Cheap, basic web design tool to replace Dreamweaver?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by GWIM2, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    I'm a fairly recent convert from the world of Gates, and I have to keep one PC tucked away with Dreamweaver on it to maintain my ( really very basic ) websites, very little technical content. It isn't a recent version either - Macromedia rather than Adobe.

    I did consider getting Dreamweaver for the Mac, but it looks like you just rent it these days as a part of Creative Cloud, and what I need it for really doesn't justify anything like the prices they are looking for.

    So, suggestions please for a basic web design, upload & maintenance tool that I can buy without selling body parts? I've seen threads on here with lists of about forty programmes, but I really just need two or three recommendations that wont break the bank.

    Something that wasn't too different from the functionality of DW 3 or DW 4 would be ideal.
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    Many of the low end web site building apps (like Apple's discontinued iWeb) use proprietary formats that will lock you into their software and don't allow importing so you'd have to start from scratch.

    My advice would be to learn how the code works (w3schools.com for one has lots of good info) and then hand code it yourself using any one of the free or low cost text editor apps (like TextWrangler) and then do your uploading with one of the free or low cost FTP apps (like Cyberduck).

    Using this method you can keep using your existing code generated by Dreamweaver by opening the individual files using your text editor of choice and then saving the updated or new files as HTML which will keep your code accessible for the future.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #3
    It's called RapidWeaver with a superb design view/code view as with DW and with many themes, templates to optionally build from, plus FTP. For Mac.

    http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/ (D/L trial, check it out)

    The advice given you by DewGuy1999 is the best long term answer when "basic" needs evolve to frustrating limitations as you learn more. RapidWeaver5 is a great GUI IDE and you'll appreciate it as being a step up from DW due to OSX and the usual Mac flair.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    Thanks both

    I may kick off with Rapidweaver then, but keep DEWGUY1999's advice on file too

    Thanks again
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #5
    Both!

    Both suggestions are appropriate. For basic, and swiftly templated work, go with the well-regarded Rapidweaver, and do lay your hands on TextWrangler too. Anyone working on web sites ought to have a good text editor on hand for fast and dirty editing, learning HTML 5, going "under the hood" or getting backstage in a CMS like Wordpress, or needing to edit CSS, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, .htaccess, .csv files and the like. Or just wrangling some dodgy text when you don't need to fire up Pages or Word.

    I'm a professional Graphic and Web designer and I have not only a recent version of Dreamweaver (CS5.5), but also own and use Rapidweaver and TextWrangler. And like many, I am terribly on the fence about Creative Cloud. Thanks a lot, Adobe. Will likely dig in my heels till I get a file from a client or vendor that I can't open in my current versions...
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #6
    Old school text editor...

    Old school: BBEdit

    It reliably chugs along, and provides thoughtful shortcuts and features. And it doesn't muck up the code, so you can find and fix problems. In fact, it will parse your code and show you anything that isn't valid code. However, you have to know basic HTML and CSS. Combined with Transmit's FTP program, that's all you need.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    #7
    I'd recommend Sublime Text 2 or TextMate and a 30-minute HTML and CSS tutorial. Dreamweaver is as awful as it is superfluous, and throwing PSD designs into it is a dated practice. Look into learning Twitter Bootstrap if you want to quickly throw together professional looking designs with well-tested features. There are a number of sites, e.g. Jetstrap, that allow you to whip up Bootstrap UIs using a web-based GUI too. If you want to get really fancy, check out WebStorm, which costs pennies compared to Dreamweaver and is infinitely more powerful. The live edit feature is really convenient.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #8
    You might want to try...

    Gordon: You might want to look at Sandvox. Low cost, and easy to create simple websites. It comes with a set of templates you can use to get started. No programming skills needed for most simple designs.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #9
    iWeb

    Is it possible to create a site using iWeb, and then/later use another program to "copy" the code?

    I ask because I went through part of the iWeb learning curve, and watched a few YouTube tutorials, all of which makes this look like an easy-to-tweak program producing sites that do not look like templates.

    In other words, I have an irrational emotional desire to use iWeb, but I am open to a dope-slap if using iWeb is pointless.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    iWeb generates HTML, etc. like any other method, although it probably isn't the cleanest code. A program like Dreamweaver, or just a text editor will be able to open the files that get uploaded to a server in the form of HTML, etc. but won't be able to open the proprietary files that iWeb creates on your Mac and I believe that this is also true of other programs like Rapidweaver, Sandvox etc. that also use proprietary formats.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #11
    Weebly

    I feel your pain,
    I was using iweb which was fiddly but fine for my purposes until a couple of years ago when I needed HTML5 for the increasing use of mobile/ipad devices.

