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Web Site Builder Software

David "The Nac" Naccari

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I recently queried Speakernet Subscribers on the following question:

"What is the best do-it-yourself software to build a commercial Web site with its own domain name?"

The plurality opinion is that Microsoft FrontPage 2000 is the most popular, easy-to-use web building program, but there are other choices such as Claris Home Page, and the built-in software available at www.BigStep.com.

Caution: those "in-the-know" see some technical problems in FrontPage 2000's propensity to "garble" some HTML coding, and the fact that FrontPage built sites are not universally readable by all browsers. Read on for more details.

-- Bernard Zick

Be careful. If you use an off the shelf program to build your website, it is possible that a large number of people will not be able to bring it up on their computer. Netscape and Mac base users can not always get all Microsoft based built sites.

-- Inge

Your question about which software to use to build a commercial software begs for the answer: It all depends. But assuming you do not need database management and credit card processing, for general purpose site preparation and design I recommend you look into Dreamweaver from Macromedia. (http://www.macromedia.com) They also have additional programs for advanced site creation.

I definitely would advice you NOT to use Frontpage. It adds too many proprietary extensions that can not be interpreted by some browsers.

-- Patti Glick

I built my own website using the templates and built-in software through www.BigStep.com. I did it all myself and I ENJOYED it. On top of that, the webhosting is absolutely free (save me hosting fees) and for the same price of a hosting free, I now also have a merchant account! This is allowing me to expand my business.

Go to www.bigstep.com and check it out. They are currently profiling my website. You don't even have to have your own domain name, but if you do, you can transfer it over like I did. They help walk you thru that, too.

-- Ben Levitan

Claris Home Page and FrontPage are probably the two best. You can also INSTANTLY (I mean right now) go to personal publisher on AOL and set yourself right up with a really easy interface. Free. Then you can get your domain name (which is seperate issue which ever way you go) and point that unique name to the site. (About $25).

-- Mary Sandro

I'm using Microsoft FrontPage 2000. People have said there is a huge difference from the 98 version. I never used 98, so I can't confirm. I can say that I really have found FrontPage 2000 to be excellent for my speaking business, which has its own domain. You don't have to know any HTML. I spent a little bit of sweat to figure out graphics issues in the beginning. My web hosting company works well with it, http://www.cedant.com. (Although they don't support detailed FrontPage questions.) PC World and the like wrote it up very well. FrontPage also has a website showing major companies who are using it like Best Buy at http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/gallery.htm, which made my decision.

-- Ken Braly

Professional Web designers tend to use powerful tools like Dreamweaver from Macromedia and GoLive from Adobe. FrontPage is a popular tool, mostly because it comes from Microsoft. It does allow people without a lot of experience to create a Web site, but because of compatibility issues and some feature limitations it tends not to be used by professionals.

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