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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi All,

    Hoping you can help, I am interested in learning how to design web sites as an add on skills to my current marketing skills. I work for a web development company but we lack the skills of a web designer and I have a natural interest in this area.

    I have come across these two courses (shown below) and would be really interested to know which route I should take, I am a complete beginner and only know basic html. Is there a better tool out of the two below and what would be the advantages of each? I would really like to hear from some experts!

    Any advice would be a god send.

    Thank you in advance!

    Natalie

    http://training.gbdirect.co.uk/cours...using-microsof
    t-expression-web.html
    Web Site Authoring using Microsoft Expression Web - A 2 Day Course London 895 (+VAT)
    12 Dec 2011

    http://training.gbdirect.co.uk/cours...using-dreamwea
    ver-cs.html
    Web Site Authoring using Dreamweaver CS - A 2 Day Course There are not dates scheduled for this course.

  2.  

  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Between those two, Dreamweaver.

    But I feel that if the others in your company are into web development,
    don't they really need a graphic artist? Unless the other don't ever design
    the layouts ... but still, graphics art would be a big deal.

    Because your sites are "developed", I assume the content is all CMS and generated
    dynamically, which puts your actual pages into sort of a "template" or "theme" mode.
    With that, you would be creating your pages by hand ... because Dreamweaver will
    fill-it-up with unnecessary crap. One of the problems with a WYSIWYG editor, is the
    way it weighs the web pages down with useless tags ... and it's difficult to really test
    them offline, because your developers are using server-side scripting.

    Too bad you can't hire a tutor (home school), to teach you the basics of HTML and
    how to use Notepad++ or any other plain text editor for authoring your pages (HTML/CSS).
    With that, you create pages where your developers can insert their server-side generated
    content.

    The cost of Dreamweaver and the 2-day school is probably expensive. Is it possible to find
    a person in your area that can give you some private lessons? sort of like taking piano lessons?


  4. #3
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Dreamweaver will give you a better platform to start with. Microsoft expression as with any MS product focuses more on integrating othe MS products like asp.net, windows based servers, sharepoint.

    If you really want to try or play with the expression web, they have a free download for small design shops and individuals.

    The classes for DW will probably focus on using the functionality that is built into DW, and that's all fine. But as mentioned above, utilizing some of the built in stuff will bloat the code.

    I've been using DW since DW2, I probably have not used DESIGN VIEW( wysiwyg ) in over 6 years, but in code only mode, you stay in complete control of the code.

    With DW you can design and incorporate all the scripting languages into it, as you learn more.

    It's good to have an interest in something, but web design and development requires a lot of re-thinking as the technologies change and evolve. If your enjoy learning And logical challenges, web desgin is a good thing to be in. If not, perhaps you should do more digging.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
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    Thanks both, I do understand that DW will fill up pages with some ugly code which is why our developers use raw coding. I think I would like to learn this tool but from reading your views would I be better off brushing up on soe photoshop skills to create graphics before I try this training? I take it dreamweaver doesn't allow you to create graphics as such.

    It seems like DW will give me a good introduction and the tool itself might have more scope to be able to learn more or learn less etc.

    Do you believe you can become quite proficient through training courses or is this something that would require my 5 days a week attention?

    Thanks again - also please do recommend any training or anyone that you think could help me out.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    I have in the past taught basics of HTML and basic web design.

    From what I've seen, most classes are offered at 3 levels , beginner =assumes you know absolutely nothing, intermediate = assumes you know, understand and effectively use the basics and builds on that, advanced = expands on using JavaScript and server side languages, Ajax , jquery, and how to tie it all together.

    If you don't know the basics, w3schools is a good place to at least get some basic understanding.

    It's kinda like DOS and windows, no you don't need to know command line stuff to use a windows computer, but if you know what drives it, you can make to computer do so much more.

