Web Designers: Is Dreamweaver necessary?

Discussion in 'Community' started by cleo, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #1
    I'm taking a year off of school and living at home with the coolest parents in the whole world - they're not even making me get a job. :D I've picked up a couple of smallish web design clients, but (as they're both self-employed and super-busy) we're still in the talking stage.

    My question is: do you think Dreamweaver is necessary to do real semi-professional web design? (I have GoLive, but it seems like most pros prefer the former.) If so, do you find it easy to integrate hand-coding (especially in PHP, which is what I'm really into right now)? Do you use Dreamweaver for just the initial layout, or to develop the whole site?

    Here's an example of a (pro-bono) site I'm working on coded totally by hand in BBEdit, to give you an idea of where I'm at skill-wise - http://www.pinellasgreens.org/index4.php
     
  2. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #2
    you dont need anything....

    You dont need anything to make webpages if you dont want to. I personaly like Dreamweaver beacuse of the ease of code eddting after the fact. I aslo use flash alot and its very simple to import flash. I am by no means a pro. From the pros I do know, they all use dreamweaver (exept one.. he uses a text edditor and a browser for testing)

    -evildead
     
  3. Gaz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Is it necessary? No. Is it a usefully tool? Yes.

    I find Dreamweaver to be an excellent tool for layouts and doing simple tasks like role-overs (the generated code is better than go-live). I mainly use ASP and while I used to write all my code by hand I find Dreamweaver does a pretty good job of doing basics and certainly help development time. MX has pretty good intellisense that can make the life of coding all the dynamic content better. Also MX supports some basic PHP and you can download extensions of the Macromedia site which is always helpful.

    I personally use it loads but only in the knowledge that I know exactly what it's doing and that I can easily change the things by hand when needed.

    My advice is to try a demo of it as I'm sure the magazines have copies of it to see if you like the interface and if it really is worth the large sums of money. If all you're going to use it for is layout and you like go-live then why change?

    Don't get caught in the trend of following the crowd, use the program/method that doesn't restrict you and allows you to be at your most creative. Hope that helps and if you want anymore advice please feel free to email me.

    Gaz
     
  4. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #4
    I typically use Dreamweaver as a layout checker and quick means of inputting code and checking CSS.

    MX has great code auto-complete features, giving you access to almost any tag property/class once you've entered the tag you want...it even closes the tags for you!

    Since table based layouts are (hopefully) dying, most of your positioning/layout work comes in CSS. I like to tweak my CSS in Dreamweaver's editor just for quick feedback on how it looks...more complex CSS has to be done by hand still.
     
  5. Gaz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    One other thing worth considering. I'm looking through lots of job ads at the moment and lots of Web design jobs like the people to have experience of Dreamweaver. I haven't seen go-live mentioned once. But this is the UK thou. This is defn worth thinking about if you want to go pro in the future.

    Gaz
     
  6. Gaz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Hope you don't mind but I'd like to give you a few suggestions to help increase the usability of your site. If you don't want to know, look away now!


    1. On your main navigation it would be good to have a way of identifying the current page you're on - e.g. make the text bold and a different colour.

    2. On the calender, add two buttons; one to go forward one month and another to go back one month. Further to this make the drop default to the month and year being shown. You might want also another button to allow the user to go directly to this month - e.g. if they are viewing the Jan 2006 they can quickly return to Sept 2002 with one click and without having to remember want this month is.


    I'm sure you've thought of all these things already and I'm just being annoying. Hope this is helpful.

    Gaz
     
  7. JupiterZen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Reality Maingrid 23 Subjunction 42A
    #7
    Re: Web Designers: Is Dreamweaver necessary?

    Every professional webdesigner I know lets some slave (read stagaire from a multimedia school) do the HTML for him, because they are far better at it than software is. And then they concentrate on doing everything in PHP, ASP or JSP. So the webpages are generated from a SQL database.

    They tell me most of the software editors still make horrible code, that you cannot work with if you're doing larger projects. Doing everything by hand gives them greater control over what they are creating.

