The Birth of a Professional Web Site
Part Five: Essential Web Development Tools
by Shelley Lowery
Developing a successful web site takes a great deal of planning and preparation. An important part of your preparation is obtaining the essential tools of the trade.
An HTML editor is a software program used to create and edit HTML documents.
Although some Internet marketers prefer to write their own HTML code, most prefer to use an HTML editor, as it can greatly simplify a somewhat difficult process. However, using an HTML editor has its disadvantages, as some editors have a tendency to add a lot of unnecessary coding and may not support the latest technologies.
Whether you will be writing your own HTML or using an editor, taking the time to learn HTML is very important. Not only will you gain your independence, but you’ll also have the ability to add special effects that many HTML editors don’t support.
Here are some popular HTML editors:
A popular WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) HTML editor. Great for beginners and advanced users alike.
A popular HTML editor that’s great for beginners as well as advanced users. Includes a built in browser that will enable you to instantly preview your HTML as you go.
Hot Dog Professional
Three HTML editors, including HotDog Junior for children, PageWiz for the novice user and Professional for advanced and budding webmasters.
A text editor is a software program used for editing plain text that doesn’t add any special formatting.
If you’re considering writing your own HTML code, you’ll need a good text editor. Although it will certainly be more time consuming, your code will be much cleaner and can reduce your file size considerably.
In addition to using a text editor to write HTML, it can also be used to edit scripts and write articles.
If you have a Windows operating system, Note Pad is the preferred text editor. It should already be installed on your computer.
Although Note Pad is a great little text editor, it can’t handle large files and is much better suited for smaller jobs. You may find that you’d like an editor that is more powerful, such as:
Note Tab Pro http://www.notetab.com/
File Transfer Protocol, better known as FTP, is a procedure used to upload and download files to and from your web server.
Although many HTML editors will enable you to edit and transfer pages to your server, an FTP program is still an essential tool, as you must have complete control over the files on your server.
An FTP program will enable you to upload scripts, set file permissions, create folders and transfer files to and from your server.
In order to use FTP, you’ll need to download and install a software program on your computer. The most widely used FTP program is WS FTP Pro
A graphics editor is a software program that will enable you to design and edit graphics.
Graphic design is an intimidating subject for many Internet entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design techniques in order to avoid the high costs of hiring a professional designer.
The most popular program used by Internet marketers is Paint Shop Pro. This powerful program is the only program you’ll need to design professional looking graphics.
A Zip file is an “archive” of one or more files compressed into one file for easy distribution.
Zip files are used to compress and transport file archives over the Internet. It is the preferred method used for electronic file distribution, as rather than downloading several different files, you can simply download one Zip file. In addition, the download time will be minimized, as the files within the Zip archive are compressed.
Once a Zip file is downloaded, it can be easily opened and extracted (unzipped) with a Zip/Unzip software program.
Although there are many Zip software programs available on the Internet, WinZip is the most popular. WinZip makes working with file archives simple. It features an easy point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface for viewing, extracting, adding, deleting and testing archived files.
You can download a fully functional evaluation version here:
Although most Internet Service Providers include email accounts for their customers, these accounts aren’t adequate for an Internet business — especially if you get a large amount of email. Not only do the email addresses contain your ISP’s name, but they are also very limited on features and options.
The two most popular email clients used online are Outlook and Eudora. These programs will enable you to download email from your server and offer features, such as sorting and
filtering, and will enable you to easily organize your email messages. What’s more, your email address will be your own domain — not someone else’s.
Your webmaster toolbox will play an important part in your success. Take the time to ensure your toolbox contains these essential tools and you’ll be well on your way to designing a professional web site.
(Continued in part six)
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course