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Old 01-15-2010, 07:54 AM   #1
TooLoose_LeTrek
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Default Is Microsoft Expression Web3 Complex?

I need some software to keep my very simple website up to date. I have been using MS Front Page 2000 until now and would like to get something more secure and current. As I am installing Microsoft Office 2007 business software, I can purchase Microsoft Expression Web 3 (which replaces Front Page) reasonably cheap price. My question is...is this software really complicated and not very user friendly? I read online that it is intended to compete with Dream Weaver. I can do very very very basic HTML editing and need something that will not require a steep learning curve. I just don't have that kind of time. Or interest.

I went to a computer store the other day and they had two products on the shelf: Namo Web Editor Pro and Serif's WebPlus X4. I looked up the Namo and it looks like it was published around 2006 and hasn't been tweaked much since.

Any suggestions of whether or not I should take the plunge on the Microsoft program?
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:01 AM   #2
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Any suggestions of whether or not I should take the plunge on the Microsoft program?
ExpressionWeb was said to be less complex than DreamWeaver when it was first released, but quite respectable.

   
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
TooLoose_LeTrek
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So...what are you saying? Would you recommend it to someone who isn't html code savvy? I've never worked with DreamWeaver.

I was going to do a test run on the Serif product, but they do not allow that option.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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So...what are you saying? Would you recommend it to someone who isn't html code savvy?
I was saying that Microsoft's product was reviewed in computer magazines when it first came out, and the verdict was that it was much more useful than FrontPage, but that no one would say that it was better than DreamWeaver. I've no experience with html, so I've no ax to grind. Serif's WebPlus may be OK too, and I'm inclined to trust the firm; it won't cost you much to try it.

   
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
Michael Beloved
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I used both Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web. I had to get some work books and for Web 3 there is the book published by Microsoft but you can get work books for Web 2 by another company and that is pretty thorough.
Dreamweaver is a tit bit more complicated but it is not that more advanced. You can check the Revealed Series of book to get a work book for that.

In regards to whether it is for somebody who knows just a little html code, I feel that it is not for that person unless that person learns a bit more of html.
I got into Web 2 at first because I was trying to put a book into html for a kindle edition of an already published print volume and I quickly found out that there is no short cut in using these programs and that your ignorance will cause you spend hour correcting codes.
Dreamweaver and Web2 or 3 are great if you already know the codes, but one great advantage is that both programs have an error alert system which tells you when you do something that violates the W3C codes. Still if you dont study html to some degree you won't know what the program is flagging and why it is flagging that.

A good course for html is called
html complete course by Donna Baker and you can get that real cheap at Amazon ( used), just be sure the CD is in the back flap.

In conclusion I suggest that you find a work book first for whichever program you decided to get because without some work book to show you where all the tools are, it is near impossible to make use of those programs.
I personally prefer Web 3
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:46 PM   #6
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Thank you Michael Beloved. Yours is exactly the kind of response I appreciate most, someone who has actually used the product. I do appreciate ALL your help. I've been here before and I find this site super nice and helpful. And thanks for recommending an HTML course as well. I'll pick that book up pronto. I've been wanting to learn more code. As for my site, I'm not really looking to make any major changes to it at the moment, but would like to eventually add some more features and make it more secure. I hear that Front Page is a bit of a risk that way. Eventually I may add more media (sound files) and whatnot, but for the time being, I'm very pleased with what I did in Front Page. It attracts new business all the time.

I'm ordering Expression tonight. I just got the Office 2007 update and Expression Web 3 is $80 at NewEgg. I don't have an extra $100 laying around to try the Serif product.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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What sort of updating are you thinking of? Just changing dates or a bit of text? Or more? Can you be (somewhat) specific?

If you would like to post a link to your site, some of us here can look — that often is the easiest way to discuss site modifications.

   
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooLoose_LeTrek View Post
Any suggestions of whether or not I should take the plunge on the Microsoft program?
You can start by testing with the 60 day free trial of the software.

I used to quite a lot of money converting FrontPage generated sites into valid XHTML - DreamWeaver used to have a "convert" utility which cleaned out the junk MS specific code which cleaned up the process. I mention this because it is possible that you will have to re-create the site using any new tool you decide upon.

I had a 90 day trial of Expression web when it was first introduced, but found that it had too many quirks that did not suit my way of working. Undoubtedly it is best when used to work with ASP.NET and seemed not quite so good when working with PHP. The cross-browser preview is pretty good, as it enables quick identification of css & layout issues, although I found it too IE specific. That may have changed - hopefully it will have dropped the workarounds for IE6.

Just like DreamWeaver, you do need a reasonably good understanding of XHTML and CSS to get the best from the program suite. It does include Design3 for web vector graphics and Encoder3 to enable easy insertion of podcasts, video files, Flash & Silverlight.

All in all quite a good package, but I'd say it has a steep learning curve. But so does DreamWeaver which I have been using since version 2.

You mentioned the Namo web editor? That is a really good tool, easy to use without extensive XHTML/CSS skills, and capable of enabling the quick production of a website. Not of any use if you use PHP, but excellent for generating static sites. Easy to learn, too. Jerry Muelver, a regular on the old InetPub forum on Compuserve was involved it its development, and that's how I came to test it a few times. There is a free trial version of Namo, too.

   
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:04 AM   #9
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Ah...it's a little late now as I placed an order for Expressions Web 3 last night right after I read the posts. I am unfamiliar with these other html-type languages but will try to jump in. The reason I hesitated on the Namo product is it looks like not much has been happening with it since 2006.

My site is very simple. I don't want a lot of bells and whistles going off when people visit it. Perhaps it's time I learn something new about maintaining my site. AND I'm sure it will be more secure than Front Page 2000, not that my site is a hacker's haven.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:59 AM   #10
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Oh well. Like I said, it is a good package. There are some Expression training videos on http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc197140.aspx to ease the learning process.

Not much has happened in XHTML and basic CSS programming over the last few years, so Namo is by no means out of date. Changes that have occured in the website building arena are mainly related to the wider use of AJAX, enhancements in CSS, newer versions of PHP, .NET, MySQL etc and widespread interaction with social networking sites. These advances are built into Expression 3.

   
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