Most of the tools you need to build a website are already on your computer. The three things you must have are:
- Text editor
Windows: Microsoft Notepad - Find Notepad on Your Windows Machine
Macintosh: Macintosh TextEdit - Find TextEdit on Your Macintosh
Linux: vi or Emacs
- Web browser
Windows: Internet Explorer
- FTP client
While FTP is available via command line in Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, it's a lot easier to use a client. There are several good free ones available
These tools are free and available right in your OS, but they don't have a lot of features. If you want to get more advanced features, there are lots of HTML editors available for free and low cost. Find the Perfect Web Page Editor.
You should also consider installing other browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Safari so that you can test your pages.
Beyond the Basics - Graphics Editing
If you're going to do Web design, you'll eventually need a graphics editor. Vista comes with some limited graphics editing functionality and iPhoto on the Mac may be all you need. But if you're looking for something better, check out the Graphics Software site at About.com:
Linux users can try out The GIMP for editing graphics.
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