As this is not the definitive guide to the web, I can only talk about what I know... so, what software do I recommend?
All of my development work is on a PC running the dreaded Microsoft windows. Yes - I suffer the continual crashing, just like everyone else.
Web Design Software
The purists will work with a text editor to develop their web sites... good luck to them. Out of the dark ages there are plenty web design tools. I go for Macromedia Dreamweaver, like many serious designers. Another front-runner is Adobe GoLive. Microsoft Front Page..(let it take over your whole machine) is a good package for instant web sites but as per usual it adds complexity to your pages, takes the control away from you and is slow. More to the point you'll need special extensions on the server to make it work... very Microsoft!
Apache. You could go for Microsoft if you like, but I can't afford to get it and tell you how to use it. A web server is the utility that will send data to your/their browser. It is the link (or one of them) that talks to the user. It is possible, and I'd recommend it, to set up your local machine to have Apache server software installed. That way you can test your web site as realistically as possible before publishing your web to the real server.
MySql is probably the most used, mainly because its public domain again. Others are Microsoft Access, dbase and many more.
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Last modified: August 14, 2006