Dreamhost is my current choice for personal projects and for client sites. Their cleanly designed admin panel provides such a pleasant user experience, compared to other hosts, that it has been the main reason why I have chosen them over others.
I used SiteGround for many years and would still recommend their StartUp plan for small blogs and personal sites. Their fast and friendly customer support is what really makes SiteGround stand out.
After using Fireworks for many years, then moving to Sketch I thought I would never find another program that could match its capabilities, until I tried Figma. Not only is it saving me $99 per year, it is meeting and surpassing all my expectations.
After my departure from Adobe I had to find alternatives and Affinity was the answer. I use Designer and Photo regularly to do vector and raster image work. Had I known about them earlier I would have saved so much money and frustration with Adobe.
I find this app so useful for storing and managing all my icon libraries as well as any custom icons I create for clients. It installs locally and saves the data file to a cloud service like Dropbox (the one I use) so you can sync it across multiple computers.
I use Balsamiq to digitally sketch screen ideas when I am just coming up with a new project. This is one of the first apps I used when I started to do Web Design and I am still using it today.
This little app has saved me so much time when doing mockups that when I don’t have it running I feel like I am not complete. It basically grabs any color from your screen and saves it to a color swatch, that is it, and it does that really well.
I used the Noun Project before I started using IconJar. It is a worthwhile investment if you are always in the need for new icon ideas.
Once upon a time I used a well known editor called Atom and it was a good editor and did its job well until it didn’t. When it started to freeze when opening large library files (jQuery for instance) I had to find a replacement. That’s when I found Vs Code and have not looked back. Vs Code handles any file without missing a beat.
Forklift is my preferred file manager and file transfer client. It is indispensable. You can have multiple panes open, connect to remote servers. But one of my favorite features is the multi rename tool that allows you to quickly rename multiple files with ease and even save the operation as a preset. This is just some of the many features of this handy app.
If you are a developer you are most likely in a terminal quite a bit. I have tried different terminals, from the MAC default terminal to the popular Hyper. But almost all have failed to be as versatile as iTerm. Since trying it a few years ago I haven’t looked back.
Fork is the best Git GUI client that I have found hands down. Why? because it is simple to use and has a pleasant user interface. It also provides a code diff viewer which is something surprising lacking from bigger players like Tower and GitKraken. Thanks to the developer Dan Pristupov for providing this great software for free.
After avoiding it for years I finally warmed up to Docker and then realized how much I was missing out. There is a learning curve, especially if you never worked with containers (like me), but it's worth the time investment and after that you’ll be spinning up local servers like there is no tomorrow.
Before Docker, MAMP Pro had been my preferred local dev server for years. It just works! There are no complicated configurations to get a LAMP server up and running. The many configurable features and easy host management makes this desktop app a solid and reliable tool for local development.
Even though it will have its occasional crashes I have been relying on Sequel Pro for local and remote DB management for a few years. It's 100% free and packs all the features I need for local web development.
TablePlus recently came into my radar and so far it's been a pleasant surprise. It has a nice interface and quick response. The free version has some limits which can prove to be an annoyance to the occasional user like myself but once I decide to completely migrate from Sequel Pro I will most likely purchase a license to unlock all the features.
I use ManageWP to manage all my client and personal WordPress websites. It allows me to save time monitoring, troubleshooting, and updating WordPress sites from a nice centralized hub.
One of the oldest apps in my tool belt is Evernote. I have been using this awesome note taking app for more than 10 years. At this point, I don't think I can function without it.
Trello is my preferred project management tool and also one of the oldest apps on this list. If you are not familiar with this Kanban style web app then you need to head over to trello.com to check it out now!
1Password will help you get all of your passwords out of your head (or off those sticky notes) and into this secure app. This app will help secure and manage all your passwords and will allow you to easily fill out your credentials via a browser extension. Now I don’t have to think about or remember any more passwords except one.
I use SnagIt for all my screen capturing tasks. It is great when creating screenshots for blog posts or tutorials. It has so many features that you will probably use only less than half but the ones you do use are worth the license price.
I rely on Arq to backup all my local files to the cloud in an encrypted format. With Arq you are able to backup to most of the popular backup services like Amazon AWS, Google, Dropbox, OneDrive and more.. you can even backup to your own server via SFTP. My personal favorite and the one I currently use is Wasabi cloud storage which is also supported by Arq backup.
These days if you are not using a VPN you can assume your every move in the internet is being tracked and monitored. If you are ok with this reality then just keep on trekking as you were my friend, no worries at all. But for those who want to place just that extra layer of security and make it a bit more difficult for the man to track your moves then I highly recommend you use a tool like NordVPN.