Last night I found out that HomeSite has been discontinued.
I was surprised to hear this, but not because I thought it was premature – truth is, I was surprised HomeSite hadn’t been discontinued a long time ago. It’s been almost 15 years since I created HomeSite, and I stopped working on it in 1998 when I left Allaire Corporation. Several other developers took over after I left, but to the best of my knowledge nobody has touched it for several years, so the fact that it was still being sold until now is a nice testament to how useful people found it. Kudos to Macromedia and Adobe for keeping it around, despite the fact that it competed with some of their other products.
Sometimes in this blog I’ve made disparaging remarks about HomeSite, but that’s not because I disliked it. It’s just that it’s hard to look at something you created so long ago without seeing all the mistakes that you’ve learned not to make since then. I’m actually very proud of HomeSite, and very thankful that it enabled me to quit my job and work at home. And, funny enough, HomeSite is also what paid for the home I’m living in now.
I’m also incredibly thankful to the great community that sprang up around HomeSite and helped make it so popular. The Wikipedia page on HomeSite captures a bit of this history:
“Nick Bradbury and then Allaire had a policy of having an open support forum for those interested in its products, both current customers and prospects. The fans of HomeSite would contribute to the development of the product by making suggestions on-line and refining those suggestions amongst themselves. The Allaire developers would join in the discussion, participating and really incorporating user suggestions…Users responded to that respect and love for the tool by supporting each other and by creating and sharing a wide variety of HomeSite extensions.”
These days it’s common practice for programmers to actively involve customers in the creation of their software, but back in 1995 it wasn’t the norm. I certainly wasn’t the first developer to take this approach, but I like to think I was one of the pioneers. That more than anything is what I’m most proud of with HomeSite: in some small way, I hope I helped to break down the invisible wall between developers and users. So much of our society’s future depends on technology that we absolutely must open the lines of communication between those building the tools and those using them.
Anyway, I hope you’ll forgive my patting myself on the back a bit here. I’ve never had one of my creations go the way of the dodo, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic at the moment, and I’m looking back and remembering the things (most of them accidental) that got me started down this path I’m on.
Update: I have to add that TopStyle 4.0 is an excellent replacement for HomeSite. It even has the tabbed HTML toolbars that were so popular with HomeSite customers.
48 thoughts on “HomeSite Discontinued”
It’s the end of an era… I have many fond memories of Homesite, although I switched to a Mac years ago. To your credit, I’m still looking for the Mac software equivalent of Homesite. (Coda is close.)
I bought Homesite in the very early days – not sure of the date, but I bought it through Compuserve, directly from Nick. I don’t think there was even a website for Homesite at the time…
Yep. I remember Homesite very well. It was the first editor I used when I was learning HTML. I guess this would have been in the mid to late 90’s sometime.
As someone who used HomeSite extensively in those heady early days back in 1995, I emailed Nick a few times with feature requests and bugs. I was always pleasantly surprised when he responded and better yet, acted and implemented. I loved homesite, and it’s passing will be remembered fondly. Cheers Nick!
Even if it was not updated, I still use HomeSite+ 5.5 for some tasks.
Would be glad if Adobe decided to make it open source, so it could be upgraded to Delphi 2007, and gradually add unicode support, and other features.
Whoa! Thanks, Nick, for creating HomeSite. Remember using it back when I first started using the web and creating websites in the late 90s.
Props and many commendations Nick for creating and developing HomeSite the way you did. For me it was, and pretty much still is, the top overall app for hand-coding HTML. I heavily resisted using anything else for the past 10-odd years.
I still have a really soft spot for it, and overall have been pretty disappointed it wasn’t continually improved, because it did what I wanted really well, and could’ve continued to be a killer app, much like how FeedDemon is for me today!
In fact, I really love all your apps– I feel your motivations in app development are in tune with mine, those being programs with a massive focus on user experience and great usability, yet also caters for the power user, but also looks slick and operates efficiently.
Those are indicators for me of a great developer that’s also highly competent with design too– I loved how you started early with using Winword 2 toolbar icons way back in HS3, and making your app actually ‘look’ professional.
So once again, thanks for your efforts, and love your past and current work. All the best!
I bought the first version of HomeSite through CompuServe and I loved it. It has been my companion when learning HTML and Active Server Pages.
