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What's the best website design program?

Old 01-20-01, 05:35 PM
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For those of us who are HTML illiterate, what do you recomend? Microsoft Frontpage, HoTMetaL, Dreamweaver, etc. etc. etc.?

I have used an early version of Frontpage and thought it was okay, but is there something that is easy to learn/use and creates some nice websites?
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Old 01-20-01, 06:11 PM
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Before using WordPad I was using the Gold version of Netscape. At that time it was pretty good. Maybe you can try the HTML editor in Communicator (I don't know if it is good though). And it's free!
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Old 01-20-01, 07:16 PM
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A very very good, and free, website design program is 1stPage 2000 which is sort of half-HTML, half "Wizard" interface based. Very easy to use, loads of features, dead good, etc...

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Old 01-20-01, 08:01 PM
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I say use Frontpage 2000. I got mine from Office 2000 Premium and had no problems using it. If you are already familiar in a Windows environment then it shouldn't be too hard to use.

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Old 01-21-01, 04:09 AM
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Hands down dreamweaver. I love it and its so easy to use.
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Old 01-21-01, 06:22 AM
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Use Front Page, and I have no problems, at all, and make nice looking webpages. But I think I am going to try a little bit of DreamWeaver cause I have heard so much good things about it.
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Old 01-21-01, 09:38 AM
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The biggest problrm with Frontpage is that it does some stuff that only IE can use. I created an image map in FP a while back and it looked fine in IE, but Netscape wouldn't even display the picture.

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Old 01-21-01, 03:35 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by damn_skippy:
Hands down dreamweaver. I love it and its so easy to use.



Ditto



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Old 01-21-01, 06:48 PM
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Maybe one of you web geniuses out there can help me. I have a very simple "generic" web page and want to reduce the file size of my pics so that it will load faster for people with slow connections. How can I do that?

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Old 01-21-01, 08:03 PM
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When I first started out I began with Allaire Homesite 4.0.

That program was great. I still use it now every so often for little changes...

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Old 01-22-01, 04:13 AM
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DAC: Which program you should use depends on a few things. Are you a graphic artist? Do you enjoy tinkering with HTML? Or do you want a point-and-click, no HTML coding solution?

For someone who just wants to assemble a web page using pre-made templates and doing no HTML at all, use either Front Page, or the program Microsoft shamelessly copied to make Front Page, NetObjects Fusion. Fusion is a great piece of software and won't give you the Netscape incompatibilities that Front Page is intentionally designed to do.

Both Fusion and Front Page have been used to create good sites, and have user communities that offer additional, free templates you can download and use to create your own website with. For Fusion, search Yahoo for "free sitestyles," for Front Page, search Yahoo for "free themes." I found more for NetObjects Fusion than for Front Page.

I've also got to put in a plug for a great website that teaches you how to build your own page: www.efuse.com. It is sponsored by NetObjects, but it's a "soft sell" for Fusion, and there's tons of great advice that applies to anyone building a website with any tools.

I recently found a website designed to explain to newbies how to do all this:
http://www.1stsitefree.com/index.htm
Some good info here, although he likes to do a lot by hand.

For someone who wants to work more on their page, has a good eye for graphics, and is up to mastering a more complex program, Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive are good choices.

For the more advanced programs, you'll probably have to have Photoshop, Illustrator, or similar programs to create the graphics that your page will use. Dreamweaver and GoLive don't emphasize a library of pre-made templates for you to drop your own text and images into.

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dchaug, Without looking at your site, it sounds to me like what you want to do is create jpeg versions of the pictures on your site, and then reduce the quality to reduce the file size. There are a bunch of good utilities out there that do this; my personal favorite is Ignite.

Search ZDnet's file library for any of the stuff I've mentioned here, download the demo, and try it out.

Jeff

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[This message has been edited by Jeff Haas (edited January 22, 2001).]
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Old 01-22-01, 07:12 AM
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Thanks for the replys fellas. I am not a big HTML guy and the easier the better. Although I don't like the "cookie cutter" templates that are available too.


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Old 01-22-01, 01:30 PM
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Thanks Jeff, I'm going to try Ignite.

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Old 01-22-01, 03:42 PM
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This feature is called Auto Thumbnail and is built into Frontpage 2000. Click on the image, choose Tools, Auto Thumbnail. Done.
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Old 01-23-01, 02:27 AM
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Actually, AutoThumbnail does something different that what I think dchaug was asking for.

AutoThumbnail automatically creates a small version of a picture, so the user can get the general idea of what it looks like. Then they can click on the small ("thumbnail") version and have the regular picture downloaded to their computer.

As I read it, dchaug just wanted to make the pictures he puts up on his web site more efficient, so that the picture file itself is smaller and so it downloads over a dial-up connection faster. If that's what he wanted, then he needs some software that will allow him to change the compression & quality of the jpeg image.


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Old 01-23-01, 02:32 AM
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DAC, I agree that the pre-made templates can turn out some pretty blah websites, but some of the templates that come with Front Page or Fusion are nice.

Also, if you dig around on the web, you can find some pre-made graphics that are really well done.

For one example, check out www.webdiner.com. These guys have a bunch of whimsical, fun web templates that are really good.

Jeff

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Old 01-23-01, 10:08 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by dchaug:
Maybe one of you web geniuses out there can help me. I have a very simple "generic" web page and want to reduce the file size of my pics so that it will load faster for people with slow connections. How can I do that?




Here's a nice site that compresses your gifs and jpegs without software.

http://www.spinwave.com/



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Old 01-24-01, 01:47 AM
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I took a look at Spinwave's web site, they offer free gif and jpeg crunching as promotion for their full utilities. The free jpeg cruncher is pretty good, so if you've only got a few images to compress, this is the way to go. No need to download any application software.

However, if you want to do more, it looks to me like Ignite is a better deal for the money. It does in one piece of software most of what Spinwave is selling as seperate applications. The one thing Spinwave offers is a batch processing app, but that's only necessary if you've got LOTS of stuff to convert.

http://www.spinwave.com/
http://www.ignite-it.co.uk/

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