WYSIWYG editors are HTML editors that attempt to display the web page as it will show on the browser. They are visual editors, and you don’t manipulate the code directly. I’ve reviewed over 130 different web editors for Windows against over 40 different criteria relevant to professional web designers and developers. The following are the best WYSIWYG web editors for Windows, in order from best to worst.
Each editor below will have a score, percentage, and a link to a more detailed review. All reviews were completed between September and November 2010. This list was compiled on November 7, 2010.
Dreamweaver is one of the most popular professional web development software packages available. It offers power and flexibility to create pages that meet your needs. I use it for everything from JSP, XHTML, PHP, and XML development. It is a good choice for professional web designers and developers, but if you're working as a solitary freelancer, you might want to look at one of the Creative Suite suites like Web Premium or Design Premium to get graphics editing capability and other features like Flash editing as well. There are a few features that Dreamweaver CS5 lacks, some have been missing for a long time, and others (like HTML validation and photo galleries) were removed in CS5.
Score: 235 / 76%
If you are a graphic artist and then a web designer you should consider Creative Suite Design Premium. Unlike Design Standard which doesn't include Dreamweaver, Design Premium gives you InDesign, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, SoundBooth, and Acrobat. Because it includes Dreamweaver it includes all the power you need to build web pages. But web designers who focus more on graphics and less on the purely HTML aspects of the job will appreciate this suite for the extra graphic features included in it.
Score: 215 / 69%
Expression Studio Web Professional combines Expression Web with Expression Design and Expression Encoder to give you a full graphic, video, and web design suite. If you are a freelance web designer who needs to be able to edit graphics in something more powerful than Paint, you should look at Expression Studio Web Professional. This suite combines exactly what most web designers need to create great sites with strong support for languages like PHP, HTML, CSS, and ASP.Net.
If you want to buy Expression Web, this is the suite you need — Expression Studio Web Professional includes Expression Web along with the other tools for the same price that Expression Web used to sell for.
Score: 209 / 67%
Expression Studio Ultimate combines Expression Web with Expression Design, Expression Blend, Encoder Pro, and SketchFlow to give you a full graphic, video, and web design suite. If you are a freelance web designer who needs to be able to edit graphics in something more powerful than Paint, and you need the application development features of Expression Blend, then you should look at Expression Studio Ultimate. Expression Studio Ultimate is perfect for the developer who works mostly on ASP.Net projects. There is extensive support for ASP.Net and Silverlight.
Score: 199 / 64%
Fusion is a very powerful HTML editor. It combines all the tasks you need to get your website up and running including development, design, and FTP. Plus you can add special features to your pages like captchas on forms and ecommerce support. It also has a lot of support for Ajax and dynamic websites. There is even SEO support built in. If you’re not sure if you want Fusion, you should try the free version NetObjects Fusion Essentials.
Score: 179 / 58%
CoffeeCup software does a great job of providing what their customers want for a low price. The CoffeeCup HTML editor is a great tool for web designers. It comes with lots of graphics, templates, and extra features — like the CoffeeCup image mapper. And I've found that if you request a feature, they will add it or create a new tool to take care of it. Plus, once you purchase CoffeeCup HTML editor, you get free updates for life. CoffeeCup HTML Editor was voted Best HTML Editor in the 2010 About.com Reader's Choice Awards.
Version: 2010 SE
Score: 175 / 56%
SeaMonkey is the Mozilla project all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer — the web page editor. One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that you have the browser built-in already so testing is a breeze. Plus it's a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP to publish your web pages.
Score: 139 / 45%
Alleycode is a free web editor that focuses on search engine optimization. There are a lot of built-in features and links to the Alleycode website so that you can check your site ranking, optimize your meta data, and otherwise improve your search rankings. While I don't recommend sites that “guarantee” top-level ranking like Alleycode does, that doesn't mean that their web editor isn't any good. One feature I really like is the conversion tool to convert HTML tags and text from upper to lowercase and back. Very handy.
According to their website: Alleycode will no longer be supported or upgraded after January 1, 2010.
Score: 136.5 / 44%
Amaya is the W3C web editor. It also acts as a web browser. It validates the HTML as you build your page, and since you can see the tree structure of your web documents, it can be very useful for learning to understand the DOM and how your documents look in the document tree. It has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you’re worried about standards and you want to be 100% sure that your pages work with the W3C standards, this is a great editor to use.
Score: 135 / 44%