WebPage Design Basics
November 26, 2007 1:34 PM   Subscribe

I have an older iMac running 10.3. I need to learn a basic web design program. I have a Dreamweaver tutorial book with a demo but cannot anytime soon afford that program. I may have access to a laptop with windows. Anybody have any suggestions on web design programs that are inexepensive? I am already adept in Photoshop and Illustrator. I appreciate your input
posted by snap_dragon to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, when you say "web design," what do you mean? If you mean drawing wireframes, you can do that in PS or Illustrator already. If you mean coding HTML, then any text editor will do (but look at BBEdit or Textmate).

Dreamweaver is part of that in-between land, where you draw wireframes and push them out as web pages. The quality of the markup is much poorer than with hand-coded HTML, although I understand it's getting better and better. Another program that belongs in this territory is Sandvox.
posted by adamrice at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2007

Best answer: Normally I'd say get a text editor and practice your CSS.

However, I won't be a jerk today. My best recommendation is to see if the Windows laptop has Frontpage. It's about as good as you can do before Dreamweaver or GoLive. For cheaper: NVU is also pretty good and cheap as you can get, and Freeway Express looks promising.

(But seriously, learn yourself some CSS too, it's fun and marketable!)
posted by General Malaise at 1:45 PM on November 26, 2007

Some web design shops are switching to Coda, and I would highly recommend it.
posted by mikeh at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2007

Seconding NVU. Free, works well. Just turn off the option that lets it reformat your HTML, or you get lots of bizarre blank lines.
posted by flabdablet at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2007

Since you've got the Dreamweaver book, at least try the free trial. From personal experience, you may even be able to land a paying client by the time it expires.
posted by Soup at 2:50 PM on November 26, 2007

Seconding Coda, or just a good text editor like the (already mentioned) BBEdit. This is assuming you intend to write your own HTML.
posted by churl at 4:10 PM on November 26, 2007

Best answer: Get yourself the Dreamweaver demo and go to town with the tutorials.

Contrary to popular belief, when you set things up correctly, programs like D-weaver and GoLive are perfectly capable of churning out standards-valid code. Honest.

One way to learn is to have D-weaver or GoLive suck-down a webpage or two. Then you can open the pages in the app and explore the code...see how it works...see what happens when you take something out.

Please avoid Frontpage. Yes, it's gotten better, but it still teaches a lot of bad habits.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on November 26, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, guys--I appreciate your answers and will follow them accordingly. Have a good rest of the week.
posted by snap_dragon at 5:22 PM on November 26, 2007

there's a mac program called RapidWeaver that's probably not as expensive as Dreamweaver.
posted by low affect at 6:24 PM on November 26, 2007

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