Web Development Using a Chromebook.

I’m about to get all techy up in here, which I understand is SO not the right content for this blog. However, due to some recent projects, this is something that has been on my mind quite a bit, and in the end, Ultra-Pink is more about what is happening in my personal life than any other blog that I write. Maybe one day I’ll start a tech only blog and repost this there. But for now, get your nerdy thinking caps on and follow along, or go check out this dancing cat video and come back for messy motherhood posts another time.

I use a Chromebook. (Specifically, I have this model.) They are affordable, user friendly, and 90% of the time, they do 95% of everything you’d ever want to do on a computer. Unless you are creating super-enormous high end graphics or slinging some seriously processor heavy code, you can very easily use a Chromebook as your daily machine. But what happens when someone like me (who loves to tinker) wants to get back into some light web development? It’s taken some research, but it indeed, can be done.

Firstly, because this is my personal machine, which means I also want to look at Facebook and cat videos, I use OneTab. OneTab is a plugin that reduces memory usage (something that the Chrome browser is notorious for hoarding, and unfortunately I can confirm that it is no different on the Chrome OS) and also, almost more importantly, organizes your links in a friendly, focused way. I *am* that person with 56 different tabs open at once who then complains that her computer runs slowly. OneTab fixes this. I have a set of tabs that I open for when I am doing web development, and I can add or remove things from this list at a whim. I also have a different set of tabs that is meant more for the time I putz around checking email and reading TMZ. (Just kidding. I read stupid things like The Smithsonian’s Blog. Nerd Alert.)

I’ve found that Caret is a simple code editor, (I like ones that don’t have too many bells and whistles), and sFTP is great for uploading to my server. Yes, there’s the catch – I don’t actually have a local development environment, nor can I make one without doing serious things to my poor little laptop (like a dual boot.) However, even with a heavy need to rely on my FTP client, it still seems to be working out nicely. This will change once I push my current project site public and hand out the link to everyone, but for now while I’m learning, I’m quite happy.

Canva and Pixlr Editor are awesome graphics sites and they also do 90% of what you need 95% of the time. (Bonus, Canva makes you look like a design genius.)

I’ll probably update this entry as time marches on and I change my mind or find new/better ways of working. (Let’s be honest, I’m mostly writing this entry as a way to organize my own workflow.) I’ll get some real writing in soon too, but for now, this is where I am putting in some extra effort, and hopefully it will pay off for me in the end.


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