Mac HTML Web Editors for Beginners

Discover these editors for web design newcomers

Computer screen with post-it notes on it

Laura Beach / Getty Images

If you’re just starting out building a web page, it can be helpful to have an editor that is WYSIWYG or that explains the HTML to you in an easy-to-understand way.

After reviewing over 60 different HTML editors for Macintosh, the following are deemed some of the best web editors for beginners for Macintosh, in order from best to worst along with the version tested.

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What We Like
  • Lightweight, fast, and reliable.

  • Built-in version management, XHTML support, and valid code completion.

What We Don't Like
  • No support for HTML5 and CSS3.

  • Paid app after free trial.

  • Basic user interface.

skEdit (4.13) is a text editor for Macintosh. One really nice feature is the integration with Subversion version control system built-in. It also includes support for languages beyond HTML and is very customizable.

of 07


What We Like
  • Bridges the gap between very basic software for beginners and advanced software.

  • Built-in page types jump-start novice programmers.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited customization of themes.

  • Cannot view edit pane and preview side by side.

At first glance, RapidWeaver (4.4.2) appears to be a WYSIWYG editor, but there is a lot here to surprise you. We created a site with a large photo gallery, a blog, and two stand-alone web pages in about 15 minutes. These included images and fancy formatting. This is a great program for newcomers to web design. You get started quickly and advance to more complicated pages including ​PHP. However, It doesn't validate HTML that you hand-code, and we couldn't figure out how to add an external link in one of the WYSIWYG pages. There is also a large user-base with lots of plug-ins to get more support for advanced features including HTML5, e-commerce, Google sitemaps, and more.

of 07


What We Like
  • Suitable for building simple, basic websites.

  • Choice of WYSIWYG, HTML tags, and HTML code views.

What We Don't Like
  • Composer element no longer actively maintained.

  • Doesn't generate HTML5 code.

SeaMonkey (2.0.8) is the Mozilla project all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer — the web page editor. One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that you have the browser built-in already so testing is a breeze. Plus it's a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP to publish your web pages.

of 07


What We Like
  • Great for making a photo album or web photo gallery.

  • Tons of bells and whistles.

  • Designed for photographers who work with a large volume of images.

What We Don't Like
  • Not color-management capable.

  • Little training is available.

  • Shopping cart is behind the times.

What you need to remember with jAlbum (8.11) is that it’s not intended to be a full-featured HTML editor. It’s an online photo album creator. You can create photo albums and host them on the jAlbum site or on your own site. We created a photo album with about 20 photos in less than 15 minutes. It's very easy to use, and perfect for the newcomer to web design who just wants to share photos with friends and family. But if you need more than that from your web editor, you should look elsewhere.

of 07


What We Like
  • Plenty of built-in themes and templates.

  • Good for novice programmers.

What We Don't Like
  • No longer under development or support.

  • Output is watermarked.

ShutterBug (2.5.6) is a fine WYSIWYG web editor for beginners. It offers a lot of features that someone putting up a personal website would want. It's very easy to put up a photo gallery, and you can connect it to RSS easily too. One negative is that the demo alters your images — it watermarks them with the word “DEMO”. A free limited-time trial that leaves your images alone would be preferable. ShutterBug is primarily for putting up photo galleries on web pages, and if you need an editor that does more than that, you may be disappointed.

of 07


What We Like
  • Works on major browsers.

  • Supports other programming languages.

  • Examples help beginning programmers.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't handle complex Ruby expressions.

  • Basic website with no tutorial.

Rendera (0.8.0) is an online tool built to help you learn HTML5 and CSS 3. You simply type in the code you want to test and see it rendered on the screen. It's not a great editor for building entire sites, but if all you want to do is see how certain HTML5 tags or CSS3 tags look, it's a great tool.

of 07


What We Like
  • No need to buy a text editor. Ships on every Mac.

  • Setting to always open files showing the HTML code.

What We Don't Like
  • Need a basic understanding of HTML.

  • No tag completion or validation features.

  • Bare-bones interface.

TextEdit (10.6) is the free text editor that comes with Macintosh OS X systems. It doesn’t have a lot of features specifically for web development, but if you want to start quickly writing HTML and don’t want to have to download anything, this is a great place to start. If you plan to use TextEdit, be sure to learn how to get the basics beforehand as there are some tricks to how it handles HTML.