    But they use Dreamweaver sometimes for quick setups of a design or really fxcked up tables and stuff. Because it's the least bad of them all ;)

    Just my 2 cents

    ;)
     
  8. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
    #8
    its nice when you code and then you can see what you have done, but its also good if you know stuff all HTML
     
  9. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #9
    Dreamweaver is nice but not necessary, but I have to recommend it. It is definitely the best.
     
  10. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #10
    looks like I'm upholding GoLive honour....

    Of course it's not necessary, but it handy! In my experience a wysiwyg editor allows far quicker construction of sites than raw coding...... even a skilled hand coder......

    Personally I prefer GoLive, I believe it's the better package for all round development, and certainly when it comes to WML development it totally eats DW...... 360-degree-code code is fantastic and it does that to any code generated, plus with it's built in support for pretty much every file format, and seamless integration with other Adobe products makes it the winner IMHO........

    I learnt Dreamweaver first (At uni) because it was much easier to learn than Cyberstudio (now GoLive) was at the time, but I dropped it as I was looking for better integration between technologies and sites, and now with GoLive 6 I've never even considered going back to DW, even though I can work it.....

    Ultimately if you can work one of them, you can figure out the other easily enough....... and I know that Consultancies do not give anymore kudos to people that know DW over GoLive or vice-versa...... it's better to be the most flexible you can be with knowledge of software, and the more packages you know, the stronger the position you will be in........

    Anyways as a web designer.... when anything gets too hardcore, get a techie/web developer in, and let them sweat over the details....... then you can take the time out to go snow boarding like every other web designer!!! heh heh :p
     
  11. buffsldr macrumors 6502a

    buffsldr

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    #11
    i have used dreamweaver for years, to one extent or another (my use has dramatically tapered off in this last year), but..... the word I hear is that GoLive has gained a lot of ground on dreamweaver. I hear that it is a very credible option. If i were a semi-pro designer without a lot of money, I would buy a web design package for a grand from either adobe or macromedia and that would come with an SWF (eg flash), a graphics program (eg fireworks), an illustration program (eg freehand or illustrator), and a web coding program (eg dreamweaver)

    If you like to pirate software, then i guess you get what carracho gives.
     
  12. JupiterZen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Reality Maingrid 23 Subjunction 42A
    #12
    I'd rather see the result in a real browser just to make sure what the incompatibilities are with IE / Netscape / Opera / iCab / Mozilla on all different platforms (Mac / PC / Unix). Because as I understand none of them are truly HTML complient.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  13. firewire2001 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    my opinion on the whole matter is that its best to know html well, if your going to make sites, but tools like dreamweaver get the jon done for you if you have a certainh "vision" -- it gives you more artist creativity...

    dreamweaver in a lotta ways is better than others because it creates code indentical, or very close to, code that a hand coder would create.. meaning that things are easier to edit, etc..

    juss my 2 cents..
     
  14. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #14
    Short answer, no.

    But its a tool that you use, so if you like it and it works, there's nothing wrong with that. I have both GoLive and Dreamweaver and prefer GoLive (although I never upgraded to 5, went from 4 to 6). And I still go through and hand code some things, javascript and such.

    So, what I think it all boils down to is personal preference and what you're happy with.

    D
     
  15. dreamlance macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Location:
    wouldn't you like to know?
    #15
    I learned web design raw so rarely is it that I use Dreamweaver to build a whole site. Maybe as a layout checker yeah, and if you have no clue how to code fine but for me, I'd rather do it raw and use DW as a final check. *shrugs* I find writing html in notepad stress-relieving :)
     
  16. BongHits macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #16
    dw is nice, but i find it to be a bit of a hassle (i am still learning html) compared to hand codiing, because it uses different commands for objects. eg when bolding, dw uses <strong> </strong> where i use <b> </b>, its nice for complex tables, but still requires hand tweaking to get it all the right size, and makes rollovers that much easier than having to hand write the function properties. So who wants to explain CSS to me?
     
