Can u recomm good, inexpensive webdesign software?

I am new to web page design. I currently use Netscape composer on a WYSIWYG bais, although it doesn't always work out that way!
I have seen recommendations for Front Page 2003 but at £100, it is a bit pricey for what I currently want. Can anybody recommend some less expensive software, that doesn't require knowledge of HTML ?

  Taran 12:58 29 Sep 05

Nvu is free but for the time to download it: click here

It's a pretty good program and produces clean code for the most part.

There have been one or two problems with the built in FTP publishing feature but since it is free to begin with and since the issue(s) seem to have been resolved you really can't argue with it too much.

Check out magazine covermount CDs. They often carry full version mainstream web authoring programs that are a couple of versions old. NetObjects Fusion has featured on several magazine covermount CDs and it is as good a place as any to start.

You can download a 30 day trial of Dreamweaver from the Macromedia site but I'd suggest you stay away from it for now. 30 days with a program like Dreamweaver doesn't really even allow you to scratch its surface and it isn't the simplest program to get to grips with anyway.

Try Nvu for now and browse around computer magazine cover CDs to see what you can find.

  ade.h 14:16 29 Sep 05

Dreamweaver comes with a professional-orientated price as well. At least Net Objects Fusion is a reasonable £120 (if you shop around). It's fairly easy to learn, a pleasure to use once you're accomplished with it, and the results are quite error-free.

Thank-you, I shall try NVU and look for cover issues of older versions of Netfusion. I have also just found a copy of Serif Web Design 8, so will look at that too.

  ade.h 16:24 29 Sep 05

You can download a trial of Fusion 8 from the Net Objects site. click here

  ade.h 16:26 29 Sep 05

I think somebody recently commented that Serif is not as capable as NOF, FP2003, etc. though they may have been referring to a different version.

  Taran 18:43 03 Oct 05

No, Serif isn't anywhere near as capable as FrotnPage.

In fact, nothing is as good as FrontPage for data driven websites. Even the mighty Dreamweaver (including the latest version 8) pale by comparison.

However, if data-driven sites don't happen to be your thing that's all academic.

I'd recommend and choose FrontPage over NetObjects based on cost, ease of use and overall capability. In fact, I'd almost always recommend FrontPage over and above any other web authoring program with one condition - the buyer MUST invest the time to learn it properly. Doing so really pays and those people who malign FrontPage or declare that is is limited haven't even scratched its surface. Anyone who has used Word can learn FrontPage using the excellent help files.

NetObjects is an excellent program in its own right and can certainly produce outstanding results - it is a little more quirky to use than FrontPage, but it does hold your hand a lot and it comes with tons of slick looking templates.

  ade.h 22:06 03 Oct 05

Yes, it is a bit quirky. It took me a while to adapt to the NOF way of thinking, but I find that it allows me to produce pretty consistent and quite error-free results. I think that, if I had got on better with Frontpage 2000, which I have as part of MS Office, I would have chosen FP2003 instead. FP2000 was just horrible.

  Forum Editor 23:00 03 Oct 05

even if you end up waiting a while. You'll be glad you did.

Otherwise I can't argue with those who recommend NOF - it's the ideal way to learn site construction, and will grow with you.

  tlr 01:36 04 Oct 05

I use Net objects from the cover disk, it is version 7 and version 8 is available but for a novice (like me) its ideal

Thanks for the advice- I went into my daughter's school today to discuss a school webpage and it looks as if Frontpage may be purchased with an educational licence!

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