When in the beginning stages of building a website, you will always come accross the decision of what application you should use to build and code your website; making this decision can be tough since there are several different factors that you should always take into consideration when searching for the right application. Many website design applications also contain many features, meaning that it is important that you identify what you want from an application when making the search; you should also take into consideration the type of support that is available for the applications that you are looking at, since most are very complicated and will take you a while to adjust to – whilst adjusting to the application you have chosen, you might also require knowledgable support if there is a certain feature which you are confused about or are trying to find but are having difficulty doing so. The main decision you will need to make is whether you want to use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor so that you are able to edit the design of your site directly within the application, or whether you are going to go with a plain text based application and code your website by using your own knowledge.
WYSIWYG or Code Editor
Server Side Languages
If you are building a ‘dynamic’ website which utilizes a server-side scripting language such as PHP or ASP, then you should consider an application which supports your chosen language specifically, as it will most likely have additional support for the chosen language which can be of advantage to you when building your website; additional support might include things such as ‘code snippets’ which you can use in your own code when constructing your website. Examples of this type of application include Microsoft Visual Studio and Adobe Dreamweaver; Visual Studio has been specifically built to allow ASP.NET developers make the most of the language – Microsoft has also recently released a cut down version of this application known as ‘Microsoft Visual Web Developer’ which is free – the idea of it is to promote ASP.NET as a language to get more people using it. Dreamweaver has support for many different server side languages including PHP, ASP.NET and Java Server Pages; Dreamweaver’s support of these languages extends as far as allowing people who are new to these languages make the most of them by just entering details into the application.
Web Based Site Building Applications
If you go with a shared or reseller hosting plan, you will most likely have access to a web based application which you can use to build your website with. These applications are good if you are new to the concept of website design since they allow you to choose a template that suites your needs, then apply the information which you want your website to contain; in some cases, you are even able to modify or insert HTML code into the template so that the website looks exactly the way you want it to. If you need to build a website quickly, then this type of solution is perfect for you since you don’t have to fiddle about with anything technical. Examples of this type of site building application include:
- Parallels Sitebuilder – http://www.parallels.com/en/products/sitebuilder/
- RV Site Builder – http://www.rvsitebuilder.com/
- Site Studio – http://www.psoft.net/SS/site_studio_info.html
In conclusion, if you are able to identify your needs and search around the internet you should be able to find an application that supports your needs. There are some good free text based editors such as Windows Notepad and jEdit that allow you to build your website using your own code without having to fork out the money for a premium WYSIWYG application. If you are a high end web developer who is utilizing many different applications within your work, then you should consider an application such as Adobe Dreamweaver since it supports many different languages and is able to provide you with help when coding in the supported languages; if you are only utilizing one language within your work then you should consider a language dependent application, an example of which is Microsoft Visual Studio.
Dependent on your requirements, the following is a list of website building applications which you should have a look at:
- Adobe Dreamweaver – http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/
- jEdit – http://www.jedit.org/
- Netobjects Fusion – http://www.netobjects.com/