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What's Dreamweaver's competition these days?
It's Expression Web now, not Frontpage.
I still use FrontPage mostly. Expression Web is not all that and they took away one of the most important features that I use regularly. If they would have kept that feature, I would have mothballed my FrontPage 2003. But, it works just fine and I manage multiple 1,000+ page sites with it every day.
I'm forced to use Expression Web for .NET websites and have to work without my
feature. I really liked that in previous versions of FrontPage.
Ctrl + /
I'll be buying something new, Frontpage is just too outdated. Dreamweaver is tempting, I hear there's alot to learn and it can be difficult for some people.
For my needs DW is much better, for example:
DW has live view - a built in browser, which means I can see the effects of code changes on the fly.
Support for MySQL databases and php is built in, I can design pages to create, edit, delete pages in design view! Not good enough for deployment, but OK for 'proof of concepts'
There are hundreds of free extensions for things like php highlighting and code hints, and jquery (beware these use different versions of the base file, which can cause problems)
Design view can also display the content of php include files, very handy so see how a complete page will look.
Support for CSS is much better than EW2. Display of layouts in design mode is more robust - try designing a layout with negative margins in EW - it breaks! This is subjective, but the way styles are applied in DW is more intuitive.
Finally you can customise the display to suit how you work, for example I set up a floating bar containing the icons I use the most.
Disclaimer, this is meant to be a criticism of MS offerings. I've built many sites over the years with them, but I do think the latest version of DW is superior. Is it harder to learn for someone starting out? I don't know, it shouldn't be but the similarity of the layout to Word or Publisher might make EW appear more comfortable.
So I used Publisher, which is SOOOO easy - literally WYSIWYG, it's just like writing a magazine oage. Why does everybody sya it is rubbish?
Publisher is for making printed documents, not websites. It's as simple as that. What works on a printed page will not work on every screen.
The code from Publisher is very simply the most bloated html I've ever seen. It's absolutely ghastly.
I've done some tests in this area. And yes, I'll agree, the bloat that is generated between traditional print based layouts and the web can be very daunting (RIP mso). But, I've also found that if you utilize the proper layout and styling commands to start with, the transition can be a lot less painful. ;)
Still, we all know Microsoft is notorious for generating code bloat between it's desktop applications and web. I would imagine that happens with most conversions, no matter what. There is a cleansing process that needs to be performed and if the original author is aware of those challenges, they can adequately prepare for and minimize the impact.
I've tested multiple document to web conversion utilities. None of them are perfect. I wouldn't use any of them either. Microsoft doesn't make it easy for us clean code fanatics. I've learned over the years to just
and begin the reformatting in Design View (WYSIWYG), then switch to Code View, format my HTML via a right click function and off we go! It's a lot simpler than jumping through all the hoops to deal with HTML code bloat.
Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Open Notepad++, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+A, Open FrontPage, Ctrl+V
Most of today's Editors give you the ability to customize your workspace. With FrontPage/EWD, you have control over everything. If you don't customize your editing environment, you're going to face challenges moving forward. Few Editors are perfect out of the box. There's a lot of guessing that goes on when you start pushing buttons. With FP, if you push those buttons in the wrong sequence or do something you were not supposed to do, well, you (not you directly) deserve what happens. The software is only as good as the user. :)
If you're not adept at the code though you're going to run into problems eventually. Perhaps you should look at installing a CMS instead of building a site from scratch.