There are a variety of web design tools that one can choose from, ranging from the super complex to the most basic of programs found on nearly every personal computer. Virtually anyone with Internet access and a little time can create a fully functional website without having to attend design school. Professional website designers also have an array of design tools to choose from, most of them capable of creating visually captivating works of art. Common web design tools include commercial web design software, professional grade software, site builders, and word processors.
Commercial design software programs are web design tools that can be used by both novice and professional designers. There are a wide variety of programs to choose from, and some are definitely more sophisticated than others. The simplest types are generally template editors that allow users to type text and drop graphics into specified boxes. More advanced options allow similar template features, but with more freedom to alter each template and add additional coding to make the design fits desired preferences.
Site builders are also web design tools that are usually reserved for inexperienced users. These are generally found online, often as part of a hosting company's package of services. Users simply choose a pre-designed template and add text and graphics. Design options may be limited with site builders, but fairly attractive and professional looking sites can be created.
Word processors can also be web design tools, although only skilled designers are usually able to use this method. Hypertext markup language (HTML) is the main language used to create websites, and it is the primary language that is understood by web browsers. Web design tools generally have templates using a graphical interface to make designing sites easier for inexperienced users, but the HTML coding is still being added in the back end.
When using a word processor, there is usually no graphic interface. The designer must type in all HTML coding by hand. This can be a long and tedious process, but may allow more control than commercial design products. Since the designer has full access and control over every code being used, he can also change and add code as he sees fit with no restrictions.
Using a word processor has some drawbacks. When everything is done solely by hand, there is plenty of room for human error. Specialized scripts and other highly sophisticated features may also be harder to add when working in a basic word processor. In most cases, designers find it easier to combine hand coding with graphical interface software programs.