Call to Arms

Web Design

HOT BUY
Streaming media is on the cutting edge of the high-tech Web experience. Web site operators use it to create public interest, demonstrate products and provide compelling content. Sonic Foundry's Stream Anywhere enables the creation of streaming audio and video for easy integration into your business site. For Windows only.

Sonic Foundry
Stream Anywhere
(800) 577-6642
www.sonicfoundry.com
Street price: $125

Fortunately, you don't have to memorize all the text tags in HTML 4.01 to put up your Web site. But if you want to take full advantage of programs like CoffeeCup HTML Editor (see "Hot Buy" on page 120), you can get a jump on things with the libraries of Web building resources and tutorials at Builder.com and WebMonkey.com.

Now we're ready to tackle the software that'll do most of the grunt work for you. Before we wander into the Microsoft camp, let's look at Macromedia Dreamweaver and NetObjects Fusion.

You know Macromedia for its high-octane Shockwave and Flash Web animation software. It also makes the popular Dreamweaver for Macintosh or Windows, a $299 (all prices street) HTML editing program that includes features like an integrated text editor for users who already know some HTML, Microsoft Office integration, and Flash buttons and text for adding spice to your site's appearance. Dreamweaver is especially good for integrating multimedia.

If you're not already somewhat familiar with HTML and Web site design, Dreamweaver's palette of advanced features may seem a bit overwhelming. NetObjects Fusion ($99.95) is a less expensive way to try your hand and is also specifically geared toward building sites for businesses. Available for Windows only, Fusion is designed with a drag-and-drop interface, various e-commerce wizards and pre-designed templates that can simplify the process even more.

Then, of course, there's Microsoft, which leaves no software stone unturned. Its HTML editor, FrontPage 2000 ($149), offers integration with Microsoft Office 2000 and comes with more than 60 business themes to give your site a consistent appearance. To get the most out of your investment, check with your Web hosting provider to see whether it supports FrontPage extensions. Also, visit OutFront.net, a "Microsoft FrontPage Learning Community," for its full stock of Web templates, tutorials, forums and links.

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This article was originally published in the June 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Call to Arms.

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