HTML Editors - How Do You Code?

Jun 16th, 2011

When I first started developing websites back in the 1990's I used good old Notepad as my HTML Editor. There wasn't anything fancy, or productive, about Notepad, it was just a blank slate that allowed you to enter line after line of code. When you hit a snag, the process of tracking down your errors was a nightmare. Lucky for you, there is a plethora of constructive HTML editors for you to choose from when you are ready to start developing your website.

There are two flavors of HTML Editors for you to choose from: HTML Text Editors and “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) Editors. Depending on how comfortable you are with coding, you may find either type beneficial.

The “What You See Is What You Get” HTML editors are very easy to use, and you simply place items on a page how you want them to show up on the website. The editor itself converts your creation into a coded file for you, so you never have to worry about the actual HTML code. WYSIWYG editors are very popular with novice web developers who have no previous coding experience.

HTML Text Editors require that you know HTML code. You are given a blank slate to write your code on, but most of these editors have built in tracking to help you with your coding and identify errors or mistakes. HTML Text Editors also give you more control over your website if you have advanced HTML coding knowledge, since you can alter things at the root level to change how it will appear on the website.

There really isn't a “correct” way of coding a website, so choose whichever editor you are comfortable with and go to town! There are many options for both flavors of editors for you to choose from, including many that must be purchased as well as some quality free options. There are even some options that include both the WYSIWYG and Text Editor options combined in one software package.

One of the most popular and well known editors is Adobe Dreamweaver which is a very robust platform that includes both the WYSIWYG and Text Editor options built in. Dreamweaver includes a CSS panel which will apply different styles as you adjust screen dimensions, code hinting and design view rendering support, as well as advanced Jquery interactive code hinting.

For Macintosh users, a very popular option is RapidWeaver which makes it ridiculously easy to create stunning website on your Mac. RapidWeaver allows you to simply choose the pages you need for your project, select a theme – customizing it using the included variations – and add your content. There is also a very passionate community of developers that collaborate on projects, addons, and themes.

A very powerful and FREE HTML Text Editor is Komodo Edit which allows you to edit more than just HTML, it can be used to code with Perl, Python, PHP, and Javascript as well. There is a much more robust paid version Komodo IDE as well. Komodo Edit is a convenient project system with easy local and remote file browsing and friendly HTML and CSS autocomplete features.

There are many more options for you to choose from, so do some research to determine which HTML Editor offers the best tools for your style of development and dive in!