What makes a good HTML Editor?

by prbinc
48 replies
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I currently do not have a good HTML editor. I am considering purchasing Dreamweaver but before I do, I am looking for you awesome warriors out there to provide me with some rationale whether i should go all in or maybe use some free editor for the time being. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Randy
#editor #good #html #makes
  • Profile picture of the author joel1031
    I use Pagebreeze. I don't use it a TON but it does what I need and best of all it's free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    It really depends on what you prefer and what you're intending to do.

    I use several including Bluefish and Kompozer free ones.

    The thing that governs which one I use is - what I need to do.

    If I'm just editing a template then any of them are ok but preferably one with a preview feature. If creating a new page then quite often I use Kompozer.

    However, many of them work slightly differently from each other and if you don't know what you're doing they can add lots of extra code that's not required (Kompozer does this if you're using a style sheet and you try to use its GUI to change font sizes and similar - it adds the code but the code doesn't make any difference because it's getting the font size from the style sheet)

    So just find one you're comfortable with and learn it's quirks.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    Yadira,

    thanks so much. Yes I use Windows 7 and this just might be the answer to my question. Again thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    Andy,

    Your response answers my question very clearly. currently I have sales page templates that I just need to modify. As of now, I don't intend on building pages from scratch. I will take a look at those too. Great advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author TG12
      I cannot stress this enough. Learn HTML and use Notepad. You know that thing they have been giving away with Windows Since Day one. Thats if Windows is your flavor of course. I'm sure there is a similar one on Mac,Linux whatever. Infact I know there is.

      Failing that look at Notepad++ Thats what it was designed for. Its a freeware product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Liam Murray
    In that case I would just use Front Page or Pagebreeze if your not building from scratch. Dreamweaver maybe an investment future rather than just now? If you do try get a version that is still support.
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    TG12,
    I looked at notepad last night and i couldn't figure out how to view the product after working on the code. I know in other products you can view both the code and the page side by side. Am I missing something?
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    • Profile picture of the author Newman8r
      Originally Posted by prbinc View Post

      TG12,
      I looked at notepad last night and i couldn't figure out how to view the product after working on the code. I know in other products you can view both the code and the page side by side. Am I missing something?
      You need to save the file as HTML, and then open it to view it, or upload it to your server.
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  • Profile picture of the author omk
    I think the number one priority is that it should be simple to use. CuteHTML is very good.
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    • Profile picture of the author redloredamazon
      Originally Posted by omk View Post

      I think the number one priority is that it should be simple to use. CuteHTML is very good.
      Globalscape have not sold Cutehtml for a very long time now, they don't even do customer support on it now. I used to use but have gone over to Coffeecup HTML Editor now, they constantly update and, once bought all future upgrades are free.

      It has all the features in it that I want, plus some that I have not got round to yet. Have used a trial version of Dreamweaver, but it's not for me, the price is a big issue as well, you will not go far wrong with Coffeecup HTML.
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  • Profile picture of the author LoganWinters
    A surprising number of people use Notepad. I also know others that use Dreamweaver.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayhew
    I like Kompozer and it's free. Crimson Editor is good also and free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Newman8r
      Aptana studio is an excellent choice and it's free

      Great for HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author TEC
    If you want easy, simple and fast Dreamweaver is the way to go...yes you have to pay but it's all worth it to me!

    If your just going to edit one or two things, I would use the free service like NVU at Nvu Web Authoring Software

    I hope this helps you
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeMorgan
    You don't necessarily need Dreamweaver, unless you are professional website designer.

    You can use free tools like Kompozer .
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    • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
      Dreamweaver is great, I wouldn't dream of replacing it with Kompozer or some of the others mentioned. You don't necessarily need the latest version, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    Thanks so much to everyone who has posted here. This makes my research much easier and more fruitful. I now know the names of most of the programs out there. I will do some analysis and see which one fits my specific needs. Great posts and thanks to all.
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    i use komposer, it is a favorite of chris farrel, he uses it for all of his trainning. it is free and very easy to use.
    a matter a fact, you can watch free video on his site on how to use komposer.
    i use it for landing pages
    good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author apoorv.parijat
    I primarily use Coda which I think is the best one out there. It has features that are very, very helpful when I'm coding. It integrates with ZenCoding plugins too.

    For Windows, I like Notepad++. Dreamweaver is way too much for me when I'm doing simple HTML development. In case I'm working on other languages, I use Netbeans.
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  • Profile picture of the author flocon
    I have used Dreamweaver for some time. I find it to be a good program. I like the ability to erase text from the page without having to do it from the html view. I find it to be a time saver because you don't have to check for html code in between.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    It does not have the name Microsoft in the title.

