Explore Web Development on Less than 30 Altarian Dollars a Day

So you've decided to become a web developer, but it looks so very expensive to get started. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, domain names, hosting... The list goes on (or stops there.) How can you possibly become a web developer without so much expense. To find out, read on.

Replacing Photoshop: There are a couple of decent free image editors that do a fair job of replacing Photoshop. The unfortunately named GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the most powerful of the free competitors. It doesn't quite match the features of Photoshop, but with 95% of the features at none of the cost, the GIMP is well worth a look.

The GIMP

The GIMP: Not that different from Photoshop, really.

If the GIMP seems too complicated or awkward, you could try Paint.NET. It's a much more advanced version of MS Paint. It still bears a resemblance to the original, but it has the kinds of features that you'd expect from a decent image editor.

Paint.NET

Paint.NET, the software you wish Microsoft had bundled with Windows, rather than their version.

Replacing Dreamweaver: Let's face it, you could develop websites with nothing more complicated than notepad. However, the lack of code colouring and indenting would slow development down to a crawl. Luckily, there is something better. Notepad++. Notepad++ only lacks some of the automatic coding from Dreamweaver, but I'd imagine that would just make you a better web developer.

Notepad++

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... NOTEPAD++

Free Domain Names and Hosting: For a free domain name, I'd recommend co.cc, it acts more or less like a paid domain name, except that it's technically not a top level domain. There's several different setup options, for different levels of skill.

There's a lot of free hosting on the web, far more common than free domain names. My suggestions are 000webhost.com or Byethost. They're both fairly decent, although their FTP is somewhat slow. There are some minor issues with both, however. Byethost has closed fopen wrappers, which means you can't access external sites with PHP and 000webhost requires "RewriteBase /" at the start of your htaccess file in order to use mod_rewrite.

And there you have it, you're all set up to develop on the web and it didn't cost you a thing. Doesn't that give you a warm feeling inside?

 
12/02/2010