What is the best web design tool for a newbie?

CaptainCaveMann

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 5, 2004
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Ever heard of WebEasy Pro 5.0 for pc? Thats the genra im looking for but for the Mac platform. Can anyone help me out? I want to make a web page for myself but i have pretty much no experience, so i need a really simple and easy program that will help me make the page then transfer it to my comp and then to my web space. :confused:
 

HenMaster6000

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2003
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If you think you'll be doing this a lot, I'd recommend just spending the money on Dreamweaver. I was a newbie about 8 months ago, and picked up Dreamweaver really quickly. I tried a couple of easy-first time programs (like Web Design 2.2) and they made it hard to get done what I wanted. I used my friend's copies of Dreamweaver and Fireworks and really liked what I saw.

I think that the trial versions of both are free downloads. They don't have any limitations as far as export (maybe Fireworks does), but expire in 30 days. You might as well give them a try, especially if your project is short term.
 

scem0

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
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back in NYC!
The best thing a newb can do IMO is learn HTML & CSS.

Those two tools together can do a bunch. After that, PHP or Javascript.

But if you just want to throw a page together, something like the WYSIWYG editor on Mozilla should work fine.

scem0
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
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RapidWeaver is good for real easy nice look pages. Personally I am a GoLive CS fan. I use GoLive, bought myself a GoLive book, and a HTML & CSS book and I am golden. Just like scem0 said, next would be a JS and PHP book. Just build as you go. For doing CSS, CSSEdit is a great program as well.

jon
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
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On a jet plane
There's always Freeway, which is meant to be fairly easy to grasp although some of the code it spouts might be questionable.

Personally I would go for Dreamweaver and a good XHTML & CSS book. Learning curve might be marginally steeper but it's worth it in the long run.
 

varmit

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Aug 5, 2003
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Text edit. As soon as you can understand the basics of the underling code, the faster you can make pages later.
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
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somewhere between here and there.
I cannot recommend any quick web design application such as Dreamweaver or GoLive, let alone freeway or so forth.


I use a basic text editor and Safari along with other browsers to test that it works with all the browsers and has no issues.

Learn HTML, CSS, so forth when you do so you do not need applications to do something you already understand.

All those application generate fat code, and this will either load the site slow or not proper at all. I don't trust those applications. :)
 

deputy_doofy

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2002
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m a y a said:
I cannot recommend any quick web design application such as Dreamweaver or GoLive, let alone freeway or so forth.


I use a basic text editor and Safari along with other browsers to test that it works with all the browsers and has no issues.

Learn HTML, CSS, so forth when you do so you do not need applications to do something you already understand.

All those application generate fat code, and this will either load the site slow or not proper at all. I don't trust those applications. :)
I completely agree. I have never actually used Dreamweaver or GoLive, but my freehand HTML, CSS, and javascript continue to get better and better. On Mac, all I need is BBEdit. On Windows, all I need is Wordpad. :D
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
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somewhere between here and there.
deputy_doofy said:
I completely agree. I have never actually used Dreamweaver or GoLive, but my freehand HTML, CSS, and javascript continue to get better and better. On Mac, all I need is BBEdit. On Windows, all I need is Wordpad. :D

We all have to take baby steps, if we try to walk without falling we risk loosing a lot more down the road.

I still learn new things everyday when I code and I love it, no one can be a pro at coding however we learn and hold on to that knowledge better than just using a generator. :)
 

betsbillabong

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2004
128
2
If you go to Webmonkey you'll find lots of good tutorials. I've linked to the HTML Basics area, but there's tons of other authoring/design stuff there.

BBEdit Lite, which is a free download, is a good text editor for HTML; I've never used Text Wrangler or the full BBEdit, but I imagine they're a lot more full-featured. I've always found BBEdit Lite sufficient for my needs; it's definitely enough for learning HTML.

If all you want is a simple webpage, you can learn what you need in about two or three hours, possibly less. Probably easier than learning Dreamweaver, too. If you want a more involved webpage, you may want to look into a software package. I've never used them, but there's no point in reinventing the wheel by learning CSS, etc, if you're only going to be making one site for yourself (as opposed to getting into designing websites for others).

Oh, and take Maya's advice: try your website out on a number of browsers and platforms. You'll be surprised how different they can look!

One last tip: less is more. Good, simple design is often easiest to navigate, and newcomers often overuse eye candy like flash animations.
 