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author ginak59
      I agree about learning HTML. It's not hard to get under your belt and combined with IM smarts can go a long way in building a solid business. Most editors add lots of needless, extra code to a site, this makes the sites harder to index. I used to work with Dreamweaver. Once I started learning HTML, I was surprosed about how it bloated the code.

      I love working with Coda, it's a code editor but supplies lots of hints. Learn a little CSS and you'll have a good edge.
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  • Profile picture of the author weblink29
    I still use Frontpage for simple stuff just because I can use it in my sleep.

    I also use NVU - it's free and it doesn't need to be installed. IE: You can run it from a thumbdrive: nvu.com
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    • Profile picture of the author WHAS
      I started off with Notepad and learned code straight up. The only complaint I had was finding my place on a page or wading through lines of code. I discovered the CoffeeCup HTML editor a few years back and use that now. I especially love the snippets feature of the CoffeeCup HTML editor where I can store favorite snippets of code I use over and over again - or those php bits I tend to forget The price tag is not as overwhelming as Dreamweaver and upgrades are free for life.

      I have tried HTML Kit, but do not find it as clean a format (too much happening on the screen and too sectioned-off on the page, allowing little room to see the actual code). I have downloaded it twice and removed HTML Kit both times.

      I have also tried Notepad++. I heard it had a nice feature to find ending tags...and after a multi-hour stint searching for a sneaky end tag, I was told about Notepad++ and found it within minutes.

      Over-all, I recommend CoffeeCup HTML Editor, but with a basic understanding of HTML under your belt. There are many great books out there to get you started on your way

      Re: Frontpage. I know my host has disabled it and many hosts are phasing out support.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Notepad++ -or- KompoZer (both free as in free beer)

    ...I almost bought Dreamweaver after asking the same question on another forum a few months back, glad I steered clear, as free editor's seem to do just as well.

    Then again, I still have a lot to learn concerning CSS and PHP
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  • Profile picture of the author rickfrazier1
    [WARNING -- "old school" answer follows]

    I've used vi, brief, emacs, notepad, and several others... Each had it's particular benefits, (brief, for example, could do columnar cuts) but it all depends on what platform you're working from (Windows, MacOS, Unix, Linux, others...)

    Just about any text editor and a decent knowledge of HTML.
    Start with some of the relatively simple stuff and build up your knowledge.

    You can easily preview your pages in IE or Firefox, or any other browser, and once you FTP the code to your site it should still look fine.

    Even if you use a WYSIWYG (visual) editor, you should still learn HTML, because it will save you hours of frustration if something doesn't work right. Usually it's easier to just fix the HTML code of a page than it is to "mess around" with the visual editor trying to get things to work.
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    • Profile picture of the author klr
      Originally Posted by rickfrazier1 View Post

      Even if you use a WYSIWYG (visual) editor, you should still learn HTML, because it will save you hours of frustration if something doesn't work right. Usually it's easier to just fix the HTML code of a page than it is to "mess around" with the visual editor trying to get things to work.
      I totally agree. When I first started building website, I used a couple well known WYSIWYG editors and just get frustrated. Always fixing things that did not work like it was suppose to do. Learning html, css and php is pretty simple these days. There are so many great tutorials out there. I ended up learning code and it is the best thing I ever did. Now I build websites for a living and I don't get WYSIWIGGED over WYSIWYG... haa haa
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      • Profile picture of the author quick_silver
        KLR is right... consider coffeecup HTML editor...has a lot of features, and it's not expensive like dream weaver or MS expression...I use it for a lot of work I do and have no complaints...and the support is outstanding...http://www.coffeecup.com/html-editor/
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        • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
          Microsoft also makes "Visual Web Developer". The Express version is free and does everything Dreamweaver does and does it better. I would never spend the money on DW or should I say I would never do it again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Web Tempest
    I wouldn't buy Dreamweaver - you end up just coding like you would in Notepad ++, so save some money and use that from the start. Or buy a mac and use textmate (this improved my output a heap)
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  • Profile picture of the author ocvseo
    Originally Posted by prbinc View Post

    I currently do not have a good HTML editor. I am considering purchasing Dreamweaver but before I do, I am looking for you awesome warriors out there to provide me with some rationale whether i should go all in or maybe use some free editor for the time being. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Randy
    Sometimes I use wordpad, because it is already installed to my operating system, but if I need more complex and more cleaner approach I use PSpad editor, it is free.
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  • Profile picture of the author bam2bam
    Dreamweaver is great but for now really expansive for me :-(
    For now I use NVU this one is free
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  • Profile picture of the author NickFarina
    I personally do all my HTML editing within Cpanel and being far from a HTML expert myself, I have never had an real issues with it.
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  • In building a site/design here's my process:

    Sketch it out on paper
    Designer make wireframe (optional)
    Designer make Photoshop image (several revisions til we're happy)
    Coder chops PSD to HTML
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    I posted this in another thread but relevant here too for Mac-heads:

    Originally Posted by AMcDermott View Post

    Another text editor option (with syntax highlighting) for the techies out there:

    Fraise or Smultron

    Fraise was born when Smultron, a free text editor, had development halted. Smultron was super so it was a pity to see it die, so another coder created Fraise based on it.

