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Website design apps

MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Does anyone here have experience with web design programs like Frontpage or Dreamweaver? My father is interested in setting up a web page for his hobby of collecting and restoring fountain pens and is wondering whether any of the currently available site design programs are worth using.

He is fairly computer literate, and is open to eventually learning HTML, Javascript, what-have-you, but he's primarily interested in something that will let him get started right away without too steep of a learning curve. I'd welcome any suggestions as to what would be good to get him started.

Midshipman on
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Posts

  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2007
    Dreamweaver is a very capable program with a rather intuitive interface, as far as those types of things are concerned. How much interactivity is he planning on having on this website? Does he want people to be able to order things through the site? Leave feedback? Or is he just planning a "gallery" page to show off his work? If it is the latter, you should be fine with Dreamweaver, as it is pretty simple to do such things and learn as you go, provided basic computer literacy, willingness to explore the interface to see how things work and the ability to read help files when you get stuck.

    I don't have any experience with Frontpage, so I can't comment on that, however.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Oi oi, if it was only wednesday instead of tuesday.

    A buddy of mine does that professionally, AND he's teaching me the ropes. While I know absolutely nothing in the dept, my friend has set up websites for Texas University and a few others.

    If you can wait it out a day, I can ask.

    0WBv0.png
  • AximAxim Registered User
    edited October 2011
    honestly if its just a hobby site i would look into one of the automatic page generators online since if you have no webpage experience it is going to be pretty bad regardless.

    look up google's page generator called google pages, lets you drag content around put pictures in and add sections i just ref'd it to another friend a few days ago and did this in about two minutes to show her how easy it is.

    dreamweaver is the standard for doing web design, personally i use illustrator and export to dreamweaver for content, but for someone with no design knowledge unless he is willing to invest tons of time teaching himself the ropes and still making a pretty so-so page i'd go with a premade one using google or the many other alternatives out there..

    Axim on
  • mrcheesypantsmrcheesypants Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I suggest nvu.

    Sure it's not the best WYSIWYG editor, but it's the best free one I've found.

    Diamond Code: 2706 8089 2710
    Oh god. When I was younger, me and my friends wanted to burn the Harry Potter books.

    Then I moved to Georgia.
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2007
    To be honest, I found just learning xhtml and CSS from a book and building sites in a script editor like PSPad a much quicker way of getting into building sites than trying to wrestle with Dreamweaver. Compared to other design apps like photoshop, illustrator and even Flash, I found dreamweaver extremely counter-intuitive.

    You can read a book like Web Designer's Reference from Friends of Ed in about a week during your lunch break and come out of it with a really solid grounding in how to plan and build sites using CSS and xhtml.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I mucked around with wysiwyg editors for quite a while, but they're really not. I also second just sitting down and learning some XHTML and CSS. As long as you don't go for anything too complex, it's ultimately less of a headache than Dreamweaver, and the results are more predictable. A lot of people will sit down and draw a web page template in Photoshop and then chop it up and stick it in a table, but that's the old fashioned pain-in-the-ass way. It's not hard to figure out, but getting it working just right takes forever, and maintenance is a bitch. And the code often comes out quite ugly. (Even Dreamweaver can royally screw up a page within a few mouse clicks, and there's really no recourse unless you know anything about the code.)

    What a lot of people don't realize is you can make an attractive web page without using many graphics at all, just a few divs and CSS. Ultimately such a page is easier to read, and faster to load.

    XHTML can be understand in about ten seconds, and CSS is not syntactically difficult so much as it's hard to know what your options are and how things will behave without some references next to you. After learning the basics of those things, I still can't figure out how to get Dreamweaver to generate a web page that properly utilizes these technologies, and Dreamweaver is like the best wysiwyg editor out there, so stay the hell away from it. Incorporate a little PHP, and you can even do includes that allow you to update a bit of content that appears on every page site-wide.

    I found many of the links on this web page quite useful.

  • ffordefforde Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I suggest nvu.

    Sure it's not the best WYSIWYG editor, but it's the best free one I've found.
    I agree.

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Incorporate a little PHP, and you can even do includes that allow you to update a bit of content that appears on every page site-wide.
    You know you can do that without any PHP or any other server side scripting/programming technology, right? That's what the <include> tag exists for.

    To be more on topic with the original question, I'm with the "just learn html/xhtml/css" group. In my experience and from what others far more experience in web design than myself tell me, for almost any half decent website, you're going to have to go in and fix/modify code generated by Dreamweaver, Frontpage, etc. anyway.

    If he really doesn't want to learn right now I would recommend going with something more along the lines of any one of the various blog/portal applications that are out there which generally provide a clean, semi-professional, look out of the box and are easy to add content like pictures with some text to or an app pre-written for a picture gallery.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Jimmy King wrote:
    Incorporate a little PHP, and you can even do includes that allow you to update a bit of content that appears on every page site-wide.
    You know you can do that without any PHP or any other server side scripting/programming technology, right? That's what the <include> tag exists for.

    The things you learn. Honestly, the logistics of setting up a site properly to eliminate the old problem of having to make the same change on a million pages are still quite opaque to me (who am currently building my own video game mini-API from scratch). Nevertheless, to throw together a fountain pen web site, you can get by without knowledge of that.

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