Web Publishing for Genealogy

Web Publishing Software

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Text Editors

Because HTML files are plain text files they can be created perfectly satisfactorily with a text editor such as the Windows Notepad. Many Web page designers in fact prefer to use an editor rather than a WYSIWYG tool, because it provides more precise control over the content of the page. For the beginner, it also means you don't need to learn how to use a new piece of software.

However, some features, such as tables, can be extremely laborious to create "by hand" with an editor, and the major disincentive for the beginner is that you actually need to know which tags to use and how to use them. Against this is the long-term advantage that using an editor gives you a much better understanding of how Web pages work.

The basic editor which comes with your computer is in principle perfectly adequate for Web authoring, though the facilities of Notepad, for example, are rather restricting for creating more than a couple of pages. However, there are also freeware and shareware editors available, which can provide more sophisticated editing facilities, and many now have some support for Web authoring, even though they are general purpose editors.[1]

Obviously a text editor will not provide built-in facilities for viewing the Web pages you are editing, though some can automatically load your browser to view a page you are editing.

In any case, once you have saved a page to disk, you will be able to use your Web browser to view it - all Web browsers allow you to look at a Web page stored on your hard disk as well as pages on the Web. You can then use the browser's Refresh or Reload option to update the view of the page each time you save the changes to disk from the editor.


[1] For Windows users, TextPad is highly recommended (much of this site was created with TextPad), as is NoteTab; the favourite of Macintosh Web authors is BBEdit.

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2. Web Publishing Software