Can you recommend a free Web design program?

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Kompozer is a free Web design program available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers. If you don't already have a Web design program and you don't want to use the simpler WordPress system, or pay for Dreamweaver, or use the free Brackets editor with a separate FTP program to publish files, then Kompozer may help. (We think most of those other options are better choices, though.)

This page explains how to create a basic Web page using Kompozer, then publish it to your website. Before you start, you will need to download the latest version of Kompozer from their site.

1. Start Kompozer

When you start Kompozer for the first time, you'll see a window asking for FTP "Publish Settings". If the window doesn't appear, click Edit, then Publishing Site Settings... to see the window:

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2. Enter your publishing details

Enter the following in the Publish Settings window:

  • A "Site Name", such as www.example.com. The site name can be any text you want, and is just used to help you keep track of multiple sites.
  • Address of your home page: http://www.example.com/
  • Publishing Server: ftp://ftp.tigertech.net/
  • User name: example.com
  • Password: (your account password)
  • Check the Save Password box (this step is important — it's not optional).

The window should look like this:

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Click OK to save your settings.

3. Creating a Simple Web Page

Creating a simple Web Page with Kompozer is easy; you don't need to know any HTML code.

On the right-hand side of Kompozer you'll see a large box with a tab called "(Untitled)". This is a blank Web page. You can edit this page and insert images and text using the toolbars and buttons above. Many of these are very similar to those used in a standard word processor and perform the same functions. In the example shown below, we have entered a single line of text:

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More details about creating and editing Web pages using Kompozer can be found in the help documents that come with the program.

4. Saving your Web Page

After creating the Web page, you should always save it on your own computer before publishing it on your website.

To save the file, click the Save button. A window named Page Title will appear. Enter a title for your Web page, such as "My Web Page":

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After giving the page a title, you'll be asked where to save the file. We strongly recommend creating a new folder to hold the files for this website.

When you save the file, it's vitally important to give the main page (the "index page") of your site the filename index.html. The "index.html" name is how our servers will know which page to display first. (If you later create additional pages, you'll give each extra page a different name ending with ".html", like "page2.html".)

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5. Publishing your Web Page

To publish a Web page, click the Publish button:

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The Publish Page window will appear. Click Publish to upload the Web page to your site. Again, make sure the Filename of your main page is "index.html".

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That's all it takes — you've created and published a Web page!

You can see your new Web page by going to your website. If you named the main page "index.html" as we recommended above, it will be displayed as your default page and you can view it by going to http://www.example.com/.

To change your page, just edit it in Kompozer, then Save and Publish it again.

For more help with Kompozer, please see the help pages that come with the program and visit the support section on their website.

Don't see your changes?

If your Web browser doesn't immediately show you the pages you published, you may need to clear your browser's cache.

Troubleshooting

If you're unable to make a connection to our servers with Kompozer, be sure you've checked the Save Password box in step 2 above. Kompozer won't work if you type the correct password but don't check the box.