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HTML Tools For DIY

Hello reader,

While of course I am always ready to help a client in need, some folks want the tools at their disposal, and I can appreciate that. Some of my friends who also do website development tell me that they and even their clients all have strong preferences for specific tools. While most of these tools can be found easily online the learning curve can be difficult if you haven't used them before so be sure to look for documentation before you begin and take notes as you go to minimize the fuss of finding fixes later.

Top 10 Ranked in order of "suggested preference" - including other developers - most of whom opted away from wysiwyg editors like Dreamweaver for coding size reasons. Nevertheless Dreamweaver made the overall top spot.  You might want a refresher on adding CSS.

  1. Dreamweaver 
  2. Aptana Studios
  3. Adobe Fireworks
  4. Notepad++
  5. Bluefish (more of an IDE)
  6. Blue Griffon
  7. Amaya
  8. Kompozer
  9. Phase5
  10. Mobirise

My own preferences are more programming oriented so I tend to use things like geany, ninja, visual studios, or similar IDE's (Integrated development environments.) Among my friends and clients who have strong preferences when asked they all said similar things about one or more of the platforms mentioned. The most common thing was "I couldn't live without it." My personal view on the wysiwyg editors is that they are great if you know how to make the end result less bloated, but for small websites it's not really that important compared to making it look exactly how you want. There are tutorials on w3c that can help with things like navigation menus. 

As for CMS (Content management systems) the strongest preferences seem to depend entirely on the business asked, and developers who vary wildly on the subject mostly (admittedly) based on their own experiences.  

Top 10 CMS ranked in order of enthusiasm by clients rather than developers

  1. Wordpress - Highest on many reports too
  2. Joomla - By small businesses mostly
  3. Cake php - By codecentric developer type clients
  4. Livesite - By me just now, *I love this platform
  5. Magenta - Mid range b2b clients mostly  
  6. Concrete 5 - Bloggers mostly
  7. PHP forum - Often a tag on forum
  8. MediaWiki - An interesting wiki software that allows open registration like wikipedia
  9. Drupal - Not surprisingly many 90's era businesses still swear by Drupal 
  10. Orange - This was mostly in forums and I've not tried it yet from scratch - just made changes etc

Chances are pretty good that depending on your host any or all of these CMS will be quick installation options, I know they are on OhSayCanYouWeb so if you wanted to try such a platform and just needed some help and we'll be happy to walk you through it. I'd generally suggest wordpress to newcomers - maybe even joomla. Beyond that once you understand the scope of making changes etc you can safely move on to other platforms.

See also: 8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health by Positive Health Wellness