33 front-end development tools developers use in 2024

By Arso Stojović
Read time 8 min
Posted on June 19, 2024
Updated on June 19, 2024
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33 front-end development tools developers

Today more than ever, we have choices. Some applications help heal the plants, we meet future partners through dating apps, we have AI that "does the work for us" and so on. Front-end development tools are no exception to this extensive range of options. The landscape is richer and more sophisticated than ever. Developers invest in premium tools to enhance workflows, boost productivity, and deliver advanced user experiences.

So, what are the must-have tools for front-end developers? If, you want to know which tools you should add to your toolbox, keep reading.

What is front-end development?

To put it simply, everything you see on the website buttons, links, headers, and footer animation is part of front-end development.

To accomplish that, front-end developers use a wide spectrum of computer languages, tools, and frameworks to bring a website’s design and functionality to life. Some of the technologies are:

  • HTML: Markup language that specifies the structure and content of web pages.

  • CSS: Manage the visual appearance and layout of web page elements, such as colors, fonts, and spacing.

  • JavaScript: A programming that allows websites to be dynamic and interactive.

Here are some key statistics and trends in front-end development tools for 2024, backed by data from recent reports:

  • React continues to dominate, with 42.65% of developers using or interested in using it.

  • Next.js has seen significant growth and is now a preferred choice for many developers.

front-end development tools trends
  • Astro is becoming a hot new thing

According to Netlify's 2023 State of Web Development, Astro is showing the highest growth in usage and satisfaction, with weekly downloads on NPM reaching 197,435.

Astro trends
  • JavaScript domination

According to a recent W3Tech survey, 98.9% of all websites use JavaScript as a programming language.

JavaScript trends
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have become a standard, providing benefits such as offline functionality, push notifications, and app-like interactions.

  • GitHub remains essential for collaborative coding and project management, with most developers using it for version control and code sharing.

  • NPM continues to be a critical tool for JavaScript developers, facilitating code reuse and efficient package management.

  • AI and personalization: AI-driven chatbots and personalization techniques enhance the UX by providing tailored content and interactions.

  • Low-code development: Low-code platforms are becoming more popular, enabling rapid development and empowering non-developers to contribute to application development.

  • TypeScript has risen in popularity and influence in the front-end development landscape.TypeScript has overtaken Java as the third most popular language across open-source projects on GitHub, with a 37% growth in its user base in 2023.

  • Micro frontends: apply microservices principles to the frontend by breaking down a web application into smaller, independent modules or functions, providing flexibility and speed.

Considering all these trends let’s see which development tools are must-haves.

Best front-end development tools

Sit back, enjoy, and learn, because I have prepared the ultimate list of web development tools by categories that are key to the entire software development ecosystem.

Front-end frameworks and libraries

Frameworks offer a collection of files that map out for styling and structuring websites. With pre-built components such as navigation menus, buttons, and typography, there is no need to code those elements from ground zero.

React

I need to start with the most popular one. React, an open-source JavaScript is used to create user interfaces. Because of the features it offers, it excels at web development, making it one of the fastest libraries out there.

Features:

  • Component-based architecture (reusable pieces of code)

  • Virtual DOM ( allows quick rendering and improves performance)

  • Modularity

  • Pricing: Free.

Vue.js

Vue.js is a declarative and component-based programming style built on top of the standards of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This method encourages an organized and modular code structure, which makes it easier to design UIs.

Features:

  • Declarative rendering (you describe what the UI should look like for a given state, and Vue.js handles updating the DOM to match this description)

  • Routing (allows navigation between different pages, without reloading)

  • It has a very small size (12 to 21 KG)

  • It combines the best features of Angular and React.

  • Pricing: Free.

Angular

Angular is ideal for creating dynamic web applications because it extends static HTML to dynamic HTML subsequently making it more convenient for you to build dynamic and rich websites.

