Anyone who has been designing Web sites for any period of time has probably found the product that works best for them and is very resistant to change. That is definitely the situation with me. I’ve been using a product called HomeSite for well over ten years now. During that timeframe, I’ve flirted with other tools for a few days, but I always found something I didn’t like and went back to HomeSite.
The Web is a very dynamic medium and the editor has to be upgraded on a regular basis with the new technology. Unfortunately that is what keeps me looking around for a tool to replace HomeSite. First Allaire (the creator) was purchased by MacroMedia and then MacroMedia was swallowed by Adobe. HomeSite got bundled with Dreamweaver and then it just disappeared and died.
I know that Dreamweaver has a very large following. If it is the best tool for you, I certainly am not going to try and change your mind. I’m not a fan of WYSIWYG editors, I want to work directly with the code. This makes for a much more efficient site. I have Dreamweaver CS4 and it is a nice project. Occasionally I will use it for a specific feature. Then I just take the code back to my code-based editor and massage the code until it is just right.
My search led me to WeBuilder 2008 and I’ve been really impressed with it so far. Impressed enough that I bought the product and have used it for all of my editing since the day I bought it. WeBuilder makes working with code a pure joy. Already I’ve found some features that make it much quicker for me to build and edit pages than what I had in HomeSite. I’m sure I’ll find a shortcoming somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet. Not sure if you’ll like it, then go to the Blumentals Web site and download the trial version.
One thing I was curious about was that the current version is about a year old. Given how things change on the Web and that the software is named by a year, I thought that a new version may be coming soon. Just a guess on my part. Then I noticed that people who bought the 2007 version last Spring got a free upgrade to 2008. So I felt very comfortable buying the 2008 version now and maybe I’ll get a free upgrade to the next version. This is just my guess, but I’m not complaining about the current version at all. I love it so far!