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Roberta E

Website design-what do you use?

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Good Afternoon Everyone:

 

I am sure this has been asked in the past. I was unable to find it on a search.

 

I am wondering what software of choice those of you who design websites use? I was looking at Dreamweaver to purchase, as my site was designed in that and I would like to maintain my site myself. So I am willing to learn enough to do that.

 

Would I buy Dreamweaver, or could I purchase Studio 8 (would that work)? Is there a way to buy a previous version of Dreamweaver such as 3 and then only purchase the upgrade to studio 8?

 

Then from what I have researched if you really wanted to create sites you may need to purchase Adobe Creative Suite CS2 Premium as well?

 

I am getting confused on what I would need just to maintain my own site and possibly venture into websites later in my career after proper education on the "how to" of web design.

 

Does anyone use anything different?

 

Frontpage I know is out there but do I understand correctly that Microsoft is no longer supporting that software?

 

Or would you prefer to code it via html yourself? If you did it that way what else would you need to learn in order to do a full fledged GOOD website?

 

Have a great day!

 

Roberta E. Eastman, GVA

Executive Virtual Assistant Services a.k.a. EVAS

“In Touch With Your Vision”

 

www.YourEVAS.com

 

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I currently use FrontPage but due to Microsoft discontinuing it, I am in the process of learning Dreamweaver....only because it is the most professionally looked upon program for website design.

 

While website design software is wonderful in helping you design your website, it is essential to know HTML. When I first started designing websites 10 years ago I learned how to hand code a page using HTML. I am thankful that I learned this way because now when FrontPage or Dreamweaver wants to act crazy....I can look at the code and recognize any problems.

 

Kim

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Hi Roberta,

 

While I choose to use WordPress to make my sites, the few static .html (or .htm if you prefer...just what *is* the difference, anyway?) I use and highly recommend an open source program called Nvu to design sites. You can write a page in html, xhtml, and css just like dreamweaver but...oh wait...it's free.

 

Here's the link to learn more: http://www.nvu.com/index.php

Edited by jennydecki

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Hi Roberta,

 

While I choose to use WordPress to make my sites, the few static .html (or .htm if you prefer...just what *is* the difference, anyway?) I use and highly recommend an open source program called Nvu to design sites. You can write a page in html, xhtml, and css just like dreamweaver but...oh wait...it's free.

 

Here's the link to learn more: http://www.nvu.com/index.php

 

I would recommend Dreamweaver, it has a good GUI interface and it makes it easy for designing webpages. As far as maintaining other sites you can do that in Dreamweaver as well. You just set up a different site. I use to use Frontpage and upgraded to Dreamweaver. All versions of Dreamweaver are virtually the same but the newer versions are easier to use.

Edited by Synergy

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Hi Roberta,

 

I strongly believe that anyone who is going to offer website design or even website maintenance as a service needs to have a solid understanding of html and css, and that website designers should have built at least one validly coded site entirely by hand in a text editor like Notepad before hanging out their shingle. This kind of experience is invaluable in making sure that you serve your clients well by creating sites that are standards compliant and are cross browser and cross platform compatible.

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Hi Roberta,

 

I highly recommend Dreamweaver. It wasn't that complicated to learn. There are tons of tutorials on the web to help you learn. You can create your site in design mode and if you use the split view - which shows you both the code and the design at the same time, it is a good way to learn coding as you go.

 

I have also just downloaded NVU, I haven't tried it as yet but it looks very simple and straightforward.

 

Good luck.

 

Warmly

Caroline.

 

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Good Afternoon Everyone:

 

I am sure this has been asked in the past. I was unable to find it on a search.

 

I am wondering what software of choice those of you who design websites use? I was looking at Dreamweaver to purchase, as my site was designed in that and I would like to maintain my site myself. So I am willing to learn enough to do that.

 

I use Dreamweaver and think it is top of the line as far as creating Web sites. You can edit your site in any HTML editor and you do not need to buy Dreamweaver to update it.

