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  1. #1
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    Hello, I am reasonably new to web designing, and I have learned that there are tools that you can use that help speed up the process of webpage design (instead of typing all the tags out yourself, I guess that the program does some of that for you, like I said, I'm new to this stuff).
    Now, my question is: "Is it worthwhile to get one of those tools?" and "If so, which ones would you guys recommend?"
    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I recommend using Google to search: free css templates

    Find a template that is close to your design idea and customize it.

    You of course will use Notepad and do the coding by hand.
    Code for FireFox and adjust for IE (try not to use any hacks).

    The main point about today's web design is "non static pages".
    Most sites are no longer static pages. They use PHP to dynamically
    change content, databases for information, and CMS (content management
    systems) for controlling content/authoring.

    By using existing CSS templates, it saves a ton of lay-out time, and then
    you can focus on graphics (the "design" part) and PHP (the "dynamic" part).


  4. #3
    Senior Member Eddy Bones's Avatar
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    My answer is no. Someone well versed in XHTML and CSS can crank out the code for a site as fast as the other person using the program to generate it. The person doing it by hand also has the advantage of knowing every aspect of the code and why it's there because they put it there. This greatly enhanced the developer's ability to maintain the site.

    Also, programs aren't going to help you when you start integrating server-side code into your pages - you won't have much of a choice other than to do it by hand. Sure, I suppose you could build it in a program and then inject the server-side stuff as necessary by hand, but I still think it's better to have the fullest grasp of XHTML and CSS.

    My perception may be a bit skewed too just because I've always done it by hand - I'd be dinking around on the program for far longer than had I just hand coded it and the result would suck.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I guess I didn't answer Trillium's question ...

    I agree with Eddy Bones ... the answer is "no".


  6. #5
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    Ok, thank you very much for your answers.
    I have another question now though, is "Dream Weaver" one of those so called "Web design tools"?

  7. #6
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Dreamweaver is a good tool.

    The problem with using a WYSIWYG editor is that it puts in extra code
    that most would not normally do.

    I've heard people rave about using DW in the "manual text mode" ... where
    you code by hand, not by WYSIWYG. They have good color-coding of the
    lines ... better than Notepad.

    I've never used DW myself.


  8. #7
    Senior Member ravensjeff's Avatar
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    I use Dreamweaver but I am of those that hand codes in it rather than using the tools. Well, I'll use the some tools occassionally for things that I know that it codes properly. There are a couple of features that I really enjoy. The Find and Replace feature is fantastic. Also, I like that you can create snippets of code that you can just drag into the coding window rather than having to re-type or clipboard it. Its handy for making repetitive changes when doing a template modification or something of that nature. I also like having all of my files listed in the side panel for easy reference.

    Its all preference though...I could definitely get by with out it. I just happen to find it more efficient and comfortable for me.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
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    If you're new to Web design, I'd strongly suggest learning XHTML/CSS and coding most of your stuff by hand. CSS templates will help, but they won't teach you very much.

    If coding isn't really your cup of tea, you can try Visual Site Designer. It's purely WYSIWYG.
    CoffeeCup Software - Web design software for the beginner to the advanced.

    Web Page Design for Designers - A site for Web designers with articles, tools, and resources. Rank #1 in Google for "web page design." If you're not checking it out yet, you should be.


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