Stampyhead

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
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London, UK
People learn things in different ways. Some people are visual, and for those people Dreamweaver would be the best way to start out. Other people are more technically minded and work best when they have their hands right in the code. Those people would be best starting with a text editor and an HTML (and CSS) book. I belong to the first group and I was only able to learn HTML after becoming completely comfortable with creating web pages in Dreamweaver. I don't think there is any right or wrong answer. It's whatever works best for you.
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
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State College, PA
For writing/editting html I recommend SubEthaEdit.

For writing/editting CSS, I recommend CSSEdit.

For transferring the files from your computer to the web (FTP), I recommend Transmit.

(all programs I mentioned can be downloaded from the web. Google their names to get the url)

As for actually learning the stuff, you can't go wrong with trial and error ;)

Viewing source that other people have created, disecting it, and trying out what they did is also a good way to learn HTML/CSS quickly.

Online tutorials are pretty good too.
 

rock6079

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2004
428
149
check out WebDesign (ragesw.com) or bbedit , you can find em at versiontracker.com

the best way to learn is practise and patience, and dont try to remember everything at once, thats the best advice i can give
 

maya

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2004
3,225
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somewhere between here and there.
Someone had recommend HyperEdit, and this is a great text base editor which will show you the changes right away in real-time. I gave this application a test drive and its great I like it a lot. It will also break down any peoples idea of learning with visuals since this is faster then GoLive or Dreamweaver. Sure you will have to make png files for buttons, banners, etc... However this little application is very productive and easy to use.

Trial and Error is the best learning tools. People up here have posted some great links and methods, just remember the shot cut is not always the best method. :)


All the best to you. :)
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
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:noitаɔo˩
Josh said:
For writing/editting html I recommend SubEthaEdit.

For writing/editting CSS, I recommend CSSEdit.

For transferring the files from your computer to the web (FTP), I recommend Transmit.
(...)
I second Josh on all is recommendations :D

I also second everyone here saying you should learn HTML. It's really quite simple and easy. A few online tutorials should be enough to get the general idea of things - then head over to w3c.org for complete HTML/XHTML specs (a bit overwhelming for the beginner though).

Also, when you get interested in PHP, maybe check the MySQL database server - and maybe learn that too.
 

davecuse

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2004
419
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NYC
I'm glad everyone has picked up on CSSEdit. I've been using it forever, and it's the best thing since sliced bread!

When I was first trying to understand HTML, the best tool I ever found was "View Source". Surf, find something you think looks cool, and figure out how they did it. Once you get past the stages of simply copying what other people have done and begin to understand why things work the way they do, a simple text editor for the HTML and CSSEdit for the CSS will be all you need.

Although I was not aware of it at the time I think that the W3 Schools are a godsend, they helped me pick up on PHP faster than I would have imagined possible.

Dreamweaver is crap, as are most WYSIWYG programs. Sure they'll shoot out some sloppy code that looks right in one browser, but if you run into a problem in some obscure browser, you'll never be able to figure out why. Plus learning proper semantic coding will allow your site to work long down the road when people are viewing your pages on devices other than a personal computer.
 

mactropy

macrumors member
Dec 4, 2004
84
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M&M's
When I make purchase decisions for myself, I don't really look at my current needs/abilities but more at what I would like to do with the product on the near (~6 months) future. That way I can make sure that I neither buy a product that is out of my league (meaning I too dumb to use and probably will be in the future) nor waste any money by buying a beginner's product and then a more advanced one a few months later.
Regarding your question: I bought Dreamweaver right after I got my first Mac in 2001 and it took me a couple of days to figure out how to use the interface. The learning curve was not too steep and I managed to put the product to good use.
But: try to assess your needs before you make a purchase.
I have used RapidWeaver also, as well as Frontpage (shame on me!).
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
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toronto
davecuse said:
Plus learning proper semantic coding will allow your site to work long down the road when people are viewing your pages on devices other than a personal computer.
is anyone here coding for and testing on non-desktop/laptop devices, like handhelds?
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
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State College, PA
zimv20 said:
is anyone here coding for and testing on non-desktop/laptop devices, like handhelds?
Someone may not be coding *specifically for* non-desktop devices, but many devices today can browse every site there is.

I know I sometimes check my site using my cell phone.

The internet, websites in particular, are not just for computers any more :)