Must-Have Chrome Extensions For Every Web Developer

Even though Google Chrome has only been on the scene for a few years, it has captured the attention of many in the web development industry, and for good reason. The web browser is lightening fast (as proven by its quick overtake of Internet Explorer as one of the most popular browsers) and has new extensions added daily. And here are the must-have extensions for any developer hoping to utilize Google Chrome at its full potential:

Awesome Screenshot

This extension allows a web developer to take a snapshot of an entire web page or just a part of it. You can then circle or underline relevant sections, blur out anything that is irrelevant and make comments on the page. You can also save the image or upload one, making sharing that much easier.

Chrome Sniffer

This extension allows a developer to check the framework of any website that they happen to be browsing. It will locate and display any content management system (CMS) or JavaScript library that is attached to that site.

Cloud Save

As a web developer, you will be used to working on the internet – but do you currently save any important files that you’re working with online? This extension allows you to save files from any website to a services that is supported by ‘The Cloud’, such as Amazon Cloud Drive.

Drag2Up

This extension makes it much easier for a developer to use the file attachment system. All you have to do is drag the file you want to attach from your computer onto the input field, instead of clicking through a stack of windows.

HTML Instant

This extension allows web developers to work in real time HTML. In the split screen, you will type your code into the left hand side and see the results straight away on the right.

MeasureIt!

This extension is essentially a ruler that a developer can use to find the dimensions of any element on a given web page.

PlainClothes

This extension is highly useful for web developers, as it allows them to see the ‘bare bones’ of a website. This can make it easier to see mistakes in design and to see why everything works much better when it is more simple.

Web Developer

This extension is a must have for any developer, as it allows them to view and edit CSS, display image file sizes and clear session cookies all with the click of a button.

After downloading these handy web developer extensions for Google Chrome, you will be set for making websites for the browser that much more accessible and user-friendly.

The Basics Of Web Development

For the business owners and marketing heads finding an experienced web developer, one that can bring your vision to life, can be an extremely difficult task; particularly if you have no knowledge of what web development is and what it involves.

Understanding web development is no easy task but often, it is OK to skip the details and instead come to grips with just the basics. Web developers take years to develop their talent (no pun intended) and you, yourself may never quite get there so instead don’t set the bar too high; just focus on the basics because a little can go a long way.

To put it simply, web development has one main focus; to make a website do the stuff that it is supposed to do. Whether it is for the internet or a private intranet network; for a one page website or a large site offering a multitude of applications and services it is your chosen web developer who will be in charge of the construction of your website. Often working with a team of in-house designers, a developer will provide the functions and features that are expected; rather like an architect bringing a scale model to life, with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of coding.

Coding is a complex subject that even I will not claim to have full knowledge off but to put it simply (which is probably the best that I can do) it is the way in which developers describe the functionalities of a website to the browsers. Coding is a language so to speak, that tells a browser what each part of the website is supposed to do.

With years of programming skills and an understanding of coding tools such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS; web developers can describe the content and design of your website to ensure that it is correctly interpreted. So whether you are after a simple website that offers a little of your company information or an e-commerce website that offers users a great shopping experience that can even be ‘tweeted’ about; your web developers will lie at the very root of your success.

In many cases, developers will have skills in graphic design and possibly even SEO but more often than not, they will work with a qualified designer and a team of other online marketing specialists to ensure that whatever it is you want from your website, whatever experience you wish to provide your customers and the results you wish to achieve; you can easily do so.

When searching for a web site development team or a single web developer, it is not vital to have any in-depth knowledge. By simply ensuring you are aware of the basics and the results you desire; finding the perfect person to work alongside your business, needn’t be such a frightening thought again.

About Web Development Plagiarism

When you think about plagiarism, the first thought that comes to mind is probably something to do with writing (such as you might have faced during your university years when plagiarism was likely to get you kicked out) or art (where people are constantly faced with accusations of stealing other artist’s work). You probably don’t think about the same thing occurring in web development, but the reality of the situation is that the plagiarism of code and design is just as prevalent as the stealing of art and lyrics.

Unfortunately, when it comes to web development, the law is fairly hazy when it comes what constitutes as ‘inspiration’ and what constitutes as downright ‘stealing’. Whilst the difference between the two can be debated amongst members of the industry, the only important distinction (at least, for a web developer who has had their code stolen) is the one made by the law.

It has long been believed that there is very little legal protection when it comes to the plagiarism of web development work, but this is not true – there is probably a lot more protection than you have thought there is. In most countries, copyright law protects anything that is a shape, pattern or similar object, which includes design. It is important, however, to look further than this – an intangible design is actually made up of a collection of tangible objects (code), which is 110% copyright-able. On top of this, any images or text that is used in a website is also protected by copyright. This is because all of these bits of information are saved onto a web server.

So, what can someone working in web development get from all of these legal distinctions? Basically, while the design itself cannot be covered by copyright and plagiarism laws (being intangible), the work that went into creating the design is protected (as the code, text and images are tangible). This is an interesting predicament for many web developers – if you come across a website that looks exactly like your own, it will not be considered plagiarism as long as the creator hasn’t used any of the images, text or code that you used to create yours. In contrast to this, you could find a website that has no resemblance to yours whatsoever but, if the creator has copied the code directly from your website, this is a breach of copyright.

So, how can a web developer prevent their code from being plagiarized? You could consider encrypting your HTML (which is not overly desirable as it also blocks search engine spiders from indexing your website), make your own code (because every web developer will have their own style, much like every author and composer does), embed your images (with your copyright information), use unique file names (which can make it easier to prove plagiarism has occurred), and search out plagiarists (the best way to do this is by joining a forum that is specifically for this task).

If you do uncover a company that has blatantly stolen your work (without permission, of course), your next step is to take the matter to a lawyer. Often, however, all a web developer needs to do is point out the similarities between their own website and the new one for its creator to agree to change these things – after all, no one wants to be involved in a legal battle over their website unless they really have to.

The next time you come across a website that you think has breached copyright law by stealing your work, look deeper into the page – if they haven’t used your code, then you don’t really have a foot to stand on. If you do in fact find that the web developer has copied your code, you certainly have a legal grounding to take the matter further.