Website Creation Tools


Hi all,

I wanted to get the opinions of some die hard mac users on which is the best Website Creation tool.

While I used to use Homesite on my Wintel box, that was several years ago and on a different platform. So speak up all you web designers... Which one is best and why. I am looking for a WYSIWYG based tool, not a text editor like BBEdit.

Thanks in advance for the advice. BTW, I am running on a Titanium Powerbook 550 with 512MB ram, with OSX 10.1.3.

I can't really be of any help here since I use a text editor for my site. But I just have to say: Don't use MS Word! Code generated by Word is the biggest steaming, hideous, wretched pile of skank I've ever seen!

-the valrus
I agree, no MS Word web pages please!!!

Other than that, I use BBEdit. Out of all the WYSIWYG editors, I prefer Dreamweaver.

I think that instead of saying "Don't use MS Word!" you should say "Don't use MS Anything!". Trust me. Word is not the only Office app to save as HTML. Excel does the same, and it is the same gnarly, ugly, proprietary code. PowerPoint, IIRC, is worse.
Fear not my Fellow Anti MS brethren... I shan't be using any MS software... well exploder to check its appearance, but nothing in the creation.

While I could hand code it all, I am ultimately trying save myself time...

I did download a trial copy of GoLive, but I decided to get input from this community before I invested time in learning it.

I really don't want to have to use Mac OS 9.2.2 so is Dreamweaver OSX native yet?(guess i will go check)

Thanks again, keep the opinions comings.

I'm not necessarily Anti MS. If I ever see MS software that I like, I might use it. There's that whole "evil corporation that has stupid license agreements" issue to deal with before I could use the software. And we'd also have to start dealing with the pig droppings from the sky as they fly overhead. :D

But seriously, the main problem I have with MS Office generated HTML is that it is proprietary, ugly, and gnarly, as I have already mentioned.
I have struggled with this same question, BSDimwit, and I have found that the best WYSIWYG editor is Claris Home Page.

Unfortunately, it only runs in Classic. :( :( :(

It is the best "freeware" option I've seen (I say that in quotes because it is now unsupported and you cannot buy any more copies, but the trial is fully functional), and nothing on OS X can come close to its functionality at its price.

Hopefully someone will make a better WYSIWYG HTML editor soon for Mac OS X, but I'm not holding my breath.
Version tracker has a page for Claris Home Page, but no download link.

It was a good editor. Shame Apple didn't bring it back as an iApp or something. Maybe MacWorld NY? hehe
BBEdit is the best website creation tool. Dreamweaver is NOT Carbonized, and it wouldn't matter if it were; version 4.x is just as bad as 3.x. I'm a bit of an old fart about this kind of thing (even though I'm only 27), I suppose, but I have not EVER seen even ONE WYSIWYG *ml program worth its weight in poop, BUT I've never seen GoLive, so there's still hope. If anyone can do it right it's Adobe.
the new gen of WYSIWYG tools look promising, and i'm sure dreamweaver MX will be pretty nice... i think they are rolling ultradevs functions into it.

anyway... there is a little app named Pepper you might to check out, look for it on

btw, i do agree that WYSIWYG is not the best for web cration.... take the time to learn HTML a bit better and use BBedit, you will notice the performance difference in your pages and you users will thank you.
unless you are a vi addict, BBEdit really is one of the nicest text editing (+) apps available.

if you're buying a few apps to write web sites with, DEFINITELY get bb edit, its so great!

Here is kilo's how-to-make-free-sites list :)

1) install OrborOSX or XDarwin, and fink.

2) Install the gimp. The gimp is so great for making web site graphics. And, it has one of the best image map producing plugins avaliable. The gimp is free, and if you're not in the CMYK-printing business, don't waste your money on photoshop (unless you have alot of money, then go for it! Photoshop is a great app!)

3) Even though it looks ugly, grab (free) copy of Mozilla-cfm from Few people know just how good the page builder is in it, its alot better than it used to be in the netscape 3.0gold days :p While not as fancy as other commercial editors, for quick pages, it rocks. Try it out!

4) Get comfortable with apache + php, pico, vi, and Mac OS X. If you're good, you can test everything on your own computer, and then install it on the server.

5) Get Omniweb. Not because its necessarily the best browser, but because of its HTML writer. Press apple-shift-n in omniweb, and you will be in the Source Editor. The color coding is great, and I love how it can make the sloppiest html into readable code. Its probably like watered down bbedit.

6) Try building a page in Interface Builder. Seriously, take some screenshots, make an image map, its a fun process, makes great looking tool bars and stuff.

7) Realize that anything you can print can easily be a PDF. Simple file --> print in your favorite app, and press 'preview'. Va La, bounces up with your document. Select 'Save as PDF' from the file menu. (I put that here because lots of web sites are embracing the Portable Document Format, and it seems to be a good thing).

