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Old 07-18-2005, 03:55 AM   #1
PeterArnel
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Default Web Creation Software

We are moving control of our web site in house - I would appreciate advice on what Web Creation Software to buy
Peter
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Old 07-18-2005, 07:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterArnel
We are moving control of our web site in house - I would appreciate advice on what Web Creation Software to buy
What was used in the past?

What skills do you have on staff? If the person/people who will be responsible for creating and maintaining the site use some particular app(s), those might make sense.

If you are starting from scratch, I would suggest starting out by learning how XHTML, CSS, PHP, etc. work — by creating a few pages by hand — before you get into a specialist application. Then you will be able to troubleshoot better.

But a complex site with e-commerce, forms, ftp access, etc. might be too much to manage without some tools over the long haul.

Just a few semi-random thoughts.

   
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:57 PM   #3
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WE are really starting from scatch, although we have alot of understanding. My style has always been to try and pick a major player and train employees to learn their software - hoping that the player will be the one to improve their software as time goes by ( like Photoshop did in the mid to late 90's). I have heard MacroMedia - Dreamweaver etc is the one to follow - do you think that this is the route to go
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterArnel
WE are really starting from scatch, although we have alot of understanding. My style has always been to try and pick a major player and train employees to learn their software - hoping that the player will be the one to improve their software as time goes by ( like Photoshop did in the mid to late 90's). I have heard MacroMedia - Dreamweaver etc is the one to follow - do you think that this is the route to go
Dreamweaver is the hot product these days, no doubt.

My problem with Dreamweaver (or its competitor GoLive) is that when I get into trouble (which seems all too often), I cannot figure out how to get out.

But if you have staff ready and able to master the software and learn how to troubleshoot the odd problems, then Dreamweaver is a good choice.

   
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:45 PM   #5
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I do almost all of my work in Homesite, a great little editor that comes with Dreamweaver (although you can buy it separately). You need to know HTML well to use it, and this really is a must for at least one person on a web team.

I work alone. If I were on a team, I proably would use Dreamweaver. It is important to make sure that two people are not working on a file at the same time, and DW, Front Page, and I assume GoLive, do this. You "check out" a file to work on it, so you won't overwrite someone elses work.

I would hitch my wagon to Dreamweaver. Adobe took over Macromedia to get it (and Flash) so it will probably be the survivor of the merger. Stay away from FrontPage. If you are forced to Go Blue, then Visual InterDev is the better route to take. Any other players out there are smaller, and thus more risky.

And, like KT said, you need to learn (or to get someone who knows) HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP and the other tools of the trade. Otherwise you will be like the book publishers of the 90s who brought work inhouse without having or acquiring any design or typographic expertise (not realizing that those were part of what they were paying for from the type shops).

Don McCahill

PS (You can get a 30 day trial of Dreamweaver free on the MM website, if you want to test it out.)
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
My problem with Dreamweaver (or its competitor GoLive) is that when I get into trouble (which seems all too often), I cannot figure out how to get out.
As I mentioned in my other post, I don't use DW, but I do teach it. When my students get into a mess I just switch into HTML mode, and work it out in there.

The beauty of the porgram is that it allows people of different levels of expertise to work on it. For instance, you can protect a design, and let a beginner into only the parts of a page that they are unlikely to mess up.

Don McCahill

Last edited by ktinkel; 07-18-2005 at 04:57 PM. Reason: fix the quote
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:30 AM   #7
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I have just had Fireworks mention to me - what does that do
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:06 AM   #8
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Fireworks is a good buy, but it is for creating graphics and Javascript functions, not for building pages. If you are familiar with Photoshop, it is what ImageReady was created to compete with. But IR wasn't good enough, so they stopped selling it and bundled it with PS. Like GoLive, I think IR will die, or else Fireworks will get renamed ImageReady.

Why FW is better: a) it does animated GIFs and rollovers far better than IR, b) it can create nice drop down menus, which are beyond IR, c) the user interface is just easier to wrok with.

Full Photoshop has much more power than FW for image modification, and I tend to use it for that. But if a place doesn't have (or can't afford) Photoshop, then FW will do pretty much everything you need for web work. It does not do any of the print features that PS does ... I don't even think it can deal in CMYK.

You can also get a demo of it at Macromedia if you want to play.

Don McCahill
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Old 07-19-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
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THanks Don
Buying the right software is not the problem - finding it is.
WE have all the Graphic software and from what I understand - should now buy Dreamweaver and Fireworks
Many thanks to everyone - Peter
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterArnel
My style has always been to try and pick a major player and train employees to learn their software
The employees will really need some knowledge of web site structure, of XHTML, and CSS before starting to use DW. Unfortunately DW leads too many people to believe that creating a properly functioning and professional looking site is easy. It is not easy if the basic knowledge is not there.

You also have to consider knowledge of PHP/MySQL, asp, .NET etc if using a database to drive the site.

If there are more than a few people likely to contribute page content then you may also need to look at a Content Management System.
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