Web design software comes in two main types: source-code editors and what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editors. There are advantages to each kind of web design software; some are made for more advanced users who already know the basics of website creation. When comparing web design programs for personal use, take into consideration the price and your current skill level among other important things.
1. Read both professional and consumer reviews of web design software. Consider why the software is rated a particular way. There are several resources to find expert reviews and opinions on web design software, such as PC World magazine and TopTenReviews.com. Consumer reviews can be found on retail sites where this software is sold, and many contain five-star rating systems to allow consumers to vote on web design software; Amazon.com is an example.
2. Think about your needs when comparing and selecting a web design software package. Many individuals want a piece of software that incorporates WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) features, which allow you to see and modify your webpage in the software platform exactly as it will appear when uploaded to your web host. CoffeeCup Visual Site Editor and Web Easy Professional are two web design software packages that include a WYSIWYG editor. Some people also prefer web design software containing drag-and-drop features that allow you to instantly insert forms, text boxes and other elements into a website.
3. Check to see whether the web design software comes with any pre-loaded web templates. Pre-made templates give you a website “base” to work with and site layout options that are useful if you want to get started on a web project quickly.
4. Consider other important features of a web design software that you may want. For example, many software packages give access to the code portion of a webpage so that you can edit HTML, CSS and other web languages that are important when it comes to tweaking site design; Microsoft Expression Web and Adobe Dreamweaver are two examples. Other features include a browser preview tool and photo-editing utilities.
5. Check to see whether the software package contains any user help tools. Online user community forums, in-depth how-to guides and manuals, and email support from the software publisher are all useful features that a web design software should include if you require the extra help.
6. Look at the price of each software and consider your budget when comparing this type of software. If you are a web design professional then you may need something more expensive, such as Microsoft Expression Web; many individuals need only simpler software that may be less expensive, such as Rapidweaver or Amaya.