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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2010
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    Hi everyone,
    Iím new to this forum, but not necessarily new to web design. Iíve been designing web sites over the years using Frontpage (and even Netscape Composer back in the day). Over the past year, Iíve really dedicated myself to learning more of the core stuff Ė designing properly and making it W3 compliant, learning more of the tags, CSS (which Iím still learning), etc. I am going to school currently going for an associateís in computer science with my emphasis being web technologies.

    Here is my question Ė I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and Iím really trying to learn ALL html by hand, but itís going rather slowly. I know a lot of webmasters (some at least) typically use programs, such as Dreamweaver, and other popular software to design their web sites. So basically Iím trying to really get to where I know 100% of what Iím doing (or as close as possible) and Iím balancing two different things Ė learning the raw html, and learning to do it in Dreamweaver.

    Is it acceptable to know the basics of html, but do it in Dreamweaver? Or do most web designers code by hand? I guess Iím just asking for more of an opinion here. Iíd like to (one day) be a professional web designer, and while Iím learning the HTML, I find it much faster to use a program such as Dreamweaver. Is this the norm?

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    We code by hand ... and here's the reason why:

    Websites these days are dynamic, meaning it's more than just HTML and CSS.
    You will be required to do PHP scripting, MySQL database queries, and develop
    web pages that are generated by the PHP scripts. These are not able to be
    rendered with Dreamweaver, or offline on your PC.

    Also, coding my hand ... use Notepad++ as the editor. The best editor to use,
    and it's free. It has the great feature of highlighting opening and closing tags,
    along with brackets, parenthesis, etc.

    It's free:
    http://notepad-plus-plus.org/

    File upload/download between your PC and website, use FileZilla (also free).


  4. #3
    WDF Staff MikeB's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    While most people probably do use dreamweaver for the wysiwyg side of it, remember that they can say they "make sites in dreamweaver" but still code purely in html as it is not just a wysiwyg editor!

    I personally use coda for development as I'm on mac, paid product but easily one of the best code editors for mac!

    But yeah as mlseim says, I'd stick with trying to learn html / css and everything, will be much cleaner and compliant then anything dreamweaver creates.
    Mike Barlow
    WDF Co-Owner

    Need help? PM Me!

  5. #4
    WDF Staff RickM's Avatar
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    +1 for Coda on the Mac. If you are using Windows I highly recommend EditPlus+. I used to use it and its a great little editor.

    I'm not a huge fan of Dreamweaver, and less of a fan of wysiwyg based development. In most cases, you'll find it causes more problems than its worth when it comes to browser compatibility.

    I know it'll take a little longer, but learning (x)HTML and CSS properly is the way forward if you are serious about web design. You'll know your way around your code, and find it much easier in the long run.

  6. #5
    Junior Member System's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    I use dreamweaver

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2010
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    Thanks all! Learning the "hard way" is surely probably the best way, and I'm sure Dreamweaver can help too - as someone mentioned, you can still code in Dreamweaver too... and this is what I find myself doing most of the time. I'll keep everyone up to date with my progress. I sure wish there was a "checklist" of some sort that I could look over, and see what I know compared to what I really need to know, etc...

  8. #7
    Member frederik's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    i don't know if this program also exists for windows, but I use komodo editor for the mac. I havn't tried many editors, but it was the best one according to a blog post I red so..., and I'm very happy with it, because it has an auto completion tool, which comes in handy if you don't know the exact function name anymore in a scripting language like Javascript or PHP.

  9. #8
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Notepad++ for windows.
    The Rules
    Was another WDF member's post helpful? Click the like button below the post.

    Admin at houseofhelp.com

  10. #9
    Member UNarmed's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    I use dreamweaver to code all my sites by hand. I find the code hints and syntax highlighting helps speed things up.

    I have tried a couple of other editors but i always return to dreamweaver. What ever you do though stay away from that horrid design view, learn to code by hand and in time you will have more efficient and clean code.

  11. #10
    Senior Member paintingtheweb's Avatar
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    There are a variety of different editors to use out there and in the end it all comes down to preference. Like a few others here, I use Notepad++ but know a few people who use dreamweaver as well. Dreamweaver can be a good editor as long as (as UNarmed said) you stay away from the design view. Just forget that tab exists.

    There are also some other great tools that may help you on your way to learning CSS. One of my favorite in particular is the Web Deveoper toolbar for Firefox. If you have that installed, you can edit CSS on the fly and see what it does instantaneously. Combine that with Firebug to inspect elements (to get their classes / ids) and it's a winning combination.

    Good luck on your journey to become a pro web designer!


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