My personal list of applications that make day-to-day web development and IT tasks easier. I realize that some applications may belong in multiple categories so please look at the entire list to benefit the most. All applications are Windows-based unless otherwise noted. Also, when installing freeware applications beware of bloatware (toolbars, gaming services, etc.) that some try to tack on during the install.
As I find more extremely useful applications i’ll add them here, so you may want to bookmark this page for future reference.
- PhpStorm: https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/ (Paid)
Enjoy productive PHP and web development with PhpStorm. Deep code understanding, coding assistance, and support for all major tools and frameworks.
- NetBeans IDE: https://netbeans.org/ (Free)
Good alternative to PhpStorm.
- VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/ (Free)
Powerful virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Easy to use and religiously updated. Create virtual machines quickly to install and run multiple Windows, Linux, Mac operating systems.
- Vagrant: https://www.vagrantup.com/ (Free)
Use with VirtualBox and PuPHPet to create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments.
- XAMPP: http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html (Free)
XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. Quickly setup an local environment for developing web applications.
- Sysinternals Suite: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062 (Free)
An amazing set of local/remote administration, monitoring, and troubleshooting tools. An absolute must have for IT Managers.
- WinDirStat: http://windirstat.info/ (Free)
Great utility that shows disk usage and in a way that is visually informative.
- Unlocker Assistant: http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/(Free)
Helps you delete locked files. XP Context Tools mentioned later has this as an option, but i’m not sure which is better.
- XP Context Tools: http://camtech2000.net/Pages/Context_Utilities.htm (Free)
Adds the very useful “Copy This Path” item to the context menu so you can copy the path to a specific file or folder for use in another application. An older utility, but works great on Windows 7.
- Harddisk Search & Stats: http://www.harddisksearch.com/ (Free)
Search for files containing specified content far better than normal Windows search function. Also referred to as HDSearchandStats. Though last updated in 2005 this utility works fine on Windows 7.
- ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ (Free)
Simple program for burning CD/DVDs from files or images and making CD/DVD images from files or existing media.
- FileZilla: http://filezilla-project.org/ (Free)
The app you need when using FTP/SFTP.
- HeidiSQL: http://www.heidisql.com/ (Free)
A good MySQL client to create, read, update, and delete databases. Use with PuTTY Plink to access remote MySQL servers via SSH tunneling.
- PuTTy: http://www.puttyssh.org/ (Free)
Simple SSH/Telnet/Console client. Use PuTTYgen to convert private keys for use with PuTTY.
- SecureCRT: http://www.vandyke.com/products/securecrt/ (Paid)
Advanced SSH/Telnet/Console client, better terminal emulation than PuTTy in my opinion.
- TeamViewer: https://www.teamviewer.com/ (Free)
Great for remote controlling your home computer, work computer, or helping friends and family with their computer issues.
- Bulk Rename Utility: http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk (Free)
Time-saving utility with tons of options for renaming large quantities of files.
- Beyond Compare: http://www.scootersoftware.com (Paid)
Compare folders and files with power and ease.
- EditPad Pro: http://www.editpadpro.com/ (Paid)
Best notepad-type application for text editing and manipulation. I like to use it for it’s regular expression search & replace, sorting, viewing SQL files. Pair with RegExBuddy for best results.
- RegExBuddy: http://www.regexbuddy.com/ (Paid)
Wonderful app for creating, deciphering, testing regular expressions. Pair with EditPad Pro for best results.
- TortoiseSVN: http://tortoisesvn.net/ (Free)
Helps you manage your projects using SVN repositories. Great for WordPress plugin developers using Windows.
- TortoiseGit: http://code.google.com/p/tortoisegit/ (Free)
Helps you manage your projects using Git repositories. Port of TortoiseSVN for Git. Great for Github users using Windows.
- Fast Image Resizer: http://adionsoft.net/fastimageresize/ (Free)
Though last updated in 2010 it does what it needs to and that’s what matters. Drag-and-drop images to resize to your defined pixel shape. You can also process one or more images by using the Send To menu and it will start resizing instantly using your last settings.
- Freemake Video Converter: http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/ (Free)
Great video editor, combiner, and converter.
- Total Recorder VideoPro: http://www.highcriteria.com/ (Paid)
Little known program that can record any sound that comes out of your computer whether it’s source be software or hardware. Total Recorder can take on any single-track audio editing needs including converting tapes and LP records to MP3s, audio restoration, support for many audio formats, normalization, EQ adjustments, scheduled recordings, and more. The VideoPro edition adds screen recording and video editing features as well.
- MediaInfo: http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/ (Free)
Gives a massive amount of information about video files such as audio/video bit rates, codec used, video container format, and much more. The HTML view is the easiest for me to read.
- Clipboard Magic: http://www.cybermatrix.com/clipboard_magic.html (Free)
Enhances Windows’ clipboard by creating a clip history and more. Simple and it just works. Useful when you keep overwriting that last thing you copied.
- Daemon Tools Lite: http://www.daemon-tools.cc/eng/products/dtLite (Free)
Makes mounting CD/DVD/Blu-ray images as drive letters easy as pie.
- Macrium Reflect Free: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx (Free)
Great disk imaging utility for free; pretty fast as well. Use DiskRestore for restoring full hard drive images as opposed to a single partition image restore.