    Creating a good website isn’t an easy task, but there’s a few tools that can definitely make your developer or designer life easier. In this article, I have compiled 15 extremely useful website that any web developer or web designer should have bookm…

  29. Sebsemillia said:

    Nice Collection! Knew some of them, some are new to me..

    One silly question concerning the xenocode browser sandbox, how do I use it?? I installed the “app” plugin, but what now? No right-click option, nothing in the browser add on list..

    I appreciate any feedback!


  30. Jamie said:

    Thank you so much for creating this list. This is a great reference. I only became aware of some of these sites. I will definitely bookmark this page.

  31. Sandy said:

    I’ve just recently gotten my site up and running. It’s awfully bare bones at the moment and I’m sure these handy sites will be a huge help in adding some pizazz. Thanks!

  32. Tamik said:

    Great list. I would add zbugs.com for mergin and gzip compression css and js and css3.me for generating css3 code.

  33. Carlos Matias said:

    The buttonator.com domain is now pointing to PikiCentral (another website)

    Wrong link in this page : In the Buttonator article, the link called “Top 10 CSS buttons tutorials list” is pointing to this page.

  34. Ken said:

    I have to admit I’m terrible at colour combos and often try to refer to various online sites for help, but never really find anything I’m happy with. I’ve accepted it now… I have no style! So I’m going to try out your recommendation for colorcombos.com with the site I’m working on now. Cheers.

  35. Nick said:

    Great post. LIpsum is an interesting approach to page layout and readability. We haven’t used it on Goats On The Road because the paragraphs are a bit longer than we like, but its a useful tool anyway.

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