    I had a look at wix.com, moonfruit.com, wordpress and a couple of others which were fine and could produce very nice looking sites but all of them lock you into hosting deals or insists on an annoying web address. I know I could learn to use wordpress properly but I'm a busy composer/lecturer and don't have time/brain space for that much stuff right now.

    Then I went to weebly.com! You can design a nice looking site and create an archive of it, which you can then upload straight to your server. The downside is that some of the funky components - slide shows etc - won't work, but if like me you just need text and images and have a tiny bit of html knowledge you'll be fine.

    Additionally it has a css/html split view editor (a bit like dreamweaver) so it was quite easy for me to see where to insert code to create a soundcloud player and other html widgets. The side benefit of this is that I have started to learn simple html/css and web design without really trying.

    All in all a big win for me!

    Yes (@ all the proper web guys), I know it's really basic but I've got a really good looking HTML5 site that works on all browsers fairly quickly.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #12
    Hey, all that matters is if you're happy with your web site and it accomplishes what you set out to do and pleases your users. The only time to advance is when that isn't true, and some of the more advanced products requiring a little more knowledge comes in to play, or hire a professional. I really appreciate your explanation and experiences, thanks for joining in the conversation!

    ;)
     
  13. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Try Sandvox. I've been using Rapidweaver but I may switch over to this. Its like iWeb, and seems very popular.
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #14
    Thanks for the replies, which are helpful. I am troubled by CNET users' remarks about both Sandvox and Rapidweaver.

    FWIW reviews suggest that Sandvox has little room for tweaking and is disruptively buggy, and that Rapidweaver lacks several fundamental features unless the user buys expensive add-ons.

    Anyone here who can confirm or refute that?

    I know that user reviewers are not always reliable, but I do not want to learn a program only to have to abandon it, or to face too many annoyances.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15
    Thanks again

    I've read all that and will have a look at all the contestants.

    :)
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #16
    One person's "fundamental" features might not be another's, so download the trial which is of course free and find out. It's not about lists. Rapidweaver has enough built in that it appeals to novice to professional level for code view, preview and theming support so like all good things in life, you output a little more money if you want to use fancy wizards instead of hand coding. Something some DIY's complain about. By wizards I mean extensions or plugins that do very specific web development tasks or integration of popular libraries using the GUI/IDE in addition to code view. Ask any highly experienced developer who is customizing sites for a living, it's mostly done by hand when it needs to be done right and meet strict requirements.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #17
    Try Aptana. It's free, and very good. It's a configuration of Eclipse made specifically for web development. Use the stand alone version rather than the plugin. It's much better than dw. Using a pure text editor is probably not the way to go, though you can always have a look at Textwrangler if you want free. It doesn't do any syntax checking or anything like that.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #18
    In my personal experience, it's a memory resource hog (yes, the standalone) and has issues with indexing (slow, too frequent). I have no complaints as to its features, only its performance.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    #19
    Coda

    I'm personally a big fan of Coda from Panic - it's not free but love it! You can pick it up either on the Mac App store or from panic.com
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Switchback666

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Caribbean
    #20
    I recommend Coda too :) UI is great and offers a lot for beginners, well worth the money plus the FTP built-in is a big plus, terminal and even (poorly made imo :eek:) SQL.

    Sublime text and text wrangler are/feel more barebones, if your used to a rich UI dont look further :p Coda is for you.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #21
    Adobe Brackets

    I am using Brackets http://brackets.io with Twitter bootstrap templates.

    It sounds kinda strange, but Brackets is an very nice open-souce project javascript written editor from Adobe. It's free. Who would believe Adobe would come with that?

    I feel it kinda meet the middle term form going to pure Text editors as Textwrangler versus wysiwyg packages like Dreamweaver and iWeb.

    With brackets you can also wysiwyg you site directly on browser or see your changes on the source code replicate immediately there as you save.

    You do need to know a bit of HTML but, with bootstrap, that's really minimum. Plus you get the latest in terms of compatibility and flexibility with mobile browsers.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Switchback666

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Caribbean
    #22
    Hmm never heard of it, il give it a try for the bootstrap part.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #23
    Honestly I'd suggest Wordpress or Rapidweaver for the blogs.

    But recently I've been trying Google Web Designer, and it's not too bad infact I'd say it's extremely promising so far and much worth checking out.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #24
    I've used and been satisfied with Freeway Pro for similar sites; they also offer Freeway Express for less....softpress.com
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #25
    Nvu and Kompozer come to mind. Looks like Nvu has changed from what it used to be. Kompozer is a WYSIWYG editor that is free and open source, can only get better right. It had a lot of the basic features of Dreamweaver that I needed when taking classes but in slightly harder to find places.

    http://www.kompozer.net/index.php
     

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