There are many factors to consider when choosing which web design software to purchase for your home-based business. Do you have prior knowledge of HTML? Which platform will be used — Windows or Mac? How much RAM does the program require? Does the program have a good online reputation? And last but certainly not least, how much does it cost?
Listed below are five of the top web design programs available, and the features that make each of them desirable.
WebEasy Professional 9
WebEasy Professional allows you to design a website with drag-and-drop simplicity. Designed for beginners, it doesn’t require programming or HTML knowledge. In addition, WebEasy Professional is affordably priced at around $50.
A reviewer on OfficeDepot.com writes, “It has a wide variety of professional tools which allow you to do just about anything.” WebEasy Professional requires 256MB of RAM and is available for Windows.
Xara Web Designer 9
Xara Web Designer is an easy template-based solution that gives you total page freedom. This software is geared toward those with little programming background, as no HTML skills are required. The price is reasonable, averaging around $50. The newly-released version 9 features 64-bit support and over 600 Google web fonts.
A reviewer on NewEgg.com says, “Not as advanced as some other professional Web Designers but also easier and less expensive.”
For an additional $50, you can purchase the Premium version, which allows you to create your own graphics from scratch. Xara Web Designer requires 256MB of RAM and is available for Windows.
WebPlus X6 allows you to customize and create your own website without using any code. The interface appeals to both beginners and professionals. The program includes only 25 templates, but you can download more. WebPlus costs around $100.
An Amazon reviewer writes, “I created a custom site by myself using WebPlus X6 within about three hours.” WebPlus requires 512MB of RAM and is available for Windows.
Freeway Pro from Softpress is a web design and maintenance tool that offers you professional-level features without requiring you to know how to code. Reasonably priced at around $150, Freeway Pro is designed for both beginners and those with more experience. Casual users may be interested in the lower-powered and less expensive Freeway Express for around $50.
A reviewer on CNET writes, “Much simpler than Dreamweaver (and half the cost) and better than some of the others such as Rapidweaver and Sandbox.” Freeway is available for Mac.
Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
Dreamweaver is an application for designing, editing, and developing websites and web applications. Dreamweaver is generally regarded as an advanced-user program. To use this software, it is helpful for you to have prior knowledge of programming language.
CS6 offers a fluid grid layout and improved FTP performance. However, it comes with a substantial price tag – about $400.
A reviewer on CNET writes, “Adobe Dreamweaver is a great product to use if you know what you are doing and have a great knowledge of HTML, CSS and other website-building factors.” Dreamweaver requires 1GB of RAM and is available for both Windows and Mac.
When it comes time to buy web design software for your home-based business, prioritize which features are most important. And if available, download a free trial of the software and see if it meets your company’s needs before you buy it.
Amy Kirkegaard is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of current topics.