What web page designer do you use?

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What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:14 am

For years I've maintained most of our intranet. For what I was doing and the limited audience, FrontPage worked fine. It was there, it let me do the basic stuff and it was WISIWIG. Never had a need to move to anything else.

Well, now I'm starting to maintain the public site, that EVERYONE sees. So I want a more professional look, some flyout menus, stuff like that, maybe a scrolling slideshow banner. I'm messing with Dreamweaver, but holy crap it seems unnecessarily complicated. What do you use? Ive been told I can buy something if I want, so it doesn't have to be free, although a trial period would be nice - they bought Dreamweaver sight unseen and so far me no likey.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:57 am

Dreamweaver isn't bad for WYSIWYG but it has a lot of problems correctly parsing complicated/nested stylesheets among other things. If it's JUST design work (no need for datatier and what not) I prefer notepad++ and will write raw html/css/jquery, but usually even then I'd rather use Visual Studio 2k10. For smooth rollouts and what not I suggest you look into JQuery or one of it's adaptations - they provide a really simple way to add basic animation and control to static elements like a DIV for example. There is some scripting involved but it's mostly lightweight and you should be able to copypaste until you get the hang of it. Good luck!

http://api.jquery.com/category/effects/

Complete with examples, running code, and the demonstration.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:18 am

Is this purely a "frontpage" brochure/web presence site, or are you going to be managing more than that (a lot of pages, some provided by others, perhaps downloads or images, etc) -- now or in the future? If you think it's going to turn into something a little beefier than just a set of front pages, you might want to look at using one of the content management systems which generally separate content from design, allowing you to change one without affecting the other. There are several good free ones (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal); they require a bit of up-front setup on the server side, but save you enormous headaches in the long run if the site gets big or updated frequently (and especially if other contributors get involved).

If you're just going to be maintaining a few pages yourself, you probably don't even need WYSIWYG, but I realize those sorts of tools tend to present less of an initial learning curve (though keep in mind WYG is often different from WYS, because the tool presents an approximation and users visit the site on different platforms and browsers). I found Microsoft Expression Web a little easier than Dreamweaver, but that may be because I was a longtime Visual Studio user so my brain already works the way Microsoft expects it to. It has a free download so you can see if that describes you, also. I've also heard somebody enthuse about the CoffeeCup editor but I haven't used it myself.

Can I make one suggestion: fly-out menus generally aren't necessary unless your site is quite extensive and complicated; in fact, with good design I'd argue they're never necessary. They tend to look a little dated and unless you're careful about which script library you use they can be hard to navigate with touch devices (heck, some of them are hard to use just with a mouse). You'll note TR doesn't use them, and neither do many other well-designed sites (some of which are quite complicated but manage just fine).
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:23 am

Notepad++
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:28 am

If you are open to something different, you could create your site with a content management system. I created and maintain our intranet site (and databases) using joomla. Wordpress and drupal are also free options. It was hard to start, but after a slight learning curve, it was incredibly easy to create/maintain. I also use it for our company's main page...
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:45 am

RedAdmiral wrote:If you are open to something different, you could create your site with a content management system. I created and maintain our intranet site (and databases) using joomla. Wordpress and drupal are also free options. It was hard to start, but after a slight learning curve, it was incredibly easy to create/maintain. I also use it for our company's main page...


I've just started learning Drupal. I highly recommend it.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:35 pm

Thanks for the replies. The current plan is for us to get several other projects done, then look at a content manager. We just got a lot more fires to put out before we get there. I'll look at a couple of these solutions, thanks!
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:04 pm

I was just given a 8 hour super-basic class in dotnetnuke..............what do you guys think of that?
Looked pretty simple when i was playing with it.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:12 pm

I've never used dotnetnuke, but it should be about the same. dotnetnuke is based on Microsoft .NET and phpnuke, joomla, wordpress and drupal are php. I think it's great if it allows you to get what you want for as little cost as possible.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:11 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:Notepad++

Yup.

Then XAMMP, Git, Photoshop, old and new Firefox instances, at least 1 VM to debug IE7, preferably another to debug IE8, Chrome (my personal favourite), Safari. If possible, try and have at least 1 smartphone nearby, preferably both IOS and Android. And stackoverflow.com ofcourse, half the time I google anything work-related, I end up finding good insight on stackoverflow.
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:58 pm

I just write it myself. Theres plenty of free references for HTML and Javascript widgets.

I think it is silly that there isn't a comprehensive drag and drop editor for webpages... Is it really that hard to dynamically generate CSS?
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:20 pm

Mostly notepad here, Wordpress and the countless themes will give you a pretty professional looking site for very little effort...just sayin
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Re: What web page designer do you use?

Postposted on Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:04 am

UberGerbil wrote: I found Microsoft Expression Web a little easier than Dreamweaver, but that may be because I was a longtime Visual Studio user so my brain already works the way Microsoft expects it to. It has a free download so you can see if that describes you, also..


I also prefer MS Expression Web over Dreamweaver.
For a basic editor, Notepad ++ is excellent too.
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