What Is Devtools (And Why Do I Need It?)

The first thing you’ll realize when typing into search, “What is devtools,” is that “devtools” is not a single entity. Devtools is a phrase short for developer tools, and there are many of them!

So we can rephrase the question to “what are devtools?” And you’re in the right place to find out. 

Developer tools are intended to help programmers test and troubleshoot their programs. These programming tools differ significantly from IDEs and other website builders. It’s because devtools aren’t to help with the creation of a webpage; instead, they’re to help you test your web application or web page.

Now let’s delve a little deeper into the world of devtools and find out why you need them.

Devtools as Built-in Features or Add-Ons

In most web browsers, devtools are available as or add-ons or built-in features. Some of the most popular web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Firefox, have built-in web devtools. They also tend to have numerous supplementary add-ons in their respective plugin distribution centers. These are to assist developers more effectively.

Devtools can assist developers in working with a wide range of web technologies, including JavaScript, CSS, HTML, DOM, and other components handled by web browsers. Popular browsers are adding additional functionality oriented toward web developers as the demand for more tools in web browsers grows.

How to Access Devtools

Hovering over a certain area on a webpage usually brings up the web browser’s built-in web devtools. You may also get to them by using the context menu that appears when you right-click the mouse and select the option of inspecting elements. If you prefer to move using a keyboard shortcut, hitting F12 is an option.

However, when it comes to critical devtool capabilities, we’ve covered some of the most popular options here. Make sure you comprehend each of the choices listed below to gain a better understanding of the situation.

DOM and HTML Editor

Web development tools increasingly incorporate a DOM and HTML viewer editor. The DOM viewer differs from the HTML editor in that it allows users to examine how the DOM is rendered and make changes to both the DOM and HTML. 

The HTML element panel can display DOM object properties, such as CSS properties and display dimensions, in addition to editing and selecting.

Important Asset, Network, and Resource Info

When loading a web page, it usually requires additional content in the form of fonts, scripts, graphics, and other files. These tools can assist developers in inspecting the website’s loaded resources in a three-structure listing. 

Developers can use these to investigate network users’ data, such as debug time, HTTP headers received or delivered, and bandwidth usage.

Auditing and Profiling

Profiling allows users to collect data about their website’s performance. Developers can use this information to learn how to improve their websites. However, by analyzing a page, the auditing tools will provide developers with advice on improving responsiveness and reducing load time for optimization.

Browsers’ timeline features can offer a record of the time it takes to render pages, events that occur, and memory use. This functionality is critical for your web application’s optimization.

Debugging JavaScript

In browsers, JavaScript is the most widely utilized technology.

When debugging JavaScript, web development tools provide a user-friendly panel to put breakpoints, observe expressions, stop, inspect the call stack, step out, step over, and step into processes.

Plugin Support and Extensions

The majority of modern web browsers support extensions and plugins that add additional functionality. These plugins are simple to use and provide a wide range of functionality and capabilities.

Web development tools assist developers in a variety of ways. It is preferable to comprehend the distinct qualities to understand their goals.

An excellent example of popular plugins you can get are react devtools

What Is a Chrome DevTool?

Chrome DevTools is a collection of web developer tools that comes pre-installed in Google Chrome.

DevTools allows you to change pages in real-time and resolve issues rapidly, allowing you to create smarter websites faster. And, even when you’re not a developer, you can benefit from Google’s DevTools.

Google DevTools Tabs

When you click into Google’s DevTools, you open up the elements tab, the default option. The elements tab displays the HTML and inline CSS used to create the page you’re viewing.

The Console tab handles JavaScript. It provides details on the interactive elements on a page. You can use the Console tab to write JavaScript to interact with the web page you’re reading. You can also write messages to yourself in the JavaScript of websites you’re constructing. These will then appear in the Console tab to demonstrate that your JavaScript is enacted.

The Sources tab displays and allows you to inspect all of the developer’s files to create the website. Then the Network tab displays all of the files currently loaded in the URL you’re viewing. The Network tab also includes deep data about anything loaded.

The Application tab lets you see what you’re storing in your browser. These include things like local storage, Web SQL, and others. Plus, you get granular control of the cookies in your browser.

The Security tab delivers standard security info, with HTTPS certificates and TLS status on display. Then lastly, the Audits tab gives you autogenerated reports of your on-site structure and functionality. These reports can help you develop to a higher level.

What Is Devtools as a Concept All About?

There are many devtools you can utilize now in modern web browsers. Google Chrome DevTools are one of the most popular offerings that developers make use of today. By using these tools, your developing performance can improve, so you should be using them!

Now your answer to “what is devtools” should be clear now.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with your future developer projects. For other helpful articles such as this one, please check out our blog.