Wysiwyg tool to create simple websites?


I’m looking for a tool to create simple websites (5-10 pages), only static content (no PHP). Think of the typical small business or sports club website: text + pictures about what they did/do, nothing really complex.


  • usable by a non-programmer who doesn’t want to know about gory technical details (HTML, CSS, etc)
  • doesn’t make it too hard to create a website with a few pages (i.e it should do a bit more than just allowing to create one page)
  • built-in support for (S)FTP uploading of the website, usable by a non-programmer after someone computer-litterate will have set it up. (that’s not an absolute requirement, but would still be nice to have. also, what are the nice graphical tools to do that, currently?)

    I’m asking for two different persons with different needs. So please don’t limit your replies to free software (although it would be nice): cheap proprietary applications might be adequate as well. Regarding platform, Linux, Mac OS X or Windows would all be suitable.

    I don’t think that a CMS is the right tool here: the focus should be put on the content (which won’t be often modified anyway) and its presentation, not on the ease of modification. For example, I’d like to be able to position pictures in a precise way. However, I might be interested in a CMS that is:

  • easy to setup (for a reasonably computer-literate person)
  • extremely easy to learn (a couple hours at most, for a non-programmer)
  • easy to transform into something that looks good

    In your comments, it would be great if you could include examples of what you did with those tools (yes, links are welcomed!)

    Thank you.

  • 28 thoughts on “Wysiwyg tool to create simple websites?

    1. Kompozer, or… there was some nice easy online tool for making sites but I forgot it. I’ll see if I can remember.

    2. I am searching for the same thing. Should work on Linux or Win. Let us know what you found. Thanks.

    3. You could try Amaya http://www.w3.org/Amaya

      The other option I like is to use a local xampp server with drupal or (insert prefered cms here) and use wget or httrack to rip the site to static html and upload to the server. All the simplicity of a CMS minus the hassle of maintaining updates,security etc on the hosted site.

    4. I agree with the previous recommendation of Kompozer (formerly Nvu, formerly Mozilla Composer).

      Alternatively, how about a simple wiki with a built-in WYSIWYG editor? For instance, MindTouch?

    5. Problem I have seen is programs such as kompozer don’t really let you put things where you want. I would love a program like Netobjects Fusion I used several years ago…just drag things anywhere you want and it would come out just like you wanted it. Some good plugins as well. Wish we had it, or similar, on Linux.

      Lastly, nasty bug on Kompozer (or Ubuntu)…won’t stay running at all on Ubuntu 8.10

    6. You might try Weebly (weebly.com). It’s a browser-based application that isn’t open, however I’ve had luck building a script for someone so that they can build their site on weebly, call a function to scrape their site with wget and mirror it elsewhere.

    7. I agree that NVU/Kompozer is a good choice.

      From my experience, two important things to teach the user is:
      1. Use styles, rather that font size/bold/italic/color.
      2. Choosing a good namespace (i.e hierarchical and oriented for user PoV)

    8. To everyone recommending Kompozer:
      how can it be the best solution, while it is not actively maintained, and isn’t even packaged in Debian?

      Do you actually use it?

    9. Discussing this IRL, someone mentioned Web Acappella. However it seems that the default mode for generated websites is Flash websites. Mmh. :-)

    10. I like KompoZer, even if is not mantained, because is simple.

      But I just wanted to congratulate the author because the desing of the blog is JUST BEAUTIFUL (I came here from the Ubuntu Planet where you don’t get the design of the blogs, just the content, so when I came here and found the excellent but simply design, I just needed to say: Good work).

    11. used by my daugther for her school work :D

      multiple platform, meaning she and her friends can all use the same software.

    12. just use something like plone (plone.org) and setup the skin and modules with features you need, it’s simple and fast to install, setup, manage and use, can be pretty (depending on the skin you make/pick) and standards compliant, has good documentation and community to help out if you get stuck somewhere and is scalable and multiplatform

    13. For Mac OS X, I can really recommend the new Apple iWeb. It comes with every new Mac or with iLife 09. Ars Technica just did a review of it. Beautiful and powerful templates make it fast and easy to produce a nice site.
      Rapidweaver is another one of my favourites. It’s a little harder to use than iWeb but more powerful.

    14. I personal several web sites which include blogs, article directories, and also web directories. I was wondering on whether or not you are interested in exchanging hyperlinks with my other websites. I would be more than happy in the event you can approve this comment and let me know the links that you want me to insert into my website, and I’ll comply. Sorry my language not very good. Let me know.

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