Many years ago, when I first began doing web development, if you wanted an application to program in, you had two choices: Expensive Dreamweaver, or Notepad.
After I switched to a Mac OS X, there was still a void in the application department, again leaving people with either Dreamweaver, or TextEdit. Until 2007 that is. Panic Software released Coda, an all in one application that provided a top notch FTP program, built in SSL terminal, and complimentary copies of several E-Reference books to use while programming. Meanwhile, Dreamweaver had a modest FTP/Site Manager module, with no support for SSL and certainly no in-application reference titles.
Beyond the big differences, it really boils down to Coda being a brilliant text editor that highlights code for you. It’s simple, easy to use, yet absolutely unparalleled in terms of efficiency and productivity. The Site Manager which shows upon opening the program, shows a thumbnail of each of your websites, allowing you to keep tabs on them and easily distinguish them from each other. After selecting the site, the file manager is easy to use, the navigation is simplistic, and it’s an absolute breeze to switch between text editing, to a feature-filled CSS Editor, to your own private library full of technical books. Coda was able to do something that Dreamweaver couldn’t, make web developing and application editing actually enjoyable and fun again. No more complicated menus, complex and confusing pre-written “scripts” that get injected into your code by Dreamweaver.
For all of that, you’d think the prices would be flipped. Coda is miles ahead of Dreamweaver in nearly every aspect, yet is only a fraction of the cost. For only $99 for a single copy, or $85 if you already own Panic’s fantastic FTP client: Transmit (Which is built into Coda!). Coda is an absolutely fantastic piece of software, with very few complaints to be heard, a must buy for every Mac Web Developer, and an even bigger reason for switching to the Mac for all the web developers still on Windows.