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Old 01-30-2013, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default FrontPage died: Dreamweaver? Wordpress?

Hey guys,
I'm hoping someone will help me choose new web design software. I use Yahoo web hosting and they no longer support FrontPage. Right now, I am able to update my site, but only one file at a time. I suppose it's time for a change.

Here are the characteristics I'm looking for:
I have zero coding experience, so I'm looking for something user-friendly. I will have static pages, as well as a 'news' page similar to a blog. I would like to have photo galleries that don't take forever to load. I really don't like generic looking templates and would like to be able to customize the site fully. I would prefer software that will remain functional for a number of years.

I was originally thinking of purchasing Dreamweaver, but a few friends have suggested using a CMS. After doing some research, I think Wordpress might be an option.

Does anyone have experience with Dreamweaver or Wordpress? Which do you think would be a better fit based on the characteristics I'm looking for?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think Weebly would be the best. I've used a few other CMS like Wordpress, Nucleus (the one I use most), but I think for most people that want an online, WYSIWYG editor, Weebly is just fine.

I use Dreamweaver on a daily basis and in order to make it worth it you really have to know web design and code. It's not a cheap program, and you still need to buy a domain and the hosting. Dreamweaver isn't a web hosting service, it's just software that lets you write code with a design view and has a built in FTP client (OK that is way oversimplification!).
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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edit:^^Actually, I really like Weebly. I used them for a long time to design and maintain a site for a farm I worked for, and at least at the time they were extremely easy to use and you could totally customize the site. I started with a really basic free template and made it look almost completely different...about the only elements that remained were the navigation bar and the background color, which were why I picked that one. LOL Unfortunately that site is long gone as the farm went out of business, or I'd link it...but it was quite nice, if I do say so myself. That was my first attempt at web design too. I actually think Weebly is (or at least was) easier to customize than Wordpress. We also hosted pictures of all our horses for sale and our stallions (about 60 photos at a time, generally), plus our facility. In addition, we had a regularly-updated news feed (basically a blog) that we also posted pictures of recent events on. I'm not sure how much we wound up paying for it since I wasn't the one paying the bills on it, just doing the work, but I don't think it was much at all for what we were able to do with it.

Original post:
I have experience with both. I personally prefer Dreamweaver, but I think it kind of depends on your situation--what kind of site you want, how much you want to spend and what kind of experience you have with web design programs.

I think Dreamweaver is much harder to learn the basics of. Wordpress is really easy to get started with and design a nice basic website with right off the bat, and there are easy tutorials for like everything. When I learned Dreamweaver I had to steal my dad's big how-to book on it and basically go through the whole thing. With Wordpress, you can just find a theme that has most of the elements you want (and especially if you're willing to pay for one, there are some really nice ones), and then customize it. You can also easily look up the specific tutorials you want. Basically, all the legwork is done for you, but the sites are really extremely customizable.

Wordpress is also going to be a lot cheaper than Dreamweaver. Like, I'm not sure you could make a Wordpress site cost as much as buying Dreamweaver if you tried, even if you go all out with bells and whistles. Last I saw, it was retailing for around $400. I have it because I do some web design work with my dad (he delegates the boring stuff to me LOL) and so I get included in his copy, since he has a business license for it.

Wordpress is also really great for photo galleries, from what I understand. I know some of my favorite photo blogs are done through Wordpress. I also think it is really easy if a blog-type feature is going to be on your site.

If you wanted to design a site totally from scratch (as opposed to customizing an existing template), then I'd probably lean towards Dreamweaver just because from what I've looked at, learning it is a lot easier. However, I'm also biased since I've been familiar with Dreamweaver for years and just done a few easy blogs and such on Wordpress, so I'm not sure you should listen to me there.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's been my experience of the two.
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Last edited by RowdyDogs; 01-30-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmm, I hadn't heard of Weebly before. I will look into that. Thanks!

I already have a domain and a web hosting service. I would like to keep them as is, so I need something that Yahoo will play nicely with.

The expense of Dreamweaver is definitely a factor. I may be an old lady, but I still have student status. I could theoretically buy the student version at a cheaper price. But I'm not sure if I can use a student version to publish a "business" website.

I'm also curious if you need to know how to code in order to use Dreamweaver? Some people have told me yes, some people have told me no.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well there is design view but if that's all you need it for, then it makes no sense to buy such a powerful program even at a discount rate when you could do the same with something free like Weebly. Don't get me wrong, I can't work my normal job or my side jobs without Dreamweaver but if you only use it on a very basic level it's like buying a whole workshop just to pound in a nail with a hammer. Yes you can customize anything you want but you'd still have to know the code, or at least have an understanding of how different coding languages work, to use the program.

ETA: just looking at your current site you could easily do that with Weebly or any of the other popular CMS in an hour or so. I know know about the others but Weebly gives you the option of using a domain and hosting you've already paid for. I use Nucleus CMS on my own domain, but it does require MySQL databases so for some of the CMS' you must have that available (not all of the really cheap/basic web hosting services come with MySQL).
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you! Weebly looks like it might be the solution I've been looking for. I really like that you can keep your domain and current host.

I just logged into Yahoo and it looks like they are going to switch to only FTPS. I think you can use FTPS with Dreamweaver. Do you know if you can use FTPS with Weebly or Wordpress?
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Joomla.

It's free, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of templates already created that you can use (frr and purchase), it's easy to learn (no coding involved) and it's open source so people are constantly creating new content.

And there are TONS of tutorials out there on how to use it. Also free!

I use it for Lure Coursing Fanatics and Raw Dog Ranch.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Well there is design view but if that's all you need it for, then it makes no sense to buy such a powerful program even at a discount rate when you could do the same with something free like Weebly. Don't get me wrong, I can't work my normal job or my side jobs without Dreamweaver but if you only use it on a very basic level it's like buying a whole workshop just to pound in a nail with a hammer. Yes you can customize anything you want but you'd still have to know the code, or at least have an understanding of how different coding languages work, to use the program.
I totally agree. I'm not that great with coding, but I know enough to get around Dreamweaver and also look up what I need to fill in the gaps, if that makes sense. If not for that, I don't think I'd like it nearly as much. It really isn't an easy program to get started with if you don't have some background.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardyan View Post
Thank you! Weebly looks like it might be the solution I've been looking for. I really like that you can keep your domain and current host.

I just logged into Yahoo and it looks like they are going to switch to only FTPS. I think you can use FTPS with Dreamweaver. Do you know if you can use FTPS with Weebly or Wordpress?
Do you mean SFTP? (secure FTP) If so, yes you can most definitely do that with Dreamweaver, but you can do this with free FTP clients (CuteFTP, CyberDuck....).

I don't think you need to FTP with Weebly. I think it works more like a hosting provider. If you already own the domain then you'd need to point the DNS to your Weebly site. I'm not sure about Wordpress. All the other CMS' I've used are programs I've installed on my domains myself (so I used Dreamweaver to do the initial install and tweak the CSS files and a little of the PHP for the layout, though I don't know PHP at all!).
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's the message I get when I log on to Yahoo:

"As of February 19, 2013, Yahoo! Small Business will complete the transition to only supporting FTPS."

I think Yahoo wants people to use their tools like SiteBuilder. I just don't like the super generic templates though. I've been playing with Weebly a little and having some fun, but also having some struggles. For some reason it keeps locking up . . . not sure what that's all about.

I want to look into Joomla, but at this point I'm leaning toward Weebly and considering switching hosting providers.
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