 

Would I buy Dreamweaver, or could I purchase Studio 8 (would that work)? Is there a way to buy a previous version of Dreamweaver such as 3 and then only purchase the upgrade to studio 8?

 

You can purchase DW alone or purchase Studio, but you won't save any money by buying a previous version and upgrading as I think they have a tiered upgrade system like Adobe (since Adobe owns them now) so it would be best just to purchase it outright.

 

Then from what I have researched if you really wanted to create sites you may need to purchase Adobe Creative Suite CS2 Premium as well?

 

You do not need to purchase the Creative suite. The Creative suite is mainly used for graphic design and desktop publishing and is not needed to use or run Studio.

 

I am getting confused on what I would need just to maintain my own site and possibly venture into websites later in my career after proper education on the "how to" of web design.

 

As mentioned before, a good understanding of HTML & CSS is imperative and if you plan to offer this as a service to your clients, you need to have the knowledge to back it up.

 

 

Frontpage I know is out there but do I understand correctly that Microsoft is no longer supporting that software?

 

Microsoft is retiring Frontpage, but coming out with something new I think by the end of this year. I don't recommend buying it as it does not create clean code among many other issues.

 

Or would you prefer to code it via html yourself? If you did it that way what else would you need to learn in order to do a full fledged GOOD website?

 

Even the best Web designer cannot create a site in DW without knowing the code. Just like any program, DW does not always cooperate and you need to get into the code and figure out what is wrong and fix it manually.

 

On anther note, if you do not plan to create sites as a service, but only want to maintain your own, personally I think DW might be overkill and you could spend your money on less expensive HTML editors or even use opensource programs like NVU.

 

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Ok, if a strange response shows up and it doesn’t look like it was completed, that was me. I hit a button by mistake and poof it disappeared.

 

Anyway, I was saying that my site (for my business to make a living) was done in Dreamweaver (by someone else, I was smart and outsourced the original design) with the understanding that I would and could learn how to maintain it myself. So I would need Dreamweaver to do that correct? I can’t maintain it using anything else right?

 

Then if I ever wanted to venture to create another site, such as the one for what I refer to as my legacy business (sometime in my lifetime that I will start) then I could just use good ole html and notebook and no editor at all. Am I still on track here?

 

I have all the time to create that website that I would need, its not something that I will be making a living off of its to help others. It is in my business plan to start over the next year or so. I think it would be a good way to learn & build a foundation in web design.

 

What I don’t understand about using html all by itself is how do you get the banners, columns, pictures, flash stuff in there once you get the text code in there? Or do you then have to learn something else to get all that included into a site? And what’s the difference between HTML & XHTML?

 

When you use an editor such as NVU or First Page Ever Soft (free & open source as well) or Dreamweaver (not free, very expensive...lol) is it teaching the same ole fashion html code as you would learn doing so by hand?

 

This is why I say, there is so much more to web design then just putting text on a page. I have said this before and I am saying it again; kudos, to all of you who have learned how to design.

 

I am not sure I will even like creating a website but I would rather find that out playing with my own site than anyone else’s.

 

Thanks again for all your insight & advice with this one. I think website design is an art and a talent and not just a skill you learn overnight! IMHO...

 

Oops sorry I didnt see additional posts, possibly answering my questions already until after I posted this...sorry if they are duplicate questions.

 

It looks like the best advice for anyone who wants to learn is: Learn the html; then CSS then what would you learn for the graphics?? (What does everone use)? Then SEO, then what??

 

Thanks again everyone, I will update you in about 6 -9 months to let you know how I have made out, if at all...lol

Edited by Roberta E

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Anyway, I was saying that my site (for my business to make a living) was done in Dreamweaver (by someone else, I was smart and outsourced the original design) with the understanding that I would and could learn how to maintain it myself. So I would need Dreamweaver to do that correct? I can’t maintain it using anything else right?