Later on I was also using TopStyle Pro and actually I’m using FeedDemon – Nick has embossed the way I work and use web – thanks for this.
A fifteen year software product run has to be a record. Kudos!
I haven’t used HomeSite in years but I’m still a bit bummed about the news. I created a lot of my sites with it and learned a lot along the way.
I also started developing with HomeSite, some 9 years ago. A shame to see it go, and a bigger shame that the code couldn’t have been opened up to the community.
Nick, my hat is still off to you. I was an early (1.something) registered HomeSite user and it kept getting better and better. Some of the features in those releases were uncannily similar to requests I’d made and that was a unique – not to mention useful – experience to have with any software.
I hung on with Windows for years in part because I’d not found Homesite’s replacement. Now I’m on Textmate on OSX, but I’ve still not regained some of the productivity Homesite gave me.
I remember trying a bunch of different editors until finding something like HomeSite 1.2 waaaaaay back when. I was hooked and stuck with it through something like version 4 at least. Ironically, it became something of a defacto Windows HTML editor standard.
Then I was a TopStyle Pro user. Great stuff. I am now on a Mac and use TextMate mostly, but HomeSite and TopStyle got me where I am today, for sure.
Thank you, Nick.
Whoa! Thanks, Nick, for creating HomeSite
Thanks Nick, I made my first website on HomeSite, I loved that app.
Wow amazing, i switch to Homesite from BBEdit and have been using it ever since. That was 9 year ago today. Actually I just purchased another license from the adobe site 3 months ago. So sad to see it go.
Thank you so much for all your efforts.
Nick – I’m sad to see HomeSite go. For many years, it was the only tool I’d use. Hopping from company to company, I’d always insist on them purchasing me a new copy before I’d get any real work done. I absolutely loved that program and it was a part of my working identity for quite a while. When I ended up working at NewsGator and discovered that you were a part of the company, I was starstruck to say the least. Thanks for the great product. I raise my glass to HomeSite and to you and say “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”.
I still to this day use HomeSite 5.5 for a lot of development tasks – it has stood up really well to other apps that are bloated with features that are not necessary for barebones coding many, many, many years later. Thanks so much for an amazing piece of software.
It is absolutely the end of an era. I was a died in the wool HomeSite user back in the day; it was a tremendous tool and did a fantastic job of balancing “being helpful” and “getting the hell out of your way.” It must feel great to have birthed that product into the world…
 And oh, you over there, you kids – GET OFF MY LAWN.
On behalf of thousands of folks who were trying to figure out their place between developer, coder, business, design, and feed-myself-with-this-gig during the web site free-for-all building days (circa 1998-2003): thank you. Homesite was one of the best designed products I’ve ever used; it made me better at what I did but also respected what I already knew.
Nostalgia is fine in the right place, and this is the right place.
Homesite was my first real HTML editor. Before that I used notepad. At HealthStream in 2002 I was a Coldfusion guy, and I remember Homesite as my weapon of choice before Allaire ported a lot of its functionality to ColdFusion Studio.
Never imagined I’d be friends with the guy who wrote that software.
Let me add a pat on the back. Nice Work Nick.
This was my first (and still my favorite) Web tool–and I’m not a hard core Web guy. I’d say it was one of those canonical designer and developer tools that really drove digital. Alone with Debabilizer, Media Cleaner and my favorite motion graphic and 3D tools Commotion and Electric Image. I’ve surely dated myself at this point. :)
This has been my favorite, and pretty much ONLY code editor, since I moved from C++ to coding websites in 1998. I’ve never had the patience to really work with WUSSY Wiggers and just end up coming back to what I do best… OSD perfectionist hard codin’. So… now, does this mean that you, Nick, can take HomeSite back and keep it alive? Can ya, huh, huh, can ya? :-|
Glad to see that YOU have not been discontinued, Nick. Homesite was a great “thing” in its day even when it wasn’t the greatest software because of the way it was always improving. I long ago moved to HTML-Kit and TopStyle and now to a Mac – you built the tools that built a lot of my sites. Thanks!
