Suggest Some Web Site Building Software

I’m looking to create a personal web page and I’m trolling for some software suggestions.

My needs are pretty basic. I’ll be using the site to showcase some art and audio files. I won’t be using any Flash or Shockwave or anything like that. I’ll also need something that’s Mac-friendly.

Like I said, pretty basic, no animated elements, and Mac-compatible. I’m a babe in the woods here so go easy on me. Thanks in advance!!

I would suggest Homesite.

I suggest Notepad.

Any old plain text editor will do with a good ol’ HTML primer (wow, I first used that thing over seven years ago). Don’t use any Microsoft programs like FrontPage or Word, because they’ll spit out garbage HTML that only makes sense to Internet Explorer.

Mac-friendly and basic? The answer is:

Unless you want something that hides more of the complexity of HTML, and that you can use like a word processor. In that case you should buy DreamWeaver.

P.S. raisinbread, there is no program called Notepad on Mac OS.

I second HomeSite. It’s inexpensive, it words basically like a super notepad, and its helpers will help you learn HTML if you’re not already fluent in it.

HomeSite is not Mac-compatable.

I second BBEdit, and Dreamweaver. Both are OS 9 and OS X compatable. (The latest versions are, anyway.)


How well do you know HTML? If you’re inexperienced, then I’d have to suggest something simple and easy like Adobe’s PageMill. If you’re comfortable working with code, then I agree with the others and echo the votes for Dreamweaver or BBEdit. (HomeSite, btw, is now a Macromedia product and is sold as a stand-alone product. It is also integrated with Dreamweaver MX.)

I’ve used PageMill the most, and found it easy to learn. Once you outgrow it (and trust me, you will), you should be able to make the leap to the other two will little difficulty. I’m in the process of learning Dreamweaver, but I felt I could have gone either way with it or BBEdit.

Arachnophilia isn’t OS X compatible.

[minor hijack]
But even if it was, I’d be hesitant to try it. I very much prefer to use software that either is from a company whose name is respected and that I recognize, or that I have heard consistently good praise for. I also try to pick software that appears to be primarily for the Mac. And none of those apply to Arachnophilia.

Don’t get me wrong-- I’ve never tried Arachnophilia. I don’t intend to come across as bashing it. It may be a very fine product. But I don’t want to have to find out the hard way that it isn’t, and should I need help, I would prefer to deal with a company that has Mac support as a priority and has a large, widespread user base.
[/minor hijack]

I’ll add another BBEdit recommendation. The software is available free in a simpler version from (as BBEdit Lite 6.1.2) and the full version is available at the developer’s site at as a demo or for a fee. It’s a text-based editing program that works nicely, and HTML guides are readily available online or in print if you need them. I used the BBEdit Lite version for a year or so and it was absolutely fine to use, though I have since upgraded to the full version.

I used Arachnophilia on a Windows PC in 1998/99. It’s also a very good program, but I didn’t know that there was a Mac version now.

With any web design program you choose, you should check your newly-designed HTML files in at least two web browsers before publishing it. For this I recommend downloading iCab ( - OS9 and OSX) because previewing your new site in it will offer a chance to check your HTML code and pinpoint what specific lines have errors.

Thanks for all the input. I think I’ll check out BbEdit and Adobe PageMill. I considered Dreamweaver but great Caesar’s ghost it’s a little pricey. Maybe an earlier version from a used software outlet.

It runs under Java. Does OSX has a JRE?

If you feel like lining the coffers of big corporations, more power to you. I just thought free is a very good incentive.

Getting help? Like how? I have never been successful in getting help from any commericial companies. Not MS, not Adobe, not Macromedia.

According to their FAQ page,


I just checked some sites, and this appears to be incorrect. This page on the Apple website says (to me, at least-- I’m not familiar with Java) that Mac OS X does indeed support Java. This page on Sun’s website confirms that.

So maybe it’s false that Arachnophilia won’t run on OS X. In which case, the Arachnophilia people either don’t know what they’re talking about or haven’t supplied updated or accurate information about their product on their website. Or both. Point is, it doesn’t inspire confidence in the company or its product.

Free is an excellent incentive, provided the software is any good. However, it’s usually the case that free software isn’t the best of its kind there is out there. Besides, who wants to use any program whose main selling point was that it was free?

Software from larger companies is more likely to be free of major flaws. It is likelier to have been tested more extensively and in a greater variety of environments. Software produced by large companies are also likelier to have a large user base, which is invaluable if you have problems with the program. A large user base means more people are likely to have the same problem. The more users that are affected, the greater incentive the company has to issue reports and fixes for the problem. Never mind that some of the many users themselves may turn up bugs and bug fixes. The more bugs that surface and the more fixes that get uncovered, the better the product is in the long run. And the better product is the most desirable one, right?

Besides, I didn’t say that I only use software from large companies-- I also said that I’ll try software if I’ve consistently heard good things about it. And a lot of good software comes from small companies. I have quite a few shareware programs from tiny or even one-man companies. The difference is that the program is widely and consistently praised. In fact, it’s the praise that matters most. If given the decision between a gargantuan company’s product and a smaller company’s product that has high praise, I’d almost always go for the latter.

Well, I’m sorry that’s been your experience. I myself have gotten help from the websites of all three companies, as well as the strong user bases of those companies.