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The best free and budget DreamWeaver alternatives

If you are the occassional web designer not earning a full time income with your job Adobe Dreamweaver high price will place it out of your reach and many of the features it comes with might be an overkill, or maybe you are just like me and believe that paying a monthly fee instead of a one off charge to use a web editor is a big rip off, or maybe you just don’t want your valuable private projects to end up in Adobe Dreamweaver cloud servers and expose them to theft and espionage. The following post will give alternatives to the overpriced Adobe Dreamweaver to all of you.

Free WYSIWYG web editors

  • BlueGriffon: A decent open source WYSIWYG web editor for Mac, Windows and Linux based on the Gecko rendering engine, any page you design with this editor will look exactly the same in Firefox as they both use Gecko to display pages. The editor’s user interface can be used by anybody who is familiar with a text editor, to insert images or save a page you just click the intuitive logos, pointing the page elements to the right place in the website or switch to code view if you know HTML. BlueGriffon capabilities can be extended with addons available for download at their site.
  • OpenElement: A Windows web editor that allows you to quickly add rich media, a built-in image optimizer can retouch photographs to reduce its size, saving time by not having to open an external graphics editor. The editor will keep the structure organized and make sure that links are not broken. You can use this editor to create a robots.txt or .htaccess file and add metadata or analytic tools to your site, with numerous free templates to set up a professional looking website in just a few hours. A very complete and poweful free web editor for beginners and advanced users alike.

    Free web editor OpenElements
    Free web editor OpenElements
  • Google WebDesigner: Mac, Windows and Linux editor to create responsive websites following the latest HTML5 and CSS3 rules for displaying pages in any devicw. Two different design layout is available, design and code view. This web editor is targeted at graphic designers who want to create 3D and animated objects, I would not advise it for beginners, you need to be comfortable undestanding animation software and time frames.

Budget WYSIWYG web editors

  • Xara Web Designer: Web authoring with responsive design that will automatically create variants of your website with different sizes and serve them dynamically when it detects the screen size. This software includes a design gallery with themes, clipart, graphics and social media widgets for you to add. The showcase of websites built using Xara Web Designer gives the impression that this web editor can create very professional looking websites that come out as complex and laborious and would be hard to guess that they were created with a budget web editing program.
  • Web Architect: Tabbed split view web editor with support for PHP, JavaScript, jQuery and other advanced technologies. You will find a tag palette, code inspector for HTML, XML and CSS, W3C markup validation service, a wizard to create Cascading Style Sheets, code snippets and integrated Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome preview modes. Programmers can add Python, Perl scripts and other languages then see it live on the browser with a feature called “SmartEdit“. This web editor has built-in SFTP/SSH to securely upload your website to the server and a free PDF manual helps you find your way around.

    mirabybe Web Architect
    mirabybe Web Architect
  • StudioLine Web Designer: Web design software with an advanced image editor to help you create slideshows or mobile pages. This is probably the web editor with the most complete image graphics editing, you could save money if you don’t have an image editor already by just buying this program instead of two separate ones. There is no need to know HTML code, you can drag and drop images around to position them in your page, the editor could be ideal for people who are comfortable with the Photoshop like programs and need to create a page from time to time. A large number of layout templates, rollover buttons and dynamic menus are included.
  • NetObjects: With a huge library of templates and free stock photos you can use drag and drop to add elements to your page without having to search the Internet for them, saving you precious time and knowing that you are not breaching copyright laws. You will also find built-in support for payment processors to create an e-commerce site. Get creative designing your own site or use NetObjects wizard to quickly have a fully functioning site in no time. The interface is clean and easy to use with various panes showing you the site elements, structure and properties.
  • WebSiteX5: With different program versions for advanced and novices also varying in price according to capabilities. This web authoring program can build simple websites or complex online stores, it comes with hundreds of free web templates that should have what you need or buy extra templates if you want to have thousands of them. The built-in browser has the Chromium rendering engine, an integrated web server helps you preview your site as it would look live without having to upload it. Free graphics and widgets that can be added to your website making it look really professional but built with little coding knowledge.

    Incomedia WebsiteX5 Evolution
    Incomedia WebsiteX5 Evolution
  • TOWeb: Responsive website creation software, this editor is ideal to design a small website for a small business in just a day. A site will have four or five pages with basic contact details that can be accessed from any desktop computer or mobile device without breaking the page. You can also add SSL to your site and generate a good looking professional website editing one of the many available HTML5 templates with What You See Is What You Get and add maps and polls in no time.
  • Artisteer: This is probably the most elementary of paid for web editors I have seen, advanced users will want to avoid it but beginners will love the quantity of free templates that come with it and how easy it is to build a website editing the text like you would do in LibreOffice or any other text editor. After creating a website you can upload it to your server with the built in FTP client or use the export feature to convert it to Joomla, WordPress or other Content Management Software. Designing a website can not get any easier than this, Artisteer will even create unique templates and export them to Blogger for those using that platform.

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