Quick software recommendation – Windows web building?

Anyone know of a cheap PC web design package that’s roughly equivalent to iWeb, Rapidweaver or the like? Something that builds (nice) standards-compliant sites that’ll behave in Firefox, comes with a fully functional tryout and is particularly good for beginners?

I’ve been asked for a recommendation but I haven’t covered PC web stuff for a wee while now, and I think the last one I looked at was Serif’s WebPlus. It’s amazing how quickly you can lose touch with the market when you’re not covering it from month to month.

14 thoughts on “Quick software recommendation – Windows web building?

  1. Heather says:

    A package which is cheap, functional, desktop-based and makes compliant code? Now that’s funny :-)

    Many of the cheap PC desktop web “easy site” builders lock you into a contract or even keep your domain name, and a few will make you pay an “upgrade surcharge” to do things as trivial as upload your own graphics. You get what you pay for.

  2. Stephen says:

    Well, I suppose desktop software is better when you have no connection to the Internet. Although that might be a problem for developing websites whatever you use, come to think of it…

    Put it this way: “There’s this great web software called iWeb! It’s actually free, and it’s so good it needs a super-advanced computer to run it! The computer? Only a few hundred quid!”

  3. Gary says:

    Sorry heather, the anti-spam thing trapped you by mistake.

    Yeah, it’s a pretty patchy market – seems as if all the good stuff’s on the mac these days. Maybe PC users don’t want to make websites :)

  4. Gary says:

    I suppose desktop software is better when you have no connection to the Internet.

    Or when your ISP’s playing funny buggers.

  5. Grosie says:

    You could always do what I do and code it by hand using something like word-pad and test the pages using Apache.

    Or, I have heard that dreamweaver is quite good.

  6. Stephen says:

    Since when do you need a Net connection to design a website?

    How else are you going to get your design “inspiration”, copy bits of code from cool-looking sites, RTFM for CSS hacks, Google for pics, download stock pics (after Google comes up empty handed), and finally, check it works on a real web server on the real internet, not served from your hard drive?

  7. Squander Two says:

    Fair enough. Not the way I work at all, but I can see why you might need a Net connection.

    > and finally, check it works on a real web server on the real internet

    Well, obviously, yes, but that’s not design; that’s testing. Maybe I’ve been working in IT for too long that that seems to me like an important distinction rather than a quibble. I’m sure, once upon a time, it wouldn’t have.

  8. Stephen says:

    Ok, I was kinda conflating the whole design/code/test thing into one, probably because, being one person, I can sort of do all three, in a kind of rolling iterative process. But of course you can design with a sheet of paper and a pencil. And some of my best designs have been done that way. But others were just “ooh, that’s interesting, how do you get a shadow like that? Hmmm…” Peek at the code, play with Photoshop, and evolve something.

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