 

That's one of the big advantages of Dreamweaver. You can edit a Dreamweaver site in any html editor or even just using Notepad. You may also want to look into Macromedia's Contribute, which is a website editing software that will allow you to change text and add pictures, etc but won't let you mess up your existing site (if I read the docs correctly).

 

 

Then if I ever wanted to venture to create another site, such as the one for what I refer to as my legacy business (sometime in my lifetime that I will start) then I could just use good ole html and notebook and no editor at all. Am I still on track here?

 

Yup.

 

What I don’t understand about using html all by itself is how do you get the banners, columns, pictures, flash stuff in there once you get the text code in there? Or do you then have to learn something else to get all that included into a site? And what’s the difference between HTML & XHTML?

 

HTML isn't just text, it's a language (Hyper Text Markup Language) that tells browsers what to do to display a webpage. Images, and banners are added by writing html tags that basically say, "Show this picture here please."

 

XHTML is also a markup language (the X is for Extensible). It is an application of XML, which is an international standard language for developing other markup languages. XHTML is a stricter language than HTML, meaning that the code must be clean: it is case sensitive, elements must "nest" properly (in other words, they have to close in reverse order to the way they opened), all tags have to be closed, and all attributes have to be surrounded by quotation marks. Also, some of the common tags used in HTML are deprecated in XHTML in favor of more semantic tags.

 

Either one is relatively easy to learn to use.

 

When you use an editor such as NVU or First Page Ever Soft (free & open source as well) or Dreamweaver (not free, very expensive...lol) is it teaching the same ole fashion html code as you would learn doing so by hand?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "teaching" but these editors create the same ole fashion html code as you would use to do it by hand. The difference is that they often put extraneous code into the page that isn't necessary or is duplicative of existing code, and if not used carefully they can write code that provides conflicting instructions.

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Leanne

 

Thank you all so much for your explanations. I really appreciate you taking time to respond. I am off to learn html in my spare time.

 

Thanks again!

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XHTML is a stricter language than HTML, meaning that the code must be clean: it is case sensitive, elements must "nest" properly (in other words, they have to close in reverse order to the way they opened), all tags have to be closed, and all attributes have to be surrounded by quotation marks.

Elements must nest properly in HTML also. XHTML syntax rules are easier to learn and more consistent. Most of these syntax rules, with the exception of terminated empty elements (br, hr, img,…etc.) can be applied to HTML as well.

 

Also, some of the common tags used in HTML are deprecated in XHTML in favor of more semantic tags.
That is a very common misconception, but there is no difference in semantics. XHTML 1.0 is simply a reformation of HTML 4.01 to meet the well-formedness constraints of XML. Like HTML, XHTML 1.0 comes in three DTDs: Strict, Transitional, and Frameset. With the exception of a few added attributes (xmlns, xml:lang), an XHTML 1.0 document has the same allowed elements and attributes as its HTML 4.01 counterpart.

 

Either one is relatively easy to learn to use.
No. It is easy to learn "pretend XHTML" – XHTML that is sent with a text/html mime type and parsed with a browser's forgiving HTML parser. XHTML served as text/html offers no real benefits over HTML.

 

Currently, the main advantages of XHTML are that it can be mixed with content from other well-known namespaces (MathML, SVG) and you can interact with it using XML tools. An author must have a thorough understanding of XML processing requirements, XML parsers, and XML mime types in order to realize these benefits. The learning curve is steep because real XHTML is hard. Those "XHTML is easy" tutorials and articles omit a few important facts:

  • Well-formedness errors are fatal – an XML parser will refuse to process/render your document if you forget to quote an attribute value or close an image tag.
  • Named entity references like "©" and " " may be fatal in non-validating parsers.
  • Common JavaScript methods like document.write do not work in XML user agents.
  • The contents of script and style elements are ignored by XML parsers when escaped using SGML comments (<!-- and -->).
  • Internet Explorer has no support for XHTML whatsoever. IE interprets "pretend xhtml" as HTML, but it does not understand the XHTML namespace, and it will not render documents sent with the recommended XHTML mime type, application/xhtml+xml.
  • I could go on, but you get my drift.
Some required reading for XHTML authors:

Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful

The perils of using XHTML properly

XHTML is not for Beginners

 

HTH,

Carol

 

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Carol, as always, thank you for your clarifications.

