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As I’ve said, GoLive isn’t perfect. It suffers from several problems common to all WYSIWYG editors: convoluted code, proprietary tags, cluttered interface. But at least it’s aware of these difficulties and provides work-arounds, such as the surprisingly efficient Source Editor for adjusting the HTML to your liking. And although I am always moving windows and palettes around to make room for something, Adobe makes the panels as smart as possible, with the Inspector and Toolbar constantly changing to help with what I’m currently working on. Plus, much like that other Adobe product, Photoshop, a lot of the interfacial stuff is redundant; it merely gives you a wide range of ways to accomplish the same tasks. So once you’ve acclimated yourself and established a working style, you’ll be able to minimize some of the onscreen riffraff.

This is a powerful, intelligently designed program, but be sure you know what you’re getting into before taking the plunge. GoLive 5 was created with designers in mind — not programmers and not beginners. The ideal user is someone who’s been building sites for a while and is looking for some shortcuts. If you’ve never put together a site before, the sheer volume of choices and features that GoLive offers can be overwhelming and a waste of time. Ultimately, it would be quicker to just learn HTML than it would be to learn GoLive from scratch.

But if you’re ready for some WYSIWYG action and you’re willing to take the time to figure out the interface, GoLive 5.0 is the one to beat. It’s definitely right up there with Macromedia Dreamweaver as the best of the bunch. Furthermore, if you use Photoshop and ImageReady for your Web graphics tasks, or even for your preliminary design mock-ups, you can’t fail with the solid intergration and familiar interfaces between the programs in the Adobe suite.

Is GoLive 5 sexy enough to woo me away from my beloved SimpleText? Maybe. There are times when it is a chore to build something in GoLive that would take a few minutes the old-fashioned way, which is why GoLive may be overkill if you’re just making a small homepage with a few tables and images. But figuring out complex framesets or JavaScripts has never been at the top of my list of Fun Things to Do (eating PB&J while watching Flash Gordon with Uma T. has that honor), and GoLive handles those kinds of tasks with aplomb.

So yes, GoLive 5 is now a part of my Web toolbox, along with SimpleText, Photoshop, Fetch, and a healthy dose of Benzedrine.