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Thread: Web Design Software

  1. #1

    Web Design Software

    Hi All,

    I have the old Frontpage 2000 web site software but heard that the 2003 version has a lot of new stuff. But aside from Frontpage, is there any other web design software you could recommend. I am not very proficient at setting up web pages and my html code is not much better than speaking latin to me.

    Dreamweaver is pricey and not much different than frontpage, so they say. My uncle was using Adobe at one time and said it was pretty good but that was a few years ago. Things change and what's hot, even if it is expensive.

    God Bless America,


  2. #2
    Dreamweaver has a 30 day free trial version. However, it is pricey. Maybe you could get a student discount, if you like the software.



  3. #3
    IMO Frontpage is horible, it pretty much codes in MS's version of HTML and not the standard W3C's HTML specs. Maybe it's improved since the last time I saw it, but it was bad about not closing tags and things. Most pages created with FP will only display correctly on IE.

    Back when I used to do web pages I used a program called Homesite. It was later bought out by Macromedia, so I don't know if it's still any good.

    It was a good program for anybody. You could use the WYSIWYG interface, or switch to a source editor which is basically a text editor, but it color codes the HTML tags for easier viewing. It had quick tabs for inserting commonly used HTML tags, wizards for things like tables, and a very nice HTML refrence.

    They have a free demo for it if you want to try it:

    The guy that originally wrote it now has a new HTML/CSS editor called TopStyle Pro. He also has a demo for the Pro version, and a free version for download:

    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  4. #4
    You're talking about the 2 primary mainstream editors here, likely more than you need from what I can infer.

    Frontpage is very powerful and is a good program. The code it generates, like Jim said, is ridiculous. It writes tons of MS-specific crap that is completely unnecessary, and yes, gives non-IE browsers problems at times. I wouldn't recommend it for these reasons.

    Dreamweaver is what I use, and is about as good as WYSIWYG editors get. The interface takes some getting used to, and due to the volume of features included, can be overwhelming if you're not already familiar with HTML and other web languages. Editing the code and/or the page elements is very easy once you figure out where everything is in the menus & palettes.

    Jim, from what I can tell, most of the core Homesite components are now integrated into DW's text editor... the new version of Homesite looks interesting though. I wasn't aware that they continued its development.

    I have a copy of Adobe GoLive that came with my Design Collection, but I don't care for it. It's feature-rich, but not as user-intuitive as Dreamweaver, or even Frontpage for that matter. I'm pretty sure Adobe gave up on continuing to develop it... and no one in the industry really minded.

    If you don't want to spend a lot, and just need the basics, the suggestion of TopStyle is good (I used it years ago), but you'll need to figure out the basics of HTML. WYSIWYG editors only go so far until you get frustrated b/c the code is doing things differently than you want it to do on-screen.

    If you want to dumb the process down even more (and I don't mean that in a negative way), there's always the option of creating a page in MS Word & publishing it as a web document. It will generate extremely messy code, but the page itself will look like you see it in Word, and you don't have to bother with learning HTML.

    Paul noted student discounts... if you can qualify for this & don't use the software professionally, go for it! It'll save you mucho dinero.

    ~ scott

  5. #5
    I almost forgot, the full Mozilla suite has a built in HTML editor, and it's free. If the source editor color coded the HTML, it would almost be like Homesite.

    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I realize I'm reviving an old post here, but may I suggest starting with Web Easy. There are standard and professional versions. Get the pro if you can, it's under $100. It is a What You See Is What You Get (uses absolute positioning) editor, but the Pro version also allows you to insert Javascript, embedded audio and video, e-commerce buttons, etc. It comes with a fair amount of clipart and animated gifs. It's a good start if you're not familiar with coding. The average person doesn't know the difference between a Dreamweaver-built site and a WYSIWYG-built site. Just take into consideration the targeted viewing audience.
    Anyway, I believe that a good website is about more than just knowing how to use your web design software. It's about marketing, graphics design, visual appeal, ease of use, accuracy of data, and more.
    Dreamweaver is awesome, especially if you get the package with Fireworks and Freehand, but the learning curve is tough. I've used Frontpage and didn't like it, though I still use it to create forms. Xara Menu Maker is nice for doing those rollover navigation bars.

    Start with something easy and as you go you'll learn about html, java, javascript, and eventually things like PHP, MySQL, ASP... and you'll want to go further.

    Good luck!

    "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."
    -Mitch Ratliffe

    [This message was edited by TameOne on 09-12-04 at 11:25 AM.]

  7. #7
    Thanks TameOne,

    I was just thinking about a web page maker that might have e-commerce stuff capabilities also. I don't think even the dreamweaver of FP 2003 has this function.


  8. #8
    e-commerce capabilities are going to be dependent on the server & software running on that end... *not* the software that you use locally.

  9. #9
    By "that end" Scott,

    Are you referring to the server host the web site is running thru...


  10. #10
    yup, better known as server-side.

    for example, I have one e-commerce site that I'm working on for a client hosted at running Zen Cart software (free @ You just need to find a host that has the necessary requirements to run an e-commerce package.

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