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I realise that this might be a question that will have different views from people, but a friend of mine has asked me about webdesign.
Now I created a very simple website using a freebie from the PCA coverdisk Website X5 and thats idiot proof really and all that I needed but my friend really wants to get into web design and doesn't know what program to buy.
Now Dreamweaver is mentioned a lot, is this the market leader? Is Microsoft frontpage any use or what should she be looking at?
To be honest I'm unsure as to how far she intends to take this and I know you do get cut down versions of some of the programs so this confuses me even more.
Any advice would be welcome as I am pretty hot on repairing and upgrading PCs but know nothing about web design.
I strongly recommend the Serif package.If you know word processing it is simple, effective and very easy to use and upload
Dreamweaver for me, like the in-built FTP, effortless, early versions might suit for now, if you can get hold of.
The best at the moment is Microsoft Expression Web. I find that Dream weaver is rather more difficult to master and it has become a teeny bit bloated, I believe it is more expensive than Expression Web.
I teach web design, my students use a free package call First Page 2006. It is so easy to use and allows you to tinker with the HTML code. It copes with modern techniques very well such as XHTM and CSS style sheets. I do not recommend any program that does not allow you tweak the HTML code such as Serif, you are trapped for ever if you use such mouse programs.
Sorry the word mouse should not have appeared in the last line.
I would recommend her trying CoffeeCup HTML Editor 2008, the company are and I don't work for them but a breath of fresh air, they great great easy to use software and really easy to get to grips with stuff, I've bought a few bits of software now off them and love their ease of use. Dreamweaver is huge learning curve but when she gets serious I'd recommend it and Dreamweaver missing manual book to go with it, the book breaks it all down and explains in plain english what things do.
I have just made up a site, wclick here using this program. It takes a little bit if getting used to but will do everything the average builder will need. The advertised price is around £80 but I got it for £50 on EBay.
"my friend really wants to get into web design"
If they really mean that, you should consider the point made by Awestruck, perhaps take that further.
Dreamweaver was and still is a popular tool but like all the rest is only truly beneficial when you understand what it does and how to modify that when required.
Also worth noting that in many places the rate of using that type of tool is falling. Plenty of good developers just use something like notepad2, very free, very simple. Even if the site is going to end up pinned to a chosen CMS, this is still the way development often starts.
If you are just building a site or two for personal use, good luck with whatever you choose but to move beyond that, learn the basics of (X)HTML/CSS first, to the point where you could put together a reasonable static site from scratch.
There are plenty of free templates to play with, plus many other ideas for galleries, forms, whatever. Neither does this bar you from throwing a copy of certain pages up in one of the many free visual editors if you feel so inclined and want to see whilst you play around.
The key is to be in control, rather than the software in control of you and the learning curve is not as bad as many think.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express is just as good as dreamweaver and the express version is free to use, all my college friends are using it.
I've made my own site with this using template and some imagination.
Adobe Dreamweaver is the best to impose sites for popular CMS's like joomla or wordpress. It has several plugins and php templates that makes it much easier.
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