If you ever have a requirement to create HTML code for use in web pages, you might be interested in a new HTML editor called BlueGriffon. You use HTML editors to create web pages. The pages might be for a personal web site, your genealogy society's web site, or for most any other purpose.
BlueGriffon is a WYSIWYG editor. That is, "what you see is what you get." Unlike many other HTML editors, BlueGriffon is as easy to use as a word processor. You create each page on your own Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer, and BlueGriffon automatically creates the underlying HTML code. You can then copy that code to a web site you control, be it a personal web page, a society web site, or most any other page on the Internet. Best of all is the price tag: free.
NOTE: HTML is "hypertext markup language." It is the code used to create many web pages. For a full explanation of HTML, look on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Html. Use of BlueGriffon or a similar WYSIWYG HTML editor shields you from most of the HTML code, however. With BlueGriffon, you simply enter the text you wish to place on a web page, add the graphics and formatting, and let BlueGriffon do all the work of converting your keystrokes into HTML code that can then be uploaded to a web page.
I create HTML pages for much of this newsletter's web site at http://www.eogn.com. Some of the pages are created by the (simplistic) HTML editor built into the TypePad hosting service. However, that editor does not create more sophisticated web pages, such as pages that contain tables. I also create the weekly Plus Edition newsletter (found at http://www.eogn.com/wp/thisweek.htm) as well as an HTML email message sent every week to announce the availability of the latest Plus Edition newsletter.
Over the years, I have been through a number of HTML WYSIWYG editors. Some years ago, when I was still using Windows as my primary computer, I used Microsoft's FrontPage. Microsoft has now replaced FrontPage with a newer product called Microsoft Expression Web. Both FrontPage and Expression Web did a credible job but were expensive. Expression Web now sells for a "street price" of $80 to $100.
Upon switching to a Mac, I decided to obtain the "heavy duty" product that professional web developers recommend: Dreamweaver. It was very expensive at about $300. I quickly learned why it is called "heavy duty." It is awkward to use and has a long learning curve. In short, Dreamweaver can do almost anything a web designer needs to do. It is somewhat like an 18-wheeler: heavy duty, rugged, and able to carry most anything. However, driving it isn't much fun, and it is very uncomfortable. In 18-wheelers, you have to double-clutch. I sometimes felt that Dreamweaver was the same. I used the program for about two years, but I never did like it and never became comfortable with it. I really needed a simpler product that was more in keeping with my needs: an automatic transmission and a comfortable ride.
I found the product I wanted, called KompoZer. This WYSIWYG editor has served me well for the past year or so. It isn't perfect, however. In fact, I'd describe KompoZer as "a bit rough around the edges" and even a bit buggy. To be sure, KompoZer is simple to use and it has met my needs well. Best of all is its price tag: Free.
On May 10, 2011, BlueGriffon version 1.0 was released and was quickly followed by newer versions. The current release is version 1.1.1.
BlueGriffon is much like KompoZer, only updated. It has an intuitive application that provides Web authors (beginners or more advanced) with a simple user interface, much like a word processor. It allows the user to create attractive Web pages without requiring extensive technical knowledge about web standards. In most cases, anyone can create a web page using BlueGriffon and then either upload the result to a web server or copy-and-paste the code into some other content management system.
In fact, BlueGriffon even looks a lot like KompoZer but with a new, friendlier user interface. In addition, BlueGriffon contains a number of features not found in the older KompoZer, such as the ability to create and edit Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
The producers of BlueGriffon also produce various (optional) add-on products to extend the capabilities of the base program, and most of those options do cost money. However, I have not yet found a need for any of the add-ons. I am still using the free basic version of BlueGriffon and, so far, it has easily accomplished everything I wished to try. If you have more sophisticated requirements, you might have a need for some of the optional add-ons.
BlueGriffon is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. It is also available in English, Dutch, French, Czech, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
HTML 5 Pioneer, a web site devoted to tools used by web designers, called BlueGriffon "the best HTML5 WYSIWYG out on the market today." You can read the full review at http://goo.gl/ayL7P.
To be sure, BlueGriffon does not contain all the advanced features of the $300 HTML editors. Expert web designers probably will still prefer Dreamweaver or similar tools. However, for those of us who need simpler, more user-friendly tools to create web pages or even parts of a web page, such as a table, BlueGriffon may be the better choice. I still have the $300 Dreamweaver installed on the computer I am using at this moment, but I now build all my HTML documents in BlueGriffon. I can build a web page faster and with less effort using BlueGriffon than I can with Dreamweaver. A person who is an experienced Dreamweaver user probably will have the opposite experience, however.
BlueGriffon may or may not meet your needs as well. If you are looking for a simple-to-use HTML editor and you don't want to pay a high price, I'd suggest you check out BlueGriffon at http://www.bluegriffon.org/
If you enjoyed this article, Tweet it, share it on Facebook or on your preferred social network. Republishing of this article in newsletters, blogs, and elsewhere is allowed and encouraged. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/hoHH1.
Of course, if you haven’t done so already, you should join my email newsletter mailing list to stay current on my latest articles and announcements. You can also cancel at any time within seconds. I promise to never, ever send you any unrequested e-mail, other than newsletter updates.