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Old Aug 5, 2012, 07:22 PM   #1
Niko91
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Web design software for "beginners"

Hi all!
I've just started studying HTML and CSS in these weeks and I was wondering which software should I use for web designing. (It's a kind of hobby, I love it)

I want a software to grow up with, that I can learn well while I'm studying the code and will become my "best friend" for making websites

I know that the most "famous" are Coda 2, Dreamweaver and Sublime Text 2. I've also heard about Flux 4, Rapidweaver and Freeway.
So, what do you recommend to me?

Thank you!
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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I use a combination of Dreamweaver, along with CS 6 suite, and Coda 2. If Dreamweaver is within your budget, I would start there.
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 07:57 PM   #3
Niko91
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Thank you for your answer
Yeah, Dreamweaver is in my budget and I'm quite familiar with Adobe's product since I've used Photoshop for years, now.
Maybe I'll give it a try
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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There are two very different types of software you list: some are WYSIWYG editors, and some are text-only editors.

The WYSIWYG tools are fun, but (in my opinion) are more useful for hobbyists and tweakers. The code they output is overly verbose, inflexible, and lacks the semantic ordering that (currently) only human thought can produce. Yes, tons of people use them, but they are not used "in the industry" by any reputable front-end web designer or developer I know.

If you want a tool that you can grow into, I would jump right into a text editor like Coda, Espresso, Textmate or similar. This will make you focus on the markup you write and give a better understanding of what is happening (and why) when your HTML/CSS is rendered in a browser.

Dreamweaver is a program stuck between two worlds - it has both a WYSIWYG mode and a text editor - but I still do not recommend it for beginners. I have seen too many beginners develop bad habits or become reliant on some of its WYSIWYG features. Dreamweaver was once the tool of choice in web design, but over time the majority moved away from it towards something lighter and more nimble.
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidmedia View Post
There are two very different types of software you list: some are WYSIWYG editors, and some are text-only editors.

The WYSIWYG tools are fun, but (in my opinion) are more useful for hobbyists and tweakers. The code they output is overly verbose, inflexible, and lacks the semantic ordering that (currently) only human thought can produce. Yes, tons of people use them, but they are not used "in the industry" by any reputable front-end web designer or developer I know.

If you want a tool that you can grow into, I would jump right into a text editor like Coda, Espresso, Textmate or similar. This will make you focus on the markup you write and give a better understanding of what is happening (and why) when your HTML/CSS is rendered in a browser.

Dreamweaver is a program stuck between two worlds - it has both a WYSIWYG mode and a text editor - but I still do not recommend it for beginners. I have seen too many beginners develop bad habits or become reliant on some of its WYSIWYG features. Dreamweaver was once the tool of choice in web design, but over time the majority moved away from it towards something lighter and more nimble.

Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard. If he is comfortable with PS I would suggest keeping him in the CS universe. He has yet to take coding class so moving him beyond DW may frustrate him. IMHO.
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 12:13 AM   #6
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Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard. If he is comfortable with PS I would suggest keeping him in the CS universe. He has yet to take coding class so moving him beyond DW may frustrate him. IMHO.
Enh, sorta. If you can actually code you won't have a problem using Dreamweaver, but being able to use Dreamweaver doesn't mean you can make a well coded website.

You don't need coding classes to learn HTML, just a bit of a patience. I'd highly recommend learning at least the basics of HTML before learning DW or a similar program.
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 03:46 AM   #7
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Thank you all for answers

I've already learnt some of the basics of HTML and now I'm starting a more in-depth study. ( Oh, I'm a DIY, I'm studying with books and internet )
To do that, anyway, I'd like to have a software with I can become comfortable with and that I'm going to use both for learning and, in future, making websites.

Reading your advices, well, I don't know
So, the decision is between DW and Coda or Sublime Text, right?
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 11:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dornblaser View Post
Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard.
Is it, really? Every fellow web designer and programer I know (and even those popular ones that I follow on Twitter and Google+) don't use DW for their work. They use programs like TextMate, Coda, Espresso, Sublime, NetBeans and even BBEdit.

As far as the OP goes, I would recommend getting Espresso 2. IT's live editing preview and X-Ray feature for both CSS and HTML is invaluable and will help you learn and understand the code you write.
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 06:16 AM   #9
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I like Sublime text 2 more than Textmate for code editing, especially as you can use it for free, but they're quite similar.
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 08:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko91 View Post
Oh, I have a question and sorry if it is "too noob".
If I need to control my website with a CMS such as Joomla or Drupal, can I develop it with Coda 2 and then manage it with CMS?
And is it a lot difficult?
(I've read now that DW has this option, I think.)
You can edit the theme files with whatever software you want, but most of them have built in editors via the admin panels to do everything once installed.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gr8whtd0pe View Post
You can edit the theme files with whatever software you want, but most of them have built in editors via the admin panels to do everything once installed.
Well, I don't want to edit the theme files of an "already installed" template, but I want to develop and design my website from scratch with a Text editor and then use a CMS to manage it
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:34 AM   #13
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BTW how is Espresso 2 for PHP coding? Does the syntax high-lighting work well?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko91 View Post
Hi all!
I've just started studying HTML and CSS in these weeks and I was wondering which software should I use for web designing. (It's a kind of hobby, I love it)

I want a software to grow up with, that I can learn well while I'm studying the code and will become my "best friend" for making websites

I know that the most "famous" are Coda 2, Dreamweaver and Sublime Text 2. I've also heard about Flux 4, Rapidweaver and Freeway.
So, what do you recommend to me?

