Alastair’s recommendation to learn (X)HTML by hand is a good one for the nuts and bolts, but I’m wondering whether an editor like Dreamweaver could still be more useful than Notepad.
When I do code sites – rarely – I still hand code, but rather than Notepad, Pagemill etc I actually lurk within Dreamweaver. Blasphemy! You cry … well no. Remember I’m actually within the code view, but Dreamweaver gives me a bunch of options to make things more efficient, such as …
- Auto-closing of my tags when using XHTML
- Lovely colour-coding of different tag types to try and save my vision
- Validation to XHTML 1.0 via SHIFT-F6 (ok sometimes misses things)
- A check of my work … just click the ‘Design’ view. Not quite as good as the browser, but pretty close in CS3.
- Easy FTP – just right-click and hit ‘put’ …
So yep, not quite perfect in terms of browser compatibility and code, but still manages to save a load of time.