I still use HomeSite 5.5 at my day job. We’re forced to use Windows there, and although we have the latest version of Dreamweaver, I continue to use HomeSite because it’s lean and has just about all the features I ever find myself needing. Guess I’ll be hanging on to my copy as long as possible!
I started with HomeSite 1.5 back in 1996 and purchased 2.0 a short time later. I was one of the many active people in the help forums and thanks to HomeSite I developed an interest in programming for the Internet which I still do today. I remember the fun you had with a particular ‘Green Dog’ inside a HomeSite easter egg. Thanks Nick for developing a great product and involving the community is it evolution and growth.
I’m so sad to see it go away especially since we don’t have a fully featured and better replacement. (Yet) BTW: Nick, if your not in the prerealease for Bolt from Adobe, you should know that HomeSite users are having a major impact on the new IDE’s features. Snippets live on in a new and improved form.
Wil Genovese (former known as “The Juggler”)
I learn HTML using HomeSite and I’m still using it for some tasks.
It was a shame it was silently abandoned with ColdFusion Studio and that the code was not opened to the community.
HomeSite is probably the only program I have been using for more than twelve years.
Thanks Nick, you are a great programmer.
I’ll agree with your sentiment that time has passed HomeSite by, but in many ways it remains my favorite editor. I learned so much using it — way back from when it was shareware! Can’t imagine the web without it. Thanks so much for all the work you’ve done, on HomeSite, TopStyle, etc., etc.
I think I already said thank you once, but I’ll say it again!
HomeSite was/is a great tool, although I don’t use it anymore (I moved on to do other things) but I remember it as the first tool that I really used, also the first shareware I paid for (not personally, the company I worked for, through my recommendation). Also loved TopStyle which I gather is still on.
Great job with those applications, I certainly have fond memories!
Homesite was my favorite windows application ever, and was the most important application to replace when I went to mac (started with bbedit, now Textmate).
I always felt that homesite was the diamond in the rough that Macromedia never appreciated in Macromedia’s acquisition of Allaire
I still use it to this day. It’s still has the best & fastest global find/replace of any development software solution.
Oh, wow. Honestly, I can’t think of a piece of software that I loved more than Homesite. I also hooked every one of my employers and coworkers on it back in the day when I still did a bit of code monkeying. I’ve been a Mac person for the last few years and just recently downloaded Coda. I’m super rusty but I had the thought as I purchased, ‘Gosh, I hope it’s like Homesite.’
WAH!!! So sad. I started with HomeSite somewhere around 1997 on the day I was told that “Oh, by the way, we fired our web design company. Taking care of the company web site is now your job.” I still use it every day. It still has features that Adobe/Macromedia never got around to putting into Dreamweaver, and I foresee that I’ll continue to use it for as long as it will run on whatever computer I have. I still use TopStyle, too, for that matter. Just upgraded to v. 4, in fact. Both products made it easier to learn without being crutches that did the work for me.
Thank you for two great products, Nick.
I learned to code using HomeSite back in 1994, and haven’t used anything else since then.
I still don’t like any WYSIWYG out there. Okay, I use Dreamweaver on occasion, but that’s only to use an extension.
HomeSite+ remains my primary Windows editor to this day, although the “plus” HomeSite was discontinued ages ago. Quite honestly, other editors just end up pissing me off… because they’re not HomeSite+ :D
Please take it back and give us more as we truly deserve.
I can’t see any other lightweight editor replacing it.
Just like Topstyle got redone, i think Homesite should be given the same kind of treatment.
Your legacy lives on….
I bought Topstyle 4 in the mistaken belief I was buying from you safely as I have done in the past. I live in the UK and my purchase was directed through Shopper Discounts and Rewards http://www.shopperdiscountsandrewards.co.uk/Home/Default.rails
They took my card details and started taking monthly fees from my card.
I have used Homesite and Topstyle for years . I feel cheated that my trust in you and your products have been rewarded by being ripped off. I know it not your fault (at least I hope it isn’t) but I do think you should check that no company you are connected with is abusing your loyal customers.
@Bob: Are you certain it was your TopStyle 4 purchase that led to this? I ask because Stefan uses SWREG (a well-known e-commerce provider) for order processing, and I’ve used them many times in the past without any trouble.
BTW, I’ve just forwarded your comment to Stefan van As, in case you haven’t do so already.
