Web design software for "beginners"

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Hi all! :)
I've just started studying HTML and CSS in these weeks and I was wondering which software should I use for web designing. (It's a kind of hobby, I love it)

I want a software to grow up with, that I can learn well while I'm studying the code and will become my "best friend" for making websites ;)

I know that the most "famous" are Coda 2, Dreamweaver and Sublime Text 2. I've also heard about Flux 4, Rapidweaver and Freeway.
So, what do you recommend to me?

Thank you!
 

driftless

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2011
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174
Chicago-area
I use a combination of Dreamweaver, along with CS 6 suite, and Coda 2. If Dreamweaver is within your budget, I would start there.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Thank you for your answer :)
Yeah, Dreamweaver is in my budget and I'm quite familiar with Adobe's product since I've used Photoshop for years, now.
Maybe I'll give it a try ;)
 

lucidmedia

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2008
702
37
Wellington, New Zealand
There are two very different types of software you list: some are WYSIWYG editors, and some are text-only editors.

The WYSIWYG tools are fun, but (in my opinion) are more useful for hobbyists and tweakers. The code they output is overly verbose, inflexible, and lacks the semantic ordering that (currently) only human thought can produce. Yes, tons of people use them, but they are not used "in the industry" by any reputable front-end web designer or developer I know.

If you want a tool that you can grow into, I would jump right into a text editor like Coda, Espresso, Textmate or similar. This will make you focus on the markup you write and give a better understanding of what is happening (and why) when your HTML/CSS is rendered in a browser.

Dreamweaver is a program stuck between two worlds - it has both a WYSIWYG mode and a text editor - but I still do not recommend it for beginners. I have seen too many beginners develop bad habits or become reliant on some of its WYSIWYG features. Dreamweaver was once the tool of choice in web design, but over time the majority moved away from it towards something lighter and more nimble.
 

driftless

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2011
1,477
174
Chicago-area
There are two very different types of software you list: some are WYSIWYG editors, and some are text-only editors.

The WYSIWYG tools are fun, but (in my opinion) are more useful for hobbyists and tweakers. The code they output is overly verbose, inflexible, and lacks the semantic ordering that (currently) only human thought can produce. Yes, tons of people use them, but they are not used "in the industry" by any reputable front-end web designer or developer I know.

If you want a tool that you can grow into, I would jump right into a text editor like Coda, Espresso, Textmate or similar. This will make you focus on the markup you write and give a better understanding of what is happening (and why) when your HTML/CSS is rendered in a browser.

Dreamweaver is a program stuck between two worlds - it has both a WYSIWYG mode and a text editor - but I still do not recommend it for beginners. I have seen too many beginners develop bad habits or become reliant on some of its WYSIWYG features. Dreamweaver was once the tool of choice in web design, but over time the majority moved away from it towards something lighter and more nimble.

Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard. If he is comfortable with PS I would suggest keeping him in the CS universe. He has yet to take coding class so moving him beyond DW may frustrate him. IMHO.
 

fig

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2012
916
70
Austin, TX
Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard. If he is comfortable with PS I would suggest keeping him in the CS universe. He has yet to take coding class so moving him beyond DW may frustrate him. IMHO.
Enh, sorta. If you can actually code you won't have a problem using Dreamweaver, but being able to use Dreamweaver doesn't mean you can make a well coded website.

You don't need coding classes to learn HTML, just a bit of a patience. I'd highly recommend learning at least the basics of HTML before learning DW or a similar program.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Thank you all for answers :)

I've already learnt some of the basics of HTML and now I'm starting a more in-depth study. ( Oh, I'm a DIY, I'm studying with books and internet ;) )
To do that, anyway, I'd like to have a software with I can become comfortable with and that I'm going to use both for learning and, in future, making websites.

Reading your advices, well, I don't know :D
So, the decision is between DW and Coda or Sublime Text, right?
 

kemo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
735
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ProtonVPN
It all depends on you personal preferences. Actually Coda 2 has more features (Code snippets or how they call it, FTP etc.) than Sublime I'd say, but my idea is that if I'm choosing TextEditor I choose the one that do what it is intended to do the best. And that I think Sublime is instead of Coda 2. I did try Coda 2 on day one, it was released and I did get back to TextMate after 2 days. Sublime is pretty fast, it, if I remember correctly, has even auto complete, but I personally like TextMate more. I have been using it like 5 or more years and all the work behind bundles and settings I made...I just not like going to switch it soon.

Whatever you choice will be, I wish you good luck!:)
 

El Awesome

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2012
471
0
Zurich
I only know the basic stuff of HTML and CSS. DW is pretty cool for me, it goves out pretty good results.

