When it comes to the more and more complex task of web designing, a mix of methods must be applied in order to obtain the best outcome. It is very important to have at least basic programming knowledge, but doing it 100% manually takes too much time and it is extremely laborious. Neither relying on software only is a good idea because the result will not be professional. The solution is using both approaches; knowing how to do direct web design, manually, and cleverly handling the varied software available nowadays, you will be able to obtain an excellent web site, both attractive and functional. So let’s see which are the most popular software tools that web designers use at a large extent.
Adobe Dreamweaver is appreciated by rather experiences web designers and apart from coding, it will do the visual part of your project, too. Scripting languages supported by this program are ASP, CSS and PHP. It is a hybrid tool, which means you can either enjoy the WYSI/WYG functionality if you are a beginner, or choose manual coding if you are an expert. It is up to you finding the perfect balance between the two panels. In fact, Dreamweaver is the most progressive WYSI/WYG editor that exists at this moment. It gives you the possibility to create all kind of interactive website design elements and customize them as you wish.
Microsoft Expressions Web
This web design tool from Microsoft has almost the same structure as Dreamweaver; you can also juggle between the two panels (WYSI/WYG and manual coding). The difficulty arises when it feels like you could use drag & drop or drawing options and they are not featured in this software. A big plus is represented by the SEO options, which is needless to say they are a must in web design.
Expert Mac users must be familiar with this software tool which is appreciated for being very user friendly and time saving; it gathers all the applications in just one window. It is very useful for HTML and CSS coding because it offers tools such as validation and debugging. A disadvantage would be that this software will not be able to help you obtain extraordinary visual elements.
We have mentioned software programs running on Windows and on Mac, but we must not forget open source programs such as Amaya, which runs on the previously indicated operating systems and also on Linux. It is suitable especially for beginners. It is basic and allows you to write HTML, CSS and XML codes.
Another free website design tool and text editor is Bluefish, which will also run on Solaris. It is extremely complex and versatile, permitting you to develop codes in CSS, HTML, XHTML, XML, PHP, C++, Java, Ruby and many, many others. It does not have WYSI/WYG options, so it is not for beginners. It is mainly used for creating smartphone apps, which need dynamic web design (the contents on the page adapt depending on the device they are viewed from). It is considered to be a first-rate web design software tool.
So, before you get down to work, make sure you have at least basic programming knowledge and then assess your needs and your strengths and weaknesses, so you can make the perfect choice. Taking a look at the many tutorials on the net will also help you make a decision and start your next project.