How to edit my old website

I have a verrrry old static HTML website which I built using Dreamweaver, which I no longer own. What’s a good way to edit the website? Ideally, I want to import the site into some tool that will let me edit the site and the HTML pages.

Can Rapidweaver do this and if so, how do I bring the old site into it? If not, any recommendations for a static site editor that can do this?

I have BBEdit but my manual HTML skills are rusty.

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Honestly if it’s very old it’s unlikely to work well on the wide range of modern screen sizes. It may be better to look at a hosted website builder solution like wix or Wordpress and just rewrite the content into a standard theme. Coding practices have changed a lot in recent years.

I have not used a WYSWYG site editor for years, so not even sure one exists as a standalone app. If you can find one you will need a program to pull the site of its server using FTP something like FileZilla which is free. However as I said the amount of work making it work on modern devices may not be worth it.


I used Jekyll for my static site.
I used Typora to edit the markdown files, and have a script that will either build and run a local webserver so I can try it out, or build and upload to my site when it’s presentable.

Since we have markdown now, you shouldn’t have to write much (or any) html for a site like this.

The site can be hosted for free on GitHub pages, for any Future People™ who might be interested in that.

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That’s fine but things like Jekyll require a degree of modern coding and scripting knowledge, I would guess from the initial post the site was made using tables and at best inline CSS, that’s the way Dreamweaver used to work, yes you could edit/write raw HTML but its was primarily marketed and used as a WYSIWYG editor.

It’s a massive leap from something like that to a modern static site builder and not a leap I would advise anyone to take lightly.


I remember trying out DreamWeaver around… uhhh… 20+ years ago I think and it generated reams and reams of utter garbage. That’s when I learned how to hand code HTML 4. I don’t know how much better it got (if at all), but like @TheOldDesigner says, I would be very surprised if anything can ingest it.

If you want easy then something like SquareSpace would be the way. It has its limitations, but if you’re not too picky it can do most things pretty easily. WordPress is fine, but still requires a significant investment if you want to create something ‘just so’.

I recently helped out a friend by rebuilding an old club website. Step 1 was to start from scratch, which I chose to do with pure HTML with BootStrap 5 as my “designer”. It took a bit of fettling, but he now edits the HTML (as he did on the old site) and the whole site works from large screens to phones.

I’m not sure what was used to build the original, but it had tables nested over half a dozen deep!

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I was in the same situation for a web site, while publicly available, only used by a few people in my collaboration diaspora. It started with Microsoft FrontPage in the 1980’s. Of course evolved since then with other methods. When I had need to reframe it a few years ago, I decided to simplify it down to basic HTML/CSS, using BBEdit of course. Didn’t take much time to remember the basic HTML as it is close to MarkDown which I now occasionally use and is in common use by the “cool kids”.

My “collaboration diaspora”, which is now a bit bigger than in the 1980’s, likes the new simplified site much better. None of us are into web sites that look and operate like TV/Movies! :wink:


Pinegrow can allow you to remote edit a website.

I would steer well clear of Rapidweaver. It’s in a major transition after a spat between one of the plugin developers and I would not trust the platform at this point in time (I used them for 12 years till recently.)

I have started to use Pinegrow to develop all my sites and it is an excellent programme. You can view and edit the code as well as edit it in a visual editor. It has built in frameworks such as Bootstrap, Foundation and TailwindCSS. These allow you to drag and drop many components such as whole navigation bars or hero images with text. This allows for very quick development. It also outputs clean code. It has a built in feature using the Unsplash API for adding images within the app. The thing I like about Pinegrow compared to Rapidweaver and Blocs, is that you do not have to pay for extra for needed features. Rapidweaver over the years wracked up quite a bill.

My last site built with Pinegrow is completely static and weighed in a 1.4mb, it loads super quick on mobile using 4G.

Although SSG’s can be good, their overhead is often quite time consuming and if a dependency breaks it requires more work. I’d be cautious in using a SSG.


Great answers (though not what I hoped to hear, but oh well). Was hoping for something that worked like Dreamweaver, editing and syncing a local copy of the site.

And for what it’s worth, early Dreamweaver produced mediocre HTML code but they cleaned that up, mostly. I will use Dreamweaver for immediate need and migrate it to something like Squarespace later.


I want to thank everyone who responded. I learned about a few nice tools (especially Pinegrow).

Because my changes are simple I decided to use BBEdit, which can edit a file on a remote FTP server and even let me push an image file I needed. I haven’t edited HTML code for a decade! It felt like working with “stone knives and bearskin” but got the job done.

Thank you, all.