Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.81.29.226

Forum Moderators: phranque

What tools do you use to build and manage sites?

(I am using HTML5 CSS3 and JavaScript - but waht platform to use?)

     
1:59 pm on Sep 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 0


What I'd like to know is how are people building and managing medium size web sites nowadays?

    Do you use online sites?
    Do you use off line software?
    Free? Paid for ?

Does anyone still use Dreamweaver or is there something better nowadays?
What do you use?
4:44 pm on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from CA 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 7, 2017
posts:579
votes: 60


Dreamweaver is 2000's? I'm surprised Dreamweaver still has a current version! [en.wikipedia.org...]

Many sites now split the data and presentation layers. The presentation layer is a CMS content management system such as Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, or other. There are many options. The data is in a database and separate from the look and feel of the site (presentation layer). When you wish to change the look you only change the presentation layer, usually a theme of some kind. Your site content can function as before but with a completely different look.

As for hosting, I would look to a shared host to start, but there are so many options. The hosting topic is quite deep.
4:51 pm on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2006
posts:4558
votes: 363


Personally I don't see anything wrong with static html websites, so long as they are kept up to date. I use a text editor for those tasks. Always tried to keep things light and simple. Keeping it light and simple meant not using Dreamweaver, so I can't help in that respect. I do use javascript and php includes to keep it manageable.

My text editor is a paid solution but a one time fee under $40 has been worth 10 times its cost in time savings and productivity. I use BBEdit which is an OSX (Mac) product. On Windows I used Notepad++ (free).

I also work with WordPress but I don't see much advantage to that platform. It is a constant maintenance concern unless one has the resources for managed "all in one" solutions.
4:54 pm on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10563
votes: 1123


@samscribe ... Welcome to Webmasterworld!

Your question will get a zillion answers.

Me? Still code for Static HTML with CSS as the "recent" add on. No JS, unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY ... are rarely is.

Content created however/wherever necessary (if in word ... use search replace of ^p to </p>^p<p> then copy/paste into Notepad++ for final touches. (Silly stuff)

Never found anything that worked quite like my original love "Homesite" which got bought out by Adobe and then disappeared ...

The only MAJOR change I made to my "development" was installing a XAMP server on the dev machine to replicate the actions of SSI, CGI, etc.

I do not use PHP (most everyone else does). Still find PERL suitable as a Swiss Army Knife to get things done.

Keep the graphics reasonable AND IN HOUSE, thus my programs of choice are Thumbsplus and Photoshop 5 (not CS anything, really old school!)

CMS (like Magneto, Wordpress, Joomla) have great strengths in certain areas, but never appealed to me or my content. YMMV

What it all comes down to is WHAT WORKS FOR YOU to produce AND display your content. That's what you USE.
9:11 pm on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 19, 2002
posts:3512
votes: 86


i agree with all that is said above, all are sensible informative answers and as tangor says, you'll get a zillion answers (and opinions), especially around software

so i'll answer at a tangent ...

my work/desktop setup has 3 screens - it's such a great environment and makes working so much easier ... even just 2 screens is lifechanging compared to one. [i found 4 not any better than 3] ... whatever software or method you are using to build sites, multiple screens really helps and IMO is the biggest thing you can do to help yourself!

i have an old computer set up as a server (test server) which matches my live environment ... (this server is part of my LAN - and although i could easily plug a monitor/mouse/keyboard into it, i only connect to it with 'putty' the same way i connect to the live server)

then the most important part of my setup, i have:

an old iPhone 5s, an old Samsung J1 (both cellphones);

an old Amazon Fire 8 tablet, an old iPad;

an Amazon echo;

x2 smart TVs (samsung and LG).

I test my sites on the above devices .. i can't test on everything, so i work on the basis that those devices are the minimum 'quality' that the majority of my visitors/customers have.

the amazon echo is more of a future thing - i think voice search, especially with such devices is about to explode ... i want to get to grips with how it works, what results it gives and how - and of course how my websites respond to the voice environment.

2:29 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User from US 

joined:Sept 18, 2019
posts: 15
votes: 3


It depends on SO many things..

What type of site?
Skill level?
Level of patience to learn?
Are you on a time crunch?
Budget?
Do you plan on scaling? Or staying small and simple?
How often do you plan on updating content and how would you RATHER update it?

Also back to "what type of stie" you want to make sure that the CMS (or static site setup) is capale of doing what you want it to conveniently

riddle me that and I can make some suggestions ...
1:47 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 0


Thank you all for those great replies. Really interesting. Please keep 'em coming!
2:08 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 0


FURTHER INFO

SocialSEO asked what type of sites I am thinking of (and other details):

I am an Oracle Web Forms Developer with old-world web site experience, who wants to establish my skills in modern Web front end (and maybe Mobile front end) development in my spare time while simultaneously trying it out on volunteer or my own web sites that I build and maintain.

In a year or two's time I hope to be in a position to ditch "Oracle Forms" (becoming legacy technology) and more to a full time role as a Front End Web Site and Web App Developer. (If the back end happens to be Oracle so much the better).

- What type of sites?

I am thinking of building and maintaining small to medium sized sites (between 1 and 300 pages) and mainly static, but adding some dynamic content as needed. So "scaling" would be a 3 page site that ends up expanding to a 100+ page one if needed. Such sites need organisation & look and feel design, so I would need some kind of tool(s) to manage it.

I know from experience that maintaining a 300 page web site with frequent content updates by "yours truly" is a time consuming pain in the neck, so I will avoid that. Any content changes will be very infrequent or done via some form of programmatic content management or user-entry.

