Five Essential Freeware Apps for Making a Web Site!


We're taking a look at Web page creation tools in this week's freeware/open-source roundup.  And let's face it, the task sounds daunting: making a Web page, that is.  Finding the programs is the easy part.  There are a ton of authoring tools out on the Interwebs, but therein lies the problem.  You don't want to have to burrow through 30 different applications to find the one that matches your experience level.  And if you're completely new to HTML/CSS, you're going to want the most bare-bones, easy-to-use application you can find for making your first big online "Hello World!"

We've scoured through a number of programs to find the best applications for helping you make that picture-perfect Web page.  From HTML creation, to file uploading, to validating, our choices represent a batch of must-have programs.  Depending on your experience level, you might not need all five before you have your own variant of up and running.  But everyone should be able to find something they need in our treasure trove of Web tools.


What it does: If you can't afford Macromedia's Dreamweaver, then KompoZer is the next best thing.  It lacks the supreme functionality of the paid-for application, but this WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor still does an excellent job with the basics.  If you know nothing about Web creation, you can enter in the text and pictures you want and create a basic, default page quickly.  If you want to get a little fancier, KompoZer's built-in site management tools, barebones HTML editor, and CSS management system are excellent features for an advanced Web page designer.

Download it here !


What it does: If you've ever tried to create a photo gallery by hand, you'll know just how much of a time-consuming process it can be.  You have to pick your photos, resize your photos to thumbnail and full dimensions, create a template for your gallery pages, insert each picture into your pages, link each thumbnail picture to the larger image, et cetera.  It's a nightmare.  JAlbum takes this process, which can last for days, and shrinks it down into a five-minute affair.  Select your photos, customize your output page, and click a button. That's all you have to do to have a fully working photo gallery -- just upload it to your Web host and you're all done!

Download it here !


What it does: How are you going to get your KompoZer pages or JAlbum galleries up to your Web host?  FTP, that's how.  FileZilla remains one of the tried-and-tested FTP programs that offers unlimited, nag-free transfers between your computer and a host. It supports resuming for when your connection craps out in the middle of transferring a huge file, keep-alive functionality for staying attached to your FTP site even when you aren't actually uploading anything, and drag-and-drop file management that's as easy to use as Windows Explorer.

Download it here !

CSS HTML Validator Lite

What it does: Whoops!  If you're a hand-coder, then this tool is a great way to check the pages you create before the typos and errors you've accidentally put into the code affect your live content!  This application runs through common errors like misspellings and open tags, but it can also automatically place quotations around attribute values and assist you in common page design.  While we'd stick to a more robust notepad editor for our actual page creation, there's no reason why we wouldn't run our finished product through CSS HTML Validator Lite before uploading it to the Web.

Download it here !


What it does: If you're human, then you hate having to open and close your tags each time you go to write a new piece of HTML.  Just imagine all the time you could save if you had an easy shortcut for, say, opening up an <img> and </img> tag and placing your cursor right in the middle of the two. Lifehacker itself has come to the rescue on this one.  Texter transforms text commands into text elements.  This means that you can type "p" and hit Tab to open up a set of HTML paragraph tags. Or you could make the word "Himg" your shortcut for opening up a full <img src="..."> line.  This awesome application makes hand-coding just that much quicker--in many ways, faster and cleaner than what you could ever do in a WYSIWYG editor!

Download it here !

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