HomeSite Still Tops for Coders

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2001-12-10 Print this article Print

HomeSite 5, the first release under Macromedia's auspices, is still one of the best options for raw-code developers.

When Macromedia, maker of Dreamweaver, one of the most popular WYSIWYG Web authoring tools, acquired Allaire, maker of HomeSite, one of the most popular pure-code Web authoring tools, many hard-core code developers probably feared it would lead to the "WYSIWYG-ification" of HomeSite.

However, HomeSite 5, the first release under Macromedias auspices, is still one of the best options for raw-code developers. It is now even less WYSIWYG: The Design View tab in HomeSite has been removed—which could be a problem for less-experienced site authors who want to work in code but appreciate having a WYSIWYG view to fall back on.

In my tests, HomeSite 5 proved to be more stable, and I welcomed new features such as support for XHTML, secure FTP and an automated backup. I especially liked the dual file explorers that make it easy to grab files from multiple directories (see screen, above).

However, HomeSite 5 still comes across as a minor upgrade, and some users will be happy sticking with Version 4.5. Still, at $99 and $29 for an upgrade, many will find the new features and added stability worth the price.

HomeSite can be found at

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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