web page editing tools compared

List assembled by Blake Nancarrow (blaken@computer-ease.com) of Computer Ease for the Computer Trainers Network (CTN) on 24 Nov 2000.

development speed
learning curve
HTML knowledge
code size
code quality
spelling checking
site editing
smart transfers
special effects
tool cost
overall cost


XXX If compatibility is an issue, your options may be limited or forced. For example, if you regularly use Microsoft products, Word and Excel, to generate content, which, on occasion needs to go on the web, FrontPage is, not surprisingly, the best option. As you would expect, you can copy from Word or Excel and paste into FrontPage. Not surprisingly, much of the formatting is preserved (not necessarily a good thing). Conversely, if you copy from these same products into Dreamweaver 2.0, all formatting is lost (definitely the greater of two evils). This is marginally improved in version 3.0.

If you run Microsoft Access databases that you want to make accessible from the web, again, FrontPage may be the best choice. Although, I have it on some authority that for serious web-enable Access database projects you'll need to use something entirely different: Microsoft InterDev; FP98 is buggy in these environments.

If you use Corel Office or Lotus Suite I know of no significant web page generator offerings from them.

(Those interested in Dreamweaver or using non-MS business software, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Since most business office software applications have the ability to save data in HTML format, you can indirectly get content into web sites.)