Frontend development has become more streamlined and quicker than ever before. Modern standards allow developers to create magnificent effects with just a few lines of code. But even beyond W3C specs are many online tools & webapps that make development a relatively painless procedure.
The following tools have been made by developers, for developers, with the intention of expediting the development process. They’re sturdy, prudent, and best of all completely free! Try adding these tools into your daily workflow to gain more traction while building complex web projects.
1. CSS Beautifier
Here’s a great example of simple and practical rolled into one neat web application. CSS Beautifier will automatically rearrange CSS code with custom settings for spaces and tabs.
This is perfect for unifying your own stylesheets and for de-compressing minified CSS into a readable format.
2. CSS Inliner Tool
E-mail newsletters are still going strong and prove to be a useful method of mass communication. Web designers have to pay careful attention to newsletters since they’re much more fickle compared to browser-based websites.
For example, some e-mail clients strip CSS styles from the heading of a newsletter. This means the safest way to build a newsletter is actually with inline styles. Obviously this would be annoying to code by hand, so MailChimp’s CSS Inliner Tool is a welcome addition to this article. Anyone who builds newsletters should keep the CSS Inliner bookmarked, stickied, and showered with love.
SASS is a CSS preprocessor meant for saving time during CSS development. While this seems like an odd tool for organizing code, it can actually prove tremendously useful to frontend developers.
SASS and the more recent SCSS are based on the same underlying engine. You can write SASS/SCSS code that holds variables and imports code snippets like a programming language. CSS3 prefixes can be auto-generated and there’s even a free SASS extension for Dreamweaver.
Developers that are familiar with LESS may know a bit about RECESS. This is a code tool made by Twitter for checking LESS/CSS code for syntax errors. It can also be used as a direct compiler for LESS code.
If you’re a fan of LESS it may be worth learning how to use RECESS. It can be installed through the command line and runs in a similar fashion. You’ll be able to check for code errors, reorganize spacing, and compile LESS code all with one program.
Neat freaks and code lovers will simply adore ProCSSor. It’s an optimization tool created by MaxCDN for automating the optimization of CSS code.
You can change how indents/spaces work, how to close curly braces, and how to organize selectors. And ProCSSor supports copied CSS code, uploaded stylesheets, or direct URLs to files already online.
For a desktop alternative to optimization take a look at CSS Comb. This can be installed via the command line and offers extensions for many development programs. The features are run via the terminal or command prompt, so it does have a small learning curve but offers a lot in return.
For those who would rather avoid writing shell scripts you can try CSS Comb’s online webapp to perform many of the same features.
Styleneat is a very cool CSS webapp for organization. You can either copy CSS code, upload a CSS file, or link to one on the web. Then you choose how to organize the code and even how to sort properties.
This little tool can’t do everything but it does offer a unique toolset for CSS devs.
8. CSS Compressor
Here’s a quick & dirty compression engine without any frills. You paste in some code, choose how you want it compressed, then let it run.
CSS Compressor is best used right after you’ve finished coding a project to make the stylesheet smaller before uploading onto a server.
Code minification is quite popular on the world wide web, and Minify is one of many apps to automate the process.
10. CSS Lint
In programming terms, linting is the process of using a program to check for errors in source code. Traditionally this was applied to programming languages but nowadays it can also be used for web development, too.
CSS Lint is a free tool that checks for errors, compatibility issues, and even performance blocks in your code. It’s perfect for an objective review of your work to weed out those pesky syntax mistakes.
11. CSS Validator
Code validation is slightly different than linting because it doesn’t exactly deal with syntax, but rather standards. W3C is the agency putting out official specifications that browser engines follow. CSS Portal’s validator is a useful tool if you want to ensure that your CSS code follows W3C specifications.
The CSS Portal design is easier to read than alternatives, but if you’re a stickler for official platforms then try W3C’s validator instead. They both offer similar options for validation but have different interfaces for sifting through the results.
Refresh SF is a free tool hosted on GitHub for minifying CSS and JS code. You can choose from many options for customizing the compression process to obtain your preferred output.
13. Pleeease Play
Pleeease is a Node.js web application with a fun CSS editor. It actually proves quite useful to developers with capabilities to auto-generate CSS3 prefixes and convert rems to pixels.
The app is built like a code IDE where your syntax is auto-converted based on specified options. It’s not the greatest IDE for writing code but it is very useful for optimization.
If you catch yourself writing duplicate properties and re-declaring selectors then you need to try UnCSS. It’s an open source tool built to optimize CSS code by removing extraneous properties and selectors.
This is another command line tool but if you’re interested to learn then it’s worth the effort. UnCSS’s GitHub page includes a full rundown of each command option and how it works.
An alternative to UnCSS is the CSSCSS tool built by Harvest. You’ll find this for free on GitHub and it’s also installed via command line. CSSCSS can handle pre-compiled assets like SASS/SCSS files and works great with Compass.
Both UnCSS and CSSCSS are perfect for removing duplicate codes from your stylesheet. Which one you choose ultimately boils down to personal preference.
