What Tool Should I Use to Develop a Web Site?

May 19, 2014

It is very common that someone wants to find a tool that allows them to easily create the most amazing Web site you’ve ever seen. Of course they also want a tool that can be learned on the fly. Even better if the user already owns software that can do it for them.

In today’s mailbag, I’m going to give a more in-depth answer to a question I received via Twitter. You’ll see the original question below.

@fostercoburn Saw your review of Corel Website Builder. Is there a better choice you recommend for more of a supersite? Help so appreciated.
Dr. Ellen Lane (@TweetNoEvil) May 15, 2014

The question came in response to a review I wrote entitled Corel Website Creator Poor Choice for Web Sites. Before anyone even asks, CorelDRAW is not a tool for creating Web pages or sites. It is graphics software and is great for creating graphics for use on Web pages and sites.

For users that want something fairly inexpensive that works more like graphics software, Xara Web Designer 10 Premium for Creating New Supersites might be the tool for you. I’ll have a more detailed review on it in the near future. Like any software, it has a learning curve. It might give you a quick way to create a Web site, but an awesome site will require time.

I personally love WeBuilder and wrote about it in WeBuilder 2014 Provides Excellent Code Builder for Web Pages. It works with raw code so you’ll need to learn HTML and CSS if you really want to take advantage of its power.

After I wrote my initial response, I got a follow-up question.

@fostercoburn Wow, thank you! Do any of the website programs you like have any self-posting feature where visitors can post ads to my site?
Dr. Ellen Lane (@TweetNoEvil) May 15, 2014

Could the two tools I’ve mentioned allow for what this user is requesting? I’m sure they could. Yet there is no magic button that simply inserts the feature. It would take time and effort to add such a feature. Another tool that might make it easier for adding that type of functionality is WordPress.

WordPress can make it easier to add advanced functionality, but there is also a learning curve. My experience is that WordPress makes some things easier and other things more difficult. It is the right answer for some Web sites and the wrong answer for others.

If you aren’t willing to invest the time and learning into building a Web site, then you need to find someone who can do it for you. I always hear how someone’s friend or relative is willing to do it all for some insanely low price. If you’ve got such a friend or relative, go for it. Just like purchasing expertise in any field, good work has a cost.

Post Discussion


  1. Anonymous

    The best tool ever for creating websites was HotMetal Pro developed by SoftQuad. I still use it exclusively and it works ion Win 7. Unfortunately Corel bout SoftQuad and immediately buried this great program. I was in the middle of doing some debugging for their next release that never came out. Bummer. One more strike for Corel.

  2. Pradhan Balter

    Hey Foster….The concept that there is a program to build a “supersite” is mis-guided. It is not the software that builds the site–it’s your own skill set. CorelDRAW is a terrific graphics program, but the program itself can’t produce fantastic artwork unless the user has knowledge of the underlying concepts associated with good design. It’s very easy to learn the essentials of using a scalpel, but that doesn’t qualify one to do surgery! In my experience, the easiest way to get a sophisticated website up that allows for user posting is undoubtedly WordPress. And there are so many themes for WordPress that it would be easy to get a good-looking site up. But as easy as WordPress is, to ad sophistication requires coding ability:pHp, HTML etc, and to understanding how themes are applied, etc, etc.

  3. Foster D. Coburn III

    Pradhan, I’m not a big fan of Xara using the term “supersite” for what they create. It is a good tool for someone with little to no Web knowledge. But it also isn’t something I’d recommend for a site with more than a few pages and certainly they would be mostly static pages. WordPress can do some great things and it tries to make more complicated sites easy to create. Yet when things don’t work as expected, it can be extremely difficult to troubleshoot. Each method has its pros and cons and I don’t think there is a single perfect solution. What I do know is that someone who knows only graphics software to expect a magic button is expecting way too much.

  4. Chris

    After a lot of study, I chose WeBuilder too. I’ve been using it for about 5 years. I prefer Dreamweaver, but WeBuilder is almost as good, and far cheaper. The one thing it’s missing is a good wysiwyg for tables. To overcome that I use a freeware wysiwyg solely for tables, and then I just copy the code. My main problem with most wysiwyg builder is that I use code too, and they mess my code up.

  5. Pulau Tidung

    My experience is that WordPress makes some things easier and other things more difficult.

  6. Foster D. Coburn III

    Pulau, I want to congratulate you on your excellent copy and paste skills. You did an amazing job of copying a sentence from my original blog post and then pasting into a comment with your name on it. As you’ve done this exact same thing on other posts, it makes me think you are nothing more than a spammer.

  7. iwan

    @ Foster D. Coburn III
    Forgive me I’m over it .
    Pulau Tidung

  8. Foster D. Coburn III

    For whatever reason, this post attracts a large amount of spammy comments. I will be extra vigilant about any future comments. If you have not written an original comment that is about this post, it will be marked as spam. Pulau, you might as well stop commenting as I’ve already blocked many of your comments as spam since they were completely irrelevant. Those I did allow through were nothing more than copy and paste from the original post.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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