from where to start

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by jaipandya, Sep 25, 2004.

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  1. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    Oh BTW Ian, I can't find the thread in which I saw somebody mention this previously, but your sig looks screwy to me too, and I'm running Netscape 7 in 1280x1024, so whoever commented on it last time, it's not just Firefox and it's not just their res. Something's just not right there. =)
     
  2. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

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    I know all too well what you mean by a lack of motivation.
    How about now, does the signature still look out of place?
     
  3. zkiller

    zkiller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    your sig looks good to me now. it was chris and i that mentioned it last time. ;)
     
  4. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    Ian, as somebody who has taken the time to set up, administrate, and participate in five seperate forums, I'd say you have somewhere around 3,000 times the motivation I do. If you like, I can show you four more "Coming Soon" style pages similar to the one on Undiscovered Lore to emphasise the comparison? =)

    But no, the sig looks spot on now. Good work. =)
     
  5. ldburroughs

    ldburroughs New Member

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    I already know by the type of responses posted here that many, if not all of you will disagree, but for the sake of someone new reading I cannot help myself. Other than messy code, which no one other than web writers look at, I can't see why you "wouldn't touch Frontpage with a thousand foot pole." So far no real good reasons have been offered. For a beginner or a hobbyist, Frontpage is very intuitive. I've never had a casual guest or family member visit my site and say, "by the way, I looked at your coding and boy is it a mess. What are you using, Frontpage?" That just seems abusrd. For a hobbyist (not a hardcore hobbyist, mind you) there is nothing wrong with Frontpage if your end goal is a decent site to share with friends and family. Not everyone is interested in learning to code and, quite honestly, it would be a colosal waste of time. When my daughter was born I had one objective with the website. I wanted to communicate with friends and family, not show off my coding skills. After all, I'm finishing law school and don't have the time to waste learning and entering code just so I can say I wrote it all by myself without using a Microsoft product. So, for those who are just starting I would highly recommend Frontpage because it is simple and will yield great results with little or no effort on your part. You don't have to write code to make a website.

    On the otherhand . . . if that is your goal, then by all means, learn to write the code yourself. If your hobby is coding websites, learn to code. If your hobby is maintaining a website for friends and family, use a wysiwyg program. Just don't assume coding is the only way to get things done. It's what people see when they type in your web address that counts, not what you used to create it. Assess your goals and execute a plan that will help you achieve them. Frontpage is cheap and does the trick.
     
  6. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    Yeah, that's... well, pretty much what I already said. Hand code if you're serious about web design as a long term thing, WYSIWYG it if you just want to make a hobby site.

    My main point was that if you plan to make many websites over the course of your life, you'll appreciate later that you took the time to learn HTML in the beginning, rather than creating a lot of messy code that sure, your grandmother and her cat may not care much about, but you might in the future if you decide to turn your hobby page into an online business, for example. Also, so might slow dialup users (granted, a small minority these days, but still a consideration) when they have to download your 400Kb page of garbage code instead of a tidy 4k instantly appearing site. =)

    If you just want to put a photo of your children online to show your mother though, there are many great online web building sites for newbies with which you can build your page right there in your browser window when you sign up for your free hosting page. If we're talking about an absolutely zero interest in technical computing, "What's a CGI script?", essentially computer illiterate end user who just wants to scratch his name on the tree of cyberspace, I'd recommend one of these as the absolutely easiest way to get a homepage online without having to learn anything or be challenged in any way. Or even having to pay money for a web design package you only wanted to use to make a one page hobby site on Geocities. =)

    And as for my personal dislike for Frontpage, I don't know about anybody else, but I made it fairly clear it was simply a personal dislike - I don't need to give reasons. I don't like mushrooms either - it's just who I am. I've used Notepad, I've used Homesite, I've used Dreamweaver, and I've used Frontpage, and it's purely personal preference that I rank them in that order for my own needs. I don't suggest at any point that a hobbyist with no interest whatsoever in serious web design crack open Vi on a Linux box and start coding their own PHP pages, but I'm not a hobbyist - I do things my way because it's the way I like them. {shrugs}

    To each their own, of course, I just wanted to reiterate that having learnt the hard way myself, I firmly advise against relying on WYSIWYG programs, particularly ones that are reknowned in the industry for producing the most bloated unmanagable code, if you plan to work on websites long term. HTML is not like C++ - it's extremely simple to learn, and worth it if you plan to use it on more than a handful of websites. However, if you just want to put your homepage online, or are adverse to learning new things, or even just prefer to do things "the easy way" instead of obsessively professionally, then by all means, a WYSIWYG editor is definately for you.
     
