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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

Hate DW, what else?
Enough Dreamweaver already!

 7:25 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

APART from Dreamweaver, which is the most horrid and non-user friendly thing I've ever attempted, twice, to get to grips with, what's a good WYSIWYG producer of web pages/sites?

I'm currently using an ancient old thing - put it this way, it advises that since more and more people are using 600x800 I might want to consider that while designing pages..

Thing is, it's soooooo easy to use. I compare it to DW and it's like comparing notepad to Photoshop.

One would presume modern software would get easier but seems to get harder?

Put it this way, I still have the user manual for DW. It's 8MB! That's the manual, not the software!

Time is money - I don't want to spend the next 3 years learning how to use Dreamweaver. Life is too short for such bloated mountains of mystery.

Alternatively would I be better off with a good CMS?

My current site is about 40 pages, I produce a new page about every 2 weeks but do a lot of tweaking and testing on individual pages.

And what's the verdict on the new MS thing, expressions or whatever? Is there an affordable version, or something "Lite"?

Dreamweaver Lite, for people with a life?





 7:37 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Take a look at Microsoft Expression Web. It is patterned after Dreamweaver, but much easier to use.


 7:50 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess I grew up with Dreamweaver and don't find it too difficult. If I had to learn it from scratch now, I'd probably be bald.


 7:56 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Pibs, are you a regular user of MS Word or other MS products? If so, then Expression Web would be a consideration.

If you are a user of Macromedia products, then Dreamweaver will most likely be your tool of choice.

They both have their Pros and Cons.


I don't think so. You can easily accomplish what you need to do with DW or EW.

You might also consider using HomeSite which is a Macromedia product. Since you are accustomed to the DW interface, HomeSite would be fairly easy for you to utilize.



 8:09 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I understand your frustration but DW is the industry standard. If you can't handle it think of the millions of people who can, then revisit it and try to decide where the problem really lies.

single malt steve

 9:10 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may be better off with a good CMS.

A good CMS will:
1) keep your content and design separate;
2) have a wealth of existing themes/designs/templates that you can use immediately without modification or as a starting point for a custom design;
3) have plenty of plugins (to make the site more useful to users and easier for you to manage);
4) have WYSIWYG editing of pages/posts with automated syndication, and;
6) be XHTML and CSS standards compliant out of the box.

1) Let's you focus on content.
2) Easier to edit content and design.
3) Saves you time (in the long run).

1) Short-term time investment (to set up and learn new CMS).
2) Slight monetary investment (if you decide to hire someone to set it up and customize it for you).


 9:17 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

dreamweaver has got more and more complex over the years, i started on dw2 and think that dw4 (standard not ultradev) is a good compromise between efficiency and ease of learning, i'd also get topstyle for your style sheets and that would be you good to go,

i'm sure you could pick up a good legal/licenced copy of DW4 for very little money on ebay.


 9:25 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

dreamweaver has got more and more complex over the years

You mean like web design? :)


 9:36 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

The problem lies in bloated unfriendly software, not the potential customer that doesn't like it.

Take this gem, this is in "Getting started":

"Some categories have buttons with pop-up menus. When you select an option from a pop-up menu, it becomes the default action for
the button. For example, if you select Image Placeholder from the Image button’s pop-up menu, the next time you click the Image
button, Dreamweaver inserts an image placeholder. Anytime you select a new option from the pop-up menu, the default action for
the button changes."

And this is helpful software design, right? Buttons that do different things depending what you did last time? No wonder it's confusing!

It would help if the manual didn't constantly swap between Mac and Windows, code and "Design" views etc.

Maybe the software is good but the manual sucks? ;)

Expressions looks good, pricey though and again a lot of stuff I never use. I don't know what half of it is let alone want it. I know "CSS" stands for cascading style sheets, though not entirely just what that is or why I'd need it? Is that what makes the page expand or shrink to different size browser windows? That, and that alone, is about the only reason I'd change from my beloved Coolpage.

I found one simple and easy enough such editor - but it crashed almost as soon as I installed it :o/



 9:42 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

You mean like web design? :)


also functionality and interaction.

and for sure if you want to play you've got to learn to use the tools


 9:55 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Single Malt, the thing I don't like about CMS systems is they're forever updating and seem designed by a committee.

I wouldn't pay for any custom coding as I've been down that route before - throw it all out next week when there's yet another security update!

A primary reason I've never bothered learning all this webby stuff is because things are forever changing. I'd much rather spend my time tweaking the site, producing content, learning copywriting and all that kind of stuff than wresting with the darn software and keeping up with xhtml, zhtml, or whatever.

Yes, I'm familiar with Office stuff - and Coolpage is easier to use than Word. Try sticking text or images exactly where you want them with Word - ha! More than once for a Word doc I've actually done a little layout exactly how I want in Coolpage, previewed, screenshot, cut the bit out and pasted it in Word as an image, it's easier than trying to get Word to behave itself!

So aside from a MS version of DW, no plain simple WYSIWYG recomendations for something that produces pages that adapt to the user's monitor?

I'll certainly have a sniff-around at DW 4 though, thanks for that tip!



 6:38 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

And this is helpful software design, right? Buttons that do different things depending what you did last time?

Yes it is , actually.

I know "CSS" stands for cascading style sheets, though not entirely just what that is or why I'd need it?

Then you really should try to get an understanding of this. CSS is becoming central to most good web site design.

A primary reason I've never bothered learning all this webby stuff is because things are forever changing.

That's life I'm afraid. It happens in all technologies - thankfully, or we would all still be in horses and carts and using quill pens ;)

Actually it sounds to me that you don't really have the time or the inclination to look after your website and keep it up to date. If you are not willing to learn how to do this then why not just get someone to do it for you?


