whats the best way to design web pages?

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by Spunky8444, Jun 4, 2005.

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  1. Spunky8444

    Spunky8444 New Member

    I just started designing web pages and am wondering if I'd be better off using dreamweaver or something like it to design webpages or if I should continue to develope my abilities hand coding everything.

    I'm looking for pros and cons,

    thanks for your time,
  2. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

    dreamweaver is probably faster, for me personally I would prefer to use the time saved using a wysiwyg on other areas, like site promotion.
  3. zkiller

    zkiller Super Moderator Staff Member

    this topic is one of those that is like opening pandoras box in the web dev community. no one can really tell you what is best for you, just as no one can tell you what your favorite color or food should be. it's a matter of personal preference. do things the way you feel most comfortable doing them, that's the best advice i can give you.
  4. suz

    suz New Member

    My personal view is that handcoding is just not fast enough. I suppose it's good to know the basics of HTML but there's no need to tediously type out each tag when it's a hundred times faster in Dreamweaver.
  5. beekeeper

    beekeeper New Member

    I think you answered your own question, you said you want to "design". I myself am much more of a designer than a coder and needc to see things visualy. Code and programing never has made sense to me and probably never will. Stick to what you feel comfortable with. If your likle the code then go that route, if you like to see what you visualize then do dreamweaver.
    Another advantage to DW is that it helps us non coding type get past some pretty complex code stuff a lot easier.
  6. zkiller

    zkiller Super Moderator Staff Member

    well, from my point of view, it gets me into coding the more complex things faster. i make a general layout in DW, which creates the html for me, then i switch to the code view and plunk in my asp code. much easier and more efficient from my point of view than hand coding the html, but as i mentioned above to each his or her own. you need to take whichever route feels right to you.
  7. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member

    bout the only thing I can add to this excellent advice is: there are diehards out there that think hand coding is the only way to go. I'm not one of them and it seems neither are most people. What's most important in the knowledge area of web design is knowing how to manipulate the code regardless of the medium you use, be it DW or some other wysywyg.

    Speed and efficiency are most of our concerns, right? Heck if I handcoded everything, I'd have to spend a week working out all the typoes. Who needs that?
  8. NeXus

    NeXus New Member

    Hand code :D

    I guess it depends if you're a naturally artistic or naturally technical person.

    My opinion is hand coding is not as tedious as it's made out to be - if you know what you're doing.

    The benefits are it gives you loads of flexibility, you can do what you want with your design and you end up with much smaller code than comes out of an editor which saves your bandwidth and keeps modemers happy :) But you've gotta make things easy for yourself, keep things simple.

    * First off a text editor is not good for making a design concept! Get out a pencil & paper or your favourite painting program and draw what your site will look like. Then code it.

    * One thing that applies to real programming that equally applies to html / css is REUSE. You don't go and write 20k of code for every site you make! Thats just dumb. You write templates that can be used across sites, either the whole thing or bits of it. The more sites you make, the less you have to write. You end up with a library of code that you can copy and paste together and tweak. Once you get to this stage it's probably faster than Frontpage etc. (I don't know I've rarely used them).

    * You don't write the kind of code that comes out of an editor. Keep things as small as possible. Learn CSS, much of the stuff in standard html can be put in a css stylesheet and reused to style elements across your whole site. Your html will shrink to a few kbytes. If you've got tonnes of html your page is probably too cluttered anyway, no one likes cluttered web pages.

    * Don't have anything duplicated across files. Use PHP / SSI or other server-side scripting to include a single file into multiple pages or vice-versa. What I do is have my main site layout in only one file, as a template, then use php to include other text files which just contain the content into that.

    * I'm getting a bit carried away here but you get the idea.

    The point is, half of learning to code is learning the languages, the other, more important half is learning to keep things simple, reusable, and well structured, make things easy for yourself. You won't find this important code design point in any "Learn HTML in 2 Days" book or on any web tutorial that teaches this or that fancy feature. You are coding a design but you also need to put some good design into your code.
  9. zkiller

    zkiller Super Moderator Staff Member

    good points NeXus. my entire site is only one file. then the various contents are taken from a database and text files via ASP. i also have various code and style sheets that i save to reuse, but that comes naturally when you are as lazy as i am. :)
  10. StephanieCordray

    StephanieCordray New Member


    I'd say that pretty much describes most of us here.
  11. kiko_friendly

    kiko_friendly New Member

    Personally, I like to code things all myself, that way, I can say that a website is entirely my own. If I were to use a program to do it then it wouldn't really be all mine. Just my opinion, don't know what you'd prefer to do. I am not a begginner at coding sites etc but if you are, you'd probably want to use something to code your site and then study the code until you understand what does what etc.
  12. Proudcdn

    Proudcdn New Member

    Dreamweaver is a great WYSIWYG software tool ... but it too has its limitations.

    Hand coding is only limited by the coder's knowledge and the W3 conventions.

    I would highly suggest you learn to code by hand.

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