Here is what I call the “ultimate web site design builder and web developing software” – DreamWeaver MX which is the best web site design software in the world. When I was just starting, I used to make my web sites in Notepad, just like many other starting web designers would. You might want to do the same thing so that you can learn HTML. However, after you have a good knowledge of HTML I simply don’t see any reason why you would want to continue making your web sites using only Notepad. Here is what I heard people who stick to Notepad say: “I don’t use any programs because they’re for amatuers, I’m proud to make my sites using only Notepad!” This is a very silly statement, DreamWeaver MX, not only saves you a lot of time, by typing 90% of HTML for you, but it also provides you with powerful features that Notepad users can’t even “Dream” about!
So you want an example of the powerful feature? There are hundreds of them, I really like to point out one of them – Templates. Suppose you have a site that has one hundred pages, and then you need to change something such as a link on every one of them. Alright Notepad users, are you going to go through every one of these pages just to change the link? I hope not…DreamWeaver lets you create a “Template” page and define it’s editable regions so that every time you need to make a change like this to your page, you only need to change it on the template page and then DreamWeaver will update every other page automatically.
Another powerful feature I want to point out is DreamWeaver exchanges. This one is free, you can download thousands of scripts, commands, actions and additional tools for DreamWeaver from Macromedia web site. These handy exchanges include things such as newsletters, forms, search engines, web photo albums, polls, guest books, chats, and just about any other dynamic features you can think of! The one that recently saved me a lot of work is “web photo album”, a command which automatically creates small or big web photo albums for you. I simply couldn’t imagine creating such an album on my own. (it has over 1300 photos). This is a project I had to do for one of my clients, you can check out this site and the huge gallery I made here: www.sandiegopropertieslp.com
DreamWeaver MX is very flexible because it allows you to switch between visual design view to code view very easily, so that you can modify your design by hand coding HTML if you wish. Now that I’m so stuck to DreamWeaver MX I can’t imagine my web designing career without it. If you’re serious about web design and development I recommend that you save up and get your own copy of DreamWeaver MX it’s the best web site design software you will find.