    No you don't need to know or understand HTML to use DW, but if something is not working as expected, you will have a much better chance of finding the issue and resolving it, if you understand how it works.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    Hi Natalie. I'm new here too and have been gravitating toward developing websites for over a year now. I took a formal Dreamweaver course a few years ago and had basic HTML skills. Recently, I've been using www.lynda.com. That's where I learned how to use Wordpress, Photoshop, Joomla and a few other courses. They are online courses that you take at your own pace. Each course is rated as to its difficulty, i.e., beginner, advanced, etc. I'm not sure if anyone else here has an opinion on this site but for $30 a month, it's been worth it's weight in gold for me. Hope this helps.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Lynda.com is a good resource, and $30 a month is a lot less expensive than any college courses offered around here (Montreal). It's also more up-to-date than any of the college courses being taught in schools here.

    A suggestion: if you can afford it, get a second monitor and set it up so your desktop spreads across both. That way you can have the video open in one, and the application or code you are working on in another, and follow along without having to switch windows.

    And when you get to really coding websites, you'll find it very useful to have your code editor in one and the browsers you are testing on in another - using WAMP (or if you're not running Windows, LAMP or MAMP) you can see the changes as you make them, and this really speeds the process up, not to mention that uploading the finished site once instead of re-uploading page after page as you make changes will save you considerable amounts of bandwidth.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  9. #8
    Senior Member DanExcell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanna Baxter, post: 220938
    Hi Natalie. I'm new here too and have been gravitating toward developing websites for over a year now. I took a formal Dreamweaver course a few years ago and had basic HTML skills. Recently, I've been using www.lynda.com. That's where I learned how to use Wordpress, Photoshop, Joomla and a few other courses. They are online courses that you take at your own pace. Each course is rated as to its difficulty, i.e., beginner, advanced, etc. I'm not sure if anyone else here has an opinion on this site but for $30 a month, it's been worth it's weight in gold for me. Hope this helps.
    Same here, forget paying $1200 for a three day crash course on something you can learn from a book or lynda.com. A few years back I had a rotating account, and it helped a great deal.
    I have gotten into the habit of not judging other designers/developers work, but this is my Microsoft Meandering time so I'm MEANDERING...

    Oh, almost forgot: spammers are gender-less parasites...

  10. #9
    Senior Member DanExcell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingn02, post: 220782
    Hi All,

    Hoping you can help, I am interested in learning how to design web sites as an add on skills to my current marketing skills. I work for a web development company but we lack the skills of a web designer and I have a natural interest in this area.

    I have come across these two courses (shown below) and would be really interested to know which route I should take, I am a complete beginner and only know basic html. Is there a better tool out of the two below and what would be the advantages of each? I would really like to hear from some experts!

    Any advice would be a god send.

    Thank you in advance!

    Natalie

    http://training.gbdirect.co.uk/cours...using-microsof
    t-expression-web.html
    Web Site Authoring using Microsoft Expression Web - A 2 Day Course London 895 (+VAT)
    12 Dec 2011

    http://training.gbdirect.co.uk/cours...using-dreamwea
    ver-cs.html
    Web Site Authoring using Dreamweaver CS - A 2 Day Course There are not dates scheduled for this course.
    I cannot tell you much about expression-web. I use DW CS5.5 now and a few other tools like Komodo6 and notepad++. I started off with DW8 (Macromedia) and still have it lurking somewhere on my system. Truthfully, I use to think DW was not a good tool and hated on it like several other people do. Since the emergence of HTML5 and CSS3, I use DW for almost everything now. The WYSIWYG features are there, but you are not obligated to use them. They do come it handy for testing your work or creating additional stylesheets for tablets and phones. The content you design or develop with DW will upload and work on any server. MS based products require additional maintenance just to get it on a virtual server.
    I have gotten into the habit of not judging other designers/developers work, but this is my Microsoft Meandering time so I'm MEANDERING...

    Oh, almost forgot: spammers are gender-less parasites...

  11. #10
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    The other nice thing about www.lynda.com is that if you want to pay a little more each month then you can also get the exercise files which are great. Most courses also provide transcripts of the course as well. These are not accredited courses and the site makes that very clear. But it's a great way to take a test drive before you make a huge monetary commitment. I'd post my affiliate link here but because I'm so new, I feel it would be in bad taste! Plus, I'm not sure what the forum policy is on posting affiliate links.

    Good luck with your training!


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