There are many software packages available for free download and purchase that can help you create your website. Each program has its pros and cons which must be considered when planning to use one. This section is not intended to make that decision for you, but simply to offer a few examples of well-known open source and proprietary software.

The most common and infamous application is Notepad. Notepad is a simple text editor that does not do anything special. It is readily available on all Windows computers.

Rich text editors include Wordpad and Microsoft Word. Wordpad is considered dangerous by many programmers because it saves items using RTF format, which does not play well with most other editors. If you use Wordpad, make sure you save using any other format except the default "Rich Text Format". Microsoft Word is better at handling web documents because it allows the user to save .html/.htm. Word is still not a favorite because it is notorious for adding "fluff", or unnecessary formatting and code, to web pages.

A popular PC editor is Notepad++ which is free. Notepad++ offers a handful of simple, yet powerful features. It offers syntax highlighting for over 40 programming languages, a built-in basic FTP program, tabbed windows, Macro support, advanced search features and a handful of other plugins. Additionally, Notepad++ can be saved and run off of a USB stick. Notepad++ does not offer Auto-Complete or function help.

Adobe Dreamweaver is a powerful WYSIWYG editor. It offers a source view, live view and a split screen fo development. When used with the entire Adobe Creative Suite, Dreamweaver is an important tool for creating complex websites. It offers syntax highlighting, advanced FTP support, tabbed windows, macro support, advanced search features, function support, Auto-Complete, Link correction, version control and many many more features. The downside is that Dreamweaver is a heavy program and is expensive. Additionally, it is also guilty of adding "fluff" to pages.

Introduction to Web Design by Cynthia J. Martincic :: Credits