You can write the HTML/CSS code with the notepad of any other text editor of your choice. The major disadvantage of using notepad is that notepad doesn’t let you preview the HTML page nor does it support auto-completion of the code. To create or design a website, you must use a website designing or development software. Although you’ll find several web designing tools on the web, you should use one of the following software:
Best web designing software
VSCode is a feature-rich editor that you can use to build websites of various types. VScode supports plugins and it offers a plethora of plugins that can autocomplete complex codes or add HTML, JS snippets that are used to build websites. VSCode has been developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is open-source and powerful.
VScode supports dark and light color themes. It has extensions to minify or debug the code, display SQL query results, etc. VSC doesn’t offer a WYSIG tool. It is a powerful text/code editor.
Google Web designer
Google Web Designer is a free ad and website designing software launched by Google. It borrows some features from Google Chrome’s developer tools and supports drag and drag technology. The software lets you see what your website page looks like. It also enables you to see the HTML code. GWD lets you upload the website to Google Drive. You can also launch your website locally with it. I tried GWD on my laptop and found it annoying. GWD didn’t allow me to edit the code. Also, while creating a project, Google Web Designer’s project name text field was not accepting text input.
Sublime Text is a lightweight alternative to VSCode. It has excellent features and support for add-ons. It has similar features as VSCode but doesn’t offer as many extensions as VSC.
DreamWeaver is software built and maintained by Adobe Corporation. It is not free. It is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud whose subscription fee is priced within $150 to $200.
Adobe DreamWeaver supports drag and drop mode. It can autocomplete the HTML or CSS code. DreamWeaver supports GIT. The tool supports view editing and displays hints of code on demand. Adobe lets users try the DreamWeaver software for 7 days.
Browsers (Chrome and Firefox)
WordPress is a software with which you can build any type of complex or basic site. WordPress is available for free but to use it, you should buy a hosting plan. Although WordPress provides tons of free themes and plugins, most of the templates are not feature-rich. To add new capabilities to your site using a free theme, you’ll have to install a plugin. The more plugins you add to your site, the lower its performance will be. Thus, you should always use a premium WordPress theme. You don’t have to write code to design your site with WP.
If you want to design a Java powered website, Netbeans is the best editor for you. Netbeans was not updated for several months after Oracle corporation took over Sun Microsystems. Oracle gave away Netbeans to Apache Foundation and since then Netbeans has received several updates. Although the GUI is the same, NetBeans is compatible with Java 8+. In my perspective, Eclipse is better than Netbeans. It is free and open-source.
Weebly is a good alternative to WordPress. Like WP, it provides themes. You can use Weebly to launch a blog, business/professional site, or an eCommerce portal.
Have I used the above software? I am a web developer. I’ve used DreamWeaver way back in 2009. In 2013, I started using WordPress for creating blogs instead of reinventing the wheel. I also build web applications. To design websites, I’m currently using Eclipse and Sublime Text. I have used Netbeans and Microsoft VSCode.
Tip: If you’re a newbie, you should learn HTML and CSS before using a GUI editor. If you want to build a website without coding, you should use WordPress or Weebly.