Any intuitive website design programs for Graphic Designers?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Yr Blues, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I've played with DW and Flash for years, but it seems to always dictate what I'm designing

    are there anything new made for graphic designers and not consumer/amateur?

    is Adobe the only game in town?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What was wrong with DW? If you want something that won't "dictate what you design" then none of the template-based programs (iWeb, RapidWeaver) are going to work. You can basically do whatever you want with DW.
  3. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    I've always preferred golive to dreamweaver purely as I feel that is more design orientated while dreamweaver is more code orientated.

    Now golive is getting on a bit and will require some code knowledge for things like html5 and css3 but for getting layouts done it's a lot nicer in my opinion
  4. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    I find it much more effective to design in Photoshop or Illustrator and then code it up in Dreamweaver or another text-based editor. Dreamweaver is meant as much more of a development tool than a design tool.

    Yes, that means learning development as a separate skill from design, but if you want websites that look good and are usable and maintainable, it's really the only way to go IMO.
  5. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    if you don't want the application to dictate how the design turns out, you should learn how to code html and css. they are easy languages to pick up, and once you understand them, you will have a lot more freedom than in dreamweaver or any other application (unless you use code view, obviously).
  6. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    Agreed, Dreamweaver and PS make a great coding and design duo. Design your graphics in PS (while keeping the coding in mind) and code with dreamweaver.
  7. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    DW has a lot of overhead if you are simply using it as a code editor. I prefer to do my HTML/CSS in Coda. Simple, elegant interface. Does everything I want Dreamweaver to do, with none of the extras i never use.
  8. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    If you were going to go the free route, what would you guys/gals recommend? Just curious.....
  10. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
  11. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    For design? Or for coding?

    For coding, I love TextWrangler.

    For design, there's Inkscape and GIMP, but neither really holds a candle to the Adobe apps (I think GIMP is great for photography but really falls short of graphic design).

    NVU is handy if you just want to put *something* up on the web, but from either a design or coding standpoint it's basically a clunkier version of Dreamweaver.
  12. Dolorian macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
  13. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    First off, draw it in PS. Then you extract all patterns and pictures, NOTHING ELSE.

    Then you use Coda to open up a clean document and write away. No generated code. :)
  14. mousouchop macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    New York
    I second both of these posts. This is the way to do it.
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Should of been more specific. Just for the web coding part. Whether it is WYSWYG editor or all code.

    Design; I agree with PS.
  16. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    There's about a zillion threads out there about free text editors for coding. I'm a fan of TextWrangler, personally.

    If you want to get your code *right*, learn what you're doing and go text-only. If you want someone to do the thinking for you and live with their generalizations and poor judgement, go WYSIWYG.

    AFAIK, there are no *good* free WYSIWYG editors. Heck, even Dreamweaver, which is by far the industry leader, produces pretty crappy code if you use it as a WYSIWYG editor, especially if you don't already know what makes good and bad code.
  17. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    The only reason why I would suggest DW over Coda is because many (most?) people that have a recent version of Photoshop probably also have Dreamweaver anyway.
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I know re: mass threads. I have looked and seen. This one also seemed kind of use full.

    I have done coding using notepad on the windows side. I pretty much only use DW now thou. The code it produces is ok for what I need it to do.

    I haven't used coda yet.
  19. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    DreamweaverCS3 or higher is an excellent code editor.
    I use it to write HTML, PHP, CSS and XML files, and the code completion feature works very nicely.

    Personally, I've always found the combination of layered photoshop/Illustrator files and FlashCS3 to be about as "WYSIWYG" as you're likely to find.
    The only "downside" to this workflow is that you have to know how to read and write AS3/HTML/CSS/XML, and have a solid understanding of the Flash displaylist and event architecture.

    There's also a Photoshop plugin called "SiteGrinder" that claims to convert pure Photoshop layouts into fucntional websites.
    Not sure how well it works though.
  20. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Last year I upgraded from Dreamweaver 8 to Web Design CS4... I'm finally getting around to learning how to use Dreamweaver CS4 properly and am about to put it to good use.

    It's a bit different. :eek:

    But it looks like it's going to be GOOD different. Eventually. I hope. :eek:

    So now here I am going through the tutorials and it appears that the best workflow is:

    1- Create the page in Photoshop or maybe Illustrator.

    2- Skoosh (flatten) combined elements together and slice it up in Fireworks.

    3- Use Dreamweaver to Tag it, CSS it, Link it and just generally abuse it until it decides to become a website just so you'll leave it alone.

    Looks like I'll be able to use CS4 more effectively than Studio 8.
    Which is good because I've got several sites that need help in a bad way.

    Back to the tutorials,

    PS. I tried all kinds of template-driven site builders... none I found offer much in the way of creative license.
    WYSIWYG or "Design View" is my favorite way of working, but I'll deal with code if I have to.
    As much as there is to learn and re-learn, Web Premium CS4 seems like the most flexible way to build pages and sites.
  21. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    One product you might try is Freeway, from Softpress systems. This is a long established visual web page/web site creation tool.
    It started out many years ago on the premise 'wouldn't it be good if you could build websites with a tool which was just like a typical page layout program such as Quark XPress'.
    Nowadays we would probably cringe at the thought but at the time it was radical and filled a much needed niche, i.e. that of designers who came from a print design background but wanted to make websites without the pain of learning code.
    I built all my early sites using Freeway.
    I'm not going to say it's a great way of making sites, it has many downsides. However it does give you complete visual control over the look of your site, in a way that most other tools don't. Whether this is a good or bad thing is open to discussion.
    I wouldn't use it now - I went from Freeway to GoLive to Dreamweaver/CMS driven sites - but it was a good starting point for a newbie, and I must say that though my early sites sucked as far as the underlying code went, visually they were pretty good.
    The cheapest way to get it (don't bother with Freeway Express, go for the full Freeway Pro) is to download the trial then wait for a discount code which will be sent to you afterwards.
  22. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I use Photoshop, Fireworks, to Dreamweaver & it works well for the code deficient. It's probably a bit messy code wise, but it works.
  23. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    It should be for the amount they charge!

    I've always thought though that if you are just doing code editing then there are plenty of good text editors for Mac, many of which are way cheaper.
  24. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Agreed, I probably wouldn't pay for Dreamweaver on its own, but if you want Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash, it comes bundled... and it does have its uses:

    - editing old table-based sites
    (I have clients who use them and aren't willing to budget to re-code)

    - formatting long chunks of text
    (it's a lot quicker to let it apply the paragraph tags for you than add a bunch of tags by hand; and ti also makes it painless to apply heading levels and list formatting, etc).

    - tag-based search-and-replace
    (I often have to clean up messy machine-generated (or idiot-generated, *sigh*) code, and the regexes to accomplish some of the things the search can do trivially easily would be extremely long and complex (if I could build them at all). Want to strip only span tags that are inside an unordered list with class "xyz" and that contain links with a target specified? Leaving the contents? Nothing else I know takes less than 30 seconds to set up those search/replace criteria -- AND know they're correct.)

    The site sync is also handy, especially with the built-in diffing feature, although not unique... Of course, I prefer to just use SVN if the client is willing to move to hosting that supports it (damn you 1and1!)

    There's really nothing DW's code view lacks for plain-HTML development that other editors support. On the other hand, Dreamweaver makes a pretty poor editor for PHP and other web scripting languages; and even when editing stylesheets I miss the symbol menu from Textwrangler that lets you easily locate and jump to a rule in a file several hundred lines long.
  25. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    The best software is between your ears. Take time to learn what options are and how to do them. Saying that Photoshop and Flash dictate what you are designing is ludicrous.

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