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Can't afford Dreamweaver. Any other options?


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Hello everyone,


I'm a newcomer and novice web designer :-) I host two websites and both were initially designed in Microsoft FrontPage (in 2006). I am going to change to a different web host and they don't support FrontPage Extensions. I realise it's an old program and it's best if I move to a different design program. But which?


I can't afford Dreamweaver. Can anyone suggest any other good programs, up to about £150? I'm not an experienced designer so "what you see is what you get" is probably quite helpful for me.


I need fairly basic websites, one for a photography business, the other one for a band.


Thanks in advance!

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Notepad - its free, simple, and there isn't really any bad point if you get used to it...

I'll slightly contradict this... If you want to code, at least use an editor with basic syntax highlighting and other coding specific features. Makes your life significantly easier, and helps you catch errors and other issues that you may overlook without syntax highlighting. I don't know of any professional coder that uses notepad as their primary editor when there are so many other better, free options available (no offense intended, @danhodge)

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I see what you mean, but as said here:


'I'm a newcomer and novice web designer'


Surely a less complex program like Notepad could be better for learning to start with? I know there are others that are free, like Microsoft Webmatrix(which i have), but i personally benefited from having to work everything out for myself instead of seeing the exact mistakes straight away...


Speeds up and learning process you may need to get your head around :)



But i do see what you mean, and i may be finding another, as Webmatrix isn't very reliable either...

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Interesting to see Expression mentioned; that was recommended to me by a friend, too. Sounds good as I've used FrontPage for the past 4 years and I reckon that might make it slightly easier to learn how to use Expression? Any users of this program out there? I'm not sure if I want to go the "free software" direction, as I reckon it's worth having some support backup if needed. (Or am I wrong in thinking that?)


LSW thanks for those links; I hadn't found it yet!

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I only used DW so I knew how to use it if hired in a company. All my work has been done mostly with free editors, and just because it is free does not mean there is no support.


Expression really turned heads and surprised people. They expected garbage like Front Page, but found it was very good and did rather good standards coding.


I have not heard nay serious complaints about it like you do the old Front Page.

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I have been using coffeecup HTML editor 2010 edition for about 4 months and I really like it. I am still fairly new to designing websites from the ground up, but it does the job for me.


The great thing about almost all (if not all) the coffee cup products is that you can download them for a free trial, so if you don't like it you won't have spent any money.


I love the thing.

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I have an old copy of DW, version 8, which was a bit of a game to install on a Windows7 machine. But as has been said it is only a tool. I had to learn HTML/CSS before I could use it. The older versions aren't great on the WYSIWYG side of things and you really need to be using a server to check on how it looks.

I use notepad++ as well.


As I'm going down the Drupal route, I find I still use both as a text editor to alter the css.


I think Microsoft were probably quite embarrassed by FrontPage, as they didn't initially design it but bought it. It was bad when they got it and it never got any better. I would imagine Expression Web to be very different, but I've not seen it.

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Notepad++ and Firefox with developer bar(plus Firebug a bit later) is generally what you'd need for coding. Filezilla o Cyberduck as FTP.

I need fairly basic websites, one for a photography business, the other one for a band.
Even this kind of "basic" websites would need CMS nowadays so Directory Opus seems the best program to manage all kind of files(If you are on Windows).
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I have actually stopped using Dreamweaver for several reasons:

1. Its ridiculously expensive

2. Its not even that great (in relation to price)

3. It doesn't run natively on Linux (probably wont be your problem)


Some features like the FTP site synchronization and upload don't work well. When i try to upload sites (10+mb) the thing takes all night and constantly has some issue.


On top of all of that the thing is pretty flimsy and isn't even a proper integrated development environment. PHP programming is about as complex as it gets. It has no support and debugging tools for Java, C++ etc. Its way over priced in my opinion.


However I have never (and don't) work with WYSIWYG editors etc so I don't know what it offers there.


All i ask for is a tool that helps organise the site with a folder explorer thing built in. Has some code hinting (as you type), possibly some site to server sync stuff. And a pleasant interface (since I spend alot of time working with it).


Have a look at some open source integrated development environment like eclipse. Eclipse offers plugins for web development (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript). It has templates, code hinting etc and is free. However it has no WYSIWYG editor.


Heres a list of IDE's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_integrated_development_environments


IDE's can be a bit overwhelming since they are mainly for Java, C, Ruby, Perl, PHP etc. But i find eclipse quite easy. They even have a special PHP and web developer edition of it:




But at the end of the day notepad is just fine too. I started out using it

Edited by jp612
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