There are tons of different applications that people use for development, but these are the ones I have found to be the best for me. I really wish all the applications on this list could have been free, but Coda 2 is such a great tool, I had to include it. With all these applications I believe you can create some great plugins. Please note that I have a Mac, so this post is based off how these applications run on OS X and Safari.
This might be the most important application for developing WordPress plugins. With MAMP you can develop all your plugins locally before you deploy them on the WordPress repository. This makes it much easier to develop and test plugins and store them on your local machine. Every developer has a localhost filled with developing plugins, so use MAMP to create yours.
Note: I recommend testing your plugin on a live test site before submitting it to the wordpress repository.
This is a text editor built for web development. Anything from PHP to JQuery can be edited with Coda 2. You are probably thinking, there are tons of text editors out there, so why is Coda 2 so great? First of all, Coda 2 was built specifically for web developers. This means you have all types of extra tools that most generic text editors do not have. For example, in Coda 2 you can connect to your server through an FTP account to edit server files. The second reason why I love Coda 2 is because its stable. This is an enterprise level application that all the best web developers use or at least know of. There are tons of cool little features that just make developing easier. To name one, you can highlight some text and press “ COMMAND -> / ” to comment it out, and again to uncomment it. There is also auto completion which makes it easier for object orientated programming with long function names. After mentioning all these wonderful features, its time to talk about the price, $75. For most developers this may be too much money, but I think that if you are going to use it everyday, all day, it is worth the price. I bought it off the Mac App Store and never regretted it. So, get Coda 2 and start making some great plugins today!
This is a great tool for keeping track of all the things you and your team need to do. Instead of sending emails or keeping up on a to-do list in a text file, asana allows you to create tasks and assign them to your team members. This is awesome for a team that is abroad or doesn’t talk everyday. Assign a task to someone and they immediately receive an email explaining the task. Sign up now at asana.com, its free!
Backing up files sometimes is a pain, but using Dropbox is a free way to solve this problem and more. Yes, you should probably use something like Github for version control, but in the end WordPress has version control already built in so you don’t necessarily need it. Also, its really easy to share your files with your team members using Dropbox. I recommend having a directory structure like this: developing/, ready_for_beta_testing/, and ready_for_implementation/. With these three folders, you can keep all your plugins in Dropbox and know what development stage each plugin is in.
This is a great application for OS X to keep notes. I actually used it to create and edit the content of this post. Its free and it syncs to the cloud. What more do you need?
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