Glad to see you're interested in building a website!
Often people will ask us: Should I pick the HTML Editor or Visual Site Designer? What's the difference between the two? Well, the main difference between these two programs is the way that each handles the creation of HTML code.
Visual Site Designer will generate all the necessary HTML for you and allow you to focus on the design of your page. You can insert text, images, links, etc., and drag them anywhere on the page. You can even create shapes such as rectangles and circles, or add effects like glow, bevel, and shadow. Because everything is stored in the .vnu file for Visual Site Designer, it cannot open preexisting HTML files to edit.
The HTML Editor, on the other hand, can open any HTML file and edit it with a code editor that features a split-screen preview which updates in real-time. This gives you the ability to see exactly what your webpage will look like as you code it. Because the HTML Editor edits one file at a time—as opposed to the entire site—you have more control over things like file names, directory structure, etc., and how these elements are uploaded to the server.
Included with each program are free themes to help you get started with your site; otherwise, you're welcome to create your own design. We also offer some great professionally designed themes within our online Theme Shop.
Both applications offer a built-in transfer client that you can use to upload your site to the server. VSD also offers the option to publish to S-Drive, which is a great alternative to publishing your site via FTP. With S-Drive you can forget about those confusing FTP configurations and upload with our service by simply providing your CoffeeCup email and password!
The HTML Editor gives you complete control, but is more advanced and requires some knowledge of HTML; Visual Site Designer has a WYSIWYG interface that allows you to build your site without having to mess with HTML code at all. We recommend downloading trial versions of both applications to determine which is better suited for your needs.