KillerSites Blog

Dreamweaver CS6

Is Dreamweaver still Relevant in Web Design?

August 25, 2014

I like to start my articles with the conclusion – saves you time:

Dreamweaver is not relevant in modern web design. Why?

  • To make good websites, you need to understand the code behind the sites. You need to learn code.
  • Dreamweaver does have a code editor but there are many more capable code editors out there that are free or at least much cheaper than Dreamweaver.
  • Because you need to understand code, Dreamweaver’s point-n-click tools are becoming relics of the 1990’s when web code was so bad, that tools like Dreamweaver were a godsend.
  • The code behind web sites (html, css, javaScript) is so well structured now, and so much more powerful (HTML5 and CSS3 rock!) that you can easily put out great websites with relatively little coding – as compared to what is was like in the past.

Let’s elaborate on the last point. Web design in the past, when the languages (HTML, CSS) were not as mature, the process of coding a website was rote; it was repetitious and mechanical. You had a lot of crappy tinkering to do, just to get a website up. In that environment, tools like Dreamweaver were welcome because they wrote the code for you.

These days, with the much better browsers (that read and process code properly) combined with highly effective web design frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap and JQuery, apps that try to hide the code from you (like Dreamweaver) are not that useful. In fact, they are counter productive because often times, the code they generate can get in the way of building a clean effective website or web application – it’s just too thick.

Browser Developer Tools Put another Nail in Dreamweaver’s Coffin

All the modern web browsers have a very powerful set of developer tools that allow you to see exactly what is going on in your pages codewise; you can even change (for example) your CSS on the fly and see how it effects the page without touching your underlying code. This makes for ultra fast development.

developer-tools-chrome

Dreamweaver has these sort of tools but you have to be in Dreamweaver to use them and they are not necessarily 100% accurate in terms of what the web browsers will display – you might as well test in the web browser since people visit sites with web browsers and not Dreamweaver!

browser-tools

Click the attached images ->

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with Dreamweaver if you largely ignore the point and click tools, and stick to the code editor. But if you do that, why bother forking out the big money for Dreamweaver, when you can find more effectively code editors like Sublime Text or Notepadd++ for free or for much much cheaper than Dreamweaver?

Stefan Mischook
Studioweb.com

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Learn one thing at a time when learning web design.

July 6, 2014

List of things

Hi,

I recently got an email from someone who felt overwhelmed with all the apps they were trying to learn – learning Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver all at the same time can do that!

Do one thing at a time says I!

I’ve been there, where it seems there is so much to learn, that it becomes overwhelming. First, don’t make the mistake of believing the tools (Photoshop, Fireworks etc) are the goal – they are not. In fact, once you understand web design (development), you will likely being using 10% of Photoshop’s features … as an example.

That said, it is best to concentrate on one thing, get functional skills and then move on to the next. Jumping around and learning bits of this one day, and a bit of that another day, will just cost you time because you will be constantly shifting gears when moving from one subject/app to the other.

Stefan Mischook
killerSites.com

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The Best Way to Learn Web Design

March 28, 2014

studioWeb

I try to start with the point of the article whenever I can … so what is the best way to learn web design and web programming?

In a nutshell:

  • You want to as quickly as possible, get past the basic concepts and basic code principles. Too many courses these days concentrate too much on too many details.
  • Once you have that minimal knowledge, you should be building actual projects!

I’ve been teaching web design and programming for over a decade now and have been teaching for about 20yrs – give or take. And I can tell you that without a doubt, the best way to learn web design and programming is to build.

… With each site that you design, your skills will jump. With each dynamic database driven website that you build, your skills will jump.

Finishing the Job is Key

It is important that you complete projects. For some reason, leaving something half done, just doesn’t seem to have the same learning impact. That’s why smaller mini projects are great for learning because big projects take a long time to finish.

With that in mind, our Complete Web Designer training package follows these principles … which only makes sense since we created all the courses!

PS: If you want a DVD/USB hard copy sent you, we do that too.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook
www.KillerSites.com

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Dreamweaver CS6 – is there an Alternative?

September 22, 2013

dreamweaverLogo-new

Hi,

I get asked this every so often:

Is there a cheaper alternative to Dreamweaver CS6? What do professional web designers use?

… Of course there are cheaper alternatives. In fact, there are even FREE alternative that are extremely powerful, run on Windows and Mac and will allow you to build any kind of website you could imagine.

notepad++

But before I suggest a couple of alternatives, I want to point out that many professional web designers and developers DON’T use fancy programs like Dreamweaver. Many actually prefer to use much simpler programs like for example, Notepad++.

Yes, with the simpler text editors like Notepad++, you have to know your HTML and CSS. But these days, you can’t hide behind programs like Dreamweaver anymore; web designers must understand the code and once you really get into web design, you will actually come to prefer wrangling the code manually than using Dreamweaver’s point-and-click tools.

… More than ever, web design is MUCH more about a deep understanding of code, browser behavior and usability, than it is about design.

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Dreamweaver vs WordPress?

November 7, 2012

Dreamweaver vs WordPress?

What is the difference between WordPress and Dreamweaver? …This is a question that is popping up a lot … so I figure I should answer it.

First of all, though they look the same from the non-nerd’s perspective, they are in fact very different from each other:

Dreamweaver is a web design program that you install on YOUR computer. WordPress is a content management system (basically a bunch of php pages) that you install on your web server – not your home computer.

A website built with Dreamweaver can be uploaded to any web server. When you build a website with WordPress, the website and WordPress become one. You need to have WordPress running to run the website, because the website is dynamically being generated by the WordPress engine.

Dreamweaver is like a set of power tools, that can speed up the web design process. WordPress is like a Lego game, where all the pieces are already made, and all you have to do is snap them together.

… Finally, WordPress is free and Dreamweaver is a commercial product that cost hundreds of dollars.

Read the rest of this article on how-to-build-websites.com

Stefan Mischook
killerSites.com

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