WYSIWYG app to maintain/edit website?

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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i am taking over the maintenance of a couple of websites (not a professional!). i've used dreamweaver in the past, but now... don't want a CC subscription! wondering if there's an app where i can open the html pages, and visually edit text, or add images...??

seems a lot of webapps can only work from their own templates? or am i missing something...

any recommendations would be great!
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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Without knowing how/where the sites are hosted, it's impossible to give any useful advice.

How were the sites created in the first place?

Does the author have the HTML files and other assets on local media?

Many websites today use online "builders" that are proprietary to the host. For example, SquareSpace. You just use their online WYSIWYG. Frankly, the better of these sorts of hosts (and SquareSpace in particular) do a better job than even a professional in terms of keeping current with standards, SEO, mobile adaptability, etc.

There are a zillion desktop apps for creating web pages, I'll let others chime in. But they may or may not be useful to you, depending on how/where the sites are hosted.
 

joelvc

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
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If you are using WordPress, there are a lot of options, even build in the system, many running as app.
 

Jeffois

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2010
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I'm facing a similar scenario. Not at all a pro, I have a rudimentary site for my tutoring business (I'm the only employee).

Probably it was overkill, but a long time ago, I bought the academic edition of Dreamweaver. It was v. 4. Version 6 is the only standalone version that will work on Catalina and beyond. The few copies that seem legit that I've seen on eBay are VERY expensive, and the subscription doesn't seem like a cost-effective way to go.

So, for now, I've discovered SeaMonkey's Composer module, which for my purposes, may actually be enough. I'm still playing with it.

But I'm open to suggestions. Or if someone has a legit copy of Dreamweaver 6 that they'd like to sell to me and transfer the license...:)
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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fisherking, Jeffois, start by describing how your site is hosted. There is no meaningful discussion possible absent that.

Old-school web hosting - where you upload HTML files and other media files that you've designed in some editor - are probably in the minority today.

Most sites use new-school online builders (like SquareSpace, etc.) or aren't even just simple web hosts. e.g. they might really be a blog like WordPress, etc. they might use a CMS, etc. etc. etc.
 
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fisherking

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the files were created in dreamweaver; i used to work in a space with the app, so i know it a very little... the files are html, hosted on hypermart; so, wordpress, squarespace... these things won't work for us. i need to be able to visually edit the html page, then upload to the server. am not creating new pages, just maintaining what's done.

seems simple, but... not sure what to use. dreamweaver is $275 a year (with tax), and these sites are not money-makers. so... ??? thx
 

Jeffois

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2010
65
12
fisherking, Jeffois, start by describing how your site is hosted. There is no meaningful discussion possible absent that.

Old-school web hosting - where you upload HTML files and other media files that you've designed in some editor - are probably in the minority today.

Most sites use new-school online builders (like SquareSpace, etc.) or aren't even just simple web hosts. e.g. they might really be a blog like WordPress, etc. they might use a CMS, etc. etc. etc.
I have a similar deal...

As you put it, old-school web hosting. HTML files, ftp’d up to my hosting company (fatcow).
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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There are lots of WYSIWYG desktop apps for creating websites. Pick one. They're all pretty-much trial-ware, as is most desktop software today.

Me, I just use a text editor (Sublime Text) where I work directly with HTML, but get syntax coloring, auto-completion, etc. But I am an app developer, so my creation of HTML content is peripheral. That said, our designer uses Sublime Text as well.

I think your biggest problem is that the sites were (apparently?) designed with DreamWeaver (at least fisherking). Dreamweaver is more than just a WYSIWYG HTML editor, but has a template engine, I think some supporting Javascript, etc. I doubt if anything else will import it as anything more than (probably messy) raw HTML.
 

fisherking

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Original poster
Jul 16, 2010
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There are lots of WYSIWYG desktop apps for creating websites. Pick one. They're all pretty-much trial-ware, as is most desktop software today.

Me, I just use a text editor (Sublime Text) where I work directly with HTML, but get syntax coloring, auto-completion, etc. But I am an app developer, so my creation of HTML content is peripheral. That said, our designer uses Sublime Text as well.