  17. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #17
    The <b> tag is fading away, just like the font tag...<strong> is the preferred tag for bold text.

    I suggest you check out http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/ ...they can explain it a lot better than I.
     
  18. Choppaface macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    SFBA
    #18
    I use golive cuz I dont have the time nor need to learn dreamweaver, but from the JS in dreamweaver and other things I think macromedia's got adobe beat on that one. I still don't understand why they haven't fixed golive's ridiculously bloated javascript...
     
  19. ibjoshua macrumors 6502a

    ibjoshua

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Japan
    #19
    there is some good advice here.
    give a trial a go. MX is definitely a winner but i'm very disapointed that the mac version doesn't support the different layout views that the PC version does. i 've used HomeSite and HTML-Kit at work for years and for text editing they beat DW every time - but with MX it's catching up.

    one thing DW is good for is quickly changing content on non-dynamic pages, especially if there is someone standing over your shoulder. :)

    by the way, i'm guessing the site you gave us was under development because there are some broken links. i.e. http://www.pinellasgreens.org/links.php

    i_b_joshua
     
  20. kaneda macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    #20
    Macromedia

    Use dreamweaver...macromedia makes better web products then Adobe! Adobe is great in printing but not web!

    Dreamweaver is easy! drop and drag! You can finish your project quickly if you know what you are doing! @ work I spent 3 hours working...2 hours drinking coffee and eating donuts...1 hour flirting with my secretary...she is hot! other 2 hours scratch and sniff...:)

    Don't need to learn raw HTML...If you can read it and understand it, you will be fine...Spend your time create awesome layout rather then sitting there type or paste in the code...zzzzZZZzzzzzz...
     
  21. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #21
    well being that I've only built one whole website in my entire existence...for a school project...raw html of course....my opinion wouldn't be completely valid as far as professional experience goes...

    however...having spent a few years in print production...I can attest to any program/tool that has the ability to streamline my workflow...hence I'd venture to say it's worth using Dreamweaver for website design if it'll increase your productivity... :D ;)
     
  22. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Nashvegas
    #22
    gotta go with i_b_joshua here, for nondynamic sites that require a good deal of maitenance and update, Dreamweaver is the best. The template function is extremely useful in this situatiion. That said, make sure you know html backwrds and front. There isn't really a substitute for it. Event hough MX has pretty good code going, you're gonna want to hard tweak it.

    ALso, get to know the preview in browser functions of Dreamweaver. You can assign different shortcuts to each browser and them call it up.

    I think that dreamweaver is key for flash integration, if that's your thing.

    Does anyone know of a good script to update entire pages from a remoe location? I use discussion boards that have headers which I can admin from anywhere, so I just pop in some HTML and there's your new update, but I'd love something that would let me do a whole page remote.

    I work and travel a great deal, and isnce its gov't work, they lock down our craptastic PCs from uploading anything.

    Any Ideas?
     
  23. ibjoshua macrumors 6502a

    ibjoshua

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Japan
    #23
    firstly, thanks. it' always nice to know someone agrees with you on something. :)

    secondly, i'm not too sure if i understand your question but there are lots of open source content management applications out there using all manner of platforms... php, coldfusion, ruby, python, perl etc etc

    if you just wanted to be able to upload changes you could pretty easily create/borrow/steal a web form that could upload your edited html files for you. or if you had good enough security you could easily build a script that could open a file dump the contents into a textarea then save it back to file when you're done.

    is that what you meant?

    i_b_joshua
     
  24. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #24
    Dreamweaver does something to the code of pages, and that's why I don't use it. I just in HTML using TextEdit. For a while I was checking the code in dreamweaver, but then I discovered that it was changing the code around. So now I upload the pages as test.html, and I check the design on the web.
     
  25. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #25
    The only thing it does it change tab indents and some arbitrary spacing. It doesn't rearrange anything or change the code you've entered.

    For "cleaner" looking HTML, hand coding is definitely better.
     

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