If you're interested: My homepage.
It's german, but it's more about the layout stuff.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
This morning I downloaded the trial of Sublime Text 2, Coda 2 for the "editor group" and DW, Flux 4 for the "WYSIWYG group".
Of these, I prefer Sublime Text 2 (fast and lightweight, even if it doesn't have all the features Coda 2 has) and DW (I feel comfortable with Adobe's product layout).
They're very different, anyway. :rolleyes:
(I also tried Rapidweaver: I don't think it's what I'm looking for.)
 

AFPoster

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,522
101
Charlotte, NC
I am in the beginner stages right now as well and this is what I've found to be the best option.

Coda2 & Pixelmator.

Also take a look at this incredible resource "Team Treehouse". If you want to use them let me know because I can refer you and you'll receive a great discount.

My reason is this: don't use Dreamweaver / Rapidweaver or anything application that pre-codes while you mock-up. It takes away from you really knowing how to code and what coding does. It's one thing you use these tools when you're advanced but in the beginner stages you need to learn how to walk before you can run, so in this case learn to code before you use advanced tools that take you away from coding.
 

fig

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2012
916
70
Austin, TX
I am in the beginner stages right now as well and this is what I've found to be the best option.

Coda2 & Pixelmator.
Slightly off-topic, but Pixelmator is a surprisingly capable and very inexpensive Photoshop clone. I've got it on my wife's laptop so she can edit and resize photos for her blog and create simple graphics and you can actually do quite a bit with it. Not a bad alternative for people who can't afford Photoshop.
 

AFPoster

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,522
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Charlotte, NC
Slightly off-topic, but Pixelmator is a surprisingly capable and very inexpensive Photoshop clone. I've got it on my wife's laptop so she can edit and resize photos for her blog and create simple graphics and you can actually do quite a bit with it. Not a bad alternative for people who can't afford Photoshop.
Yes Pixelmator was completely off-topic, but when creating sites you deal with images and this is the best resource out there for the money. I'm not a high-end graphic user so Photoshop is useless to me when Pixelmator is a tenth the price and does everything I need. Good follow up fig, just had to piggyback on it.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Thanks everybody.

Well, even if I'll choose DW, I'll use it in Code view for learning HTML and CSS better. Then, I'll see.

I think that's the biggest problem: if I start using DW in Code view (since I want to learn well HTML and CSS), shouldn't I need, maybe, a cheaper text editor and work with that immediately?
 

AFPoster

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,522
101
Charlotte, NC
Thanks everybody.

Well, even if I'll choose DW, I'll use it in Code view for learning HTML and CSS better. Then, I'll see.

I think that's the biggest problem: if I start using DW in Code view (since I want to learn well HTML and CSS), shouldn't I need, maybe, a cheaper text editor and work with that immediately?
Check out TextMate inexpensive and gets you ready to go. HTML wise you won't find a better editor than Coda2. Dreamweaver is great if you're going to use only Adobe products and sticking to their ecosystem (Flash, Photoshop, etc). Most text editors offer a 30-day trial which I recommend taking advantage of to find what you like.
 

fig

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2012
916
70
Austin, TX
There is also Photoshop Elements for an inexpensive photo solution.
True, though at $15 Pixelmator is far cheaper and I think a more complete app than Elements.



Check out TextMate inexpensive and gets you ready to go. HTML wise you won't find a better editor than Coda2. Dreamweaver is great if you're going to use only Adobe products and sticking to their ecosystem (Flash, Photoshop, etc). Most text editors offer a 30-day trial which I recommend taking advantage of to find what you like.
I've actually got TextMate as well, but for only $25 more it's probably worth it just to buy Coda 2.

You're right on the 30-day demos though, you could try Coda 2 and Espresso for a while and get a lot of coding done.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Oh, another thing.
Which is better between lynda.com, Team Treehouse and Code Academy as source for studying?
Thank you for everything, I almost made my decision! ;)
 
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Titanium81

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2011
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By The Way... Sweet Mac you got there. My 2012 MacBook Air is lighting fast, I can only wonder what a "MacBook Pro Retina, i7 2.6 GHz, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM" would be like. :)
 

anthonytkim

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2011
4
0
Check out espresso. I have used coda before and like espresso a whole lot better!

And if you are going to be doing any FTP transfers, I highly recommend Transmit!
 

Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
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Yes, but DW is still industry/web standard.
Is it, really? Every fellow web designer and programer I know (and even those popular ones that I follow on Twitter and Google+) don't use DW for their work. They use programs like TextMate, Coda, Espresso, Sublime, NetBeans and even BBEdit.

As far as the OP goes, I would recommend getting Espresso 2. IT's live editing preview and X-Ray feature for both CSS and HTML is invaluable and will help you learn and understand the code you write.
 

Niko91

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2011
90
0
Italy
Yesterday and today I've been using ST2, Coda 2, Espresso 2 and DWCS6.

The worst of these, for me, at the end, I think it's DW.
I find it too bloated and chaotic, even if I come from Photoshop.

I'll go, I think, or with Sublime Text 2 or with Coda 2.
Also Espresso 2 is nice. The CSS Editor in there is wonderful ;)