Have 9 websites, hate Dreamweaver - Help!

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by donelson, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. donelson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    I have 9 websites which I do not have time or budget to "bring up to HTML4 or 5" standards. Making mods to pages in these sites is a complete pain now; just changing a font or a font size - It is a major task to get around the Dreamweaver Police Force.

    I need a new web design application, perferably HTML-edit and WYSIWYG-edit both, which I can point at my Existings Sites on my Mac hard disk, and then take over from there.

    What do you recommend?

    Thanks millions!
     
  2. schimmel macrumors member

    schimmel

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #2
    I wouldn't really recommend an application at all - but rather a database driven CMS like Drupal or Joomla.

    I've been in roughly your situation, I have around 5 websites with different clients all made with Dreamweaver and some manual CSS coding. I am now moving them all over to Joomla, which saves me incredible amounts of pain. Database based solutions are so incredibly much more modular, powerful, easy to extend and make changes to.

    If the sites aren't too huge or complex, you can normally just copy-paste the content into the respective places of Joomla/Drupal.

    Otherwise, RapidWeaver is neat and extremely simple but of course lacks a lot of flexibility. Despite Dreamweavers police force (I know what you mean) it's still the most competent web creation tool for the Mac, I think.
     
  3. donelson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Thanks for that.

    And yes, the sites are large. One is about 700 pages, one is about 600 pages, and most of the rest are around 200-300 pages. So hand copying is definitely out.
     
  4. digitalField macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    portland
    #4
    the program you use really only 'helps' when it comes to the coding and uploading of files. When i say the coding i mean things like keyboard shortcuts or color-coding to make things easier to read. And when i say uploading i am referring to the relationship between your local files and the server files.

    the problems you described about maintaining files and code are related to the actual structure of your site, ie how it is built. And that has nothing to do with what program you used to create the site.

    It sounds like your current site structure is 'static', in that each page is handcoded. If you want to change somethings on a page you go find that page and make that edit. From you said it also sounds like your CSS lives inside your HTML pages as well.

    Things you can do..
    Put all your CSS into external style sheets. That will make updating fonts and font-sizes across your entire site very easy.

    Start to look into php ( or another server-side technology ) that will let you 'include' repetitive bits of code ( like headers and footers ) so that you dont have to rewrite things over and over

    You can also look into CMS's ( content management systems ) which are great ( wordpress is a simple example of one ) but they can take a bit of time to get comfortable working in.

    hope that helps.
     
  5. donelson, Aug 23, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    donelson thread starter macrumors member

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    London, UK
    #5
    Thanks, digitalField, but this is the opposite of what I want. I have no CSS in those sites, and doing tons of work on them is not what I want. I just change a bit here and there every once in a while, and Dreamweaver Police stop me from changing a font or a fontsize without creating a CSS thingy. Yuck. The sites work just fine and look good to millions of people over the years, and Dreamweaver Police seem to think they are God. Yuck. Arrogant asshats.

    What I want is a WYSIWYG way to edit pages on my Mac, then upload the pages I change, usually one at a time. I also need to sometimes change HTML code here and there, or a Javascript snippet.

    Dreamweaver does what I want; I just want to switch off the "Feck You! Police!" mode in it. Since that is not going to happen, I am looking for an actual customer-serving company who make a Website editting system, without the dogma.

    thanks
     
  6. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #6
    The reason that Dreamweaver defaults to CSS is because that is the web standard now. It's actually been like that for quite awhile now. If you want to stay in the dark ages and have your websites fall further and further out of date, then by all means, forget about CSS. I mean, you can choose to drive a horse and buggy instead of a car, but don't expect to take that onto the freeway. And by the way... there are no Dreamweaver police. The program is actually trying to help you from breaking standards, but you are determined to break them anyway. You might want to see if you can find an older version of the software... from maybe 2000 up to 2004, when building sites without CSS was more common place. It boggles my mind that you are still using the <font> tag instead of styling in CSS. Wow.
     
  7. donelson, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    donelson thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    London, UK
    #7
    Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The sites work just fine in all browsers.

    There are a 100 millions sites that use the font tag etc. It works just fine, and does not require a new style to be defined for Every change in the website.

    When it stops working (never) then I will look at spending the 1,000+ hours to move my 4,000+ pages to CSS and send you the bill.

    Your attitude is abusive and elitist, just like Dreamweaver. It is not "trying to help me", it is FORCING ME like a despot.

    Now read my original post and be so kind as try to "help me" not bludgeon me to into spend 1,000+ hours to change something that works fine, and will continue to do so for year and years.
     
  8. jman2010 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #8
    For now. Things are always progressing on the web.

    If the CSS stylesheet is set up properly, you don't have to have oodles and oodles of classes. Dreamweaver is notorious for this, so I can understand your confusion.

    Wow. It seems you are the one with the attitude here!

    Its a trade-off, no doubt.

    You are either going to spend time converting to a better way of doing updates, or spend extra time doing those updates using the current system.

    As far as I know, there is no such program that will do what you want.

    Yes, I have read your original post. I have been working on web sites since 1998, so I have "been around the block."

    -- JMan --
     
  9. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    ^ This!

    I definitely recommend content management systems to all of my clients, even for a web site with just a few pages.

    They do have downsides, of course...