I think your biggest problem is that the sites were (apparently?) designed with DreamWeaver (at least fisherking). Dreamweaver is more than just a WYSIWYG HTML editor, but has a template engine, I think some supporting Javascript, etc. I doubt if anything else will import it as anything more than (probably messy) raw HTML.
that's the problem; a lot of these apps are built around their own templates, and i can't (yet) figure out how to open my page and just edit. i just hate the idea of paying almost $300 a year so i can swap out a couple of photos, or add a few lines of text, occasionally, to a website.

so it goes....
 

joelvc

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
22
3
My experience with Wordpress is that I designed the whole website without templates, just by using the block structure that Wordpress now offers.

Originally it was free and I added a couple of tools for e-commerce and others.

The whole website as it stands today (you can check it out under https://swissleadersgroup.com) costs me less than $300 per year, including some premium tools.
 

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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My experience with Wordpress is that I designed the whole website without templates, just by using the block structure that Wordpress now offers.

Originally it was free and I added a couple of tools for e-commerce and others.

The whole website as it stands today (you can check it out under https://swissleadersgroup.com) costs me less than $300 per year, including some premium tools.
right, but we have several sites already up & running, just want to be able to edit them. that's the issue, we need an app just for that, not to design...
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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we have several sites already up & running, just want to be able to edit them. that's the issue, we need an app just for that, not to design...
It's called a text editor. You have one that comes with MacOS. Edit the HTML files and upload the changed files. HTML is just plain text.

Now, I wouldn't really recommend using TextEdit to edit your HTML. But it's a start. Everything else is just bells and whistles on top of a text editor.

Dreamweaver makes HTML documents. (And CSS stylesheets.) That's what you upload to the web host. It has to keep them somewhere. Figure out where. Open the files. Look at them. Change them, upload them. Done.

Now, go look at better tools than TextEdit.

In case Dreamweaver DOESN'T keep the HTML files laying around somewhere, you'll either have to download them from your website or rent Dreamweaver for a month - assuming you have the original Dreamweaver project on disk somewhere. I have to assume that Dreamweaver lets you "publish" to your filesystem rather than just uploading directly to your host.
 

fisherking

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It's called a text editor. You have one that comes with MacOS. Edit the HTML files and upload the changed files. HTML is just plain text.

Now, I wouldn't really recommend using TextEdit to edit your HTML. But it's a start. Everything else is just bells and whistles on top of a text editor.

Dreamweaver makes HTML documents. (And CSS stylesheets.) That's what you upload to the web host. It has to keep them somewhere. Figure out where. Open the files. Look at them. Change them, upload them. Done.

Now, go look at better tools than TextEdit.

In case Dreamweaver DOESN'T keep the HTML files laying around somewhere, you'll either have to download them from your website or rent Dreamweaver for a month - assuming you have the original Dreamweaver project on disk somewhere. I have to assume that Dreamweaver lets you "publish" to your filesystem rather than just uploading directly to your host.
dreamweaver lets you upload directly. and what part of WYSIWYG are you not getting? am not a web designer (altho i have a good eye); am looking for a way to edit text and images... simply. will probably just do a dreamweaver subscription; i can, at least, work with that app
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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I get WYSIWYG. There are plenty of WYSIWYG HTML editors. Search for them. Geez, try "WYSIWYG HTML editor MacOS".

And I get that Dreamweaver "uploads for you". But it has to make the HTML first. It almost certainly leaves the files laying-around.

Obviously, you are asking in the wrong place here, as NOBODY has yet suggested a product.

No matter what product you use, you will have to get your hands on the HTML, CSS, and JS files. Until you figure out where they are, no product - WYSIWYG or not - is going to do you any good. They almost certainly are not going to work with your Dreamweaver templates.

But, honestly, if you just need to change some words, a text editor will do in a pinch.

Since the only way you know how to do this is with DreamWeaver, use Dreamweaver! I can tell that to switch to something else is just going to be a huge pain for you. I would rent it for a month just to make sure you have the files that you THINK you have.
 

fisherking

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Original poster
Jul 16, 2010
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I get WYSIWYG. There are plenty of WYSIWYG HTML editors. Search for them. Geez, try "WYSIWYG HTML editor MacOS".

And I get that Dreamweaver "uploads for you". But it has to make the HTML first. It almost certainly leaves the files laying-around.

Obviously, you are asking in the wrong place here, as NOBODY has yet suggested a product.

No matter what product you use, you will have to get your hands on the HTML, CSS, and JS files. Until you figure out where they are, no product - WYSIWYG or not - is going to do you any good. They almost certainly are not going to work with your Dreamweaver templates.

But, honestly, if you just need to change some words, a text editor will do in a pinch.

