Developer

Review: KompoZer Web authoring tool

KompoZer is a free, open source WYSIWYG Web page authoring tool that will quickly become one of your favorite tools no matter if you are a new Web designer or a professional.

KompoZer is a free, open source WYSIWYG Web page authoring tool similar to that of Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver. KompoZer is one of those tools that will quickly become one of your favorites whether you are a new Web designer or a seasoned professional. With KompoZer, you can use the WYSIWYG tool or edit your HTML or CSS by hand. And KompoZer is a complete Web-authoring tool; it contains a publishing system so you don't have to work with yet another application to upload your newly created pages.

Specifications

  • Operating Systems: Linux, Windows, OS X
  • Based on Geko Engine
  • If you use GTK 2.14 you will have to use the .8 alpha
  • Additional information

Who's it for?

KompoZer is for anyone who wants to develop or manage a Website that does not use a pre-built CMS or Portal tool. KompoZer can be used without any knowledge of HTML, CSS, or any other Web-based language, but if you happen to know those languages, all the better. Individual users, SMBs, and enterprises can all benefit from KompoZer. If you are familiar with FrontPage or Dreamweaver, you will be right at home with KompoZer.

What problem does it solve?

KompoZer solves multiple problems. Primarily it allows the user to easily create Web sites using a full-blown WYSIWYG tool. But KompoZer is not limited to drag-and-drop Web authoring. KompoZer allows serious Web designers, builders, and architects to manage complex sites quickly and easily. And it does this without the costly license fees you often get when using the competition, because KompoZer is free.

Standout features

  • Tabbed editing allowing you have multiple pages or sites open in one window.
  • Integrated file management via FTP.
  • Forms, tables, and template support.
  • Color picker helps you to quickly know the hex values of the colors you need.
  • CSS editor allows you to see your CSS changes live.
  • Markup cleaner works in conjunction with the WC3 validation tool to make sure your markup is clean.
  • Automated spell checks keeps you from looking unprofessional.

What's wrong?

One of the first things a more seasoned user will notice is that KompoZer doesn't have all of the bells and whistles included in Dreamweaver. For instance adding Flash objects with KompoZer isn't as easy as it is with Dreamweaver. That, of course, is a minor issue. The bigger issue is that KompoZer doesn't work with Dreamweaver template files. This can cause a problem because a lot of clients use Dreamweaver templates.

Competitive products

Adobe Dreamweaver

Microsoft Frontpage

BlueFish

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for an easy to use Web page creation tool that has the added benefit of a built-in CSS editor and many other features, but do not want to shell out the cash for Dreamweaver or Frontpage, KompoZer is for you. KompoZer is an outstanding addition to any Web developer's tool kit. You will find this tool as easy to use as any of the competition. And although there are some of the more advanced features not found in KompoZer, this tool should meet most (if not all) of your Web site creation needs.

User rating

Have you encountered the KompoZer Web authoring tool? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of KompoZer in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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