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The Best Web Design Programs

Who doesn’t own a web page nowadays? If you’re thinking about spicing up your web page or (heaven forbid) move your web page off that blogging host, consider some of these web design programs that will make mastering the art of html a breeze (well, not exactly, but with these WYSIWYG—What you see is what you get—tools, you’ll be a designing maniac in no time).

Dreamweaver MX

This is probably the best web design tool. Dubbed as the “Swiss Army Knife” of web developers, Dreamweaver at first could be quite overwhelming. But with a little practice, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

Don’t let the “flash” and “Perl” options intimidate you. What rocks about Dreamweaver is it supports CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which means you get to preview your work before uploading it. It also integrates seamlessly with other Macromedia products, so if you’re a genius when it comes to creating Flash presentations, adding them in would be a cinch.

If you’d like to learn a little bit about html, you can also split the work screen to show the WYSIWYG screen and the HTML encoding (what better way to learn than to see what the code actually looks like?). If html encoding is your kind of thing, you can ditch the WYSIWYG option altogether. And when you get really good at html, Dreamweaver offers a “code hinting”, which displays code options as you type, as well as “Snippets”, which is a panel that stores common pieces of html code that you always seem to need.

Dreamweaver generally takes a lot of time to learn, but take heart, it’s worth the training.

Microsoft FrontPage 2003

For those who love working with Microsoft Office’s tools (especially Word), this is the web design program for you.

It’s easy-to-use interface makes it easier to access the editing features (unlike previous editions). Just like Dreamweaver, it splits the screen to show the html coding and the site’s layout. It also features CSS, which means stacking up layers an option. Its Coding Editor also has the Microsoft IntelliSense software, which presents possible choices for the code that you’re laying out.

Although not offering as much eye candy as Dreamweaver, FrontPage is perfect for small business and school projects.

Adobe GoLive 6.0

If you swear by Adobe’s products, then this is a no-brainer for you. The format is just like any other Adobe program, so getting familiar with this software will be as easy as pie. It also integrates all the Adobe products in it—you’ll get to work closely with Photoshop, Illustrator, and LiveMotion. Which means you get to drag other Adobe files into GoLive. How sweet is that?

But as with any other Adobe program, if you’re not familiar with most Adobe products, it needs a little time to get used to. It’s quite a heavyweight tool, and if you’re not serious about putting up that web page, you might end up trading in this software for another.


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