  7. ldburroughs

    ldburroughs New Member

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    Tone is sometimes a hard thing to manage in written messages. I was just trying to balance the "I wouldn't touch Frontpage" comments with something positive. I meant no offense. I have just read a lot here about bloated code and think it really doesn't make that much of a difference. The common person who types in the address just wants a clean, good looking interface. I also realize it is your personal prefernce but the original post needs more than blind personal preferences. If a casual hobbyist wants something that will yield clean, visually impressive results, then Frontpage will do the trick. I've looked at a lot of other sites that could use some help with presentation. The code may not be bloated, but the site is a visual mess. That's all I was trying to say.

    Again, sorry if any of this is taken personally. I'm just trying to initiate a fair and balanced discussion. I too, am concerned with a professional presentation. That's why I chose Frontpage over something free like "geocities". I'm assuming messy or bloated code equates to a slower loading page. That would be a con to discuss if the time lag were truly significant. The average end user doesn't care what you used to make the site. It all comes down to how it looks and how well things work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  8. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    None taken whatsoever. Just wanted to emphasise that my reason for not choosing Frontpage myself was a matter of personal preference only, and not something I could explain/justify sufficiently to a web design newbie beyond "Well, it creates really awful code...". =)

    Just because I wouldn't touch it, doesn't mean I'm insisting that nobody in the world ever should. I just personally see no place for it, between tidier WYSIWYG packages like Dreamweaver, and much simpler, cheaper, and quicker solutions, like using the inbuilt WYSIWYG editors that almost all free hosting companies provide these days anyway (working on the assumption that somebody who just wanted to put a hobby homepage online wouldn't go so far as to pay server hosting fees - or, for that matter, probably know what a webserver was!).

    Just one man's opinion, just throwing another two cents worth in, so to speak. As you said, tone can be hard to manage on a written medium - I apologise if I came across as abrupt or offended while clarifying my points there. =)
     
  9. zkiller

    zkiller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    hmmm... i thought i stated where i stand with frontpage and why earlier in this thread. :shrug:

    nobody is saying that frontpage is not a viable option for newbies, but honestly, buying an html book (my first was called "learn html in 10 minutes" :p) would be cheaper, if that is your concern. i have also stated, that you can download free applications that don't have the downfalls of frontpage, however, commenly don't have as many bells and whistles.

    the opinions stated by each user here regarding frontpage are from a professional stand point, rather then from the stand point of someone with no real interest in web design. it's kind of like comparing a car enthusiasts opinion on cars, to someone that just wants something to get from point a to b. either option will do the job, but one will do it much better. see what i'm trying to say?

    if you ask me a question regarding anything on the topics of web design and web development, i will answer with what i think is best, not with what i find to "just get the job done".

    like i mentioned above, i am not trying to rule out frontpage completely as an option, but if you ask me what i think, to me it wouldn't be an option.

    hmmm... i really don't know what else to say really. i appologize, if any of what i have said earlier, or in this post, offended you, as that was not my intent. i am just to give you my honest opinion and i think i tried to stay fairly objective about it.

    also, many of those poorly designed sites you mention are done with various WYSIWYG editors as well. it's rather sad really, as many of those sites have some great information on them, yet it is skipped due to the lack of visual stimulation, which gives us the preception of professionalism, or the lack there of.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  10. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    Actually, zkiller makes an excellent point. This being a Web Design Forum, the majority of people responding to an inquiry about how to go about creating a website are speaking from the POV of already being an experienced webmaster themselves, or at least familiar enough with the process to be able to assist somebody of a level to be asking that question.

