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Definition: Web authoring software

A website development system that allows Web pages to be visually created like a desktop publishing program. A Web authoring program generates the required HTML and JavaScript, and users can switch back and forth between the rendered pages and the code. At a high level, the software is judged by its design tools. At a low level, the generated documentation and code clarity determines how easily the site can be customized.

Comprehensive products can download an existing website and display it as a graphical hierarchy of pages. They can then be used to manage the site from that point forward. See Web publishing, Dreamweaver, WordPress, content management system and HTML editor.

Sample Site
NetObjects Fusion automatically creates a hierarchy for a typical website that can be easily edited. Such programs automatically create the navigation code that links all the pages of the site. (Screenshot courtesy of NetObjects Inc.)