Dreamweaver vs. BBEdit vs. CreaText

Has anyone used one or a combination of these programs? I’d like some advice.

I’m going to work on my website soon (never mind that I’ve been telling myself that for four months now) and I want to move past the WYSIWYG layout programs like PageMill and Freeway. I want an app that’s mostly an HTML editor so I can become proficient in writing HTML code.

I’ve seen Dreamweaver in action, and although it’s very cool, I think I would prefer something a little more stripped down. There’s BBEdit, which I’ve heard for many years is a good program. Then there’s CreaText, which is a simple freeware program that looks to be about as basic as you can get without being lame.

The only feature I really care about is syntax color coding. All three programs can do that. In my site, I don’t plan on having anything more complicated than a few simple javascripts, so I don’t need anything complex. A tag library, color picker, and a decent search or find/replace feature would be nice, but aren’t necessary.

Dreamweaver’s price and the fact I’d only use two or three of its features make me reluctant to invest in it. CreaText looks to be a good fit, and you can’t beat its price… but I’d never heard of it before, and despite its positive reviews at VersionTracker, it is freeware, and thus has the disadvantages of freeware. BBEdit seems to be a good medium in both the features and price aspects.
Writing that last paragraph, I realize I’ve almost completely convinced myself to get BBEdit. But there’s still the part of me that would go with Dreamweaver on the you-never-know-when-you’ll-need-its-power premise, and the frugal, no-frills side of me that’s cheering CreaText on.

Someone, please, persuade me in one direction!

Detail you should know: Mac user. Have both OS X and 9.

BBEdit is an incredibly powerful text editor. It does code, generically, in the sense that it gives you visual feedback when you close a tag or expression. (if I type this parenthetical remark in BBEdit, it will highlight the open-paren along with the close-paren when I type the close-paren, to let me know they bookend each other). Because it is a superlative text editor, it can find or replace all occurrences of a given string (which can be a domain or URL) in all files in a given folder.

Ultimately, though, it is a text editor, and unless you want to deal with HTML as a series of text documents and code your web pages the way C++ programmers write their code (i.e., most definitely NOT anything aking to WYSIWYG), you’ll want something else.

Everyone says DreamWeaver is the tool if you want to do WYSIWYG site generation. It is apparently what PageMill was trying to be, with less incompatibilities and limitations. I don’t know, I’m still stuck in the world of PageMill myself and I hate HTML.

I use Allaire Homesite exclusively. I’m addicted to it. It’s IMHO the best html editor available.

Don’t make a decision without at least giving this great proggy a whirl.

Dreamweaver is an excellent excellent tool. I use it at work quite a bit. I used to just code pages in notepad, and now that I’ve got dreamweaver I don’t think I’d ever go back. The amount of time saved on even a simple page is incredible. I’m no pro by any stretch, and most of what I do is basic layout stuff with tables, but I’d say get dreamweaver (if you can afford it).

Maybe there’s a “dreamweaver lite” version that’s more reasonably priced for home users.

I use HomeSite as well; it has the all-important “find and replace”, without which changing the same thing throughout all pages in the site would be very tiresome. I heard BBedit is quite good, and also has a find and replace, although even more powerful…you can tell it to find strings that start with a certain bit of code and end with a certain bit of code, and replace those. Very useful if you are not scrupuluous about keeping the same elements in each page precisely the same, but also a great danger that you will replace items you don’t want to replace. I don’t know if BBedit has an undo but I hope so (Homesite does not after a find and replace so I have learned to be very careful after my boss did a find and replace on “>” throughout a 1000 page site. We were days finding all the mess-ups). Dreamweaver is becoming industry standard, and allows you to create templates, so that, say, all the pages on your site could use the same header file, and adding in something to the header would require only changing a single file. Very useful when working with very large sites.

I use Dreamweaver since Im a lousy typist and just dont have the time to deal with constantly correcting erors. If you are a student your local junior college/university might have a copy at a student discount(mine was $99)

I’ve also seen HomeSite, and would consider it if not for the fact it’s been largely integrated into Dreamweaver. :wink: Even if it hadn’t been, I don’t think it would have been an option anyway-- I believe it was Windows only.

So far it seems that Dreamweaver is the way to go. Too bad I’m poor. :frowning: BBEdit sounds like the total opposite of Freeway, and like it’d be a challenge (which I want), but I’m not sure if I’m up to it. I am, after all, migrating from PageMill…

Thanks for the input, everyone. Feel free to keep the advice coming.

I love HomeSite too, but alas, the only way AudreyK is going to be able to use it is if she installs VirtualPC on her Mac. But that’s OK, BBEdit isn’t available for PC either. (I like BBEdit too, but I love Dreamweaver. The both of them together are fabulous.)

Arachophila is a free, fully featured editor. You can use it to code webpages and other things.

I quite liked PageSpinner - it was shareware. I think it’s been further developed, so is now a commercial product, but not expensive as far as I know. BBEdit is fine too. I prefer to keep stuff simple and see what is actually in the script and where - generators add too much crud for the source to be easily readable.

I don’t like WYSIWYG editors, but GoLive (PageMill) is pretty good as far as those go. Dreamweaver isn’t bad, and FrontPage sucks badly.

I briefly considered GoLive, especially because as an owner of PageMill, I was entitled to a discount of some sort. I eventually decided against it, as well as PageSpinner, for reasons I can’t quite remember now.

Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. I think I’ve decided to see if I can get my hands on Dreamweaver somehow-- maybe my cousin in college in Ohio can obtain an education version for me.


But man, don’t I wish it.