Comparison of Web Authoring Tools Essay Sample

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It is easier than ever to create a Web site with an HTML editor, as software developers continue to add tools that let you develop advanced features with style. Today’s Web authoring tools can provide the power to build an interactive, animated, state-of-the-art Web site suitable for anything from a personal Web page to a midsize business site. New Web designers don’t need to know HTML to create discussion groups, pop-up windows, navigation bars, animated page transitions, Dynamic HTML, or a dozen other advanced features in order to integrate them into a site with an elegant and consistent design.

In this paper, three popular Web Authoring Tools will be introduced and compared. Three Web Authoring Tools are NetObejcts Fusion, Microsoft FrontPage, and Macromedia Dreamweaver. However, there has to be thought to keep in mind regarding these comparisons.

As newer versions of each program come out, the features that each offers become more and more similar. When the first versions of each software came out, there were distinctly different in the features that they offer. But current versions of Microsoft FrontPage 2000, Macromedia Dreamweaver 3, and NetObjects Fusion 5.0 now share many common features.

Types of Web Authoring Tools

Pure WYSIWYG (What You See Is hat You Get: pronounced”wiz-ee-wig”) editor:

With a pure WYSIWYG editor, you work entirely in an interface that resembles a desktop publishing program. These programs are best suited for those wanting a great-looking site that’s not very hard to build. NetObjects Fusion and Drumbeat are examples of WYSIWYG editors.

Pure code-based editor:

With pure code-based editor, you work directly with raw HTML tags and set your own rules about how to lay out and organize your code. You have total control over you code. HomeSite, HotDog Professional, HTMLed Pro, WebberActive, and WebEdit examples of pure code-based editors.

Compound editor (Pure WYSIWG editors + Pure code-based editors):

With a compound editor, you can accomplish most tasks in a WYSIWG editing mode but switch from the word processor-style editing window to a source code view to modify the page’s underlying HTML. Macromedia Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, QuickSite, and Visual Page are examples of compound editors.

The Three Programs

1. Microsoft FrontPage

Microsoft FrontPage 2000 is a Web authoring tool that gives you everything you need to create and manage exactly the site you want, whether you’re creating a personal Web page or a corporate Internet or intranet site.


* Microsoft FrontPage gives you excellent control over creating a site with a consistent look and feel. Its site management features are rated the best, including a graphical view of your site.

✔ For screen sample:

* Microsoft FrontPage lets you see a graphical map of your site, and you can easily add pages to it from there. Your new page comes template the look and feel you created for the rest of your site, saving lots of time.

* Microsoft FrontPage lets you use any combination of text- and graphics-based layouts and navigation tools. Graphic “themes” optionally apply a consistent look to sites’ banners, buttons, text and background. The program comes with 50 themes that consist of similar elements for bullets, font, images, navigation bars, and other page elements.


FAQ: FrontPage

Sample Web site:

2. NetObjects Fusion

NetObjects Fusion 5.0 is a Web authoring tool that is the solution for small business Web sites, from planning, building, and managing your site to promoting and growing your online business quickly and effectively.


* It is a true WYSIWYG tool than an HTML editor. You can drag images, text, and other objects anywhere on the page and simply drop them in.

* NetObjects Fusion was the first program to remove the tedious hand coding from creating pixel-precise page layouts in HTML.

* The visual NetObjects Fusion 5.0 environment makes building Web sites fast and easy. You can build or update a site by simply dragging and dropping text, graphics, and multimedia.

* NetObjects Fusion includes a dazzling set of 55 graphics styles for buttons, navigation bars, borders, and other visual elements.

* NetObjects Fusion lets you easily transform plain text links into graphic icons with a simple property box which you can put choices of decision. You can reuse these graphics across your site to create consistent navigation that is stylish as well. ✔ For screen sample:

* NetObjects Fusion also lets you add externally created HTML pages to a site, so you can manage them with NetObjects Fusion’s tools while editing them with an external text editor. The interface has the quality of the top publishing tool. You simply select the objects you want to “draw” from the palette including images, navigation bars, applets, Shockwave files, and sound clips and place them anywhere on the page.

On-line guide:


Sample Web site:

3. Macromedia Dreamweaver

Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 is a Web authoring tool that is the solution for professional Web site design and production.


* For hand-coding, Deamweaver calls up an external HTML source editor. A quick click of Dreamwaver’s External Editor button, and you are editing source code. Switch back to Dreamwaver, and it integrates your changes into the WYSIWYG view automatically.

* Macromedia Dreamweaver keeps the HTML code you graphically create as pristine as if you did it by hand.

* Dynamic HTML: Animation made easy. Macromedia Dreamweaver’s timelines help you create your layers on Web pages and define events to create Dynamic HTML. Producing your effects is a simple matter of dragging and dropping the browser object you want to move.

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