Web Design Software for Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hotwire132002, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #1
    I'm moving my web design over from my PC to my Mac (for two reasons: 1) my PC's hard drive crashed and 2) the mac is much, much, much, much, much better :D )

    I used FrontPage on the PC, and I'm looking for a similar program for Mac. I was looking at Macromedia Contribute 2. Can anyone tell me if that program is similar to FrontPage? Any key features I should know about? Thanks!
     
  2. Lz0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #2
    There is noyhing quite like FrontPage for the Mac ... and for that we must thank our respective Gods.

    I'm a huge fan of BBedit and Macromedia Dreamweaver.

    I did try the Adobe one (can't think of the name) a few years back, but found it overengineered to the max and so never went back to it.
     
  3. raytube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    Mac Web design software

    Hi,
    Contribute and FrontPage aren't exactly the same kind of package. Contribute is used to maintain and manage existing sites as opposed to creating sites in the first place. Typically you would use Dreamweaver to create a site and then Contribute can be used to manage sites. It's ideal for clients to maintain sites themselves. So Contribute on it's own isn't that much use, I would recommend Dreamweaver for sure, if you get the latest version (Dreamweaver MX 2004) then make sure you have the latest update as it was kind of buggy when first released.
    FrontPage is a package I've not used much and I know that until the most recent version (possibly!) the code it produced was not great, primarily because it was pretty much focused around Microsoft / Internet Explorer specific code. Dreamweaver is focused around producing web-standards compliant pages so it doesn't favour any browser in particular.

    Hope that helps!

    Rick
     
  4. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #4
    Can Dreamweaver do the updates as well? I would assume it can, but just want to make sure. I'm just slightly confused, it sounds like you design in one program and update in the other. Can you design AND update in Dreamweaver, or just design? I couldn't see why you couldn't update, but I don't want any surprises in a $400 program.
     
  5. raytube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    Dreamweaver

    Hi,
    Sure, you can do everything you need to do in Dreamweaver, html code and ftp (and also database connectivity for dynamic sites). Contribute is just an additional package that allows people to update websites with very little or no html / web knowledge. In that level it is similar to FrontPage but that's all. Dreamweaver lets you use templates to maintain pages, Contribute updates pages according to the templates you set in DW.
    Don't forget that you can get 30 day trials of all Macromedia software, well worth it so you can give it a spin and get up to speed!

    Cheers,

    Rick
     
  6. RubberChicken macrumors regular

    RubberChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    You can update in Dreamweaver. Contribute is made to allow people without the knowledge, time or money to purchase full-blown design software merely to complete simple content updates. Just quietly, it is aslo an excellent way for us web designers to selectively lock clients out of doing too much damage.

    If you want something like Frontpage, I'm not sure what to recommend. Adobe used to make Pagemill, which was quite competent for basic stuff. It's not longer supported, and certainly never came out for OSX. I use Adobe Golive in preference to Dreamweaver (but let's not start that debate!).

    Have a look at Freeway, if you are after something cheaper and more basic.
    http://www.softpress.com/en/freeway
     
  7. paulypants macrumors 6502a

    paulypants

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #7
    There is nothing as crappy as frontpage on the mac side--frontpage has to be the worst web "creation" software ever distributed--Dreamweaver is a good choice...
     
  8. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #8
    While I am a firm believer in hand coding pages that validate on the W3 site (for which I use BBEdit), I must agree with the above comment. Frontpage absolutely is the worst thing to ever happen to web design... well, frontpage and proprietary code of all kinds!

    If you want a WYSIWYG, I would definitely say go with Dreamweaver!
     
  9. itsumo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    To use a really strained metaphor, comparing Frontpage to Dreamweaver is like buying a loaf of processed bread or making your own. There's a bit of a learning curve, but a huge difference in both job satisfaction and the quality of the end result.
    You'll never go back. Unless like me you are forced to do so at work, in which case you'll secretly just handcode the HTML and no-one will ever realise.
     
