Learn a CMS or Learn Dreamweaver?

June 15th, 2012

Hey everybody!

Recently someone asked whether they should learn Dreamweaver OR whether should they jump into a CMS like Joomla or WordPress.

What is a CMS?

CMS is short for Content Management System, and are web based programs that you upload to the server and they provide word-processor like capabilities to your website – and much, much more.

To make an analogy: you can think of a CMS as being a restaurant buffet, where you have many prepared dishes to choose from, that you can use to create your meal. Where Dreamweaver is like an electric appliance, that helps you create a meal from scratch.

You can learn more about it here:

http://www.killersites.com/blog/2008/blog-cms-wiki-compared/

… The above link points to an older blog post, but it is still good.

Anyway, the core of this person’s questions, comes down to skill-set choices and choosing the best technologies to be able to:

1. Get the most work as a web designer.
2. And to be able to build the best websites.

Here is my answer:

Dreamweaver and Joomla are apples and oranges – DW is web design software and Joomla, WordPress, Drupal are CMS packages. In fact we have a course that shows you how to use DW’s WP related tools:

http://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/dreamweaver-wordpress.php 

… I am not trying to sell you on the course, just pointing out that the DW can be used as a tool to work with Joomla, WordPress etc …

Should you get Dreamweaver CS6?

It’s a personal choice, and it can be useful … though not necessary. I would rather be concentrating on really learning how to use and modify a CMS of choice, whether it be Joomla, Drupal or WordPress.

We at KillerSites choose WP because of the WordPress community is vibrant and the huge amount of plug-ins and templates. I in fact, have been teaching for years that most websites should be based off of a CMS because of all the bonus features you get when you use them vs just building a website from scratch.

Another question: should she learn Flash?

Flash is going away, forget about it unless you are planning on building online games. Much if not all what people did with Flash, can be done with HTML5 and or JQuery … for your reference:

http://www.killersites.com/blog/2012/html5-and-its-place-in-web-design/

We also have courses on these very important technologies:

http://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/html5css3jquery.php

http://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/beginners-jquery.php

So in conclusion, stick to a CMS, learn some Jquery, learn some Javascript with a touch of PHP.

Check out:

http://www.killervideostore.com/videos-php.php


I hope that helps,



Stefan Mischook

killersites.com




One Response to “Learn a CMS or Learn Dreamweaver?”

  1. Virginia says:

    I was thinking about this question this morning, but I framed it as a generational question in my mind. The previous generation of web designers who learned HTML and building pages from scratch turned to Dreamweaver as a given: it was the best tool for what they were doing. The current generation may bypass Dreamweaver and move into something modular-extension heavy-plugin based instead. Plus, many sites these days need CMS. It may be the best tool for the job now.

    That said, I think both have a place and Dreamweaver in no way is standing still – it adapts to current best practices with each new release.

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