Currently I am using Microsoft Web Expression 4 SP2. It has some great features; like visual HTML 5 editor and a Microsoft Word similarity. But its an outdated software, 2012 and a deprecated one. You can build a complete website with it without the need to code a single line; It will help graphically build the HTML/DIVs/TABLEs/Frames/CSS... for you. It has Design/Split/Code modes. Design Mode and Visual GUI are my focus on my question.

I had a look into a lot of similar softwares this two weeks but can't find the proper one that can replace MS Web Expression. Tried so far:

None seem to replace Web Expression so far.

I am looking for something that support the following:

  1. HTML 5
  2. CSS 3
  3. JavaScript (jQuery 2/3)
  4. PHP 7.x (Intellisense and Autocomplete with editor debugger)
  5. Visual Editor where I can edit Visually without wasting much time in coding; for HTML/CSS .
  6. FTP Publishing tool.

Not needed the ability to edit or tweak graphics; that can be done with Photoshop or GIMP .., and no need to have its built in Web server. WAMP, XAMPP or EasyPHP can be used.

The issue with the list of software that I mentioned; that each natively support a different technology: Microsoft focus on ASP and .NET. Eclipse and Atom is more into writing code not HTML 5 Authoring tools and Graphical WYSIWYG Software. Please refer to the attached images to know what I mean.

Adobe Dreamweaver looks promising; the only issue is with its subscription based and some cloud functions which I don't need

So which one you are using for Web Development/Design that supports Visually most of the things and good graphical interface.

It might be an opinion based question; but I guess if you had long experience in Web Development; you had reached the optimal solution and software for productivity and convenience.

Web Expression 4 Web Expression Authoring Options

I am using windows, and I wish something free or affordable.

Note: I know a lot about coding in HTML,CSS and PHP ...etc So I am not about learning them...I am looking for something to save some time. You can do a lot with Visual Editor and code when needed.

  • Personally, I use Eclipse for my AngularJs and PHP development, and that works just fine (although I don't use it for FTP upload, so don't know if it can)- what's wrong with it for you? Now visual? . Take a look at the W3C's official editor, although that won't handle PHP, nor visual page layout, it will ensure that your code is standards compliant. WebStorm is also worth looking at. if you do get a good solution, then please let us know , as I a looking for the same thing :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:39
  • As I said, I like Eclipse, and don't think that you will get both JS and PHP support in one product elsewhere. Googling for free alternative to dreamweaver with design view brought up some interesting possibilities, which I shall have to sift through
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:42
  • hostsearch.com/articles/… which still, in 2017, recommends Microsoft's Expression Web 4.0 as the best Dreamweaver alternative, and has Kompzer and Blue Griffon, recommended in answers below as #2 & 3, sounds pretty accurate, so take a look at the pothers (or stick with what you have and know - what's wrong with it, except for "old"?)
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:53
  • For instance, it says of Aloha editor. "It is an extremely viable Dreamweaver alternative". Also "openElement is important because it focuses on enabling users to create websites with the responsive designs that look good on any device (PC, mobile, or tablet) and are vital for good SEO", and "Google Web Designer is a genuinely good solution that gives you everything you want from a WYSIWYG HTML editor", and ...
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:58
  • "Like other solutions TOWeb has HTML 5 and CSS 3 covered, but more importantly, it also has a strong leaning towards enabling users to create ‘responsive’ website designs. TOWeb provides a number of templates which users edit and revamp to design the responsive website they need. "
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 10:00

2 Answers 2


Give a try to blue griffon

It has support for HTML5, CSS3, it has FTP support via FireFTP but I believe it lacks support for PHP.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I tried blue griffon some time ago however it's not stable, it crashes a lot. I use Dreamweaver and Notepad++.
    – onurcano
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 0:01
  • griffon is not really what i need and it can't replace web expression 4, even dreamweaver its a great software but not as convenient as expression. I guess I will back to expression.
    – wpcoder
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 21:42
  • why not? apart from no PHP, and the Eur 75 license, it seems great; especially the Dual View (Source + Wysiwyg in sync)
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:47

You might want to try Kompozer (if you want free solution) or CoffeeCup HTML Editor (if you want commercial solution). If you still can't find the right one, you have to learn HTML5, CSS, and PHP yourself and using any favorite text editor, then preview it on any favorite browser.

  • Although it is very dated, I still use Kompzer because I can't find a better free one, so +1 Of course,t hat won't help with PHP :-(
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:31

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