Resources and Tools

Here is a list of tools and resources i have used in my career, business, freelance and personal work. I can vouch for these tools and i even have them bookmarked in their own special folder in my bookmark bar. Note since i am unable to write them all down and also since i continue to discover some and throw out others this page will not always be complete, i will be adding tools here almost 3 times a week because the tools are over 1000 and i need to write a description of each hence making it a tiresome process adding them all at one go. Once all have been added this piece of text from “Note ……” will disappear. Also Note some of these tools will have a slight learning curve but it will be worth it. I will try my best to categorize each tool according to the category it belongs in and they will be in random order but my favorite will have a * at the end. So let’s begin.

Headless CMS

  • Forestry CMS* – A git based Headless CMS with a beautiful admin panel. It is an elegant visual content manager for static sites(Jekyll, Hugo, VuePress, Gatsby(beta)), that will commit changes to your Git repository.
  • Netlify CMS* – A git based Headless CMS with an easy to use interface and easy intergration. A CMS for static site generators. Give non-technical users a simple way to edit and add content to any site built with a static site generator.
  • CloudCannon – A source control backed CMS for developers working with non-developers.

Static Site Generators

  • Jekyll* – This is the very first ssg i ever used, i loved it’s simplicity and the use of liquid tags which i foreknew after working with Shopify for a while. One of the best SSG’s up to date, still use it. It is one of the most popular static site generators, and among the first ones. It still enjoys a large community and is fairly accessible. Jekyll powers GitHub Pages since 2009.
  • Hugo* – The second SSG i fell in love with. After spending an year working with Jekyll i found it’s build process to be slow. I needed something a bit faster for blogs. Something incase anything would go wrong i could easily debug and finish. With Jekyll i had to keep Netlify’s Deploy tab open(or Github Pages Settings Tab) untill it could build and i could take a look at it’s success rate. With Hugo the build process is almost instant. It puzzles me till this day. It is one of the most popular open-source static site generators. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun again.
  • Gatsby – This is the one i think and hope it comes to rival WordPress. Fast built on React. I haven’t used this as much but i can tell you this is one of the best SSG’s out there. Transform plain text into dynamic blogs and websites using the latest web technologies. A React.js static site generator.
  • Gridsome – Also haven’t interacted with it as much but it is also a great SSG following Gatsby closely behind. Gridsome makes it easy for developers to build modern websites, apps & PWAs that are fast by default. Built on VueJs

Hosting and Deployment

  • Github Pages* – I have used this since 2016 when i built my very first personal website. Still use it with my current Personal Website: StephenAjulu.com which is v5 currently working on v6. GitHub Pages allows you to publish static websites for free, and supports custom domains. It only supports automatic builds with Jekyll static site generator, but you can build your project on a CI platform and then push it on GitHub.
  • Heroku* – A life saver when you have a backend. It is a platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build and run applications entirely in the cloud.
  • Netlify* – Another life saver that i know use every day. All the features developers need right out of the box: Global CDN, Continuous Deployment, one click HTTPS and more. Netlify is a unified platform that automates your code to create high-performant, easily maintainable sites and web apps. Simply push your code and let Netlify take care of the rest. Comes with Netlify Forms and Netlify Identity.

Site Builder

  • WordPress* – I can’t leave this behind. Been using WordPress since 2016 for blogging. AS of now i haven’t found anything like it(except Ghost). It just unbeatable and one of my favorite tools.
  • Stackbit* – The best and perhaps the only static site builder. Point and shoot simplicity. Pick a Theme⚙️…..Pick your favorite Site Generator✍️…..Pick a CMS…..Deploy…..With one interface
  • Ghost* – The Site Builder and More for especially blogs. Ghost makes it simple to publish content online, grow an audience with email newsletters, and make money from premium memberships. They just recently made it a headless CMS for JAMstack.

CDN, DNS, Image Delivery and More

  • Cloudinary* – is the image back-end for web and mobile developers. An end-to-end solution for all your image-related needs. It supports/handles Image management, Video management and Digital asset management. It efficiently manages, optimizes, and delivers images, videos and other media across all devices and channels.
  • Cloudfront* – Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment. I actually use it to serve my static assets in my Progressive JAMstack Blog: blog.stephenajulu.com
  • CloudFlare* – Leverage CloudFlare’s global network to serve lightning-fast DNS; Distribute your content around the world so it’s closer to your visitors. It’s the best service i have ever experience. Protect and accelerate your websites. I use it for my sites as a DNS and global CDN. An in depth review is coming soon.

