Sorry for the delay, but its finally time to get our computers ready for the redesign! I have to preface this by saying that I have been doing this website stuff for almost 10 years now. This is not my specialty, but I do have some experience with the programs. Just because I’m using more advanced features and programs, doesn’t mean you have to! The important part is taking the time to become familiar with the programs you are using. The more you use them, the more you’ll learn about them.
HTML Editing Software
This is one of the most important programs you’ll need for customizing a website. If you have previous knowledge, you can get away with just using Notepad, but I like to use a program that has some built in “help”. There are many different types of HTML editing software. I use code editors, but there are ones out there called WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. The problem I’ve found with them (years ago though), is that they are not as code friendly as I would like. When I say that I mean, it gets a little jumbled on the code side, even though things “look” okay. However, they are a great way for a new website designer to jump in and see what code does what function.
Komodo Edit: This is the program I’ve used for the past year or so. It’s free, and it has a built in code database. So you don’t have to remember what values go with what tag. It’s pretty easy to use.
EditPad Lite: This is a free program also, but it’s much more basic in terms of features. However, if you’re comfortable editing code to some degree, this is a great program. This is actually the program I recommended to my siter and she still uses today. She doesn’t need it to do a lot, just to be able to edit basic coding.
SeaMonkey: This is a WYSIWYG editor/email/browser/IRC all in one program. I actually just installed it because I wanted to find a good WYSIWYG editor to show everyone and boy did I find it. I’m kind of in love with it myself. What I really love about this program is that it is a Mozilla powered product. If you haven’t been in the web developer world, Mozilla Firefox is one of the more popular browsers among web developers. We won’t go into the whys, because frankly the discussion gets too heated for my taste!
Photo Editing Software
Adobe PhotoShop: This is the program I currently use. I got a copy of an older version from the Navy base when they were cleaning out their stores. Sometimes if you know someone, you can get some pretty cool stuff that was purchased for government use but then became outdated. They do have a more affordable version called PhotoShop Elements. I’m going to be saving up for a copy of a newer version of that. It might not have all the bells and whistles of the full Photoshop but it’s more affordable for me! (Between you and me, if I ever got rich, I’d buy the Web Premium Suite from Adobe, but that’s just me ;p)
Paint Shop Pro: Before I got onto the Adobe train, I had a copy of Paint Shop Pro. It’s always been a much more affordable program. In fact, maybe I’ll save up for that one too. Just because I’m a software junkie like that and I like seeing the differences.
Gimp: This is a free program. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to play too much with this one to see if it stands up to the other two. I played a little bit and if you aren’t looking to get too complicated, this program could definitely be your solution!
Again, I want to reiterate that you have to play with these programs and learn them. There is a learning curve, but I do have my mother using PhotoShop for her crafting, so it’s definitely learnable! :p
Next up, I’ll show you the process of how I design my banner and other images I’ll need in the design.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with these software companies. They are not compensating me for talking about them.