Thank you!
Another WYSIWYG is Sandvox. TacoHTML is a good light weight text editor.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:49 PM   #15
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:57 PM   #16
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the best is a plain text editor.

if you use a plain editor then you actually learn the code.

you an then decide to move on to an editor that does common things for you (like coda, netbeans or even eclipse) and you can then see why noone likes dreamweaver (except for its search and replace everything in a directory tree feature when you have to re-factor something in a 500k line web app)
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 08:17 AM   #17
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the best is a plain text editor.

if you use a plain editor then you actually learn the code.

you an then decide to move on to an editor that does common things for you (like coda, netbeans or even eclipse) and you can then see why noone likes dreamweaver (except for its search and replace everything in a directory tree feature when you have to re-factor something in a 500k line web app)
I would actually go the other way around - coda, netbeans etc first - then (if you need it) a plain text editor, yes they do common things for you but why should you have to remember every little bit of syntax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko91 View Post
Oh, I have a question and sorry if it is "too noob".
If I need to control my website with a CMS such as Joomla or Drupal, can I develop it with Coda 2 and then manage it with CMS?
And is it a lot difficult?
(I've read now that DW has this option, I think.)
Whilst you can learn a bunch from CMS systems, honestly so many of them are so large and complex that you may benefit from starting from scratch and learning from there.

Last time I looked there are some decent tutorials available from Lynda.com on PHP and the like so these are a good way to get started and help you follow what a CMS is actually doing.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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I would recommend learning with a simple text editor. It develops speed and an intimacy with the code you don't get with the WYSIWYG tools. I began with NotePad and BBEdit way back when. Now I use Dreamweaver a lot but mostly in code view. Use View Source frequently to study the HTM, JS and CSS at your favorite web sites.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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I use Coda, Safari(developer), Chrome(inspector), MAMP, PS, AND SourceTree.

Did I miss it? The most important tool to learn?

Version Control!

Git will save you hours and hours. SourceTree is extremely simple, changes appear, drag and drop, commit, comment, Commit. Back to coding!
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:50 AM   #20
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First off let me say i bloody hate windows, i typed up a lovely post for you guys and my browser crashed!!! so here it goes again...

I would suggest you download Sublime 2 / MAMP / Photoshop / FileZilla / Github - These are the apps i use on a regular basis:

Sublime 2 is an awesome text editor (and its cross platform) there is a great link for videos on how to master it which you can find here

MAMP allows you to run your websites locally, meaning you can test things such as PHP and other backend stuff.

Photoshop well we all know what that does.

FileZilla is a great FREE ftp client, I havent used any others but filezilla does what i need it to do.

Github version control which has come in very handy for me in the past. Its mostly used by programmers working on projects together, but its a great tool and very handy to know. Download the git gui for mac which is easier than learning the terminal commands, but you should really learn theses anyways you can do so here.

Im am all self taught so for training i use TreeHouse & Code School which are both awesome resources. DONT use W3Schools!!

Once you have a good understanding of HTML & CSS - Id suggest you move on to something like JavaScript! Anyways i hope this post helps you out

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Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:26 PM   #21
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Thanks for the very informative thread (credit to the OP for starting the discussion, and to everyone posting).

I used Dreamweaver back in the day (when it was Macromedia) for very basic webpages, HTML back then and some Javascript. I wanted to get "back in the game" and wasn't sure where to start.

Just curious has anyone used Flux (aka MacFlux) Freecode mode? Does it compare to Coda 2 or Espresso? The only reason I ask is it's on sale at the moment ($35), but I'm now thinking I should just skip it and get Coda 2.

https://stacksocial.com/sales/macflux-4
(+$1 dollar each passing day, not sure what time zone though because it already went up $1)
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 02:14 AM   #22
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The only reason I ask is it's on sale at the moment ($35), but I'm now thinking I should just skip it and get Coda 2.
Personally Id go for Coda2 simply because Panic are on top of things, and seem to release regular updates for it. To be fair Coda 2 is pretty awesome, and I would suggest anyone moving from dreamweaver or similar to give it a go. However if you just want a text editor id say Sublime 2 hands down
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:36 PM   #23
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Adobe Muse is far quicker, easier and prettier than anything else for beginners. It would be absolutely perfect for everyone but the code it creates isn't that great (but you don't need to worry about the code if you're just a beginner looking to make websites with it).
I'm not sure using a WYSIWYG editor that produces bad code is a good idea, it just teaches bad code. Fair enough if someone just needs to knock out a really basic page, and they have no intention of actually learning markup. If you want to learn though there's no substitute for getting used to hand coding with something like Sublime, Espresso, Coda, etc. Then later on using Zencode, it's much faster can fiddling about with gimmicky drag and drop.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 04:59 PM   #24
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I personally would recommend Brackets, it's open source software by Adobe. I personally find it a little bit nicer then Dreamweaver, and it has a ton of great extensions for it.
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Old May 12, 2014, 08:37 AM   #25
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I use Dreamweaver, its the best.

Regards
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