My Top 5 Tools of 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 was a particularly busy (but good) year for me. I finished a WordPress ebook (and then wrote a second edition this month), started and registered an online training company called Novo Learning LLC, and started a new video tutorial project that should be complete sometime in 2012. And through all of this, I managed to juggle 23 websites.

Since most of my work in 2011 was around website development and video production, I thought I’d share my Top 5 Tools of 2011. Here they are in no particular order:

1. WordPress

wordpressLogo My Top 5 Tools of 2011My inclusion of WordPress will not come as any surprise to those of you who have been coming here for any amount of time. I have moved all of my web development to the WordPress platform. As a result, I have not only streamlined my design and development process, but I have also delivered some great SEO and autonomy to my clients.

I am so impressed with the added features and improvements that come to WordPress with each new update. WordPress 3.3 is better than ever. And no commercial alternative can beat the development and support of the WordPress community.

2. Coda

coda My Top 5 Tools of 2011I’ve been using Coda now for almost 3 years. I don’t know how I ever did website development without it!

The folks at Panic software call Coda “One-window web development”. This is a great way to describe what this software does. If you do any kind of web development work, you need to take a look at this software. In one tool you have a code editor, file transfer utility, source control system, terminal (SSH), website preview, and a resource library for HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP.

Check out this post for a complete review of Coda.

3. Firebug

Screen shot 2012 01 01 at 8.53.50 AM 300x109 My Top 5 Tools of 2011Firebug is a Firefox browser add-on that allows you to edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and Javascript live in any web page, right from your Firefox browser. This is really a must-have tool for any web developer.

Although Firebug is designed for the Firefox browser, they also make Firebug Lite for other browsers.

4. Kodak Zi8

Kodak Zi8 Pocket 3 300x240 My Top 5 Tools of 2011This compact little video camera shoots 1080p video with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It can hold up to 32GB of memory (SD/SDHC), has an external microphone jack that records in stereo, and takes 5 MP still pictures. It also has a built in USB arm that lets you upload and charge without a USB cable.

This little camera is a gem, especially if you plan to incorporate video into your online marketing, promotional or educational strategy. I recommend purchasing an additional battery, and two 8GB SD/SDHC memory cards.

5. ScreenFlow

img screenflow My Top 5 Tools of 2011I love this software! Although I do my high-end video editing in FinalCut Pro, most of my online video is edited with ScreenFlow.

Screenflow has an intuitive interface and supports several QuickTime formats and Flash, and also allows for direct publishing to YouTube and Vimeo. In addition to being great video editing software, Screenflow also allows you to create screencasts.

I should also mention Camtasia, which is an excellent video editing and creation software, and has versions for both the Mac and PC platform. Read this review on Camtasia.

SEO Focus in 2012

I will continue using these tools in 2012 and will write about any additional tools I come across in the future. The world of SEO is one area that I will be giving more attention. I just recently came across Google’s Correlate Tool and find it fascinating. I’m still playing with it, but will surely write about it when I understand it better.

In the meantime, have a great new year!

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