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Building a Web Site: Choose Your Tools
Choose a web editor
There are many great tools on the market today for creating and editing web sites. However, what you may not know is that you can create a web site simply with a text editor (like NotePad)! In general, you can split up most web editors into a "code-only" category or a "WYSIWYG" (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) category. Code-only editors allow you to edit HTML code and start from simple text editors such as NotePad to more complex editors that have color-coding to help you view the code better. WYSIWYG editors usually have modes where you can view the code, but also work with your site in a more graphical, intuitive interface, where what-you-see is roughly what-you-get. Usually you don't need to know HTML code in order to use WYSIWYG editors, although we recommend that you pick up some basic knowledge as you use them.
We don't pretend to be all-knowing experts. Below are some of the tools that we've used and that we know something about. There are a ton of web editors out on the market (some for free!), and if you're really concerned about getting the one that fits your purposes, we encourage you to research.
Choose an Image Editor
If you're going to be making your own web site(s), you will need some kind of image editor to create web-ready graphics, whether those are photos, illustrations, or text-headings. While there are some free tools available, most are limited. It's a good idea to invest in a quality image editor.
Choose an FTP client
You may not need this! You'll want to check to see if your web editor allows you to FTP or "publish" your web files to a server. FrontPage and Dreamweaver have this built-in, but if you're using NotePad or some code editor that doesn't have this function, you'll want to get an FTP program as well. The FTP program will help you to connect to your web server so that you can put your web files online.
Windows Explorer can also act as an "FTP client," if you're looking to save money. Simply type in "ftp://your-ftp-host-domain" in the explorer bar. You may be prompted for your username and password. Once you've connected, you can upload by dragging and dropping. (To learn more, look up "FTP using Windows Explorer" in a search engine.)
However, most people prefer an actual FTP program for an easier-to-use interface. Below are some examples of FTP programs. We use FTP Voyager, but probably any of them are good.
Next: Choose Your Template
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