Features:

  • Two-way data binding (automatically synchronizes data between the model and the view, meaning that the view layer of the architecture is always an exact representation of the model)

  • Dependency injection (automatically provides components with the services they need, making the code modular and easier to test)

  • MVC- (able to create a client-side application)

  • Pricing: Free.

Bootstrap

Bootstrap's focus is on responsive and mobile-first websites. It provides pre-built HTML, CSS, and JavaScript design components to help developers in building user interfaces.

Features:

  • Responsive Grid system (provides a flexible layout system that adapts to various screen sizes and devices.)

  • Pre-designed UI components (ready-made pieces of code for building common web elements like buttons, navigation bars, and forms)

  • Bootstrap themes and customization (let you easily change styles and colors to match your design preferences.)

  • Pricing: Free.

jQuery

jQuery simplifies HTML document traversal, event handling, and animation.

Features:

  • DOM manipulation

  • Event handling

  • AJAX (simplifies asynchronous requests to load data from a server without refreshing the page)

  • Pricing: Free.

NextJS

NextJS is used to create server-rendered React apps and webpages. It offers code splitting, automatic server-side rendering, and support for static exports out of the box. NextJs's versatility is further enhanced by its support for API routes and static site generation.

Features:

  • Server-side rendering (renders web pages on the server before sending them to the client, improving performance and SEO)

  • Code splitting (automatically splits your JavaScript code into smaller chunks, loading only the necessary parts to improve performance)

  • Static site generation (pre-renders pages at build time)

  • API routes (allow you to create serverless API endpoints)

  • Pricing: Free.

A utility-first CSS framework that provides low-level utility classes to build custom designs directly in your markup.

Features:

  • Utility-first CSS framework

  • Responsive design

  • Customization.

  • Pricing: Free.

Check out our code starters if you want to see how these frameworks work together.

Code Editors and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

While code editors give you fast access to edits and coding, IDEs offer features such as debugging and testing for a variety of development tasks.

Sublime text

Sublime Text is one of the most popular code editors because supports various programming and markup languages and provides features like syntax highlighting, auto-completion, multiple selections, and a powerful command palette.

Features:

  • Command palette

  • IntelliSense

  • Simultaneous editing

  • Customization

  • Pricing: $99 one-time purchase.

WebStorm

With WebStorm, you can get started coding JavaScript and TypeScript right away. It provides better performance when dealing with large codebases.

Features:

  • Smart editor

  • built-in debugger

  • seamless integration with various tools

  • Pricing:$15.90/month.

VS Code

  • Source control (Git source control by default)

  • syntax highlighting

  • code refactoring

  • real-time code completion

  • Pricing: Free.

Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit is a lightweight yet versatile text for dynamic programming languages such as Python, PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript.

Features:

  • Syntax highlighting and auto-completion

  • Customizable user interface

  • Support for multiple programming languages

  • Pricing: Free.

Package Managers

Package managers are important tools for automating the process of installing, updating, customizing, and managing software libraries or packages within a software project.

NPM

The Node package manager for JavaScript. NPM lets you publish, discover, install, and develop node programs, as well as discover code packages that you can reassemble according to your needs.

Features:

  • Large registry

  • Dependency management

  • Custom script execution

  • Pricing: Free.

Yarn

Designed as an NPM alternative, Yarn focuses on speed, reliability, and security.

Features:

  • Large registry

  • dependency management

  • custom script execution.

  • Pricing: Free.

Advanced Packaging Tool (APT)

APT is mainly used to install, remove, and upgrade packages on Debian-based Linux Distribution. I. Apt is the front-end of the dpkg package manager and the file extension is .deb. Apt resolves dependencies automatically.

Features:

  • Good for beginners

  • Pinning Feature (allows one to install packages from multiple repositories)

  • Intuitive commands

  • Pricing: Free.

Design tools

Design tools create stylish and intuitive UI. Developers use them for the implementation of design elements.

Figma

Figma is a cloud-based design tool that allows collaboration between designers to create UIs for mobile and web applications.

  • Real-time collaboration

  • Prototyping

  • Reusable design components.