Since the only way you know how to do this is with DreamWeaver, use Dreamweaver! I can tell that to switch to something else is just going to be a huge pain for you. I would rent it for a month just to make sure you have the files that you THINK you have.
there doesn't seem to be an obvious alternative to dreamweaver; i've demo'd a bunch of apps in the last 2 days, they all work from their own templates. there's lot of images to add/change. so a text editor won't do it. am just gonna purchase dreamweaver (and give up one coffee per week). thanks
 

KlingonSpy

macrumors newbie
Dec 26, 2017
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4
Go look at Web Builder developed for macOS @ http://www.quickandeasywebbuilder.com I have used the windows version for years and it is a excellent WYSIWYG platform. The link here is to the macOS version.

Sorry I f**kin mentioned it fisherking. If it's not what you want because your too lazy to learn how to use the application then don't run it down or someone trying to help....just move on.
 
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fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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Go look at Web Builder developed for macOS @ http://www.quickandeasywebbuilder.com I have used the windows version for years and it is a excellent WYSIWYG platform. The link here is to the macOS version.
nice, thanx! have not checked that one out yet (i went thru 5 apps, then... burned out!). will try it this week.

EDIT: yikes, that app's from the late 18th century or something. terrible interface, even more-terrible icon... and i could not get it to open anything except it's own templates (as with so many other web apps i've tried). glad it works for you, tho
 
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jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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i could not get it to open anything except it's own templates
Templates are proprietary to each WYSIWYG editor. They are NOT uploaded to - or part of - your website. You should not expect any editor to be able to use DreamWeaver templates, unless they have EXPLICITLY stated that it can.

These template-based editors generate HTML, which is what you upload to your website. Templates are a tool for MAKING your website - not a part of it.

You should CERTAINLY not expect any editor to reverse the process, and be able to somehow magically produce the template (in a kind it doesn't understand) from the HTML!

I think it's really good to struggle with a plain text editor for a while, so that you come to some understanding of HTML. For example, you said earlier, you can't use a text editor, because you need to "change images".

If you need to use a DIFFERENT image, you only need to put the image in the right directory, and change the file name in e.g. <img href="my_cat_picture.jpg"> change to <img href="my_other_cat_picture.jpg">

If you need to edit the content of the picture itself, you need an image editor! Fortunately, you don't need Photoshop, as decent free/cheap/good image editors are relatively more plentiful than decen free/cheap/good WYSIWYG HTML editors.

The problem for publishers is that this is an old-fashioned way of making web pages, and probably a shrinking market.

The trend today is definitely toward builder-in-the-clouds solutions like SquareSpace, Wix, etc. and also toward working in a text editor. But a fancy text editor that does nice syntax coloring, auto-completion of HTML/CSS/JS, and a preview mode that will instantly show you the result. You might consider this "semi-WYSIWYG".

I feel your pain... you've invested time and energy into developing some sites with dreamweaver, it is fairly costly, and there really is no easy way to transition from dreamweaver to something else seamlessly.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 16, 2010
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ny somewhere
Templates are proprietary to each WYSIWYG editor. They are NOT uploaded to - or part of - your website. You should not expect any editor to be able to use DreamWeaver templates, unless they have EXPLICITLY stated that it can.

These template-based editors generate HTML, which is what you upload to your website. Templates are a tool for MAKING your website - not a part of it.

You should CERTAINLY not expect any editor to reverse the process, and be able to somehow magically produce the template (in a kind it doesn't understand) from the HTML!

I think it's really good to struggle with a plain text editor for a while, so that you come to some understanding of HTML. For example, you said earlier, you can't use a text editor, because you need to "change images".

If you need to use a DIFFERENT image, you only need to put the image in the right directory, and change the file name in e.g. <img href="my_cat_picture.jpg"> change to <img href="my_other_cat_picture.jpg">

If you need to edit the content of the picture itself, you need an image editor! Fortunately, you don't need Photoshop, as decent free/cheap/good image editors are relatively more plentiful than decen free/cheap/good WYSIWYG HTML editors.

The problem for publishers is that this is an old-fashioned way of making web pages, and probably a shrinking market.

The trend today is definitely toward builder-in-the-clouds solutions like SquareSpace, Wix, etc. and also toward working in a text editor. But a fancy text editor that does nice syntax coloring, auto-completion of HTML/CSS/JS, and a preview mode that will instantly show you the result. You might consider this "semi-WYSIWYG".

