What am I missing by not upgrading?

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by Coffee Freak, Oct 11, 2011.

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  1. Coffee Freak

    Coffee Freak New Member

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    I am getting ready to "hang out my shingle" and start building websites again professionally. I have been out of the game since about 2000 when I worked as a web design consultant. I have dabbled a bit since, and my software is out of date a bit. I am running Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, and Photoshop 7. For now, I probably won't be building any e-commerce sites, but eventually I'd like to be capable of it.

    Can anyone tell me what I'm missing by not having the most recent versions of these?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Absolution

    Absolution New Member

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    A lot of the graphics on good websites are actually quite simple in terms of software, although a lot of thought goes into the design. So really you aren't missing anything in terms of upgradable software. The only thing that seems to be missing is a good vector graphics software for logos and what not, such as Illustrator. But I found Inkscape, which is free, works just as good for what I do.
     
  3. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not much need to upgrade for web design. The only thing I can think of is that Dreamweaver now handles HTML5, but you may be able to find a plugin for your older version that does so. Not that Dreamweaver is actually necessary. There are plenty of free alternatives out there that are either better or equal.
     
  4. Coffee Freak

    Coffee Freak New Member

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    I use dreamweaver mainly because a) I have it b) I like the split screen gui and code view and c) I have it. Oh, and it's pretty easy to use. I've been out of the loop for a while - I'll have to familiarize myself with HTML5.

    I will look into Inkscape. If it's as good as you say, I may just go with it. I know Illustrator CS5 has a 30 day free trial, and I'll see in the next 30 days if I feel I'll use it enough to justify spending the coin on it.
     
  5. Absolution

    Absolution New Member

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  6. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not saying you should dump it if you have it. Just pointing out that if you're looking to upgrade, there are a lot of free options out there that are, IMHO, better. By all means, if you have it and you're comfortable with it, use it.
     
  7. Coffee Freak

    Coffee Freak New Member

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    Sorry - I didn't mean for that to come accross as attitude. In re-reading what I posted, I can see how it came accross that way, though. I really do appreciate the advice in here. Like I said, I'm a bit of an old dog trying to re-learn some old tricks hoping to add some new tricks as well.

    I'm also looking at upgrading my PC at the same time. I'm running an OLD Dell that is barely keeping up with the software. It's a dual core 2 GHz machine running only 1 gig of ram. In looking at it, it maxes out at 4 gig. I'll be ordering 4 gig of RAM next week for it. Also looking at a video card for it since I used to love having dual monitors for mock-ups and testing. Looks like most of the video cards in my price range can do 3 monitors (one can support up to 6 - which would be cool - but a little much) My question is: would I be better off with multiple monitors, or just get a 32" flatscreen TV and use the VGA port on it? Dollars wise, it looks to be a wash. Just wondering if there is a preference.

    I'm hoping to have my test server up within the week so I can start building some stuff.
     
  8. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    I'd stay clear of using a TV as a monitor. In general they don't do a very good job. Also, one large screen is better than two small ones.

    Have you thought about just getting a new PC?
     
  9. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1,978
    Each to their own re: dual monitors, personally, I love having 2. I have on my main screen dw, ps, etc, with email, and browsers open on the other, kinda like using split view in dw, only actually accurate!...
    At work I had one massive screen...but it annoyed me so I connected a smaller one to it, for familiarity, and my productivity I feel improved.
    Tv as monitor, tried and no, I wouldnt recommend it either...
     
  10. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    Yeah I suppose I should have been a bit more clear. I'd rather have one 27" verses two 17", but I'd certainly take two 27" screens :).

    My reasons are just based on working with multple programs, so I find it a pain, but if you were staying on a Dreamweaver enviorment I suppose it wouldn't be so bad.

    You are starting to lighten up Phreadee.. Not sure I like it. ;-)
     
  11. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha!
    Well all we need is someone wanting help with a table layout and ill get fired up again!
    Maybe the calibre of posters is improving? Or im just getting older...
     
  12. Pheno

    Pheno New Member

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    Agreed, I find 2 screens massively useful. It's a way of logically dividing the things you are working on. Putting them on separate halves of the same screen just doesn't really work for me.