    Bearing in mind that the thread initiator did not specify whether the site was to be a hobby homepage or, for want of a better term, "important", I think it's fair to assume that the enquirer would want to be advised of the best possible solution, not just the bare minimum based on an unfounded assumption that they probably only want to put a Geocities page up for their mom to see. =)

    I know very little about cars, and if I walked into a car dealership and said "I want to buy a car, what should I do?", I'd like to hope that the guy would try to sell me one of the best cars in the lot, not just the cheapest piece of junk on the assumption I only want to get from A to B. In fact, considering the used car industry, I could almost guarantee that if I said something that basic, they would almost certainly try and sucker me into buying something very fancy. =P

    On the other hand, if I walked into the dealership and said "I have $7,500 to spend, and I'm looking for a car with a good sturdy engine that won't need a lot of work for some time, I don't mind too much about the quality of the body so long as there are no major dings or holes in it though. Oh, and I'd prefer a four door sedan of some sort, in red if possible. What can you recommend?", or if the initial thread poster had have said "I'm looking to create a website for my father, who sells tiny plastic American flags, and I'd like to help him open an online store so he can take orders from all over the world and broaden his business. I'll need a shopping cart system that I can link into his merchant account, and some basic photos of the products and text descriptions, with a brief history page about the business and so on. Where should I start?", then I'd imagine a much more specific, targeted, helpful set of responses would have been forthcoming.

    As it stands though, if you say to most professional webmasters, "I want to make a website. How do I do this?", they're gunna say "Not with Frontpage!". =P
     
  11. ldburroughs

    ldburroughs New Member

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    You are correct. If you ask a professional webmaster how to create a website he/she will not offer the Frontpage solution. The person who started this post was obviously a novice and wanted a viable option for creating a website. Automatically assuming he/she wants to learn to code a website is a bit presumptious.

    Most webmasters will avoid Frontpage because they are 1. either not familiar with its newest reincarnation and its vast improvements or 2. feel like it would be cheating not to do things the long, hard way (why do people insist on constantly reinventing the wheel?) Again, people viewing the site do not care how messy the code looks. That is what obsessive compulsive webmasters concern themselves with. The end user only cares about the overall design and user interface. End users are not impressed with clean code because they will not see it. You can achieve some pretty amazing results with Frontpage and that doesn't tend to make coders or die-hard Dreamweaver users happy. They have a hard time dealing with the fact that Microsoft actually created a useful product for novice/intermediate users. Webmasters are unhappy because it has become too easy to create a compelling website. I'm sorry but it is not necessary to code a website or waste time learning to use an advanced program to make a site these days. What's more important is the overall presentation of the site. I've seen more poor examples of hand coded sites than I have of sites created using Frontpage.

    By the way, I'll discontinue visiting this portion of the site so you can all make yourselves feel good about your hard work and accomplishments. You don't seem interested in a discussion that disagrees with the status quo. For the average user (including small business owners) it is a waste of time to learn to code when applications like Frontpage do the job (and do it well) for you. You can easily achieve a professional looking site in a fraction of the time - so you can concentrate on more important things - like running your business. If you are a small business owner or individual hobbyist . . . do consider using Frontpage. Despite what the "professional webmasters" write, it is a great product and worthy of further investigation. I don't work for Microsoft. I have used Frontpage since FP2002 and currently use FP2003 for my personal site. There are a number of inexpesive solutions that will yield better results for you than trying to hand code or using a product that is beyond your needs. If you want to become a "webmaster" and do it for a living, then learn to hand code and learn to use Dreamweaver. Otherwise, don't waster your time.

    Please feel free to make any comments as I will not monitor your responses. If you need help with a professional looking web solution that will not consume your precious time and resources, e-mail me and I will help you get started for free. The people here can help you if you want to switch careers and devote your life to becoming a "webmaster". Please open your minds a little. There is more than one way to make a site. If the same results can be achieved by using a program like Frontpage in a fraction of the time, why bother? There are still people that think taking notes by hand is better than typing on a laptop. These are the people that never learned to type and still use the two finger method. For them handwriting works. Of course, these are the same people that lean over to the typist and ask, "what did he just say?"
     