  • Pricing: Free tier, paid plans start at $12/month.

Sketch

Sketch is a vector graphics editor for macOS primarily used for UI and UX design of websites and mobile apps.

Features:

  • Vector editing

  • Prototyping

  • collaboration tools

  • Pricing: $99/year.

LottieFiles

The world's largest collection of free animations can be found at LottieFiles, including thousands of unique designs that are suitable for both personal and commercial use. You can also change the color, height, width, animation speed, and so on to match the theme of your website.

Features:

  • Code snippets generation

  • High customization

  • Pricing: paid plans start at $19,99/month, billed annually.

Google Fonts

This is an open-source library of font families that includes an interactive web directory for browsing the library, and APIs for using the fonts via CSS and Android. The fonts are available in multiple weights, styles, and scripts and you can find everything you need to improve typography.

Features:

  • Code snippets generation

  • High customization

  • Pricing: Free.

Coolors

This color palette generator allows you to go through all the existing color palettes and search for palettes based on color, topic, and style. Coolors also allow you to generate new palettes if the existing ones don't suit your design.

Features:

  • Gradient maker

  • Image converter

  • Font generator

  • Pricing: Free, Pro plan: $3 per month or $36 billed yearly.

Version Control Systems (VCS)

It is possible to work concurrently with other members of your team on a project using VCSs, which provide a structured mechanism for collaborative coding. These are the most popular VCS tools:

Git

Git collaborates with other developers on a project and tracks code changes. It enables you to successfully track updates made over time to the code repository by the developers.

Features:

  • Branching and merging

  • Data integrity

  • Non-linear workflows support

  • Pricing: Free.

GitHub

On the other hand, GitHub is an internet-based platform that allows the hosting and sharing of Git repositories. It is the biggest git repository platform with many incredible features that let developers work together and host their code online.

  • Public repositories

  • Code search & code view

  • Protected branches

  • Pricing: Free tier, paid plans start at $4/month.

Apache Subversion (SVN)

File and directory changes can be monitored over time using Apache Subversion, a centralized VCS. With its tools, numerous developers can work on a project at once through collaborative software development.

Features:

  • Centralized model

  • Atomic commits

  • User permissions and restrictions

  • Pricing: Free.

Responsive Design tools

Using responsive design tools, you can develop and test web applications that adjust to various screen sizes and devices. There are a couple of them that you should consider:

Chrome DevTools

Chrome DevTools is a set of debugging tools included in the Chrome browser. It enables you to analyze, troubleshoot, and alter your websites quickly. It enables you to inspect and update HTML components and CSS properties in real-time, monitor network requests, analyze performance, and check local storage.

Features:

  • Real-time HTML and CSS inspection

  • Detailed monitoring

  • Performance analysis tools

  • Pricing: Free.

Responsively

Responsively is an open-source browser extension that allows you to visualize and interact with your websites across multiple device viewports.

Features:

  • Multi-device visualization

  • Real-time interaction with your website within the tool

  • Customizable viewports

  • Live CSS editing for immediate adjustments

  • Pricing: Free.

Viewport Resizer

Viewport Resizer is a browser-based tool that enables testing and previewing how a website or web application responds to different viewport sizes, such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Features:

  • Customizable resolutions

  • Toggle between portrait and landscape orientations

  • Device pixel ratio adjustment

  • Real-time information about the current viewport dimensions

  • Pricing: Free.

CSS Preprocessors

These tools provide advanced features such as variables, mixins, and nested rules, which make stylesheets more maintainable and modular. This improves code organization, and reuse, and minimizes redundancy.

Sass, Less, and Stylus

Sass, Less, and Stylus extend CSS by adding variables, nesting mixins, and other features. It's an excellent solution for organizing huge and complex stylesheets.

Features:

  • Enable the use of variables in CSS

  • Supports mixins, enabling the encapsulation and reuse of style patterns

  • Nested rules support

  • Price: Free

Other frontend developer tools

Grunt

Grunt is a JavaScript runner used to automate repetitive activities. It is useful for automating routine processes such as minification, compilation, unit testing, and linting. Grunt provides over 6k different plugins for installing and automating specific tasks with minimal effort.

