Free Web Page Editors, HTML Editors, Web Page Builders, and Website Builders (WYSIWYG or Text-based)


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To begin building your website, the first thing that you must do is to find a good web editor. You can choose a commercial one. However, before you make that decision, you should take a look at the free web editors first. Free web editors are not necessarily inferior to the commercial ones.

In the following section, you can find 2 types of web page editors/HTML editors/website builders: WYSIWYG ones and text-based ones. In case you do not know, WYSIWYG means "what you see is what you get". Using a WYSIWYG editor is similar to using a word processor. You type some words or insert some images on the web page and you can immediately see what it will look like in a web browser. In fact, most word processors are also web page editors, since they allow you to save your document in HTML format. Many WYSIWYG editors bundle a number of web page templates with different themes. You can start with one of the templates, add your own images and graphics, modify the background color or text color, etc, and a website with a unique style will come out.

The other types of web page editors are text-based. They are usually optimized for one or more of the programming languages or scripts for the web: Java, JavaScript, JSP, ASP, VBScript, PHP, Perl, CSS, HTML, etc. Features like syntax highlighting and ready-to-use scripts makes it easier for you to code web pages. These editors are best suit for those who want total control over their web pages.

Hyperlinks to some free web page editors, HTML editors and website builders are listed below. The links are for reference only.

The following links will direct you to third-party web sites that are not under our control. Please be aware that downloading should be done with caution and make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and is working correctly.

Free WYSIWYG Web Page Editors / Website Builders

Nvu is an open source WYSIWYG web editor that is based on the Mozilla Composer code base but includes more advanced features. For example, it supports integrated website management whereas Mozilla Composer does not. The developers of Nvu hope to create an WYSIWYG web editor that is comparable to Macromedia DreamWeaver and Microsoft FrontPage.

Mozilla is the famous free, open source web browser. You can consider it as the up-to-date version of Netscape. The Mozilla web browser package contains a WYSIWYG web page editor, Mozilla Composer, which allows you to write web pages.

OpenOffice is the famous free, open source office suite that is an alternative to Microsoft Office. It allows you to write web pages using a word processor like GUI. It comes with a number of website templates that you can start with. It also contains a number of images and sounds in its gallery that you can use in your web pages. However, some people complain that OpenOffice may mess up the HTML code that you add manually.

Amaya is a free, open source project managed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It supports HTML 4.01, HTTP 1.1, CSS and many CSS 2 features. It also supports XML and an increasing number of XML applications such as the XHTML family, MathML, and SVG (transformation, transparency, and SMIL animation on OpenGL platforms). GTK and OpenGL versions are available.

GINF is an open source, free WYSIWYG web page editor for the Linux platform. It uses GTK+ and has a typical GNOME look-and-feel GUI. The GtkHTML library is required for generating HTML code.

WebDwarf is a free WYSIWYG web page editor. You can drag and drop elements into the web page. It supports both HTML and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). You can draw and edit vectors including rectangle, round-corner rectangles, ellipse, pie and polygon. You can add shading (radial or linear) and transparency. Page layout features supported include pixel precision positioning, layout guides with Snap-To Grid or Snap-To Tab operations, rotation, stretching, etc. Only Win32 version is available.

Matizha Sublime
Matizha Sublime is a free web editor available for the Win32 environment only. You can write a web page by typing your own HMTL code. But a WYSIWYG mode is also available. There is a Code Inspector dialog, which allows you to enter/modify HTML attributes just like entering/modifying properties in Visual Basic or Delphi. Other features include a very useful DHTML menu creation wizard, code auto-completion, a project manager, etc.

Free Text-based Web Page Editors / HTML Editors

Quanta Plus
Quanta Plus is an open source, free web page editor for the K Desktop Environment. It has a very high reputation among the open source community. One important feature is that it supports managing website code using CVS (CVS is a widely used source code management tool). Another very good tool is its Tag Editor. You can put your mouse pointer on a tag, go to the Tag Editor, and enter the value of an attribute. This is a great feature for new HTML programmers who do not remember the attributes well. Other features include auto closure of tags, syntax highlighting, etc.

