We recommend all the programs listed below for (aspiring) webmasters and web designers. These programs were all tested by us; we still use most of them on a regular basis. Many of them are usual suspects, which can be found under recommendations on a lot of link lists on the WWW.
Phase 5 is blechtrottel brodaktschns' first choice for designing websites. This editor, which so far is available in German only, offers vast opportunities for configuration and that for every project you define. You can have it work with an external HTML reference, use syntax highlighting and even create your own syntax schemes with the integrated editor. You can enhance its functionality with several plugins. All pages by blechtrottel brodaktschns were written with this program. It is free for private use, everyone else can buy a license for a moderate 30 euros.
Our add-ons for Phase 5 can be found on a separate page.
IrfanView is a very useful image viewer that belongs into the toolbox of every webmaster. Most standard options for image manipulation (resizing, colour reduction, different file formats, etc) are included. Saving files in ico format is no problem. Many plug-ins leave little to be desired. This program was developed by a graduate from TU-Wien.
Freeware for private use.
If you know your HTML well and only need image manipulation and painting options, you can buy a cheaper version like Fireworks 3 secondhand from one of the internet sources. But the recent versions are also good value for money.
ListGarden used to be blechtrottel brodaktschns' freeware RSS-tool. We nowadays prefare to write our RSS in a text editor. But if you are starting, this software from Software Garden is recommended. It is easy to use and has a nicely structured interface. If you want you can upload your XML file onto your web server right from within the program. You can generate a HTML page that corresponds to your RSS feed, so that users without RSS reader can read the information too. In order to work with ListGarden you need to have a web server installed locally.