July 18, 2010
KompoZer is one of the most popular web creating software based on NVU. The technology behind KompoZer is Gecko, also responsible for Mozilla. It is open source, and therefore users can download it for free and have access to its source code if willing. It is fairly easy to use, implementing the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) concept. It consists of a tool bar that contains a Publishing icon among other icons, a main panel to the right where the published text is to be typed, as well as a FTP Site Manager panel on the left for easy managing of the files that make up the website.
Some of the features that KompoZer prides itself with are a new and improved colorpicker that allows for a professional color selection that also includes brightness and saturation. The CSS editor (Cascading Style Sheets) allows for viewing the applied styles in the same time the user is editing. XFN allows for the addition of XHTML Friends Network when adding an outside link to your website, a feature that will render credibility to the web designer. Other important KompoZer features include a spellchecker that works similar to any familiar word processing document, the ability to switch between WYSIWYG and HTML formats with just the click of the mouse, and the ability to create clean websites with the help of the W3C’s HTML technology. According to reviews, KompoZer is the perfect tool for beginners, but it does present some limitations when it comes to more complex assignments, such as creating nested tables. Also, the easy-to-use concept might make KompoZer unappealing to the more advanced web-page creators who might prefer a more polished look.
Unlike the free KompoZer, Adobe Dreamweaver’s price ranges between $306.93 and $429.00. Dreamweaver is a software designed for more advanced web creators, and it also encompasses Photoshop that provides better image editing possibilities like cropping and editing in the editor itself. Like KompoZer, it provides for CSS for managing style sheets and for a WYSIWG. Additional Dreamweaver features include the ability to code in PHP and ColdFusion pages, and the Accordion feature that allows the web viewer to get additional information when clicking on a word or title. Adobe Dreamweaver is also the only web designing tool that, with the help of Adobe Device Central, provides for previewing of your webpage on cell phones.
The drawbacks of Adobe Dreamweaver include the large number of toolbars that can discourage many beginners. Dreamweaver also does not do allow for broad property display when right-clicking on icons, like other web designing tools do, such as Expression Web. Instead, Dreamweaver tries to compensate by integrating property panels, but this only adds to the stuffiness of the screen. However, the availability of wizards for more complicated tasks, such as frames and tables, as well as the availability of templates can alleviate the difficulty that many are complaining about, if the user takes the time to understand Dreamweaver’s features. Overall, Adobe Dreamweaver is usually rated the best and the most comprehensive web designing tool available, and it can help advanced users design everything they envision.
Another well-known web designing program is Microsoft’s Expression Web. Like Dreamweaver, Expression Web is also designed for more advanced web designers, and it’s priced at approximately $299.00. The program should be used by those familiar with the CSS, although it also has other standards available, such as XML. Although not marketed as a WYSIWYG, Expression Web displays an easy to understand look, although a code-based view can also be displayed. The toolbars are arranged in four panels, and right-clicking on icons provides for many options. Like Dreamweaver, Expression Web can also display property panels, but the users can opt to minimize these when not used, allowing for a cleaner screen. Expression Web also provides for well-made templates for ease of use. Additional tool include a professional design, support for many technologies such as PHP, HTML, or Photoshop, and integrated recommendations on how to improve the availability of your website on search engines.
Expression Web’s main drawback is that it does not allow for all the features in the creation of a website without some programming skills, and therefore it is recommended that a web designer should work with a programmer when trying to work on the website for a business, for example. It is considered to be more difficult to learn than the competition, does not provide for full Photoshop integration as Dreamweaver does, and does display some outdated features of the outdated Microsoft FrontPage software. Overall, Expression Web is appropriate for advanced user with programming skills that can take advantage of the many features available.