Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Building Websites

Well, having spent some time learning the art of web site design with XHTML and CSS I decided to try and find a specialist tool for building web sites. Having found one, I thought it might be helpful to others to share what tool I chose and mention some I tried along the way. I should point out at this point that I am currently using a powerbook G4 so I went looking for Mac only applications not windows ones.
Tools I tried along the way include vim,TextWrangler, SEEdit mini and Style Master. All of these I found to have things about them that were useful and made them stand out from the other tools I tried. One that warrants particular mention is Style Master. It is a CSS specific tool rather than a web site building tool so it wasn't really a candidate for my final choice. But for building style sheets it's brilliant and I may use it for just that at some point.
My final choice was RapidWeaver from realmacsoftware. It makes creating web sites so easy it's depressing when you have, as I did, just created one "by hand" using vim. It's really good on price at a measly $35 and it's worth every penny. It makes creating site, even including blogs, simple and can even do podcast if you want. It has plenty of themes built in and you can either buy more or build you own if you want something different. The later of which I did for one web site, which shows how easy it is to do, just involving a simple XHTML template document and corresponding CSS style sheet. I accept that it might not be ideal for more complex web sites, but with the ability to use it for PHP or ASP pages as well as HTML or text pages it's certainly capable of building fairly complex web sites.