Homesite 2.5 has come a long way from the
simplistic freeware version. Now it is more a web site creation
kit than an editing package, it contains literally everything you
could need to create and manage a web site. The layout is a
delight with totally customizable toolbars that snap tidily away
when you do not need them. The features list is endless and
includes rareties like Cascading Style Sheets and a Forms toolbar
with all the functions rather than a select few. There is a
really neat and simple link validator which runs through your
site for you to make sure all the links - both within and
external to the site - are valid. (to my shame it found no less
than three on mine that were dead). Project management and an
applications launcher are also built in to the comprehensive
The current version is fully compatible with HTML3.2, the HTLM4 version is being worked on as you read this. Homesite is configured to work seamlessly with CSE3310 HTML validator, to ensure accurate and clean HTML, but you have to go and download it separately, and also register it separately. It would have been better to have it built in and let the two authoring houses sort the royalties out between them. A good combination however, in particular as Homesite includes a configurable spell checker which means you have no excuse for poor coding or misspellings. The Help file is a mini-tutorial in HTML for beginners, so you can start using Homesite even if you have no HTML knowledge. If you already know HTML then the Help will only enhance your performance.
Homesite has a mass of very powerful and easy to use features, and allows an HTML author to create the exact page required without imposing WYSIWYG restrictions. However, the most outstanding thing about Homesite is the trouble and care the designers have taken to make it easy to use. Explorer view pane, colored tags, tabs for each open page, built in browser or use your own - the list goes on and on of small but essential touches that turn a good HTML editor into an excellent one.
One tiny quibble - it needs a "repeat last action" button!!
Homesite is 30 day/50 uses shareware, it nags you every time you load it with a countdown of how many days/uses it has left. You can purchase it by major credit card from the home site.
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