@Nick: I have complained to SWREG about this. I’m not accusing them yet because they are usually very customer-orientated. However, if they are truly sending my customers to “shopper discounts and rewards”, I’ll be switching e-commerce provider soon.
In the meantime, my advise to Bob has been to call his bank, and ask for a chargeback for all the payments that were taken from your credit card by “shopper discounts & rewards”.
I’m pretty sure his TopStyle 4 license itself has NOT been charged by “shopper discounts & rewards” – it has been charged by SWREG.
My advice to anyone out there is NOT to click on anything that reads “redeem/get/claim your discount/offer/incentive from our preferred partner/affiliate”. These things are often a scam. As soon as your purchase is complete, it is complete. Don’t buy anything else. I see this all the time, and I hate this kind of business as much as everyone else does, I’m sure.
I still use HS 5.2 (I downgraded from 5.5 to 5.2 due to the missing border=”0″ when dragging in image paths)
Works great on Vista x64.
And since I write all my css/html/etc by hand, I see no reason to give it up.
Here is what I believe Bob is referring to:
it apparently comes up post-purchase
I have asked SWREG to remove all links to third parties from my store immediately. It seems they did. The “claim your incentive from our preferred partner” is gone. Pfew.
Unfortunately, it is not only SWREG. Other Digital River brands (ShareIT and RegNow) also add cross-sells to post-purchase pages.
For now, my SWREG store is good (no more incentives from “preferred partners”), but obviously I’ll be investigating other (non-Digital River) payment processors soon.
As a user since pre 2.0 versions of Homesite I think it’s sad Adobe didn’t continue to enhance Homesite. However, I still use it at home for my business. At my current employer I use TopStyle.
Sigh, it’s sad to see it made official, though not a surprise since HomeSite development has been effectively dead since before Adobe bought Macromedia, and definitely since then.
Of course just because they aren’t selling it doesn’t mean anyone who has it has to stop. I still use it all the time, and my custom scripts, toolbar buttons, etc really speed my work.
Guess I need to check out Topstyle a bit more though…
Nick, as you know, I’ve been around the HomeSite users community for a long time, (since about v 2.0 or 2.5?) The years where you were owner or working it under Allaire is the only place I’ve ever seen such a great relationship between developers and users. I can’t count the number of features that were added, changed or rewritten as direct result of user ideas and critique during our beta cycles (and regular use).
Thanks for all you put into it, and for the years of really listening to your users, in HomeSite and your other tools. You’re a great example to other developers.
p.s. I’ll keep my “Asp4Hs: ASP/PHP/.Net/etc Development Extensions for HomeSite” ( http://www.wilk4.com/asp4hs/ ) site up for the foreseeable future, since it’s obvious that HS users haven’t stopped using it yet, and probably won’t just because Adobe posts a press release abandoning it. ;-)
@Jeff: Great to see you comment here – you’ve been one of HomeSite’s best supporters over the years. Would love to see you convert your HS extensions over to TS4 (TS4 has customizable toolbars that put HS to shame).
And I really appreciate your comments about the relationship I had with HS customers. I’ve tried to maintain a similar relationship with both TS and FD customers, but given that I wrote HS before I had a family, chances are I spent far more time with the HS community.
Thanks for your reply Nick. I appreciate it.
On converting the HS extensions to TS4, that’s definitely something to consider, and I can look into it once I get more into TS4 and see what may be feasible.
Does TS4 have a place like my site where people go to find extensions?
Somewhere that tries to list what all is available from users?
Keep in mind that most of the extensions I list & provide from my site were written by others. I provided the central place for them.
… and I know what you mean about family changing what time you have for this kind of stuff… definitely changes my online time available ;-)
I’m still using HomeSite 4.5 for coding HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. and will continue using it – it still does the job and I haven’t found any better general purpose code editors. It would be nice if above poster’s (Guti) wish came true and it continued as an open source application.
LONG LIVE HOMESITE!!!
Thanks for a great package Nick. Homesite was the app I learnt to hand-code XHTML only 3-4 years ago, and just last year I bought 3 Adobe Homesite 5.5 licences for our junior designers. It’s a shame it’s gone, knowing it was on its way out I have investigated other avenues but nothing seems as intuitive.
Great App RIP
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