If you’re new to web design and development you’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of tools out there. If I had to recommend just one it would be CODA from panic. No, not Adobe Photoshop or Dreamweaver. Note for windows users, it’s only for Mac OS X. Actually, getting a Mac may be my first recommendation but this is about CODA so I’ll save that for another time. Pencil and paper are essential but most everybody has those tools today.
As a new user, there were a few things I really appreciated about Coda right off the bat. First off, the free evaluation period of 15 days actually gives you 15 different days of development time, not just two weeks. I found myself coming back to CODA when I really got into the zone and needed something a little more powerful than a simple text editor and an ftp connection. The second feature I really appreciate is the books section which includes The Web Programmer’s Desk Reference right off the bat. Inside are reference books for HTML, CSS, Java Script, and PHP. You can add your own web books too. And finally, the part that really hooked me, after the 15 days of evaluation I still had limited but plenty of access to CODA for quick fixes. But, I couldn’t last long without the built in FTP functionality which is awesome. There are plenty of other great features included, especially for those more advanced but you can check them out for yourself.
When my web design projects became more intense, the value of CODA became much more evident and I was quick to upgrade to get the full functionality back. Looking back I can see how helpful it was to have such a simple yet powerful development tool for me to learn the inner workings of website design and development. This is the software I wish was around when I was getting started. Go check it out!