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My Toolset

January 24, 2014 Uncategorized

I always enjoy reading posts about the tools and software people use for web development and design. Of course workflow and toolsets are always evolving but I feel in the past 12 months I have refined mine to a stage where I am happy to share them. And yes, there are some affiliate links below.


I have been running a 13-inch mid 2009 MacBook Pro as my main machine ever since I made the leap from a Dell Windows laptop in 2009. It has benefited over the years from a RAM upgrade to 8GB and recently replacing the hard drive with an SSD that has given the machine a whole new lease of life.

Having a laptop is great for onsite client work, but when I am at home I hook it up to a Cinema Display and use a Wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse. The mouse is a huge battery drainer but I use the Mobee Magic Charger to solve this issue.


The majority of my software is development focused. I use MAMP to manage my local environment of Apache, MySql and PHP. I use PHPStorm as my primary code editor and Git client when not in the terminal. For SVN management of plugins I use Cornerstone. When managing MySql databases Sequel Pro is free and works extremely well.

I use VirtualBox to manage virtual instances of Windows environments mainly for testing websites on Internet Explorer. I have been a Firefox user for as long as I can remember but I find myself turning to Chrome more often as Firefox becomes more bloated and performance hungry.

Although I am primarily a developer, I do design websites and over the last six months Sketch has become an invaluable tool. It hasn’t completely replaced Photoshop for me and needs some improvements, but it has made great speed increases to my design workflow.


Trello has been a life changing service for keeping my projects and ideas organised. I use it for everything and anything, from my WordPress plugins to the weekly shopping list.

I use many services to help with my business of selling WordPress plugins. There are two applications from Dev7studios that are integral to the business; Sellwire is a managed platform for selling digital goods. It handles the purchase, delivery, customer and licensing for the plugins using PayPal. WP Updates provides automatic updates for the premium plugins to make distributing updates to customers a breeze. It integrates seamlessly with Sellwire to make releasing a new plugin version a three click process.

Since using Sirportly to manage the support for my plugins, support has become so much easier and I can keep on top of it daily. The majority of my premium plugins are hosted on Beanstalk and some on Bitbucket. I use GitHub for my open source projects.

I maintain numerous WordPress sites and have found InfiniteWP to be a great self hosted application to manage updates to WordPress, plugins and themes on my sites. I use the free UptimeRobot to monitor my sites uptime.

Dropbox is an invaluable tool for file backup and syncing across devices. My email is provided by Google Apps back when the free plan existed. My sites are hosted with eUKhost. I use the ridiculously awesome FreeAgent to manage my company’s accounts and bookkeeping. Like Sirportly, FreeAgent actually makes a mundane task a joy to do. I use Buffer to help me spread out tweets across the day.

What tools do you use? Tweet me your setup and thoughts.

Iain Building and growing WordPress products. I'm the product manager of ACF at WP Engine. I also develop plugins like WP User Manager and Intagrate. I write about the WordPress ecosystem over at WP Trends.