I feel your pain... you've invested time and energy into developing some sites with dreamweaver, it is fairly costly, and there really is no easy way to transition from dreamweaver to something else seamlessly.
this is such minimalist work, and not where my energies need to go. i just change some text, images... occasionally add a youtube link or something. so dreamweaver, for me, is the way to go; i know it enough to do those things.

thanks for the info tho... useful stuff!
 

jwhazel

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
195
24
Web dev here. I realize this is not what you want to hear but...

Hire a pro, even if it's just contract work for occasional updates. If it's important enough to be a website (even if it's not money making), then it should be handled by someone who knows what they are doing. Your users will thank you. If it's not that important, and you only need to update photos and text occasionally, then it can be relegated to a facebook organization page that you manage and just redirect your DNS to it. Free and easy to update plus huge SEO and social boost.

The reason why you can't find a good WYSIWYG editor is because while the web sort of started out in the direction in the 90's with Frontpage and Dreamweaver being the forerunners, it did not end up that way today. The complexity and rapidly evolving standards/web connected devices make it a tough target to build and maintain websites properly without knowing code. WYSIWYG web editors simply don't work as well as you would think and what you see on your screen may not be what others see on theirs (or their assistive devices). Dreamweaver sticks around because people keep paying for it. But, that user base has dwindled rapidly. Dreamweaver does not reflect the direction that the modern web is trending in, very few pro's are using it still, and it gets updated very sparsely in comparison to other Adobe apps. I suspect that it will be decommissioned soon like a lot of their other attempts at building point and click stuff for the web (Muse, Edge, Reflow, etc..). So paying for a subscription now is more like buying time for a band-aid rather than finding a proper solution.

Not trying to judge, just trying to lend some perspective.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 16, 2010
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ny somewhere
Web dev here. I realize this is not what you want to hear but...

Hire a pro, even if it's just contract work for occasional updates. If it's important enough to be a website (even if it's not money making), then it should be handled by someone who knows what they are doing. Your users will thank you. If it's not that important, and you only need to update photos and text occasionally, then it can be relegated to a facebook organization page that you manage and just redirect your DNS to it. Free and easy to update plus huge SEO and social boost.

The reason why you can't find a good WYSIWYG editor is because while the web sort of started out in the direction in the 90's with Frontpage and Dreamweaver being the forerunners, it did not end up that way today. The complexity and rapidly evolving standards/web connected devices make it a tough target to build and maintain websites properly without knowing code. WYSIWYG web editors simply don't work as well as you would think and what you see on your screen may not be what others see on theirs (or their assistive devices). Dreamweaver sticks around because people keep paying for it. But, that user base has dwindled rapidly. Dreamweaver does not reflect the direction that the modern web is trending in, very few pro's are using it still, and it gets updated very sparsely in comparison to other Adobe apps. I suspect that it will be decommissioned soon like a lot of their other attempts at building point and click stuff for the web (Muse, Edge, Reflow, etc..). So paying for a subscription now is more like buying time for a band-aid rather than finding a proper solution.

Not trying to judge, just trying to lend some perspective.

i've actually done a lot of work in dreamweaver... which does not make me a pro. and will be maintaining 2 sites for myself, one for a collaborator... changing some pics, and text periodically. the sites exist! we don't need facebook, etc.

& full disclosure; i sometimes hire ppl on fiverr to fix things; that system works for me. so a monthly subscription will work out well enough. but thanks for the perspective.
 

jwhazel

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
195
24
the sites exist! we don't need facebook, etc.
That's not really the point. The sites can exist, but you don't have a good way to manage them. Hence why you're asking for a WYSIWYG editor. And why I'm telling you WYSIWYG editor's aren't popular anymore and don't work as well as you would want for a professional website (and if it's not professional or not that important, you can convert to something like facebook and save yourself a ton of time/money/headache).
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 16, 2010
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ny somewhere
That's not really the point. The sites can exist, but you don't have a good way to manage them. Hence why you're asking for a WYSIWYG editor. And why I'm telling you WYSIWYG editor's aren't popular anymore and don't work as well as you would want for a professional website (and if it's not professional or not that important, you can convert to something like facebook and save yourself a ton of time/money/headache).
or i can get dreamweaver and do exactly what i want. i was hoping to find something cheaper, but... so it goes. sites are already professional, i just need to, again, add or change text & images. so really: all is well.