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Thread: How do I view and change HTML coding for a website?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default How do I view and change HTML coding for a website?

    I need to change something in a website, normally I use Contribute software, but this won't allow me to change what I need to change. How do I get to view and change the actual HTML code?

    Moderator's note: this was a spam posting (a link was inserted via an edit, but has now been removed), but the discussion remains for anyone who might in the future have a similar question.
    Last edited by djr33; 05-28-2012 at 07:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Illinois, USA
    Thanked 690 Times in 678 Posts


    HTML (and other things like Javascript and CSS) is just plain text. You can use any plain text editor (but not something like Microsoft Word). An easy default is notepad (on windows), but it doesn't have many good features. There have been very many discussions here about good HTML editors, so search for those for more information. Generally you should look for one that has: 1. line numbers; 2. syntax hightlighting; 3. built in FTP.

    Although I'd recommend against it, the more powerful Adobe program is Dreamweaver, which is significantly better than Contribute (which I use for editing certain sites that require it). Dreamweaver allows both code and preview modes, including a "split view". The problem is that it's expensive and generally generates bad code if you rely on its design mode (and automated features)-- if you just use it for the code view, it's fine, but a lot more expensive than the free programs out there that do the same thing. And it is easy to get into bad habits relying on a problem like that, regardless.

    Beyond this, you will need to learn to use FTP (or maybe another method, but usually FTP) to edit the actual files. This works differently than in Contribute, but it's similar to browsing a folder on your computer and editing files. (It won't feel like visiting the website and editing it, but it will give you more control.)
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Chester, Cheshire
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    Cas, that allows you to "see" the source code, but not edit it.

    There are a few good IDE's (Integrated Development Environments) you can use to actually edit the source code.

    As already mentioned, Notepad is your most basic option, and Dreamweaver is one of the more complex.

    Here's my pick of the rest:

    • Visual Studio 2010: This is the best option if your site uses ASP.NET. It's also a brilliant IDE for building any form of site. This is my top pick of the bunch... unles you're using PHP or SSI. Support is available for these as addons and plugins, but are not made really with beginners in mind.
    • Notepad ++: A significantly enhanced version of the basic Notepad program. It supports syntax highlighting, code tidying, ftp, intellisense, instant converters and many other essential and useful tools. For quick and simple page editing, this program is second to none.
    • Microsoft Expression Web 4: Microsoft's answer to Adobe Dreamweaver. This is part of the Expression Studio, much like the Adobe Master Suite. It's main advantages over Dreamweaver is that it supports ASP.NET and PHP.
    • NetBeans: A very well made PHP IDE. It also supports Java and C/C++ coding.


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