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Webmaster: A Toolkit

Depending on the responsibilities and preferences of a Webmaster, there is no one perfect all-things-for-all-webmasters toolkit as such. Individual preference, and work habits, mean it's a personal choice as far as what tools you will use for the job.

There are however a group of tool types that are a standard part of most Webmasters toolkits, and these can be grouped as...

Text Editor

Now, this one is pretty self-explanatory, I mean, chances are you already have a collection of favourite text editors on the system your use currently.

Commonly installed options on various platforms include Notepad or Wordpad on a PC, VI or emacs on a Linux/Unix machine, or BBEdit on a Mac, however there are some free/shareware tools out there that provide a little more functionality than your average garden Text editor.

There are plenty of options out there on shareware sites, but how do you make a selection, and what features are useful and worth paying for. Here are a few to consider.

Following are some popular alternatives you might like to have a look at.

NoteTab Pro
"The ultimate free Notepad replacement and a handy HTML editor. Handle a heap of files with a simple tabbed interface. Search files, strip HTML tags and format text quickly. Formerly called "Super NoteTab". 100% freeware -- no ads and no nags."


1st Page 2000


Ace Expert

Log Analyser

There are loads of Shareware log analysis tools out there, some fully featured which will cover the following features and more, and some pretty basic. Useful stats and features to look out for in a log tool include...

If you have plenty of time you could write your own, but it is a lot easier to try out one of the dozens of existing tools, some of which are free, some costing $100's and check the features they offer against what you need and how much you can afford to spend.

Indexes of popular log tools can be found on the following pages...

UPPSALA Univeristy (Sweden)

Yahoo -

WYSIWYG Site Editing

If your a WYSIWYG editor biggot, and you know what I mean, then this chapter will only elevate your blood-pressure. READ WITH CAUTION!

A WYSIWYG <%= glossWYSIWYG %> editor may or may not be a part of your Wembastering arsenal but you should have at least a passing familiarity with all WYSIWYG editors that your clients are using. When they run into trouble, and their colleagues or local or departmental support staff are unable to help, who are they gonna call?

You should also consider putting yourself on any training thats available which will help you plan for the things that will go wrong, and be able to politely tell clients that "NO" that Frontpage extension is NOT supported by our server.

Love em or hate em, the major players are in the WYSIWYG arena are...

  1. Adobe Pagemill
  2. Allaire Homesite
  3. Dreamweaver
  4. HotMetal Pro
  5. Microsoft Frontpage
  6. Symantec Visual Page 1.0

None of the above is really exceptionally better or worse than the other. They all misbehave in one way or another. Nearly all claim to be leaders in the market and each has loyal bands of users, as well as those who think they suck.

The important thing for a webmaster is to do some research on any of these tools that your users are using. Get the demos installed if you have the time, and consider things like the following before reccomending an editor to the people that will soon be asking.

One thing you should encourage, is that your clients upgrade their editors ASAP after a major release has proven it's stable. As these editors progress from one incarnation to another, they are progressively getting better at not wrecking the HTML under the covers.

Here are some pros and cons concerning the above.

Adobe Pagemill

Current Version: 3.0    Home Page >>

The major improvements during the upgrade to version 3.0 were inclusion of site management features,a a Java/ActiveX editor/viewer, and improvements to the way Pagemill 2.0 handled FORMs (previoulsy would only allow one form per page)

Allaire Homesite

Current Version: 4.5    Home Page >>


Current Version: 3.0    Home Page >>

HotMetal Pro

Current Version: 6.0    Home Page >>

Microsoft Frontpage

Current Version: 2000    Home Page >>

If you or your clients are running Frontpage 98, you should seriously consider upgrading to Frontpage 2000. The older version receives a lot of flak in newsgroups, and is the brunt of many jokes. Frontpage 2000 actually installs with a TOOLS-OPTIONS setting that instructs Fronpage NOT to do anything to wreck your HTML.

One of things Frontpage has going for it is the similarity of interface to other Windows applications. Although this might be seen by some to be a disadvantage ;-).

Site Management/Development Tool

Selecting a tool like this is no mean effort, it takes some serious research and lenghty consideration of many factors. Assessing products like these is out of the scope of this document, however some things you might consider and features to look for when making your descision are...

And here are the major contendors

Adobe Go-Live

Current Version: 5.0    Home Page >>

Microsoft Visual Interdev

Current Version:    Home Page >>

NetObjects Fusion

Current Version: 5.0    Home Page >>

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