  10. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    #10
    GoLive

    My work is in an IT department, and those of us who do web design use Adobe GoLive. This program is far more advanced than Microsoft FrontPage; as such, it is a fundamentally different program. If you're looking to make basic pages, you can make them in Microsoft Word and then save them as web pages. Otherwise, GoLive and Dreamweaver are good choices.

    I learned to use Dreamweaver first, and I found it pretty simple to learn. It doesn't offer templates (of which I'm aware) like FrontPage does, but it is a powerful program that you should be able to learn with a little practice.

    GoLive is very similar to Dreamweaver. It has many advanced featuers that Dreamweaver may or may not have; I don't know because my use of Dreamweaver was pretty much hobbyist-level. The version of Dreamweaver that I used seemed to run more efficiently than GoLive CS, but I prefer GoLive CS because of its myriad advanced features, and because that is what we use at work.

    Since you're moving away from FrontPage, you may want to consider a fundamentally different way of creating web pages. The way I learned how, and the way we do it at work, is to create the page in Adobe Photoshop, "slice" it up (means just what it sounds like) in Adobe ImageReady (included with Photoshop), and then put it into Dreamweaver or GoLive. You can do it the easy way, which is how I started, by exporting directly to html and images from ImageReady; or you can do it the hard way, which is what we do at work: create the web page from scratch, create tables with the dimensions of the ImageReady-exported image files, and then put in the image files manually.

    I know there are a lot of people out there who hand-code their html, but it is really more efficient, as well as aesthetically pleasing to visitors, if you use Dreamweaver or GoLive.

    Bottom line: learn on Dreamweaver, then move up to GoLive. Don't hand-edit; use Photoshop.

    Mike LaRiviere
     
  11. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #11
    I think a combo of Dreamweaver, GoLive and BBEdit work wonders.

    Dreamweaver is simple to use and learn, and will create you basic page, as will GoLive. Both make fairly compliant pages.

    If you have a major site then either will work well.

    For really simple stuff, something liek Rapidweaver will work. It does some basic templates for you. There are a bunch of these shareware basic apps that do the simple photo album or about me page.

    Hand coding is great once you need to tweak and have seen the code. But for a new HTML person, hand coding is slow, and tedious and frustrating.

    Start with simple and work up.
     
  12. panphage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #12
    I personally use BBEdit and/or Vim depending on what else is going on, and Vicomsoft FTP client or Subversion (it's good to be root, you can play with cool new softs!), again depending on what else is going on, to upload/update.

    If you are used to a WYSIWYG, the only one I've ever really used is Dreamweaver, and it's pretty good. It has it's oddities like any other html wysiwyg, but nothing earth-shattering. I've heard nothing but bad things about FrontPage, especially that it uses IE-only tags, but I've never used it so I can't tell you how difficult your transition might be. As far as GoLive goes, I saw a great Adobe Demo a couple of years ago when InDesign came out that made the whole Adobe suite used together look absolutely amazing, especially if you're doing mixed web/print campaigns, but again, I haven't really used it enough to recommend for or against it.
     
  13. panphage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #13
    And I do something very, very similar when I lay out a page, but instead of tables, I hand code everything using pure semantic CSS layouts because it's the fastest way for me, and I find "standards-based design" more philosophically pleasing. So as you see, opinions, workflows, and preferences really matter here. I would definitely try this approach if you are used to working at the GUI level. I know Macromedia offers limited-time trials of most of their software, adobe might as well. So, you can get an idea for what feels right without laying out a waggonload of cash.
     
  14. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #14
    Thanks for all the comments. I've decided to go with Dreamweaver, because I looked up the educational price and I can get the whole Studio MX with Flash Pro for $250. The only reason I used Frontpage is because I needed a WYSIWYG editor (I'm not much good at HTML coding), and I managed to get a copy for free from a business that had gotten a copy with their server and wasn't using it.
     

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