 9:20 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Been there and tried it, hired a nice chap from RAC to make my key pages WC3 compliant and all that - but then you learn a bit more about SEO or copywriting or you want to test a different headline or you have a special offer or...

I'd have to employ someone full time :o.

My site doesn't need to do anything fancy, when it does anything complex I cheerfully use a script, I have an autoresponder script, a survey script, a forum script, a live help script.. but for producing simple content pages I have to learn Dreamweaver?

I think not.

Especially since I'm already producing such pages, with ease. I just want such pages a bit more bendy to suit different screen resolutions. Why is this so much to ask?



 9:50 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Dreamweaver manuals were written by sadomasochistic gerbils.

I feel your pain - I tried learning DW & FW from scratch (a good few years ago now) - using those books was an absolute nightmare.

Guess where I came for help ;)

I think your best route would be to find some decent online tutorials and use these forums for niggles. DW is a BIG tool but once you have it down you will be surprised how fast site builds become.


 2:14 am on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I must admit that you are entirely right about dreamweaver. The only mainstream package I'm aware of which is less user-friendly and counter-intuitive is Macromedia Flash.

If you don't know exactly what options should be there then you won't know what you are looking for or be able to guess where you might find it in Dreamweaver. It is very difficult for someone with no experience of HTML or advanced WYSIWYG editors to get to grips with Dreamweaver.

The problem is that modern web designers expect to be able to do everything. If dreamweaver didn't support virtually everything you can possibly handcode in HTML then it would be judged as somewhat deficient. As soon as there are large areas of functionality which dreamweaver doesn't support, it forces hitherto-dreamweaver-dependant developers to learn HTML, provides an opportunity to the competition to get ahead.

I'm not familiar with Coolpage, but from your description I suspect it offers you a tiny subset of HTML, aimed at allowing you to make choices about basic formatting (font, colour, emphasis) and add images, tables and links.

I remember a very early beta of Frontpage which was forced on my college in exchange for free 20Mb webhosting by Microsoft back when it was worth money ("you can only upload pages created with Frontpage"). It too gave very limited functionality.


 1:35 pm on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could try NVU. I think the address is www.nvu.com. It's free.


 6:46 pm on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Dreamweaver is the tool that provides me with a major part of my livelihood. Had I spent my time six tears go learning HTML back to front perhaps I would feel differently but I didn't.

I can code excellent websites that work for my clients using DW so don't knock it. It is an amazing tool but like all tools it has its limitations and you have to have the savvy to learn how to use it. If you don't try finding something else. But ... there is no better WYSYWIG editor.


 8:19 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sorry, above should read, "Had I spent my time six years ago learning HTML back to front perhaps I would feel differently but I didn't".

(I must learn to proof my ramblings as well as use DW) :)


 1:53 pm on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Given the functional scope of DW I’d have to say that Macromedia did (has done) a wonderful job with the interface and making the application easy to use. If the program wasn't so comprehensive the manual wouldn't have to be 8meg.

DW is what it is – an advanced web development tool that, when applied with proper knowledge, is a highly adaptable and extremely efficient piece of software.

Don’t knock the tool just because you don’t want to spend the time to learn how to use it. It sounds like you’re on the right track looking for something simple and less time-consuming to learn.

NetObjects [netobjects.com] is pretty much point-and-click. Try that on for size.

To quote a good ole’ rockin’ roller, “Mediocrity is easy, good things take time, the great need commitment right down the line”.


 12:08 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I love Dreamweaver, if you are having trouble check out Lynda.com and view some of their tutorials on Dreamweaver. They have over 20 hours of training.


 3:28 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Call me crazy but I think the best wysiwyg pagemaker out there that is easy to learn and use and provides an incredible amount of features is wysiwyg web builder 4 so if you are frustrated trying to use dreamweaver you might want to try out the demo at wysiwyg builder.

[edited by: caine at 8:38 am (utc) on June 11, 2007]
[edit reason] no commercial domain/url's drops - read TOS [/edit]


 5:04 am on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nice topic... I figured I'd better post my $2.50 (inflation after the stock market crash of 53)

I use dreamweaver and have since version 4
... 4,5,6,7,8, and am now on CS3(ok that whole adobe thing has weirded me out... are they the one world government I hear about?)

Anyway (sorry... really A.D.D.)my point is this... I am the creative sort, and have always enjoyed design from a visual perspective.... not "Computer Programming". In the past 10 years I have tried (and failed) at alot of different software titles, and my conclusion is this...

as a design platform-- adobe is the way to go. if you are looking to design for the web, then the only way to be successful, and insure that your designs will show up correctly is to learn to code. Once I started turning off the design view and switching b/w code and design for my sites, my quality, and visual design both skyrocketed.

It's like having a geiger counter... unless you are in a position where you need one AND you know how to effectivly use it... what's the point?

My thought is this regardless of what software you find, unless you go with an entirely static image based site (ouch... yes I have done this in the past many times and am not proud of it) you need to learn the coding aspects of web design (chose your own flavor)

When you get ahold of some of the more advanced concepts and start getting into things like php coding (Like myself currently) you find where dreamweaver really shines... server behaviors, link checking, validation... and lots of good hand coding tools right at your fingertips!

this message paid for by the liberal republicans for the replacement of adobe by the japanese conglomerate fujitsu LRRAJF all rights conserved


 3:32 am on Jun 29, 2007 (gmt 0)


Website design using either of the two leading industry tools, Dreamweaver and Expression, is a trade, a practice or profession that quite honestly requires much devotion and journeymanship to attain even a modest command. Realistically, it's a profession which comes with 300 page manuals!

Hang in there. :)

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