HTML editors are essentially of two types -
Modern text editors have inculcated additional features like syntax highlighting, where the different categories of text/code are displayed in different colors. Syntax highlighting makes it easier to detect errors and understand the structure of the webpages. Additional code management can be done by capabilities like code folding and spell checking.
>> WYSIWYG Editors, such as Dreamweaver, CoffeCup, FirstPage, Publisher, SeaMonkey etc – WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. The name is some indication of what to expect – the interface is exactly what you will see in the finally resulting webpage. The drag and drop functionality associated with the WYSIWYG editors has bought web designing in the realm of the common web user – some one with a basic computing knowledge can now design and create a website.
Most of the WYSIWYG editors also provide the facility to publish the webpages directly to your website via FTP. Even a large number of web designers now use WYSIWYG editors.
Choosing an HTML Editor – Factors to Consider
Even though WYSIWYG editors are easy and convenient to use, it does not mean that they are an automatic choice for website designing. Even with the WYSIWYG editors, different editors may provide different functionalities. While it is true that WYSIWYG has democratized web deigning to a large extent, it is not possible to do everything with them – sometimes it is imperative that the designer has to take recourse to the text editor.
So, how exactly do you decide what HTML editor is suitable for your purpose? Consider the following basic factors -
>> Some HTML editors are free, while some may be quite expensive. So, consider your budgetary constraints before selecting an HTML editor. But remember – you get what you pay for.
>> The desired functionalities that you want in your website will also determine your choice. Do you want a simple, 5 page website to act as a focal point of your activities, or do you want an advanced e-commerce website with hundreds, possibly thousands of pages?
>> The level of your technical knowledge. Are you a software engineer, or an expert programmer? Or your expertise lies somewhere else (for example, you are a freelance writer) and you just want to make a small website for yourself?
>> The operating system that you are using on your computer will also determine your choice of HTML editor – all HTML do not work well on all operating systems.
>> What browsers are you optimizing the website for – different browsers render the same website in a different manner. Often, with WYSIWYG editors, you can get webpages which are valid in limited number of (leading) browsers only.