One of the truly beautiful aspects of code is it’s inherently sharable nature. There was a time when developers focused their energy on code obfuscation and all sorts of other tactics to keep the source code private. Luckily, an overwhelming majority of professional coders have accepted the “Open Source” culture as a permanent approach to web development. In that world, even the most novice coder is able to build on the backs of giants.
While it’s easy to simply rip off source code, that’s not the real purpose of this open source world. The true genius lies in borrowing snippets of solid code, constantly refining it, and sharing openly with colleagues. With that in mind, we’re still left with one problem - Where do we find the source code snippets we can trust? This previously meant compiling our favorite bits of code. But in this age, simply having a reliable "source" (pardon the pun) allows us to build faster and put our energy where it should belong. For our visitors who are looking to download website source code snippets that they can trust, we’d like to recommend our absolute favorite source code libraries. There are certainly others online, but ladies and gentleman - these are the best.
Our Favorite Source Code Resources
Each source has it's own particular strength / weakness, so lets give them a brief run through. Codepen is at the top of our current rankings, mostly due to it’s expanded functionality. Not only does Codepen allow you to collect and compile your code, it also offers an ingenious way to display it along with editable samples. Stack Overflow is one of the most useful communities for coders. Although it doesn’t offer much in the way of display, it is certainly the most heavily "peer reviewed" resource online. By using an intuitive up/down-voting system, Stack Overflow allows you the opportunity to sort through several approaches while giving a clear distinction to the responses others find useful. Github may technically be a Git based versioning tool, but it also has a few useful things built in. The code it holds is easy to sort, search, read, review, and ultimately utilize. Besides the ability to flag certain bits of code, there is little in the way of review or community - but most developers only push their best work to Github so it’s generally very solid in terms of usability. CSS Tricks is part of Chris Coyier’s blog (if you aren't familiar, check him out). Chris presents all of his code in very conversational manner, which makes it easily digestible for newbies and pros alike. He also does a great job of responding to comments, which is very useful. Snipplr is a relatively new source (at least to me it is), but it seems to take the Codepen approach and simply leaves out the sample display feature.
Additional Source Code Resources
More Useful Applications
If you find yourself wanting to garden your own collection, there are also a few useful applications that you may want to consider. Advanced code editors like Coda or Sublime have their own “Snippet Collection” features, but you can also rely on “Gist / Snippet Managers” like GistBoxApp or SnippetsApp.
Hopefully you'll find some useful chunks of code around these incredible sources. Feel free to include any sources we may have left out or anything else you think might be helpful. If you've found this helpful, please be sure to share with the social buttons below and as always - Thanks for stopping by!