    • Need to keep them up-to-date or risk getting hacked
    • Less control (unless you learn how to make templates, modules, etc)
    • Less portable (from host to host)
     
  10. donelson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Thanks. So far I have been told "RapidWeaver".

    Any other suggestions, please?

    :)
     
  11. -pete-, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    -pete- macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #11
    Sorry but others have said CSS really is the future, it will only really take a bunch of find/replaces with coda or something similar (hell even TextEdit will do it) to get the result you want and make maintenance so much easier going forward.
     
  12. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #12
    Coda will do what you want to do. However, I have to agree with the others. You should consider pulling the tags out and going to CSS. It will make your life easier in the future. Either way you can use RapidWeaver or Coda to do what you want for now.
     
  13. donelson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    Excellent, thanks for the advice.

    * RapidWeaver
    * Coda

    I will investigate both of those.
     
  14. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    #14
    He's old school and he doesn't want to learn how things should work today with a CMS, HTML5, CSS, JS combo and everything done in a text editor. Visually oriented people don't like this and see no point wasting time learning these things so spending time trying to change his mind is pointless. This is quite common for a lot of people that started off in web development in the nineties.

    From people in the same position I've heard Freeway is a good alternative to Dreamweaver: http://www.softpress.com/tour/
     
  15. donelson, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

    donelson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Very insulting, and wrong. I *do* understand CMS, HTML5, CSS, and JS, but I have no budget to spend the thousand hours required to bring all these sites up to date. I am visually proficient AND an excellent coder, with long experience.

    In fact, one of the sites not included in my list is done via a custom CMS I developed, which uses a set of templates ( Gardens-Guide.com ) to generate pages via a custom production engine I wrote about 8 years ago.

    Some here keep missing the Fact of TIME. Yes, CMS, HTML5, CSS, and JS are the right ways to build new websites. New sites I create do use these. But that is NOT the issue in this thread; pay attention please. Read what I have written MANY times above: TIME is the issue.

    Thanks for the (backhanded) recommendation of Freeway.
     
  16. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    #16
    Wasn't trying to insult you.... you're reading too much into it.

    I know a lot of people that fit my description that just want a good WYSIWYG option and don't care about any of the above (especially DTP guys that did web development early on when it was starting out). Your posts suggested to me that you seemed to be of that frame of mind.

    If you are comfortable with editing the HTML directly I think the above mention of Coda is the best option for you as it will be much faster and easier to maintain than with a WYSIWYG option.
     
  17. -pete- macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #17
    Sorry if this seems obvious but why don't you just use an old version of dreamweaver?

    Looking at the code they seem to be such a mess that it will take you a very long time to get them useable in anything else :S
     
  18. donelson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Very interesting idea, actually, thanks.

    I wonder if an old version will run on Intel Macs? Specifically, I am moving to new Mac Mini with Lion soon. Currently I have PowerPC Dreamweaver CS4, and not sure how much earlier a version I would need, or even if it will run on a Lion Mini...

    I can, of course, keep the old dual G5 up and running (and was planning on selling it for $200-300), but that would be messy to run that machine only for the websites etc. while everything else I do will be on the Mini. I may even have older versions of Dreamweaver on backup somewhere.

    Still, very interesting.
     
  19. -pete- macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #19
    If you want to run older PowerPC software then I would hold off on Lion, they don't include Rossetta (the virtualisation software for PPC) with Lion meaning it won't work at all, any old software will run fine on Snow Leopard or lower tho :)
     
  20. donelson thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    Yes, I have been following threads about installing Snow Leopard and Rosetta on new Mac Minis - looks pretty daunting and the resulting new mini runs about half speed as well; not my idea of a good move.
     
  21. digitalField macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    portland
    #21
    You should check out Coda by Panic, www.panic.com/coda/ i tried it, its not my cup of tea, but Panic makes fantastic software and this is a top notch alternative to dreamweaver.

    ----------

    So the best way to save time for someone with as extensive a coding history as yours would be a nice FTP program like Transmit for keeping track of your local sites. And a nice text editor like TextMate.. and then writing yourself a couple of regExpressions to step through your thousands of files whenever you need to make those changes.

    piece of cake.
     
  22. THX1139, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2011

    THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #22
    I think that most people are wasting their time trying to help the OP.

    I understand that it sucks to spend time retooling an existing website. But, as in his case, where the design along with the code is out of date, why not do a retrofit? Time is money. Yeah... right. But wasting time trying to save time is pound foolish.


    Oh.. and my suggestion is for him to use Notepad. That will give him absolute control over his outdated code.
     
  23. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #23
    I'm curious what the other 8 websites look like :D

    I think you should not look at Dreamweaver as the police ... maybe more like the calvary.

    good luck
     
  24. donelson thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    London, UK
    #24
    Thanks very much, digitalField.
     
  25. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Do you ever wonder why this page is on page 8 on a search for "gardens UK" in Google? (in other words, it doesn't really exist on the web, as far as the public is concerned).

    Modern, semantic code is treated much better in search results. The intelligent / correct use of headlines from HTML4 and nav/header/footer from HTML5 will markedly increase your SEO.

    As many others have said, it's penny wise, dollar foolish. You're set in your ways, though.

    Coda will do what you want, as some others have said. It doesn't do WYSIWYG, but it has a built-in browser (using the Webkit engine) that lets you instantly preview.
     

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