I might want to experiment at some point in the future with adding a database back-end to a web site, but at present I am thinking of static web sites with multiple pages and menus. I might add dynamic interaction but limited to components like:
    guest book,
    contact form,
    picture gallery,
    calendar,
    mailing list,
    discussion forum,
    pass-worded areas for private content
    perhaps some front end effects to enhance the look and feel.
    maybe a bit of content management where I enable specific non-technical people to add content to specific areas.

My skill level:
I am an amateur web site developer: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript front end web site development - I know a bit of Java. I am not writing anything for mobile devices yet, but I want my web sites to look OK on most mobiles and tablets as well as PC and Mac.

Level of patience to learn?
I keep on learning at a slow and steady page but I have a "day job" as an Oracle Software Developer so that limits the time for my Web Front End developer project to evenings and weekends, until I can get a job doing it.
I would like to be productive immediately and expand as my skills and knowledge grow and build things. (I'm over 60 so I am not expecting to become a Full Stack Mobile iOS and Android App developer - nothing that takes more than 5 years to learn before becoming productive!)

Are you on a time crunch?
No
Budget?
Not a lot. It's all my own time and my own money. I guess I might spend up to 200 ($250) on tools. (I have a PC and an old IPhone 5s and can borrow an Android.)
3:53 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from CA 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 7, 2017
posts:579
votes: 60


If you'll do 100+ pages, a database for your content is important. If you separate your content from the presentation you can modify the site look and feel, all without changing content pages. There is information architecture to consider. How will you organize your content?

You can use a CMS and change the site theme. The site theme can be php, html, css.

Mobile is critical, so find something that is responsive (will render well in all formats).

Apart from the site development, there is a lot to learn about content, SEO, web security, bots, etc.
5:00 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10563
votes: 1123


I find database content delivery more useful at 10k rather than >100 !

SSI, programming (perl, php, etc) can deliver presentation without a hitch and a simple template covers all sitewide changes very effectively.

Pick and chose your means of delivery based on skill level and necessity. Oddly enough, there are still some hosts that don't have mysql installed for shared hosting. :)
11:24 pm on Sept 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 0


Tangor,
You write "a simple template covers all sitewide changes very effectively."
Can you explain how that works?

I mean I have done that with Dreamweaver, but how do you do it ? Sounds like the sort of thing I need.
What software are you using?

SSi = "Single Sign In" or something else?
12:04 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10563
votes: 1123


SSI is "server side include". I use a text editor (Notepad ++ to be exact)
The "template" is:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>stuff</title>
(stuff for ssi, css)
</head>
<body>
(contents)
</body>
</html>

Works the same way with any CMS, etc.

No sense in attempting to re-invent the "wheel". The mechanics of page design are NOT HARD TO LEARN. How you insert data can be ... but for MOST sites the above is all there is. Cut and paste into that template will do everything you want AND just as quickly as you can insert that same content into a database served version. :)

Some of this webmastering stuff is NOT rocket science.

However, to make all the "pretty" work when you build this on your dev machine (likely at home?) you should install a local server package so you can see the results. Many options out there!
10:49 pm on Sept 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 0


Thanks Tangor,

Yes, that is VERY basic. I was thinking you were meaning something a bit more detailed.
I tend to agree with the Notepad++ approach at least for learning the tags etc. The tools can make it too easy by automating things so you don't learn the syntax.

On the other hand a site usually has a certain amount of fixed stuff that is the same on almost all the pages - a header a footer some menu links.
For that I would have a template and when there are a lot of pages it's useful to have tools that do compatibility and syntax and broken link checks
and to allow mass edits across all pages. So I think there is a need to site management tools.
12:30 am on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10563
votes: 1123


I keep it simple.

Header (all tags, head, title, etc) ... SSI
Footer (all tags, close and copyright) ... SSI

Body controlled by CSS, pared down to the minimum

No abuse of H tags

Done.

Each finds their way, for what they wish to accomplish, and some are more intricate than others.
2:52 am on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10563
votes: 1123


I was thinking you were meaning something a bit more detailed.


Ahem ... well, things can be more detailed ... but some things I don't share. Particularly in public! :)

Nor should you!

The above was the bare bones of what MUST be there. :)
3:21 pm on Sept 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GT 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2006
posts:1615
votes: 163


Samscribe: Do you use online sites?

I'm using my own CMS, took me a while and a few versions to get where I'm here, so yes I use an online solution.

Samscribe: Do you use off line software?

Not anymore, but in the past I created an offline CMS (pretty easy) and it created my whole website in html + css, etc. I didn't need to know how to code in any server side language, so it was easy. Let's say you are efficient on Visual Basic, you can build it there faster than learning any other coding language, but in the long run online solutions work better because allow you faster processing. I experienced both scenarios, offline and then online.

Free? Paid for?

All free. Used my own CMS along with Drupal and Wordpress (also free), if you ask me... the answers and advice depend on your skills, there are free solutions online you can use and also paid ones, depends on your skills and what keeps you relaxed at night. I personally can't deal with the variability that paid or free services can change their policies or benefits anytime, or even disappear.

Does anyone still use Dreamweaver or is there something better nowadays?
What do you use?

Not anymore. I used Dreamweaver, Front Page and some others (free) for desktop use, but over the years moved to notepad, surprisingly I didn't believe the benefits or coding on a straight blank page but it paid good results.
4:07 pm on Sept 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 30, 2019
posts:145
votes: 28


Hello-

(I am under Windows 10)

- To write HTML, PHP and JavaScript, I just use the Notepad ,
- For images, I use GIMP,
- And to manage the files, just the Windows Explorer,
- To upload files, I use FileZilla,
- For command line stuff, I use PuTTY,
- FireFox, Chromium, Google Chrome (not always exactly the same rendering as Chromium), Chrome Canary, Opera, Edge, all this for testing,

(Server side)

- Debian,

(on both sides, for development and testing)

- MariaDB,
- PHP,
- Nginx,