    I'm seriously thinking about getting 3 screens next upgrade!
     
  13. Coffee Freak

    Coffee Freak New Member

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    Hey... what's wrong with tables? They were all the rage in 1999... :D


    Honestly, though... some of my best former work was in tables. I have a lot to learn!

    Looks like the 2 (or 3) - 17" screens will be the winner. I'll save the flat screen TV for the bedroom - since that's my office anyway!


    Thanks to everyone for their advice!
     
  14. anna

    anna New Member

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    Hi I need help with a website I'm building. I'm using tables and iframes and I can't get my columns to line up.

    I put most of my text in the background image (after I sliced it up from Photoshop, of course) and can't figure out why my site is not getting a decent page rank...

    Phreaddee, can you help me? :D
     
  15. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course Anna!
    Firstly, Don't believe what anyone tells you Doctypes aren't important.
    quirks mode is great.
    Its always good practice to place random styles and scripts here there and everywhere, it makes it harder for someone to steal your work. better still, remove all white space so the code is almost unreadable. or add superfluous white space so it goes on forever, either way it'll annoy anyone who views your code, so you should be safe in the knowledge it won't get stolen.
    to aid this as well I would suggest adding a whole swag of unnecessary comments like
    Code:
    <!-- This is this divs margin value -->
    margin:0;
    
    etc. as it'll show that you really know your stuff.

    as far as your table is concerned add marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 etc to your body, by far the best way to do this and it might help with the columns lining up correctly. also
    <center> yeah! </center>
    oh and you should make your table position:absolute, infact any part of the site should be in AP, please don't make menus in unordered lists, god! what a stupid idea.
    Another thing I've seen which could help is to add information to the site between </head> and <body> the best place for your body content to go is clearly before the body tag. and you should give it an id of body as well. and for fun why not make it a class called body as well.
    so it would be something like this
    <body class="body" id="body" marginheight=0 etc...
    oh and try to use id's more than once if you can.
    we are almost there, but you should embed some music so its "fun" for your customers. they'll love it, don't worry about a stop button, you should make it a really bouncy happy invasive song. it'll really get stuck in there head that way.
    have you heard of the <marquee> element? well, you can do some pretty amazing stuff with that.
    as for your font - no one likes helvetica, you should use comic sans, with a nice rainbow gradient. maybe make it flash a bit. oh yeah of course, you should make heaps of flash elements that don't actually do anything but just look pretty.
    personally I think you haven't used enough images in your site, and they are too crisp, you should optimise them with a value of about 10%, your file size will be almost non-existent and no one will notice the artefacts, trust me...

    the text in the background is a great idea, not sure why it isn't ranking well for you, I just did a search for total ****ing rubbish and it came up as number 1!!!
    one suggestion to help traffic flow, fill up every available space with ads, preferably flashing animated gifs.
    both these guys know where its at, check out their brilliance.
    http://yvettesbridalformal.com/index.htm

    http://anselme.homestead.com/AFPHAITI.html

    I think we could all learn from their amazing websites!
     
  16. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Anna, I have to let you know: I think, I'm not sure, but I think that Phreadee may be trying to lead you astray. I honestly can't pinpoint what tipped me off, but beware.
     
  17. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1,978
    no not at all. 100% serious!
     
  18. web_design

    web_design New Member

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    one thing to think about if youve been out of the loop since 2000 is how much opensource has moved on. Ecommerce scripts like zencat and all the usually cms's like droopal wordpress etc has some really impressive features and can all be customised relatively quickly.
     
  19. Edge

    Edge Member

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    461
    Not much use for gui these days as we are usually working with a theme template from a CMS like wordpress, joomla or Drupal.

    Having last been in the loop in 2001 the big change for you would be that websites are delivered with a CMS - very few agencies would be creating flat sites in Dreamweaver anymore - or at least not the ones who should be calling themselves agencies - easiest learning curve for you would be Wordpress.
     
  20. Coffee Freak

    Coffee Freak New Member

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    I thought Wordpress was more of a blogging tool. I have never even touched it myself.
     

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