Once upon a time, some years ago, a guy was asked to organise a website for his club. This poor guy could not find anyone who would donate a website to the club. Luckily, or so he thought at the time, his computer had Microsoft FrontPage on it. Using FrontPage, he went about designing a website for his club.
Being totally ignorant, and extremely blonde, he arranged a domain name, and hosting, and after many phone calls to the website hosts, and in spite of a dialup connection, he managed to get the website loaded to the servers.
He, and many of the club members were unable to see the website, as it took so very long to open, and the members were all very upset. Out of desperation, he started pursuing the reason the website would not appear on the Internet.
That, in brief, is where my career as a website designer started. One of the very first things I was told to do was to toss FrontPage, as far as I could. FrontPage is very cool and attractive, but produces extreme code bloat, and teaches bad coding habits. After getting rid of FrontPage, I started using Toni Arts EasyHtml, which served well enough in the beginning. I started dabbling in CSS, and realised that EasyHtml was not the best editor to use. I cast about, scratched around, Googled, and asked questions, I downloaded so many text editors, and CSS editors that I didn’t know what I had or had not used.
Eventually I set myself a test. I outlined a basic page, and then, one by one I worked my way through the folder of editors I had. Those that I found I just could not use, or were even just a tad awkward to use, I deleted from my system.
At this point in time I use Topstyle3 for my CSS and Notepad++ for my Html. I will, sometime in the future get around to using Topstyle4, which I already have, but I find I prefer working with Topstyle3.
In my opinion, for Html coding, there is nothing to beat Notepad++. With all its plug-ins, there is little it cannot work with. Being Open source, it is constantly being improved, and I find myself going to Notepad++ regularly, not to get patches, but rather to find what new plug-ins are available, that will make my life easier. The one feature I cannot function without is the syntax highlighting.
Oh yes, I do have a few other things I use. I have Internet Explorer 8, with the Developer’s Toolbar, I have Google Chrome, and I have Firefox. Firefox, and the plug-ins I use, I update regularly, as I find them indispensable when confronted with cross browser issues. In recent times I have not had too many browser issues, because of a work pattern that I have developed, whereby I largely bypass the Internet Explorer margin issues.
My everyday toolbox is therefore the 3 Browsers, Topstyle3, and Notepad++.
No fancy WYSIWYG editors and no code bloat means fast loading sites.
Isn’t that what websites are all about?
Sleek, slim, trim, lean and mean code.