 

Also, some of the common tags used in HTML are deprecated in XHTML in favor of more semantic tags.
That is a very common misconception, but there is no difference in semantics. XHTML 1.0 is simply a reformation of HTML 4.01 to meet the well-formedness constraints of XML. Like HTML, XHTML 1.0 comes in three DTDs: Strict, Transitional, and Frameset. With the exception of a few added attributes (xmlns, xml:lang), an XHTML 1.0 document has the same allowed elements and attributes as its HTML 4.01 counterpart.

 

Perhaps I misunderstood my reading on the subject, or I'm using the term semantic incorrrectly. What I understood, and what I meant by semantic elements was that, for example, <b> is deprecated in favor of <strong> which will be read with emphasized tone by screenreaders, where text surrounded by <b> tags wouldn't.

 

Either one is relatively easy to learn to use.
No. It is easy to learn "pretend XHTML" – XHTML that is sent with a text/html mime type and parsed with a browser's forgiving HTML parser. XHTML served as text/html offers no real benefits over HTML.

 

I have been using the XHTML doctype recently with sites I have been working on that combine html and css. Is this a mistake, and should I be using an HTML 4.01 doctype instead?

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Perhaps I misunderstood my reading on the subject, or I'm using the term semantic incorrrectly. What I understood, and what I meant by semantic elements was that, for example, <b> is deprecated in favor of <strong> which will be read with emphasized tone by screenreaders, where text surrounded by <b> tags wouldn't.
I can tell by looking at your markup that your understanding of semantics is correct. :thumbup: Semantics are about conveying meaning to machines like screen readers, search engines ...etc. A cell phone browser may not understand <span class="bigredbold">Main Heading</span>, but most of them will recognize <h1>Main Heading</h1> and render it appropriately for that device.

 

I have been using the XHTML doctype recently with sites I have been working on that combine html and css. Is this a mistake, and should I be using an HTML 4.01 doctype instead?

XHTML is not a mistake, but its present-day benefits have been overstated, and it is harder to master than most authors realize. There is a demand for XHTML because XHTML/CSS has become synonymous with web standards, and your clients will want the "latest and greatest." Here are some observations and recommendations:

 

1. Approach all XHTML tutorials and articles with skepticism. As you pointed out, <b> does not have any semantic meaning and <strong> is usually a better choice, but both elements are available (not deprecated) in the HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and XHTML 1.1 recommendations. Tutorials that claim XHTML is faster, more semantic, more accessible, or forward compatible do not reflect current knowledge.

 

2. A perfectly valid XHTML page may not render or function correctly when sent with an XML mime type, so you want to test in an XML environment whenever possible. Most up-to-date Apache servers (and XAMPP) will send a page saved with a .xhtml file extension as application/xhtml+xml. Firefox will parse these pages with its XML parser, but don't try this with live pages.

 

3. Most designers/developers will benefit more from validating to a Strict DOCTYPE than they will from transitioning to XHTML. Purely presentational elements and attributes deprecated (but allowed) in Transitional DOCTYPEs are obsolete in Strict DOCTYPEs. A validator will flag obsolete elements and attributes. Strict markup encourages a more thorough separation of presentation and behavior, and it yields tangible benefits.

 

HTH,

Carol

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Most designers/developers will benefit more from validating to a Strict DOCTYPE than they will from transitioning to XHTML.

 

Oh-oh. You said the Scary Words. I have yet to try a Strict DOCTYPE. Let me figure out positioning first, and then maybe I'll try to graduate to Strict :D

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Your markup is way clean - you're about 99% Strict already. ;)

 

HTH,

Carol

Edited by CMK

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