Five free Mac applications for Web developers

In: Free Alternatives|Mac OS X

17 Jun 2009

If you’re a web developer and want to stick with your mac for web development, these are the best free tools. Some of these tools are specifically for for PHP wed development and is available for other platforms (Windows, Linux) as well.


To test your dynamic web site you need a web server and database. MAMP comes bundled with apache 2, mySQL  and phpMyadmin along with some other tools so that you can build and test your dynamic websites very easily.


2. Aptana Studio

It is one of the best IDEs even if compared with paid alternatives. Built on eclipse, it has the additional advantage of extending features through plugins. It is simply the best IDE for javascript/AJAX based web development. Supports almost all javascript frameworks, PHP, CSS and HTML. Plugins are available for Ruby on Rails and Java development. It supports Subversion as well for your versioning needs.

Alternatives are NetBeans IDE for PHP and Eclipse.


3. FileZilla Or CyberDuck

Filezilla is an open source FTP, SFTP (Secure FTP) client which will be enough for your FTP needs.

Another application you can try is Cyberduck which is also open source and supports FTP, SFTP, WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning), Amazon S3 and Mosso Cloud Files.

4.  VirtualBox or Remote Desktop Connection

Though we develop in Mac, most of the users are going to be from the Windows world. So we need to test our web site in Windows and mainly in IE. Either you can connect to a Windows machine through remote desktop connection or you can run a virtual machine which runs Windows.

If you opt for the remote desktop option, Microsoft has a Remote Desktop Connection client for mac. It is fairly easy to connect to a Windows machine. All you need is the IP address or domain name.

The recommended alternative is to use a virtual machine. You can download Sun’s virtualization software VirtualBox for mac. Another advantage is you’re not limited to any operating system. You can check your work, in virtually all platforms. But please make sure that you’re not violating any law of software piracy :)

Url: VirtualBox
Url: Remote Desktop Connection

5. Firefox

If you’re developing for web Firefox is your best companion. You can have plenty of extensions that will help you in web development. Some of the best extensions are Firebug, Developer toolbar, Color picker etc.

Url: Firefox

Other recommended tools


This is not directly related to web development. But you’ll rather need this tool  often for taking screenshots and annotating it with comments. You can take a screen capture, highlight or mark some area, add a text comment and then drag it to anywhere to save as a file.


SC Plugin

If you need Subversion integrated into the Finder this is the tool you need.


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  • php developers

    Thanks, very useful selection, I think to me it is useful.

  • cheap seo services

    Thanks man.I was getting difficult in MAC browser for checking the HTML elements.Now I am free from everything.I just found a useful plugin from this post.I keep on watching this blog for useful Items.

  • mulberry factory shop

    have uploaded plugin, thank you!

About me & this blog

Hello! my name is Hafees. Living in Kerala, India. I've been working as a web developer for more than 5 years. At present, I am working in Flip Media, the leading independent interactive media agency in the Middle East as Group Head of programming team.

Being passionate about technology, programming and photography, through this blog, I will be writing about technologies, softwares, computers, gadgets, photography and anything that fascinates me.

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