To create a website, you need a graphics editing program, text editor, FTP software, domain name, and a web hosting provider. You can have these things for free but the features you get are very limited. You have to invest different software if you’re serious about creating websites.
In the previous lesson, you have seen the overview of a basic thing that web designers do. We are now ready to identify the best software to create a website.
This is the most common graphics editing software in designing. If you are ugly, you really need this to enhance your looks even just in a photo. You can be the most handsome guy in the web. Photoshop is used not only for photo editing but also in creating web elements such as logos, buttons, banner ads, etc. This is really useful not only in your web design career but also for personal stuff and Facebook profile picture. Your web design layout started in Photoshop that’s why you can’t start creating a website if you don’t have this software. The best version is Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended – Student & Teacher Editions (this link has 80% discount)
This is the best text editor in coding HTML and CSS. Most web designers use this software because it is a WYSIWYG editor which means what you see is what you get. Creating a website will be like click and drag. You can create a web page in design or code view. In design view (no coding required), you can click the buttons/option to insert the elements such as drawing a box, insert image, add text, etc. It’s like creating a document in Microsoft Word. However, the disadvantage of the design view is you can’t see what is happening in the codes. It will be hard for you to fix something or everything when you rely on it. I strongly suggest to use the code view when coding website simply because you should see what is actually happening to your codes. In addition, Dreamweaver has a lot of functionalities and can be use in simple to a dynamic website. The latest version is Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 (this link has 80% discount)
These software are free to download. You need to check your website in different browsers because they rendered differently, which is the most frustrating part in web design. Mozilla Firefox is the best browser to use when creating and testing your website. However, you must also have the other browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, stupid Internet Explorer (ask a web designer why it’s stupid), and the infamous Opera (famous in mobile browsing). The next lesson will focus on browsers, and you will know why you have to hate Internet Explorer.
Domain Name and Hosting Provider
Domain Name is the URL or address of a website. This is the one that you enter on the address bar of the browser when you want to visit a website. Domain names are not free. You have to buy it online. There are free ones like .co.cc domain but I don’t recommend it because of their ugly extensions.
You need a place where to save your files and become available on the internet 24/7. This is the purpose of web hosting provider. They provide a service to host your website. This service is also not free, there are free ones but not recommended.
If you will ask me what I use on my websites, I will say Justhost is the best choice. They offer a lifetime free domain name, and I only pay $41.88/year for the web hosting. This may look cheaper when you check their website, but I have a justhost 50% discount coupon.
FTP means File Transfer Protocol, this is what we need to upload the files we created to our web server provider. I recommend Filezilla because it’s free. FTP software is also used to download files when making changes on the site.
There are many web design software online but the software above are the most widely used in web design industry. These are tested and probably the best. As you noticed, you will really need to spend money in before you put up a website. You can use any other FTP software but I strongly recommend Dreamweaver and Photoshop same with JustHost when it comes to reliability and best output. However, you can earn that money again when you become a web designer.