Finding software to code your site is both easier and harder than you may think.
When I say software to code, I mean programs that let you design a website in two ways. One way is to design visually. That is, you can use tools to add building blocks to your site and see those changes on your draft page. The other way is to add HTML and CSS code in the program’s built-in code editor.
Code editors in these programs let you find and replace text quickly. They also tell you about any problems that you need to fix.
The most popular website software is Adobe Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver is only popular in terms of its category. In the broader market of web design software, Dreamweaver is an also-ran. WordPress is by far the most popular tool for web design with over 63 percent market share as of June 2020.
So, how much time will it take for you to learn Dreamweaver? Consider this:
- You need to learn and get used to how the program works. That includes how to create sites for various platforms including desktop, tablet, and smartphone.
- You need to learn about the limits of HTML and CSS if you don’t know them.
- You need to learn how to change code in HTML and CSS.
If you already know how to code in HTML and CSS, then learning Dreamweaver won’t take as much of your time.
How much will it cost you for Dreamweaver? Here’s what you need to know:
- Adobe lets you download a free trial of Dreamweaver so you can find out if you like it.
- You can buy Dreamweaver by itself for $20.99 per month.
- If you pay $52.99 per month for Adobe Creative Cloud, then Dreamweaver is one program that’s part of the suite.
If you have Creative Cloud, you also get Adobe XD. XD is a website wireframe tool so you can design and show a client design samples.
How You Should Decide
Now that you know how much time and money it will take, here are questions to ask yourself:
- Does the thought of learning how to build websites excite you?
- Do you prefer to use menus instead of code for most of your work?
- How do you like seeing your website as you build it?
- Do you want to spend money?
I’ve talked about using Adobe Dreamweaver because I’ve worked with for years. (Until I started using WordPress, that is.) When you’re finding software to code your site, you have other choices. You can pay for software like Pinegrow Web Editor and the CoffeeCup HTML Editor. You may also want to find software that works best with your operating system, like RapidWeaver for the Mac.
If you don’t want to spend money but still want to put in the time, check out Google Web Designer or openElement. And don’t forget that a lot of companies offer free trial versions of their web building software.
See? Finding software to code your site isn’t hard. As long as you want to put in the work, that is.
Eric Butow is the owner of Butow Communications Group and has designed websites since 1997. Please feel free to comment with questions and ideas to help make this series as useful as possible. Thanks!