In the early days we started out designing web sites with WSIWYG software. We used Adobe GoLive. Dreamweaver (Macromedia) was the main competitor. Macromedia Flash was huge back than and we used that as well.
Designing websites with HTML tables was the norm as well as the problem. HTML tables require excessive code. Luckily CSS improvements allowed for Table-less web design. At that point we got more comfortable with coding pages by hand. SEO requires the ability to write code by hand. In fact, Doing SEO taught us how to hand code SEO.
Adobe GoLive happened to feature an excellent code editor. You just were better off ignoring the WSIWYG features. We always keep the web page we are working on open in a browser so we could see the final product. Save the file after each edit and refresh the browser to see the results. It’s a smooth workflow.
Adobe dropped GoLive shortly after acquiring Macromedia. We gave Dreamweaver a try and quickly found huge problems with the code editor.
Often you’ll want to create a hierarchy of your code elements by using tabs to keep organized make it easier to understand.
Often times while coding you’ll need to tab a bunch of lines at once. In GoLive you would simply select all the lines and tab them over or back. This necessary feature wasn’t in Dreamweaver. Indenting selected text blocks will using the tab key will delete them. Tabbing has to be done carefully line by line.
The most annoying problem with Dreamweaver is if you press the up or down key, the cursor exhibits unpredictable behavior. Instead of going straight down or up, it mostly goes to the beginning of the next line of text. This is beyond annoying when you want to paste in a new line of code and maintain your tab formatting.
After trying to be productive with Dreamweaver for a few days, and looking thoroughly for solutions, we tried a demo of BBEdit. We deleted Dreamweaver right away and purchased BBEdit. It’s hands down the best tool for coding HTML as well as other hand coding projects.
Tip: In BBEdit keyboard preferences, make sure “Allow Tab key to indent text blocks” is checked.