Forms and Comment Systems

  • Formspree* – Unmatched and Favorite form submission service. Easy to use. Just send your form to our URL and we’ll forward it to your email. No PHP, Javascript or sign up required — perfect for static sites! Formspree is a tool maintained by the community at Assembly.
  • Typeform* – Goodbye forms, hello typeforms. Excellent service for creating interviews and forms. Similar to Google Forms but with more flare.
  • Google Forms*- Just like typeform allows the creation of forms for all kinds of events.
  • Kwes – Also a good form submission service like formspree. Will review it as well.
  • Disqus* – One of the best comment systems. Disqus offers the best add-on tools for site owners to power discussions, increase engagement, and earn revenue.
  • Staticman* – Best static comment system. Uses GitHub issues. Planning to add it to my blog.
  • Utterances* – A lightweight comment system built on GitHub issues. Use GitHub issues for blog comments, wiki pages and more! Using it currently on my blog. Main drawback. All commenters must have GitHub accounts.

Search

  • Algolia* – We help users deliver an intuitive search-as-you-type experience on their websites and mobile apps. Basically, we make finding things easier. We are a customer-focused, dev-centric company dedicated to changing the way people think about search.
  • Lunrjs – a simple full text search engine for your client side applications. It is designed to be small, yet full featured, enabling you to provide a great search experience without the need for external, server side, search services, with plugins for Jekyll and Metalsmith

Progressive Web Application, Service Worker and Related Tools

  • PWABuilder* – It helps you easily in 3 steps turn you site into a Progressive Web App. It generates a manifest.json, required app icons and a service worker you choose. Then all you have to do is embed some code into the head and body section your page and add some files to your site root.
  • PWAStarter* – Slightly better than PWABuilder. Generates even more app icons with splashscreens for apple devices and add to homescreen script. Started using this recently.
  • Workbox* – It is a set of libraries and Node modules that make it easy to cache assets and take full advantage of features used to build progressive web app’s.
  • Mozilla’s Service Worker Cookbook* – The Service Worker Cookbook is a collection of working, practical examples of using service workers in modern web sites.

Membership

  • Memberful – Sell memberships to your audience. Super easy. Works with Stripe, WordPress, and Mailchimp.

Web app/Site Testing Tools

  • Google’s PageSpeed* – I can’t go a day without testing some website with this, be it mine or my clients. One of the best tools to find out their performance, SEO friendliness, Best Practices, Speed and more.
  • GTMetrics* – My all time favorite web testing tool. Tests for Speed, Optimization, SEO, and More. I love that eg for images it even gives you the optimized versions making work easier. See how your site performs, reveal why it’s slow and discover optimization opportunities.
  • Lighthouse* – Like the first (pagespeed) it is useful for testing the site’s speed especially useful to see if your site is a full PWA. Comes by default in Chrome but there’s an extension for FireFox. It is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO and more.

Code Editors, Terminals, SSH, IDE and Related Tools

  • Visual Studio Code* – The best code editor i have ever used.
  • Sublime Text – Second best
  • Windows Code Write* – 3rd best especially when i need to add/edit things fast(VSCode and Sublime take quit a bit to load up but this is fast)
  • Notepad ++ – Useful in case of anything. Replacement for Windows Notepad(not that its i bad)
  • Hyper* – My current terminal emulator
  • Powershell 7* – It is a cross-platform (Windows, Linux, and macOS) automation and configuration tool/framework that works well with your existing tools and is optimized for dealing with structured data (e.g. JSON, CSV, XML, etc.), REST APIs, and object models. It includes a command-line shell, an associated scripting language and a framework for processing cmdlets.
  • Windows Terminal – It is a terminal emulator for Windows 10 written by Microsoft. It includes support for the Command Prompt, PowerShell, WSL and SSH.
  • Putty – It is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection. It can also connect to a serial port.
  • WinSCP* – Use it to access my Android Device files(sshdroid) and other remote systems such as the servers i manage.
  • Termius – Advanced many things tool. SSH, Terminal
  • HTTTrack* – Helps me “copy” entire websites.
  • MobaXTerm – Use it to run Ubuntu/Kali Linux WSL GUI

Favorite Browsers

  • FireFox* – Tried Chrome but because of it’s resource gobbling among other things decided on Firefox and never turned black.
  • Microsoft Edge* – The best Chromium i have ever used. Thinking of moving to it. Still thinking.
  • Brave – I like it for a lot of things that i can’t explain right now. Will update this section soon
  • Tor Browser – When i don’t want 14 eyes checking everything i do

Additional Operating Systems i use

  • Kali Linux WSL* – Because i am an ethical hacker and would love to learn about command line tools without launching my VM(Which takes a whole 5 minutes to load)
  • Ubuntu WSL* – My dev environment for command line web development tools again because of the speed.
  • Kali Linux VM* – For pentesting with GUI
  • Ubuntu VM – I want to move to linux so i am testing different linux distributions to find which fits my style. I know linux fans say linux distributions dont matter but they do to me. I am looking for something i can continue to build on(customize) so i don’t want to start from scratch.
  • Pop OS VM* – Same as Ubuntu VM
  • Manjaro Cinnamon VM – Same as Ubuntu
  • KDE Neon – Same as Ubuntu
  • DVWA/MA – Vulnerable machines or web apps for practice

PDF Reader and Editor

  • SumatraPDF* – Fastest PDF Viewer at least according to me. With tab support.

