While all developers must be aware of the tasks on this list, many find themselves specializing in one or two of them to the exclusion of others. Here are seven front-end development features you didn’t know you needed!

To view code development changes in real-time

Before you make a change to your website, it’s nice to see what effect it will have. One way of doing that is to use a tool called LiveReload, which refreshes your browser as soon as you make a change. This means that as soon as you save a new CSS file or edit some JavaScript, LiveReload will reload your browser and show your changes live in action on screen. There are many other ways of implementing LiveReload—here’s an overview of them all. Make sure to pick one! Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with editing code and refreshing multiple times before seeing any actual results.

Live to monitor when editing code

While developers may have a preference to one editing environment over another, there’s really no reason they can’t use multiple. For example, you can integrate your favorite IDEs with both RubyMine and PhpStorm to create a split-screen view so you can monitor changes while editing code. This integration is valuable because it improves productivity—something that’s important whether you’re developing code for work or personal projects. In terms of measuring productivity in hours worked, however, it would be tough to determine which tool was most efficient since you could be working simultaneously in both environments on different aspects of an application. And let’s not forget how helpful monitoring online analytics from within these development environments can be as well.

Live comment feed from other developers

One of my favorite features is a live comment feed that allows users to ask questions and receive feedback on code. The live aspect of it can make all of your developer friends suddenly accessible, whether they’re in your office or halfway around the world. It’s also a great way to pick up answers to common questions—you might even get referred to one of your peers if you’re asking something especially advanced! There are always new ways we can learn from each other. Plus, if you’re looking for work, finding some developers who need help with certain aspects of their project could be a great way to land yourself an interview.

Hot-swap coding components

Components that can be dynamically updated as needed are a great feature for front-end developers and designers. Hot-swapping, in short, allows users to update or switch elements on their screen without closing or reloading an application. Although hot-swapping is mostly associated with web applications and apps. Built using JavaScript, other platforms (such as Ruby) can also do it. The concept of hot-swapping is not very hard to grasp and is extremely useful for front end development.

When templates are compiled

Static HTML sites don’t have that luxury, so if you’re making changes on a static site and want to make sure your links are up-to-date, you need to run a find and replace command. If you’re writing code in an environment like WordPress, though, all pages are automatically generated from templates. This means you can easily update links by changing your template file. In other words: No more find-and-replace (and no more crying).

All links are clickable and scroll to the section clicked on

Navigating a long page can be a chore if you’re not able to quickly jump to a section of interest. Luckily, there are tools you can use to make navigation faster and more efficient. One such tool is links that scroll to a desired section when clicked on—and don’t forget they’re completely customizable, too! Not only do they save time, but they also make your content much more user-friendly. For example, an informational page about business communication might feature links. That point users directly to sections relevant to them. The extra time these features save gives your visitors more time for browsing and learning.


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