  12. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

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    Okay, to put it back in perspective above is the original post... he/she did ask about learning but also about software. He/she got differing opinions on all types of software and places to learn. so guys, give it a rest and help this person. Obviously he/she is quite new to the whole web "thang" and is looking for some truly beginner help. Afterwards if you want to keep wrangling the issue, take it to another thread... I'll enjoy the debate.
     
  13. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

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    Oh, yeah, somewhere in the midst of the debate, both AA and I gave a bit of support for Frontpage because of it's user friendliness for beginners but they seemed to have been overlooked in the continuing debate.
     
  14. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

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    Yup, that is what I do, lol. That and follow a few hobbies as I work on the business. I missed this question in the beginning because of the ongoing debate. I'm sorry for the late reply.
     
  15. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

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    2,153
    I used Frontpage when I started, the reason I didnt like it, was because whilst things would look ok in internet explorer, they used to look crap in other browsers. And yes that is a big issue. The cross browser compatibility was not very good in the earlier versions of frontpage, I dont know whether that problem has since been addressed.
     
  16. Vaelor

    Vaelor New Member

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    I'm right, you're all wrong, and now I'm not listening anymore? Wow, flamebait much? How remarkably childish.

    I'm fighting the urge to point out the remarkable hypocrisy in this idiotic post that fails to explain any real merits of Frontpage other than "Who cares if it produces crap code, it's easy to use!". But as Stephanie said, realistically this isn't the place for this debate. The original poster (who, incidentally, probably hasn't even glanced in at this thread since saying "work started"!) did specify that they wanted to know "everything from base", which includes the ups and downs of hand coding vs. WYSIWYG - one shouldn't make the assumption that just because they're new to web design, they must need idiot proof beginner software and baby steps. I didn't get into web design with Frontpage - I muddled through Netscape Composer until discovering Allaire Homesite, in the beginning. Some people don't need to be spoon fed.

    Anyways, I'm rambling already on a topic I just said I'd leave well enough alone. Apols folks - I have a pet hate for hypocrites and can sometimes be easily flamebaited...

    Dropping this now. =)
     
  17. Chroder

    Chroder New Member

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    I hand code because I'm more comfortable with it. I feel like I have more control then I would with a WYSIWYG editor. It has nothing to do with pride in doing things the "long hard way". I've said it before and I'll say it again, it often takes me longer to get a page looking the way I want it when using a WYSIWYG editor then if I were to hand code it.

    And liking Dreamweaver, for example, has nothing to do with the company that produces it. I'll be the first to admit that the latest edition of FP is the best yet, but it still doesn't compare to some of the other editors out there. For newbie hobbiest? Sure. But you are generalizing the entire webmaster community! I just opened up a page of mine in the latest FP and it was rambled beyond belief. FP doesn't seem to like CSS much, which just happens to be the biggest design technology to come by in a long time.

    So to sum things up, not everyone is a hobbiest newbie that can take the crap that FP throws at us. There is a line where a tool crosses over from helpful into annoyance. It may be fine for you, good. But don't jump down our throat for disliking something that you happen to like.
     
  18. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

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    It has been to a great extent since FP2002, the newer versions are supposed to be even better... I have a friend who makes a very good living at web development who raves about the newest version... so much I'm going to have to try it out eventually... maybe now the holidays are over, hehe.
     
  19. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

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    That does tend to happen with most who start out with Frontpage. I can't vouch for this newest version... I thought it had support for CSS? Didn't know that... hmmm... maybe I don't want to shell out the money for it just yet then.

    That's one of things that Dreamweaver does for me.. I can take a generic css, pull it up in dreamweaver, make changes, add classes to it, and so on.... without nearly as many typos as I would have if I did it all from notepad.
     
  20. Chroder

    Chroder New Member

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    The latest FP is not bad at CSS, but there are some things it cannot handle at all. The page I loaded was a 100% CSS design and it had some trouble rendering it live. For example, hidden layers were displayed, background positions were ignored and widths were screwed up when I typed extra text in. I can only imagine how long it would take me to make my page work if I started from scratch in FP.

    The new FP is the best one by far, not as many quirks and bugs, no more proprietary IE code (that I can see), nice interface -- but if someone had to go from DW->FP, I think they'd whine a lot :p
     

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