The golden rule of creating great web-based projects that provide online audiences with good user experiences is to not let them wait. It seems like a really simple task, however it just sounds so. Completely upload your content-intensive website that is populated with high-quality, heavy multimedia data in the blink of an eye is simply impossible due to imperfections inherent to modern technologies. All that remains to do is find a way of forcing people to stay while they are waiting. And making use of page-loading effects is an optimal solution here.
Spinners, loading bars, basic counters can do the job perfectly well. They give a notion that something happens in a pleasant, entertaining and enticing manner. With just a bit of imagination, you can transform a plain loading indicator into a real masterpiece that will amuse users by diverting their attention from idle process as well as enrich your website design aesthetics.
Page-loading effects are not just whimsy; they are a must-have for any complex, content-heavy or dynamic project. If your project falls into one of these categories then you should definitely take a look at our varied and fresh collection of free page-loading effects; we hope you will definitely find a perfect match for your website here.
Free Page-Loading Effects
Inspiration for Article Intro Effects
The team speculates about various intro animations that should accompany page appearance thereby enriching user experience. The collection includes:
- Pushing techniques
- Fade out effect
- Slice effect
- Grid-based solutions
- Imitation of an effect seen on Jam3
You will be able to freely grab a source file; however it can only serve as a starting point.
Page Loading Effects
The team gives you hints how to transform a boring loading time into an enjoyable and visually-appealing pastime by equipping your website with some fantastic SVG animations based on Snap.svg. The article covers a bunch of different effects, namely:
- Lazy stretching
- Windscreen wiper
- Tunnel vision
- Basic effects such as tilt, wave, and curtain
Page Preloading Effect
Unlike the previous two examples, this team has concentrated on producing only one solution that should brighten up an appearance of the page with a help of a simple, small yet fancy animation based on an effective collaboration of CSS3 3D transforms and SVGs. You will be also able to insert your logo into it thereby showing off your trademark from the first second.
Creative Loading Effects
The project is created in order to provide developers with a sheer inspiration, yet, you can still freely grab several valid code snippets that will enhance your page with some alluring loading effects. The range covers 13 solutions including popular YouTube loading bar, standard expanding box, circular indicators and others.
Display Animation While Page Loading Using jQuery
The tutorial regards a really simple but fundamental solution of how to properly implement a loading indicator in order to engage users. The author offers two ways of resolving this problem:
- Using loading image in CSS and a HTML div element with jQuery bind function
- Using loading image inline in HTML with jQuery load function
jQuery Full Page Loading Animation
The developer shows a simple and easy-to-reproduce solution for creating a full page loading animation. You can modify it according to your wishes without hustle and bustle thanks to a really clean code and intuitive technique.
This is a small yet really useful online generator that will assist you with creating visually-appealing preloaders based on new CSS3 features. Thanks to several basic customization options you will be able to:
- Choose an animation template
- Set colors
- Set size
- Specify animation speed
- Turn on reverse animation
Page Loading Effects
Rik Roots gives you an opportunity to not only contemplate some interesting and original loading effects but also lets you use this piece of code. Here you will find enticing animations that include:
- Rolling rectangle
- Spinning star
- “Chop from top” technique
- “Clear with circles” approach
This is another helpful and feature-rich online generator that allows building your own preloading effect. The customization choices will surprise even a sophisticated user; the service offers plenty of categories, where you can find pre-made elements starting from standard loading bars and ending up with zodiac signs. Each category includes its own range of options, opening to you almost endless possibilities.
Display Loading Animation While an External Page is Loading in a RadPane
The script is connected to RadPane that is used for loading external pages, so take it into account.
This is a tiny, lightweight and pretty helpful jQuery plugin that lets you both add and remove a loading overlay to a selected element. You can use it with any component you like. Available options allow:
- Adding icons
- Specifying text
- Altering appearance through CSS styling
jQuery Loading Animation
Want to load your homepage gradually line by line or simply make the presentation of your images interesting? Then leverage this effect.
The animation was created by Pedro Ivo Hudson, who has implemented a CSS transitional changing effect based on Bezier Curve that allows controlling the timing function in order to set the required speed.
YouTube Page Load Effect
The developer has quite successfully imitated an elegant page load effect seen on YouTube. Though the solution is based on a quite complex linear interpolation function, yet it works like a Swiss watch: i.e., reliably and accurately. The code snippet is really clean and apprehensible, so even if you are only a newbie you will be able to put it to work.
Animation on “load”
The aim of this small project is demonstrate how to correctly initiate an animation when a page loads. Of course, you can add text, set a background color and change timing and duration.
CSS3 Spin Loader
Ricardo Zanutta created a subtle vibrant flat style CSS3 spin loader that will look wonderful on any web page whether it has dark or light coloring. The snippet includes a function for displaying a preload page as well.
Here, almost everything is done with a help of CSS, so you will be able to set your own parameters through the styles file.
Pace is a tiny, intelligent plugin that monitors various elements of your page including Ajax requests and event loop lag in order to decide the progress and switch on a nicely animated progress bar just in time.
It is easy to install with a help of Eager that sorts out all issues. As for modification, the development team has blessed you with dozens of neatly-crafted flat style themes.
Full CSS Ball Loader
This bouncing vibrant ball loader is well-suited for projects with an entertaining atmosphere. The effect is accomplished only with a help of CSS3, so it won’t work correctly on old browsers and on those that do not support new, advanced features.
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