7 Must-Use Front-End Debugging Tools
A list of useful tools to save you time and make debugging easier
This article outlines some tools that can help you find, diagnose, and fix your issues. Depending on your situation, some tools perform better than others.
Developer Tools in Web Browsers
Any modern-day web browser is equipped with powerful tools to help debug your applications. It can be as simple as console statements with
console.log() , popups with
alert(), or even pausing code executions with
debugger statements. These tools are very helpful in our debugging tasks, especially the
You can also use the network inspector or the CSS styles inspector to make your debugging easy and smooth.
You can easily do a Google search to find out more about the developer tools for your browser.
Almost all front-end applications send and receive JSON responses and requests. Your application connects with an API for many things, such as authentication, the transfer of user data, or even something simple like fetching the current weather for your location.
Postman is one of the best JS tools to debug your requests and responses. It offers software for macOS, Windows, and Linux. It allows you to quickly and easily send REST, SOAP, and GraphQL requests directly.
With Postman, you can tweak requests, analyze responses, and debug problems. This will help you immensely at times when you’re not sure whether the problem lies with your front end or the back.
You can use the CSS Lint tool not only to validate your code, but you can always use it to pick and choose which errors and warnings to test for.
It does basic syntax checking and applies a set of rules to the code that look for problematic patterns or signs of inefficiency.
JSON Formatter & Validator
It’s very difficult to spot for syntax errors or keys with incorrect values in unformatted JSON, as it’s very hard to read. It may be challenging to read and spot errors in your minified JSON file when it has missing line returns and spaces. You need to be able to quickly scan that object and check for errors in formatting or content.
You’ll expand each object and format it manually to fix this. This action would take a lot of your precious time. Instead, you can use the JSON Formatter & Validator tool and simply insert your minified JSON and get a correctly formatted version as output. This tool can validate your JSON to RFC standards as well.
Once you publish your application, it’s expected to run on a range of devices. The testing phase is implemented as a standard procedure in any software-development life cycle. This phase includes unit testing, system testing, integrated testing, etc.
But there’s always a chance of you missing a bug and proceeding into production. Even after deployment, you’ll be unaware of any residing bugs without anyone informing you about it. An end user will rarely report a bug via the support email provided. This is where Sentry comes into play.
Cloud-based error-logging systems like Sentry help you record instances of errors, even after deployment. Sentry provides you with an all-round solution covering most of the frameworks available.
This is a tool that detects errors and potential problems in JS code. Static-code analyzing tools such as JSHint help developers spot problems that are very hard to find.
Below is a sample function I used to see JSHint in action.
BrowserStack is a group of tools that’ll help you mimic the exact environment where the user experienced the error.
With a huge combination of device + operating system + browser, this tool is definitely a must use. You can get the best out of this tool by using it with an error-logging tool like Sentry. When you log an error, you can reproduce the exact scenario by referring to the environment and recreating it in BrowserStack.
They offer lower pricing for freelancers and free licenses for open-source projects.
That is my list of must-use front-end debugging tools. If you have any additions, kindly let me know in the comments.