Tools of the trade
Every Trade Has Its Tools

Tools and Recommendations on our Site

Other Recommendations

All of the tools listed below are free, unless there is a price clearly noted. We're not really trying to push you to buy anything on this page—it is meant as a resource for you.

  • To learn basic HTML, use the free W3Schools tutorials.
  • If you do a lot of HTML coding by hand (as we do) then you may already be using NoteTab Pro, available from www.notetab.com. We've been using it for more than 20 years. The latest version (NoteTab 7) costs $39.95. They offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. Around the shop here, we prefer NoteTab Pro to any other program for writing HTML, and we've tried a bunch of them. NoteTab Pro's libraries of snippets of code make it possible to write complex code very quickly.
  • We have also used the free NetBeans program for managing HTML/CSS/PHP projects, which is available here.
  • For more extensive website development projects, we use PHP Storm. It costs $89 for the first year, and less every year after that. It is a bear to set up, but well worth it in the time it saves when working with CSS style sheets.

We do not use and cannot recommend any WYSIWYG HTML editors (like Dreamweaver or CoffeeCup) because, in our experience, all of them have quirks and problems and create the kind of bloated HTML code that we frequently have to fix when salvaging a non-productive website. With NoteTab Pro, you can edit, save, and flip back and forth instantly to Chrome, Edge, or Firefox to see what you are doing and how it looks.

It might surprise you that we do not recommend making websites using WordPress or Joomla (popular Content Management Systems, aka "CMS") because, well, for a lot of reasons. Click this old Why Not to Use WordPress! link to find out why. And for the love of Pete, please don't use WIX to make your website.


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