Web application from scratch – List of tools

What does it take to create a web app from scratch? with little research and heIp from 16columns.com, I derived following list of tools:

Tools at design stage

  1. Paper sketch – Nothing works best than to pull out a pen and Scribble, draw lines, jot notes, create wireframes. Liberate yourself.
  2. Mind map – My personal favourite, a small but serious powerful tool to put all your ideas good,bad and ugly at one place. “Coggle it” is the only cloud based best mindmap tool available there..
  3. Balsamiq- Sketch ideas with a mock up tool. These tools cost less than $10 per month. Other tools include mockflow, uxpin to name a few.

Now that your design is ready prototype makes it way.

Prototype tools

Best tool is to open code editor (npp is free and best) and just code. At this stage a framework like bootstrap or foundation can be handy.

This preferably must be a near replica of the application you wish. It also helps to translate requirement to developer and promotes fixed price culture if development is outsourced.

If you self develop, functionality is what you should crave for instead of design. Design goals can be met later.

After prototype your developer pitches in and begins to write that beautiful code for your application, to equip him, below mentioned tools can make a dent in universe.

Tools at development stage

  1. Ruby on rails – In today’s fast paced development world ROR is the buzzword, many applications are built on these solid frameworks, to name a few basecamp, groupon, 34pass.com , Twitter and many more. Python on Django is another great framework to get that app live quickly.
  2. Aptana studio to write your code. Notepad ++ is another great tool to write your code. Jetbrains Pycharm for Python/Django. Other include Netbeans, eclipse and so on.
  3. Email and Domain Host – Namecheap is one of the best web hosting company out there, there are many other too, but namecheap is seriously cheap and the interface enables you to go in a self service mode due to its stellar admin module. What I like best is the live support which is instant and powerful
  4. Code host and revision control – Though github is the buzzword, I personally recommend bitbucket. As on today, with bitbucket you get 5 git or mercurial private repository free. Also the interface and features are awesome.
  5. Application host – Heroku is best to host both Rails as well as django app besides node.js, java and other frameworks. Heroku comes with great add-ons that remove the stress out of server management, monitor apps, email deliveries and much more.
  6. Chec – To manage your payment integrations with your app. For customized solution you must look for other providers.

To manage Design and Development

  1. Trello for project management – Use this tool and you will know why. Trello eases out your worries to manage project. For web application development I recommend to make following lists Activities, New ideas, Working, Completed and Known bugs. Trello manages your activities, resources and schedules along with file management.
  2. Droplr – Simple and effective file sharing tool, especially during design stage when the pages go under multiple revision. Trello too can be used as a replacement of droplr.
  3. Needless to mention Skype and gtalk
  4. Elance if you wish to hire designers and developers.

I hope this compiled list is as useful as it was to me. Would still like to know if there are any better tools than one mentioned above. Happy web application development


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