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Best web authoring software for the complete novice

Posted on 2001-08-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
Browsing at the computer store there are shelves of product that claim they are the best thing since sliced bread for getting yourself a presence on the web.

Ok, so what do the experts here think?

Someone who is an experienced web browser, can use MS Word with a degree of competence, but who has no idea what the gobbledegook in "On line help" means, or doesn;t cope with techie or acronymn type jargon.

Object: to create a web page to sare with friends and family, post family pics on. Nothing commercial, nothing business oriented.

What's it best to go for? Freeware, shareware and full-cost ware all considered!
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Question by:edrom
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
ID: 6350485
Cnet recently did a side by side comparison on web development tools, and for the price HomeSite by Allaire was the best for the price.  Visual Interdev is a great tool but requires a lot of experience with development and a thorough understanding of GUI's.

There is another new tool that is suppose to be nice, I'm playing with it, called AceHTML Pro.

I have used HomeSite for about 3 years and love it.  $80 it's the best...
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Expert Comment

by:Schells_Web_Design
ID: 6350851
I recommend Adobe GoLive. I recommend it to all my customers for updates. It's very easy to use. I have about 40 customers who maintain their own sites, and I never have to give them instruction on how to use it.

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:edrom
ID: 6351247
What do you think about MS FrontPage?

mgfranz - not ready for anything that sophsticated yet! Just startng out.



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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
ID: 6351427
FrontPage should be avoided at all cost!  It was written by Microsoft, guess which browser it will support...  It inserts a lot of unnecessesary code, (as does DreamWeaver), and uses objects called BOTS that are only delivered with IE.

You know, Word has a HTML editor built in to it, but 2000 will write your code with XML technology, not a bad thing mind you, but it's not for the beginner...

Check out HomeSite, it's pretty easy to learn and use.
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Expert Comment

by:Schells_Web_Design
ID: 6351711
Frontpage is a good tool to use. Yes, it was created by Microsoft - but for what you are talking about - hey....who cares about those small inconsistencies for a family-based webpage? I don't think they'll care about those Explorer/Netscape differences anyway. They're there for the pictures right?

If you do use Frontpage - you should make sure your host uses Frontpage extensions. You can host of UNIX or NT, although with Frontpage, NT is preferred.

Frontpage is another easy-to-use tool. It's pretty much like a glorified Microsoft Word. I think for your purposes, it should be fine.

Hope this helps.
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ericpete earned 200 total points
ID: 6352057
FrontPage.... *shuddering*... please, don't.

This question gets asked a lot; personally, if I were you, I'd spend some time going through the open questions, let along the locked ones and the PAQ, and you'll see that everyone here has an opinion, and a lot of us disagree most of the time about which one is the best with one specific exception: Most of the time, most agree that FP should be avoided if possible. Again, there are lots of reasons, but heavy bias towards IE, lots of superfluos coding, and the requirement that your server be, for the most part, a Microsoft server, are the main reasons.

Personally, I've used about a dozen different WYSIWYG programs over the years. For an inexpensive one, try any of the Advanced HTML editors available at www.tucows.com -- most are either freeware or shareware. Arachnophilia, CoffeeCup and HotDog are pretty good. I usually use HomeSite -- I think tucows probably has the demo version of it. Not a lot of extraneous coding, good cross-browser support.
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Author Comment

by:edrom
ID: 6355191
ericpete- your answer provded me with a few options to explore.
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
ID: 6355789
One more piece of advice Ed, you get what you pay for.  While some of the Shareware/Freeware products do nice things, they fall way short in functionality and tools, like built-in validators, CSS editors, script formatting, color-coding of tags, etc...

it was for these reasong that I selected HomeSite as my editor of choice.
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Expert Comment

by:ericpete
ID: 6355942
MG,

As it is mine, when I actually use one... but I'll admit that I went through a bunch of them before settling on what tools I use for what aspect of a given project.

It seems to me that almost everyone who designs websites or races cars or raises tomatoes will have his/her opinion about what tools and components are best for the job. Rather than force someone to make a choice about which is best for him or her based on my opinion (or anyONE else's), I think (and this is only MY opinion... *grin*) that someone just starting out should find the tools he/she likes. Shareware and demo versions of programs are the best way I can think of to do that -- and if edrom likes Homesite as you and I do, he'll do what you and I (presumably) did -- buy it.

On the other hand, I think you and I agree on at least two things: HomeSite is a marvelous program, and Front Page pretty much sucks... *chuckle*

ep
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Expert Comment

by:mgfranz
ID: 6356017
Yup.

I too whent through a few tools before settling on HomeSite, (although so far I like AceHTML Pro).  I statrted out with a tool called PageEdit, then went to CoffeeCup.  I then tried a few other applications before trying HomeSite based on CNet's recommendation.  I liked it, and 3 years later I still use it daily.

Yeah, FP is a waste of money.
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