Web page design software information

Introduction to web design technologies and web design software

There are many ways to design a web page and many different technologies that you can use.

If you are a beginner, then you will probably create your web site using standard HTML or XHTML. If you are looking to advance your web design skills, then you should certainly be looking at designing with XHTML and CSS, and maybe looking at the various scripting languages and databases which are available.

These are the main terms that you may come across:

These are the main languages used for building web pages.
Visit W3C web site for more information on these.

Scripts and programming (JavaScript, PHP, Perl, etc.)
Various scripts and programming languages can be used to give your web pages extra functionality, such as processing the content of a feedback form, calling data from a database, or simply switching one image for another when you move the mouse over a link.

Databases (MsSQL, ASP)
MySQL is an open source database and free, ASP is not free. Both can produce the same sort of results. As MySQL is free, it is cheaper to host a site with MySQL than ASP or many of the other types of database which are available.

E-commerce (OsCommerce, ZenCart)
Both OsCommerce and ZenCart are open source e-commerce applications which use MySQL and PHP to operate. As they are open source they are free to use.
There are many other open source and commercial e-commerce applications available.


Software for web site design

HTML Editors - Web Page Authoring Tools

Web authoring tools and HTML editors range from simple text editors to high powered graphical authoring tools and content management systems. You can begin to write and learn simple web design code using nothing more complicated than Notepad. As you progress to more complex web page designs, a specialised code editor or a full WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") design environment will make the task much quicker and easier.
Many non-Web software packages (such as MS Word) have the ability to export designs to HTML, but these are not recommended as the code produced is often bloated, not compliant with standards and prone to errors.

Arachnophilia is a free HTML code editor that bridges the gap between general text editors such as Notepad and the full WYSIWYG packages.

Adobe Dreamweaver is the software of choice of many professionals for designing and editing web pages. It is a WYSIWYG editor with colour coded XHTML editing. It has strong support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and all major scripting languages. It has the ability to work with various multimedia elements and with databases. The use of templates makes managing larger sites easier, and it has built in file management and the ability to check and update file links in your site as well as to upload (via FTP) the files to your web site.

nVu (pronounced "N view") is an open source (free) WYSIWYG and colour-coded XHTML editor.
It includes XML support, advanced CSS support, site management, built-in code validator.

Amaya is an open source (free) WYSIWYG and colour-coded XHTML editor.
It includes XML support, scripting support, advanced CSS support, built-in code validator.