Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools is a free, no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. Some of its uses includes submitting and checking sitemaps, set the crawl rate, and view statistics about how Googlebot accesses a particular site, as well as generating and check a robots.txt file. It also helps to discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt by chance. It can also list internal and external pages that link to the site, get a list of broken links for the site and see what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings. Other of its functions are :

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  • Viewing statistics about how Google indexes the site, and if it found any errors while doing it
  • Setting a preferred domain (e.g. prefer example.com over www.example.com or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs
  • Highlighting to Google Search elements of structured data which are used to enrich search hit entries (released in December 2012 as Google Highlighter
  • Receiving notifications from Google for manual penalties.

However, The list of in bound links on Google Webmaster Tools is generally much larger than the list of inbound links that can be discovered using the link:somewebsite.com search query on Google itself. Google is tight lipped about the discrepancy. The list on Google Webmaster Tools includes nofollow links that do not convey search engine optimization authority to the linked site. On the other hand, the list of links generated with a link:somewebsite.com type query are deemed by Google to be “important” links in a controversial way.

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Images from images.google.com

 

Koding

What immediately drew to Koding was the sense of community that was displayed. Instead of feeling like a cloud-based web editor, it really felt like an open social network. The purpose of Koding is to cut down the amount of fluff we have to endure when we want to create, develop, host, and update websites. Generally, we have to go to different websites for each step, but Koding makes this a one-stop shop.

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When you sign up, you get a very modest hosting account (500 MB and 1GB of bandwidth), but again, what I liked about this was the sense of community. There are so many coding languages supported and you are free to connect with different members in the community to get some help or to team up on projects. This is great for those of us who are stronger in design than development and could use a little help every now and again to get our website where it needs to be.

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The biggest draw back here is only that it’s Beta. They warn you before you join that your URL and your files and such could disappear the next day, so they recommend this really for playing around and quick collaborations. However, if this were to ever become an official release, I think anyone interested in web design and development should get on this train. Koding is everything all rolled up in one—there’s no bouncing around sites to make everything work together, it’s all in one spot, with the option to get other people to help you out.

Images from techcrunch.com and thenextweb.com

Eggplant Functional

eggPlant Functional is a black-box GUI test automation tool, originally developed by Redstone Software starting in 2002. Redstone was acquired in 2008 by a UK-based company called TestPlant.

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eggPlant Functional is a two-computer system, consisting of a controller machine, where scripts are authored and executed, and a system-under-test which runs a VNC server. eggPlant Functional connects to this VNC server via its built-in viewer via TCP/IP. The system-under-test can be any system that has a VNC server for it.

Its approach uses image matching technology as opposed to looking to the object-level of the application being tested. This allows for system-wide automation of a system-under-test as opposed to an application-specific solution. It also means that the technology used to build the application to be tested does not matter, nor does the system that the application runs on.

The testing tool, eggPlant Functional uses intelligent image recognition algorithms to “see” the display screen of the computer being tested. For this, the software secured a US patent for its “method for monitoring a graphical user interface on a second computer display from a first computer” for its GUI testing tool. This also enables it to run without need of human intervention. This brought it to the attention of UK Trade & Investment, specifically its defense and security arm, the DSO.

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eggPlant Functional can be run from any operating system to any platform, technology, or browser. It can be used for mobile testing, cross platform testing, rich internet application testing, and performance testing.The company also offers a free trial download of eggPlant Functional.

Images from testplant.com

WebMatrix

Whether it is standard HTML or dynamic code like PHP or ASP.NET, you need a good editor to put it all together. Editors over the years like to use WebMatrix. Microsoft WebMatrix is a free, cloud-connected web development application for Windows. WebMatrix enables developers to build websites using built-in templates or popular open-source applications, with full support for ASP.NET, PHP,Node.js and HTML 5. Microsoft developed WebMatrix for the purpose of providing web developers with coding, customization, and publishing capabilities all in one place. The latest version is a free download and has everything you need to build prototypes and the final product. In addition, there are a variety of templates available to quickly build an application.

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Although WebMatrix is a Microsoft offering, you are not restricted to Microsoft technologies, as it can be used for PHP-based applications and those using HTML/CSS/JavaScript standards. It only runs on Microsoft Windows, though I run it on my Mac in a Windows VM.

Some of its main features include simplified creation, publishing, and synchronization of companion cloud websites. It also has an integration with source control systems including Git and Team Foundation Server. It has source code completion and syntax highlighting for HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript, TypeScript, as well as editing for server side languages ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js.

However, Microsoft doesn’t have the best reputation in the web development community, so if you choose to explore other options, you might start with Dreamweaver, Brackets, or a cloud-based tool such as Cloud9.

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There are a lot others to choose from, and make sure you get familiar in using them.

Images from microsoft.com

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is an online image editor, without need to install anything to your device. It’s the most versatile photo editor and painting application that works in a browser. You can open and save images from your hard drive or save it to cloud. ” These are the very simple yet enticing description of Sumo Paint in its website. Much like the other photo editor/web tools, Sumo Paint takes a pretty decent stab at the photo manipulation and design world. What I like about Sumopaint is the integration of many of the tools you find in Photoshop that aren’t found in many of the other online editors, namely the magic wand and custom shape tools. The setup is very similar to that of earlier versions of Photoshop, which makes it very intuitive.

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It does have a bit of the more sophisticated features, filters, and adjustments, which again, make it really easy to work with design complex layouts. This editor is created with Flash, so there may also be some issues with that, as far as lag and memory are concerned. But if you are into the Flash-based editors, this one is obviously the more stellar of the two (SplashUp).

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This app comes in several different languages, which makes it extremely versatile. Sumopaint boasts quite a large design community of 4 million people who share, collaborate, rate, and ‘remix’ each others’ work. Sumopaint is one of the easiest to use (especially when coming from Photoshop) with some of the better features offered.

 Images from sumopaint.com