    Now the developer of Smultron decided to resurrect the Smultron project but as a $5 paid app on the Mac App Store, so the Fraise developer has decided to stop development! Smultron is no longer available anywhere for free, so if you're really stuck for 5 bucks grab Fraise, and if you're looking for something that's continuously updated (e.g. with HTML5 syntax, etc) get Smultron.

    Yes, I do run MacOS on my MBA occasionally
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    Thanks again to everyone who has provided input. I guess the final answer is "Learn HTML". so off I go to learn HTML. From what I have gathered from all of you, this is the very first skill I need to master. Great advice and thanks again to everyone!!!

    Randy
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  • Profile picture of the author klr
    I have a small website business. So I am working in an editor many hours a week. I been doing this for over 10 years. So being productive, low cost and quick have been important to me. I have owned and used many free and paid editors. Some have cool features and some not. My favorite editor is Coffeecup Html Editor and I use it just about every day. It's reasonable priced and I never have to pay again for an upgrade. Plus they are always improving it. They have tons of great features. I still try out new editors as they pop up, but from a person who builds sites for a living, I keep coming back to Coffeecup. Too much good stuff to pass up and helps me quickly get done what I need to get done.
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    KLR,

    Great post and very helpful. I will keep that in mind as I go foward to learn HTML.

    Randy
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    • Profile picture of the author klr
      Originally Posted by prbinc View Post

      KLR,

      Great post and very helpful. I will keep that in mind as I go foward to learn HTML.

      Randy
      Randy,

      Best wishes in your learning HTML. I thought I give you a few links of some nice sites to help with tutorials.

      littlewebhunt.com
      I found this one through Youtube. Youtube has some good video tutorials. But what I liked about this person, they break things down. I am sure if you searched Youtube, you would find other great tutorials too.

      lynda.com
      Most of their stuff you have to pay for, but I did find some good stuff that was free. They use video to show you. Which makes learning a joy. I actually purchased a php class from them and I was very happy with it. Lots of good free videos on there, might be worth looking at.

      w3schools.com
      This is my all time favorite. Lots of good reading and examples.

      Have fun with it!!

      Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Petal
    I find that when I outsource my graphics work, they use dreamweaver. The results are truly amazing. I would not think twice about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author prbinc
    Kim,

    thanks so much. I will check all of these out. I have a very steep learning curve as i already have some work going on that I need to know HTML in order to complete successfully.

    Randy
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  • Profile picture of the author anthony2
    Originally Posted by prbinc View Post

    I currently do not have a good HTML editor. I am considering purchasing Dreamweaver but before I do, I am looking for you awesome warriors out there to provide me with some rationale whether i should go all in or maybe use some free editor for the time being. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Randy

    You don't need Dreamweaver even though its a very good
    html editor. Dreamweaver is like $300.00 but there are free
    html editors like NVU and Coffee Cup.

    I use those two and never had a problem with any of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author hausboot
    I have started with a simple editor, Phase5, than I worked with Dreamweaver for a long time and it made everything very much easier. However, I currently only work with CMS, that's also pretty comfortable. Maybe this would be an option for you, too?
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  • Profile picture of the author bzd63
    Dreamweaver is great but for windows base i prefer visual studio
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  • Profile picture of the author Barko
    I like HTML-Kit for a text editor with lots of code hints, lists of html & css properties, code checking, browser preview button, form assists, and tons of open source plug-ins you can d/l and install as well. Plus it's free. Dreamweaver is great, a much deeper program than given credit for here, but it's expensive & takes awhile to learn all it can do. Besides if you learn basic html coding & css you don't need the fancy interface.
    The best book I've read about CSS (clearest & easiest to understand) was "Stylin' with CSS A Designer's Guide" by Charles Wyke-Smith. It gives you a foundation in html as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author mologic
    expression web 4 is a great one -- nothing better for working on .NET sites
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  • Profile picture of the author dsouravs
    If nothing suits you then go for dreamweaver blindly...
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    I can convert your Non-Responsive website to Responsive website ... How sweet is that? :)

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