The Most Popular Web Design Programs

When creating a website for the first time, it can be difficult to decide which web design software programs will suit your needs, budget, and skill level. On one end of the spectrum, there is the possibility of hand-coding everything in a plain text editor. On the other extreme are programs that do everything for you, such as Wordpress (for blogs) or Site Builder (for websites). Wordpress is free, and Site Builder is often included for free when you sign up with a hosting provider.

In the middle are web design software packages such as Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression, WebPlus, and Coffee Cup. These website creation tools assume you have basic coding skills, and they are tools that many professionals use to create unique, elegant, and functional websites sites. Here is an outline of each product.

Dreamweaver: What used to be the gold standard for web design software, Adobe's Dreamweaver is now part of their Creative Suite, which also includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. With Photoshop and Dreamweaver, novices can design stunning webpages with much less hand coding than other programs require. Its dual layout lets you see the pure code and the output. Dreamweaver is also noted for being very user-friendly and well-documented. Should you ever run into problems, you can likely find the answer on a web design or Dreamweaver forum.

Microsoft Expression: This program has many of the features that Dreamweaver comes with, but is less than half the price. Microsoft Expression is ideal for people who are familiar with the discontinued product called Microsoft Front Page. (Many older PCs may still have Microsoft Front Page) Tech-savvy people also like this website design program because it supports the server-side languages PHP and ASP. Microsoft Expression also has great de-bugging tools that help you locate programming errors quickly. All-in-all, this is a good product for people who know how to code on their own, but want a helper.

WebPlus and SiteSpinner Pro: These two web design programs are made by dffernt companies, but have many similarities. Both WebPlus and SiteSpinner are more affordable alternatives to the above products, at less than $100 each. They come with all the basic features you need to turn a design idea into code, as well as versatile image editors. These are perfect for people who know only a little HTML and CSS, but need to get a website up and running quickly. They have great user reviews and are very easy to use.

Coffee Cup: Coffee Cup offers a wide variety of webdesign products on their main store page. Rather than buy a bunch of different products in bundle, you can pick and choose the specific web design programs that meet your needs. Whether you just need a simple HTML editor, something to create forms, or a fully functional WYSIWYG (drag-n-drop) editor, Coffee Cup probably has just what you are looking for at reasonable prices. Again, only a minimal amount of programming knowledge necessary.

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