Being as I only have a couple of personal sites that don't generate any income, I've always used *Free* web design programs.
How 'bout you? What design tools do you use? I've actually found a few free tools that are actually good.
HTML Kit at http://www.chami.com/html-kit/ is my editor of choice.
I did find a decent WYSIWYG editor called NVU at http://www.nvu.com/.
As far as graphics go, I just can't see shelling out $600 for Photoshop so I use an open source program called The GIMP at http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html. It's actually a Linux program, but I use a version ported to Windows.
I tried nvu, it just annoyed me, destroyed my source code and made it completely illegable. It wouldn't let me do anything properly. I'd change something in the source, go back to normal view and save it, and nvu would have changed it back. I have to keep my source tidy.
I used HTML-Kit for my coding too. It is a good program. Support alot of script language
I also use the gimp(my banner signature).
note: it΄s in 60% quality =P had to minimize the size because the max uploading is 12k for a banner... the original looks better xD
My weapon of choice in making sites is undeniably Dreamweaver MX. I'd recommend it to anyone... but as opposed to prices set by Macromedia, I think it's really high, so the best option for anyone who can't afford a copy is to find something that's freeware.
Aside from Dreamweaver, I find: Visicom Media's Ace HTML very good, also... Stone's Webwriter, and MPSOFTWARE'S HTML Gate, and Max's HTML Beauty... I have them all, although I rarely get to use them... (Only when I'm coding PHP do I get to use them)
For Graphics, I use Fireworks MX (also from Macromedia) but I also have a copy of PSP 8.0 (though I'm still new at it)...
I've even thought once of downloading GIMP, but I only have 56K connection, it'll take me very long and I don't want to wait!
All in all, I'm really a Macromedia-fan, since I find all their products easy to use and adapt to...
I like Ultra-Edit/Notepad I am more a coder than a designer. I leave the pretty pics and stuff to someone else.
I also use HTML-Kit and the GIMP. I find them sufficient for my own needs and request graphics if they're beyond me.
Most things have 30 day trials you know and even then they give you an extra 60 days afterwards to pay.
Dreamweaver, photoshop, paint shop pro all the uauall stuff just update every month. I try and stay clear off unknown small open source stuff incase theres some massive security problems gone unoticed or something.
Previously though I used to use just notepad for my coding. Now I use dreamweaver I only use the code section but the colours help a lot and the built in ftp is really handy so anything thats free and does that is what I need
GIMP is fine for simple things, I used it for the first month or so I got into graphic-art and such.
But once you try Photoshop, there's no going back
dreamweaver and photoshop. I need the slicning capabilities and the ability to preview my work after that for the adding of CSS and such. If you're a student, chances are your institution would have these softwares.
I like Notepad. I can make sure everything works exactly the way I want. Then again, I am kinda more of the programmer/techie type. I don't like for my code to be messy.
Sometimes if I just need something real quick as a template, I'll use the cuneAform HTML editor. It's an extension of Firefox. I only use it for simple stuff like doing a basic table layout or writing some text.
I use Paint Shop Pro. It's nearly as good as Photoshop, but much less expensive. Pretty much everything you can do in Photoshop, you can do in PSP. I occasionally just use MSPaint though, if I need something simple like a text image, but only because it loads a lot faster
My opinion like some of you have already said, Adobe photoshop and dreamweaver are the best choices to make a site with good design etc, (depending on your skills with photoshop).
Photoshop is good to create the whole images of the layout, then slice it into sections..
I use Paint thop pro only for the sharpening tool, it works good for the edges and makes lines look better.
I use Dreamweaver MX 2004 for my editing and designing needs Its a very neat software as commented by other users in the above posts Earlier I used Frontpage but I found it insufficient for designing a perfect/professional site and so I moved on to MX.
For graphical needs, I use the good ol' Photoshop 7. I have seen the PS CS trial n found no real improvement upon PS 7 so I havent upgraded yet... Earlier I used the Microsoft Paint software ( ) and later Fireworks...
i always use Macromedia Studio...but the price... , but also the Adobe Creative Suite its excellent, i think that with the Macromedio-Adobe fusion, the new tools will be better, and programs like flash will be compatible with Photoshop CS.
i havn't tried any freeware software to my websites, anyway almost any website i made uses: Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop and Flash.