8) Download all the web browsers you can find, even old versions that run in classic, and be aware of how your site looks in them.

All this and much more awaits you! Mac OS X opens the door to so much more with its industrial strength unix, open source kernel, free developer tools, etc etc.

Oh, and there are lots of html editors from linux being ported!
WebDesign is a pretty good WYSIWYG-editor. It's not super-advanced, but it still has many nice feautres. The OS X version is still a bit buggy, but it works fine. WebDesign is shareware and a registration costs 29.95$. Without registration you can load it 15 times. Worth a try! :)

First I would like to thank everyone for their responses. Time is a valuable thing and I sincerely appreciate your spending it on me.

As for HTML... yes I already know how to hand code, I was just hoping there was something a bit newer/better than there used to be when I first got into it on the PC platform.

The biggest reason I bought the mac in the first place was its BSD lineage. I come from FreeBSD and I have run a FreeBSD server since the 2.2 days... You hear all this great stuff about Macs and their graphics/sound/design abilities so you decide to get into the mainstream somewhat and buy a mac. Its got a BSD foundation with a cool GUI that also has Software support from major players like Adobe, and yes even Microsoft. Because of my history, its should be obvious why I really don't want to have to switch back to 9.2 whenever I need to do something useful. I guess time will cure my ill... but in the mean time I will enjoy the cool gui with the power of the CLI :)

My one gripe with MacOS X is the way they handle configuration. Unless you are in Single user mode, most of the /etc files are useless and a unix hacker now has to learn the netinfo manager and defaults command stuff to be proficient at admining the machine.... unnecessary in my honest opinion. when BSD already had well defined means of doing all the necessary admin stuff. Just my 2 cents.

I use GoLive 6 OS X - have used GL since v 4.

Can't complain except that it sometimes insists on inserting <body> tags when I'm making a PHP include file - very annoying. (Even when I tell it not to, I wish there was a pref setting for it - so much for 360 code!).

I've always hated Dreamweaver's interface - and could never select cells in tables as easily as I could in Adobe's apps - even back down to DW 1.2.

GoLive comes with a Worgroup server too and does PHP / ASP / JSP in the box. But if you do know the lingo it's better to write the code yourself. Handy if you don't know it though. If Adobe had put PHP in it 2 years ago it would have been better.

Just need my Photoshop 7 order to arrive now... UK late as usual ...

I've never needed BBEdit - GoLive is enough. See one of my PHP / MySQL / GoLive sites
Yeah... I would go with GoLive 6.0. And best of all, you can get it on OS X. But... BBEdit is number one. I would wait for BBEdit 7.0 to come out.

Ignore all the folks who dis GUI editors. The bad thing about them (the GUI editors, not the foks who dis them) is that people misuse them. Obviously, being able to code by hand is a requirement for making any half-decent site, but to waste your time typing common tags is silly.

Prior to OS X, Dreamweaver was the best. Now that GoLive is Xready and Dreamweaver isn't, it's hard to say. When coding, I spend about half my time in BBEdit and the other half in Dreamweaver 4. Version 4 is nice because of the split window. I can use the GUI interface when it's quicker and then immediately edit the code without even changing views. When I'm coding static html, the results are shown immediately, along with simple errors like not closing tags.

The process of creating a table with a particular cellspacing, cellpadding, width, etc. can all be done in about 3 seconds instead of typing line after line of tr's and td's. Changing cell attributes like class, bgcolor or width can be done instantly.

On the other hand, you mentioned that you already use Homesite. BBEdit is not the same. It lacks some features (easily replaced by Dreamweaver) but is so nice and clean that you shouldn't miss them anyway. My single favorite feature of BBEDit, that no other tool seems to come close to, is the Find & Replace capabilities. The grep features allow you to create elaborate search and replacement patterns that save hours compared to Homesite. You'll have to get used to the lack of built-in file browser and tabbed sub-windows, but I encourage you to purchase BBEdit first, no matter what GUI editor you select. After all, it's cheap!

One last thing... BBEdit can be integrated into the terminal. Instead of vi or emacs, just type "bbedit _filename_" to open it in BBEdit. It's a whole lot easier than the command-line apps. You might even be able to do this with BBEdit Light, the freeware version.

Have fun,
I second that, macaudiX - very well put.

That's exactly why I use the GUI - I can't be bothered writing repetative basic HTML - the rest is hand-tweaked.

With GUI Editors - just forget all their fancy JavaScripting too - it's all so bad.

For showing a client a quick design of a site use a GUI editor, and especially one like GoLive which takes in PSD files is very useful. Then database or PHP the site into efficient shape in no-time.