Recommended Web Development Tools Using Mac OSX

  • Web Design
  • Web Development

Recent projects and client requests have led us to reevaluate our workflow. This is wise to do periodically, sometimes it just helps to have a push!

Basic Physical Setup

  • Standup Desk - I suggest configuring the relatively inexpensive Connections Workstation into a custom desk tailored for your workflow.
  • Two Monitors - Set the second display to extend, not mirror your primary.


  • Sublime Text 2 - It takes extra effort to get in tune with the software, but it is well worth the time spent. The lack of a for GUI for the application settings and third party FTP initially prevented my fulltime migration. But after spending several hours scouring the internet for tips and taking the free nettuts course, I can definitively say Sublime Text 2 is the best editor I have ever used. If you are familiar with WordPress, think of the ST2 settings like “Child Theming” with extensive use of JSON to control app settings, package (plugin) settings key bindings and visual color themes. Store your settings in the respective user "child" files as the parent files will be overriden when updates are released. Take the great free tuts+ premium workflow course, Jeffrey Way does a great job with a series of succinct video tutorials and plugin recommendations. Here a few plugins I suggest:
    • Package Control (Install this first!)
    • Sidebar Enhancements
    • Sublime SFTP
    • Nuttuts+ Fetch
    • BracketHighlighter (Use tutorial link to dial in the colors to your taste)
    • Alignment
    • SublimeLinter
    • Emmet (Ex-ZenCoding)
    • Transmit DockSend (if using Transmit FTP app!)
    • AdvancedNewFile
    • PlainTasks
  • Transmit - The best FTP app out there can be used in conjunction with Sublime Text 2's “Transmit Docksend” plugin.
  • CodeKit - I use this primarily as a LESS preprocessor and browser refresh tool. Whenever code is saved, the browser running on the second monitor will be refreshed showing the changes without having to the carpal tunnel cmd+tab, then cmd+r refresh thing! CodeKit does so much more, check it out.
  • Sequel Pro - An excellent tool for managing mySQL databases. Another great option is Navicat, which has a robust freature set including great backup and visual query tools.
  • Color Schemer Pro - Dial in your color own palettes or download others using the Color Lovers website.
  • Alfred - Launch this app with a keystroke and you have access to opening files, launching applications, performing internet searches, playing music and countless other things! This will likely be the highest productivity boost recommended in this article.
  • JiTouch - A great accompanyment to Alfred, but sort of a reciprocal. This is amazing application extends gestures on your trackpad and allows you to say, launch your text editor by "drawing the letter T"! When used in combination with the Mac's ability to assign keyboard shortcuts, you can perform many system wide actions with a gesture of your choice!
  • Moom - Enabling window sizing and position controls with a keyboard shortcut can really speed things up, especially with Responsive Web Design using a second monitor and jiTouch.
  • Dropbox - Keep your files in sync across devices or access them on the go with Dropbox. Great for illegally sharing music ... just kidding.

There are certainly other excellent tools out there for correspondence, task management and collaboration, version control, backups, password management, keeping current with everchanging technologies and news feeds, but this is a good starter cheatsheet! If you find any of the above useful please purchase a license or donate to the developers that have put so much effort into making these great tools.

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