Programming Languages, GIT and Their Tools

  • NVM for Windows* – Allows me to install and use different versions of Nodejs and NPM. Nodejs Version Manager
  • Nodejs + NPM* – It is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine.
  • Python* – I use python for a myriad of things. I have my Download Folder Organizer written in python. Others Folder Organizer as well all organizing folders, images, videos, zips, apps, and others into their respective folders. I am also looking to develop a e-hacking script for automating OSINT from Phone, Email and Social Media for my company OwlSec Technologies. It is a programming language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively.
  • Ruby* – Used for my jekyll site since it’s built on ruby on rails. I also use it for specific gems. Is A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write.
  • Git + Git Extensions* – It is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Who doesn’t have this and uses GitHub(i know i know GitHub has it’s own now but it’s useful for Gitlab and more)
  • GitHub Desktop and CLI* – One of the most important service in the whole world. Allows you to store code and collaborate with other people. Or even share code.

Virtualization

  • VMWare Workstation Pro* – Favorite virtualization software. Basically it allows you to create virtual machines(additional OS’s on 1 piece of hardware without dual booting)
  • Virtual Box – Another good virtualization tool for creating virtual machines. Redundant? No.

Other Tools

  • Medium to Own Blog – Switch from Medium to your own blog or start POSSE in a few minutes.
  • Medium-2-MD – This package works with already exported Medium posts and also with post urls. It converts all exported posts to markdown using a single command. It is mainly useful in scenarios when you want to migrate your blog away from Medium to Jekyll or Hugo (or something similar which supports markdown content).
  • Grunt – It is a task-based command line build tool for JavaScript projects. The Grunt ecosystem is huge and it’s growing every day. With literally hundreds of plugins to choose from, you can use Grunt to automate just about anything with a minimum of effort.
  • Gulp – A toolkit to automate & enhance your workflow. Leverage gulp and the flexibility of JavaScript to automate slow, repetitive workflows and compose them into efficient build pipelines.
  • Word to Markdown Converter – It’s in the name. Not always do i use raw Markdown or a CMS. This is useful when you get a blog idea and want to write it down quickly. Converting a Word (or Google) Document is as easy as 1, 2, 3…
  • File Converter* – For Windows. Helps me convert files especially image files. As you guys know, i switched from *.JPG to *.WEBP due to it’s compression and small file sizes(hence ensuring my 2nd blog is faster)
  • File Optimizer* – For Windows. Helps me optimize JPG, PNG images.
  • FireFox ScreenShot Tool* – For me i believe this is one of the best screenshot tool in the world. I wish they port it over to Desktop platforms. Use it to take screenshots of all the websites and things i have worked on or things i think will be important for future work.
  • Chocolatey* – Package Manager for Windows. I like the command line tool “choco install”
  • Free Download Manager* – Due to the pricing on IDM decided to go with this and i am not disappointed. The best free Download Manager.
  • AutoHotKey* – Extremely useful for creating hotkeys. I use it to pin windows making them stay on top despite whatever application i open. The ultimate automation scripting language for Windows.
  • Ditto* – Use it everyday. Best clipboard manager. I copy paste a lot of things. And sometimes it’s good to have a copy paste partner who can remember copies from 3 days ago.
  • Wox + Everything* – Powerful Spotlight like search. A full-featured launcher, access programs and web contents as you type.
  • Franz* – Allows me to setup and manage my social media platforms including and especially Whatsapp and Whatsapp for Business on my Computer. Meaning i can send and recieve messages and files on my computer. The best at that in my opinion. Franz is your messaging app for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram and many many more.
  • LazyType* – Allows me to configure shortcuts for CMD and Powershell. Adds things to PATH.
  • Powertoys* – Another useful thing Microsoft invented with little toys i love to play with. Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity.
  • SVG Viewer* – Because the whole Windows a top notch OS doesn’t support viewing of SVG’s natively.
  • Quicklook* – Like the Mac OS equivalent. Allows me to quickly preview files without opening them
  • Recuva – File Recovery for when i hit Empty without thinking that there maybe something worth salvaging. Doesn’t always work my way but it works
  • WizTree – Helps me see which files and file types are using my storage

My Progressive JAMstack Blog Stack: https://blog.stephenajulu.com is here: https://blog.stephenajulu.com/post/resources-for-building-a-beautiful-progressive-jamstack-blog/

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Ajulu’s Thoughts – DELIVERING Quality Tech, Cybersecurity & Dev Content Since November 2016