Website Authoring Software

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Website Editors and Authoring Software

Choosing Web Site Authoring Software

Now that you have decided which web host you want to use and have a rough idea of what subject you are going to build a web site on, you will need to choose a web editor.

All you need is Notepad

Seriously! If you can write code by hand, then all you actually need to build a website is a text editor such as Notepad. There are loads of HTML tutorial sites and 'Teach yourself HTML' books to choose from if you fancy the challenge.

For those who don't, what you need is a WYSIWYG (pronounced; wizzywig).

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG stands for 'What You See Is What You Get'. These type of web editors are unsurprisingly, the most popular type for people who are not coders.

Usually, you choose from a template within the program and simply add your text and perhaps some graphics. When you are happy with your work, click 'publish', and it will automatically publish your website to the server.

The main players:

DreamWeaver

Adobe's DreamWeaver is considered to be the top of the range when it comes to WYSIWYG's. A bit like the Ferrari of web site building. However, if the price doesn't put you off then the learning curve probably will because it is a steep one. DreamWeaver tends to be used by the pro's.

FrontPage

Microsoft's WYSIWYG web editor, FrontPage. When it first appeared as FrontPage 98, this web site creation software was a bit buggy and produced 'sloppy' code. Microsoft learned from this and produced FrontPage 2002, which is a vastly superior product to FP 98 but is a little lacking in features.

They made up for this in the next incarnation which is Microsoft FrontPage 2003. Relatively easy to use, particularly if you know your way around other Microsoft Office products. Fairly well priced too.

As with the other FrontPage products, it does require FrontPage Extensions on the web host server, so do check first.

Update: Microsoft finally did away with Frontpage and while it is still supported by most web hosts it is difficult to get a hold of a copy of Frontpage itself these days.

Expression Web

The new product to replace Frontpage is called Expression Web, a fully featured WYSIWYG editor that can also handle pages coded in php and allows the user to code and edit CSS as well as a huge bunch of other features.

Expression Web also has a templating system that allows for very quick site creation, albeit pretty basic ones unless you seek out and buy some of the paid templates that are on offer from the likes of PixelMill, TemplateMonster, etc.

Adobe

Adobe also produce a range of website creation software such as GoLive CS. As usual, Adobe deliver a top class product. Like Dreamweaver, GoLive CS is expensive for the hobbyist and so is mainly the reserve of the Pro designer.

Places to look for some of the best alternatively priced (sometimes free) website creation software are download.com and tucows.

Next: Graphics Software

| Choosing a Web host | Domain Names | Web Hosting | FrontPage | Server Side Includes | Web Authoring Software | Graphics Software | What NOT to Do | Seeking Inspiration | The Basics | Types of Web site |

 

 

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