Another free web page editor with a very high reputation among the open source community. Bluefish is an open source web page editor that runs on POSIX compatible operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS-X, OpenBSD, Solaris and Tru64. Just like Quanta Plus, there is no Win32 version available. Bluefish provides good wizards for creating new web pages, frames, tables, etc. One very good feature is that it can link a thumbnail with its original image automatically. This allows you to create photo albums or screenshot pages easily.

Screem is an open source, text-based, free HTML editor. It is developed with the GNOME Desktop Environment in mind. It supports the CVS version control tool to help keep track of changes. So, website development with multiple developers can become easier. Its link-fixing feature is very useful. For example, if you move some files within Screem, Screem will automatically update the links within the moved files and the links pointed to the moved files. Another good feature is that its "link view" can help web developers to check whether any broken link exists. A bad news to MS Windows users is that no Win32 version is available for Screem.

1st Page 2000
1st Page 2000 is a free, but very professional HTML editor for the MS Windows platform. It supports syntax highlighting for languages like HTML, CSS, Perl, ASP, SSI, JavaScript, CGI, etc. One great feature is that a lot of ready-to-use scripts (Perl, CGI, JavaScript, etc) have been included in the software package. There is a JavaScript Wizard to help you generate commonly used JavaScripts, e.g. frame killer, drop-down menu, browser detector, document fader, etc. Its last update was in year 1999, so it is less up-to-date than many other free web page editors or HTML editors.

Another free web page editor for the Win32 environment. HTML-Kit is very extendable. A lot of free plugins can be downloaded from its website which provide many extra functionality. For example, the hkTableStarter plugin provides a GUI to help developers create tables and merge table cells; the hkPHP plugin enables developers to lookup, construct and insert over 3,000 categorized functions, which enhances HTML-Kit's support for PHP 4.x. You can also write your own plugins.

Matrix Y2K 2004
A free HTML editor for the Microsoft Windows platform. It supports multiple languages through plugins (Totally 13 languages are supported: Czech, Danish, Deutsch, Dutch, English, French, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese-Brazilian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish). This is a good feature if you want a GUI of your native language. Other features include table wizard, forms support, documents manager, HTML and PHP tag library, HTML Tidy, links validator, syntax highlighting, etc.

Max's HTML Beauty++ 2004
A free HTML editor for the Win32 environment. It contains a built-in Image Browser that can help you optimize GIF files. It can also help you convert images to WBMP format (WBMP is used by the WAP standard). HTML Beauty++ 2004 has many built-in JavaScripts (e.g. Crazy Menu, Image Slideshows Made Easy). It provides full support for XHTML. Other features include mouse right-click tag editing, syntax highlighting, and support for HTML Tidy, etc.

Web-O-Rama is a free web editor for personal and non-commercial use. Its Tag List dialog, which provides references to HTML tags and attributes, is very useful for novice web developers. Standard actions, such as inserting hyperlinks, images, lists, tables, can be done through intuitive dialog boxes. It only runs on Win32 systems.

Arachnophilia is a free web page editor written in the Java programming language. So, it can be run on all operating systems that support Java. Its GUI is fully customizable. You can change the menu and toolbar by modifying the macros. It has a HTML reformat feature. You can give it a HTML file with messy HTML code and it will reformat the code to make it more readable. Arachnophilia comes with built-in FTP service that makes it easy to upload your web pages to the Internet.

Developers Pad
An open source, free web editor. Features include syntax highlighting (HTML, ASP, PHP, Java, C++, Visual Basic), auto-indent, quick tag, code library, direct jump to procedures/functions, documents and workspaces saving with flags and cursor positions. Its GUI is customizable.

Which web editor did I use to create this page?

This page was created using OpenOffice + 1st Page 2000.

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