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Thread: Web design software, etc.

  1. Web design software, etc.

    My boss asked me if I could learn to design and/or maintain websites. Since I could ask for more $$ if I did, I decided to give it a go.

    I need advice about the best way to design web pages, and how to gain the skills quickly. I am looking into software like Frontpage, but have no experience with it.

    My personal website was designed in 15 min. on MS Word, and I have a wee bit of HTML experience.

    Any advice would be useful, and anyone who uses Frontpage is asked to offer their assessment of the software.


    Thanks.

  2. If you don't know HTML, try Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. I tried it once and it seemed to do pretty well. I stay as far away from frontpage as humanly possible, personally. And of course, if you're gonna make web pages you should have some sort of graphic tool also.

    If you want to code html by hand, a really good tip for learning is to steal other html. I'm dead serious. If I hadn't checked out the templates in vBulletin 3, I never would have known about <fieldset> and <legend>text</legend>.

  3. Dreamweaver MX. Good shit.

  4. Dreamweaver: The good shit.
    Frontpage: The nasty green shit.

  5. Studio MX is definitely THE tool and the standard nowadays. I do my site by hand, but I'm not doing professional sites with nothing to offer.

    If you can afford it, get Studio because it comes with Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, and some other really neat stuff.
    - calianaderderajhfjdjjdskk
    Check out my stories: guildlibrary.net

  6. Dreamweaver MX in conjunction with http://www.w3schools.com/ is all you need to code a decent web page.
    You sir, are a hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by cka
    If you don't know HTML, try Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. I tried it once and it seemed to do pretty well. I stay as far away from frontpage as humanly possible, personally. And of course, if you're gonna make web pages you should have some sort of graphic tool also.

    If you want to code html by hand, a really good tip for learning is to steal other html. I'm dead serious. If I hadn't checked out the templates in vBulletin 3, I never would have known about <fieldset> and <legend>text</legend>.
    I've only ever used Notepad and Photoshop and it has served me well and yes - always - stealing other source is the absolute best way to learn.

    www.pacerx.org is virtually all notepad.
    o_O

  8. You'll never get good at designing websites if you just get one of these programs and simply use them as a crutch. The only program that I use to design my websites is Photoshop for the initial planning of the layout, and working with the graphics side of the site.

    The problem I have with WYSISYG website creation programs is that every one I've used simply can't get everything right. And once you find something that just won't work properly, unless you have an understanding of HTML, you're screwed. As well, I don't like the formatting of those kinds of programs - they often toss in tags that don't need to be there, don't properly do some tags, and if you need to roll up your sleeves and jump into the HTML, the layout is an aboslute mess.

    I'll be fair here, however - I haven't used one of these programs in the last two years or so. For all I know, they could have gotten to be worlds better.

    Still, I've very stuck in the old ways - text-based HTML editor, and that's it. (A good HTML-minded text editor, like PageSpinner on Mac OS, that can color-code your HTML tags, is a wonderful thing.) It's sort of like a car - the more you work on and fix by hand, the more understanding you have of how things work and why, and the easier it is for you to fix things in the future, or to expand beyond the original intended design to do new and interesting things. I'd say, if you're going to use a WYSIWYG editor, use it to make different types of things, and then look at the HTML coding to see what does what. Sure, at first, doing everything by hand takes longer to put together than you could do it on a fancy editor. And if you aren't good about visualizing things, creating a website from scratch by just typing out HTML can be a bitch. But I think that work pays off in better coding, and more importantly, a good idea of what is there why. If you put in every line of code, you know why it is there and what it does. If you let the software do all of the coding, you might not know what is there why, so you don't know where to look when a problem arises.

    The idea of "stealing" HTML code is by far my most recommended way. Never, ever feel guilty about taking HTML coding. If you steal the coding from one person's site, and use it completely to make your own site, that's wrong. But taking pieces so that you can learn what does what is the best way to learn. I learned HTML all on my own, by going to websites, downloading the source, and playing around with it. Okay, what does this code do? If I change that code to this, what happens?

    Whatever you do, though, seriously, don't use those kinds of programs as a crutch. If you want to use them to do most of the hard work on your website, that's fine. Not my style, but you're not me. However, do what you can to learn HTML. That way, when the graphic editor just won't do what you need it to do, you know how to fine tune your coding. And, when a problem arises, you know how to actually fix what you've put your time and energy into.
    WARNING: This post may contain violent and disturbing images.

  9. Dreamweaver MX 2004, to be specific. Leaps and bounds past MX. DW MX 2004 has much better CSS capabilities. If you're going to be doing web design, start learning CSS, in addition to html.

    Even if you pick up a product like DW, you'll still need to look at the code to tweak and improve. That falls back to what 'doshi and the others are saying: steal code. That's how you'll learn. In addition to w3schools, I'd check out R7 Designer, CSS Shark, and WebMonkey. R7 Designer has some free downloadable templates (almost all pur CSS) that would give you some good code to look over and learn from.

    edit: Adding a bit more info: http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/td...oduct=studiomx is the page to hit for downloading a 30 day trail version of Studio MX 2004. It includes Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks (a Photoshop-like tool), Freehand (an Illustrator-like tool), and Cold Fusion MX (a server backend, akin to PHP and ASP). One of the cool things about Studio MX 04 (and Studio MX before it) is it's extensibility. I've downloaded free "widgets" that add things like: new auto-shapes (like gears and such) in Fireworks and Flash, ASP driven Event Calendars, Flash and ASP driven Event Calendars (both added easily within Dreamweaver), cool Flash effects to apply to text for making simple but cool Flash movies, etc. Yes, I am a Macromedia-whore.


    Good luck!
    Never under any circumstance scrutinize the mastication orifice of a gratuitous herbivorous quadruped.

  10. I didn't get ColdFusion.
    - calianaderderajhfjdjjdskk
    Check out my stories: guildlibrary.net

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