Free HTML Editors / Free Web Editors
Beginning and Advanced HTML editors, WYSIWYG web editors, website builders
Free HTML Editors, Web Editors, and WYSIWYG Web Editors and Site Builders
In my opinion, though, the best web editor around is actually a commercial web editor called Adobe Dreamweaver. None of the free editors (or even the other commercial offerings that I've tried) even comes close to this. It has a superb visual (WYSIWYG) interface that can suit both newcomers as well as seasoned professionals. If you are using this editor, you may want to check out my Dreamweaver tutorials.
Finally, if you're completely new to creating websites, I strongly recommend that you read How to Create / Start a Website: The Beginner's A-Z Guide. There's a lot more to making a site than using a web editor, and this article shows you how to do it in plain English.
- Microsoft Expression Web 4
BlueGriffon is a WYSIWYG web editor created by the author of the Nvu web editor software (as well as the bulk of its derivative, KompoZer 0.7.10). Since it uses the modern Firefox web rendering engine, it should be able to handle modern HTML and CSS code correctly unlike the older Nvu and KompoZer 0.7.10 software, allowing you to use such code and see the results displayed accurately in the editor. Besides support for HTML 4, HTML 5, XHTML 1, CSS 3, it also supports SVG, and MathML. The editor has a plug-in architecture so you may also be able to find add-ins that extend the functionality of the program. Languages supported include English, German, French, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish and Swedish (and possibly others by the time you read this). The program runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It is open source. You can find a free online BlueGriffon Tutorial on thesitewizard.com.
- KompoZer - Easy Web Authoring
KompoZer is a WYSIWYG web editor that allows you to build websites in an easy way, using a visual interface. KompoZer 0.7.10 (the currently released version at the time I write this) is essentially an updated version of Nvu with bug fixes. You can learn how to create a website using KompoZer with thesitewizard.com's tutorial How to Design and Publish Your Website with KompoZer.
- SeaMonkey Composer (Mozilla Composer)
Seamonkey, the web browser suite from Mozilla, comes with a WYSIWYG web editor that allows you to quickly code web pages using a wordprocessor-like interface. For more information, please read the detailed review of the Mozilla Composer on thesitewizard.com. You can also find a comprehensive tutorial on How to Design and Publish Your Website with Mozilla Composer there.
- Amaya Web Browsing and Authoring
Amaya is an open source browser and WYSIWYG web authoring environment that purports to allow its users to develop web pages without knowing anything about HTML or CSS. You can create your pages and view them using this software. It supports CSS, HTML, XHTML, MathML 2.0 (which allows you to browse and write web pages containing mathematical symbols), etc. There are versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. A more detailed review of this editor can be found in the article: Review of Amaya: W3C's Free WYSIWYG Web Authoring Environment.
- NetObjects Fusion Essentials
This WYSIWYG web editor and site builder features drag and drop website layouts, site management tools, a built-in FTP facility to publish (upload) your web pages, a photo gallery, a form builder, rollover images, support for Flash and Quicktime, an e-commerce tool, etc. A free online tutorial for a slightly different version, NetObjects Fusion 11 Tutorial can be found on thesitewizard.com.
- Trellian WebPAGE
Trellian WebPAGE is a free WYSIWYG web editor with a drag and drop interface, a preview screen that allows you to see your page under three common screen widths (640, 800 and 1024), built-in FTP uploader, table creation wizard, form creation tool, etc. It also has a syntax highlighting HTML editor for people who may want to switch to the HTML mode for some fine tuning.
- Nvu - Complete Web Authoring System
[Update: Nvu has been discontinued. The author of the software has moved on to develop BlueGriffon, which is also a free web editor. Beware of scam sites pretending to be the Nvu website and asking for donations for continued development. As mentioned, the real author is no longer working on Nvu but on BlueGriffon.]
Nvu is a WYSIWYG editor that is designed to make the creation of web sites as easy for novices as it is using commercial web editors like DreamWeaver. It is based on the Mozilla Composer web editor (see elsewhere on this page) and includes new features that will eventually make its way back into Mozilla Composer. This open source editor is available for Linux and Windows. You can find a tutorial on How to Design and Publish Your Website with Nvu on thesitewizard.com. There is also a longer review of Nvu available.
- Notetab Light
This is the freeware sibling of the commercial Standard and Pro versions. It is a general text editor that has lots of features, including a useful "Clipbook" facility that has numerous HTML editing conveniences. Its commercial cousin Notepad Pro comes with syntax highlighting. (Note: to get the free version, go to the "Download" page and look for "Notetab Light".)
- CodeLobster PHP Edition
- HAPedit (HTML ASP PHP Editor)
- Quanta Plus Web Development Tool
Quanta Plus is a Linux HTML editor for KDE. It contains an assortment of features such as syntax highlighting, easy configuration of toolbars, site uploading facility, the ability to update a site from CVS (with a plugin), document structure tree, etc.
From the announcement by one of their development team: "Bluefish is a programmer's HTML editor, designed to save the experienced webmaster some keystrokes. It features a multiple file editor, multiple toolbars, custom menus, image and thumbnail dialogs, open from the web, CSS dialogs, PHP, SSI and RXML support, HTML validation and lots of wizards." I've seen a lot of good things said about this editor by other webmasters. Bluefish runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Tru64/Alpha, NetBSD, OpenBSD, HP-UX and Mac OSX.
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