Features:

  • Easy installation

  • Automation

  • Enable creating customizable plugins

  • Price: Free

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a performance optimization tool that provides audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more. Lighthouse enables you to optimize UX by offering insights into resource utilization, loading times, and rendering processes.

Features:

  • Easy installation

  • Automation

  • Enable creating customizable plugins

  • Price: Free

Postman

Postman is an API platform for building and using APIs. It simplifies each step of the API lifecycle and streamlines collaboration.

Features:

  • Intuitive interface for API requests

  • Support for automated test scripts

  • real-time collaboration

  • Generates API documentation

  • Pricing: Free tier, paid plans start at $12/month.

ESLint

ESLint is a static code analysis tool that detects problematic patterns in JavaScript code and guarantees compliance with coding standards and best practices.

Features:

  • Highly configurable

  • It enables the usage of plugins, making it flexible and adaptable to a variety of project requirements.

  • Offers real-time feedback

  • Provides a collection of preconfigured rules.

  • Price: Free

Often considered as a headless CMS, Webflow is actually a low-code website builder that with its drag-and-drop feature helps build responsive websites without coding. It generates clean, semantic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Features:

  • Visual web design

  • Custom code

  • Production-ready code.

  • Responsive website templates

  • Price: From free to very complicated pricing plans.

Find more about Webflow pricing plans: Is Webflow too expensive

Speaking about headless CMS, let’s see its role in the development process.

Why Frontend developers should use a Headless CMS

Headless CMS enables a frontend agnostic approach because it decouples content management from content presentation, providing a bunch of benefits that streamline development. Here's how a headless CMS can significantly help front-end developers in their work.

How a Headless CMS helps frontend developers in their work

API-driven development

A headless CMS delivers content using APIs, often RESTful or GraphQL, allowing front-end developers to fetch material dynamically. This strategy makes it easier to integrate content into apps and helps developers structure their data retrieval more efficiently.

For example, as a frontend developer, you can use a GraphQL query to fetch specific fields from multiple content types in a single request, optimizing the application's performance and reducing the number of network calls.

Framework and tool-agnostic content management system

With a headless CMS, you are not tied to any specific frontend framework or technology. You can use the tools and libraries they prefer or that are best suited to the project. Whether you React, Vue.js, Angular, or even a static site generator like Gatsby, the headless CMS can provide content via APIs that integrate with any of these tools.

Learn more: NextJS headless CMS, Nuxt CMS, Gatsby CMS

Content updates

Content updates can be made independently of the frontend codebase. Once content is updated in the CMS, it is instantly available through the API, allowing for real-time content management without redeploying the front-end application.

  • Example: Marketing teams can update website content directly in the CMS, and the changes will reflect immediately on the website, enabling rapid content iteration and deployment.

Component-based architecture

A headless CMS fits well with modern frontend development practices such as a composable architecture. Developers can build reusable components that fetch and display content, making the codebase more modular and maintainable.

Team collaboration

Just like Figma, a headless CMS comes with roles and permissions that facilitate collaboration between developers, content creators, and marketers. This segregation of duties allows each team to work more efficiently in their areas of expertise.

Start building your front-end development tool kit

You have an ultimate list of tools, the only thing left to do is to choose your tech stack. I won’t tell you which one to use, I will just list the tools you need so you can do your work in the best possible way. Here’s the list of tools:

  • Code editor

  • JavaScript framework

  • NPM

  • Task runner

  • CSS preprocessor

  • Design tool

  • Prototyping tool

  • VCS

  • Performance optimization tool

  • API integration tool

And last, but not least, consider BCMS headless CMS, as a collaborative front-end CMS platform with integrated UI development and content modeling tools. Create, share, and improve your code seamlessly to get further, faster, and more modern websites and app development.

  • It takes a minute

  • Free support

  • 14 days free trial

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