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View Full Version : Dreamweaver - to buy or not to buy?


Kazper
02-07-2008, 08:35 AM
Hi all,

I am thinking of buying dreamweaver to set up a web building business. I am pretty technical and pick stuff up quick but I wanted to know if this software is the kind that you can teach yourself (with a book or 2). I don't want to shell out the dosh if it is a nightmare to use. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Cheers
Kazper

davidj
02-07-2008, 09:03 AM
first i would say that you need an understanding of the languages involved

HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT

If you know this already then think of Dreamweaver as a good IDE. As a professional you will be expected to know the fundamentals of the languages your using and could debug easily using notepad if you had to.

Then there are the serverside languages like PHP, ASP, coldfusion, JSP, PERL and .NET

those takes you up a notch in the development game which is where the programming aspects come into play. You don't have to know them all infact you could just study one as they basically do the same thing and each have pros and cons. Dreamweaver can write this stuff by using the drag-n-drop tools incorporated into the app but you don't need me to tell you that you need to understand the language and never go near those toys

to sum up

Dreamweaver is one of the market leaders in its field and is supported by a heavy weight company with its feet planted firmly in Internet technologies but remember if you become professional and make money out of this then Dreamweaver will become a dear friend and a pain in the butt at the same time. It is an expensive notepad but i love the familiarity as i honed my skills from it. I love the colour syntaxing as the errors jump out at me but i steer away from the bells and whistles it provides.

Some experts on this forum (who shall remain nameless) don't even use Dreamweaver anymore as they have found that a good programming notepad App does just as good of a job!

Kazper
02-07-2008, 09:13 AM
Well, I am familiar with a bit of HTML but not grand. Would you recommend that I go on a course for Dreamweaver or HTML if I need HTML knowledge?
Cheers David

davidj
02-07-2008, 09:48 AM
it doesn't matter what you use to code in so a Dreamweaver course would be a waste of money but to understand the code does matter

you may benefit from a good HTML foundation course but there is no better way to learn this stuff than to immerse yourself in it. You learn by your mistakes. Practical excersises.

to succeed in this game you have to have an interest in it. You cant become good at it without this passion. Its not a 9-5 job but I don't mind its not.

i suggest the following mission

draft a handful of pretend companies on paper. Include what they do, product, market, branding, age group targeting etc. Then make them a web site
go on-line and look at what the competition are doing
Take inspiration from everything you see. If you like something then work out how its done and remember it. Don't copy just make it your own by making it different or even betteryou need as many as the above as you have time for. This will provide you with a virtual portfolio and give you the necessary experience at the same time

there are programmers and designers and very rare do the two skill-sets converge. You can teach anyone to program but you cant teach design as this is a gift. You can teach design concepts but not the raw talent its self so remember to look at your work with a critical eye and ask yourself if the design lives up to the professional image your trying to project. Go to other sites and see what the big guns are doing then compare your efforts with those.

LEARN TO CODE

thats it. The big secret!

Kazper
02-07-2008, 10:00 AM
Thanks Dave, I certainly have the passion and wanna go for it big time. I will go on an HTML course I think to get the skills up. I'm well into the design part of it so hopefully this will stand up against the big guns. Thanks loads for the advice. Big help.

davidj
02-07-2008, 10:22 AM
to take a job in the industry you have to have at least 3 years experience and a good portfolio

to work for yourself in the industry you need the above and some programming experience because you wont succeed by turning down interactive work using scripting languages because you don't know how to do it. This looks scary in the eyes of a client who will paint you with an amature brush using a nice colour of 'dont know what he's doing', blue.

Clients want everything. They don't recognise the difference between a static 5 page HTML site or a feature rich you-tube/face-book clone nor do they care.

you have allot to learn but if you have the interest then time will pass and you will be great

Kazper
02-07-2008, 10:26 AM
eek! well I have no choice other than to go on my own and learn it I guess, cos I wont get into anywhere to learn it now will I? I was thinking about doing some local websites cheap! to get experience. Is this feasible to get my grade up?

davidj
02-07-2008, 10:30 AM
you dont have the experience to build sites and take money for them just yet

its not something you can just pick up and run with

Kazper
02-07-2008, 10:57 AM
oh - deflated

mangofreak
02-07-2008, 03:10 PM
IMHO, if you have a chance to earn some money while learning, then go for it. However, you should be aware that the advice Davidj has given you is the way to go. Learn first, make a website for your grandma, or a friend, or volunteer to gain experience and build your portfolio. When you have some experience then, you'll see the time you took to learn was well worth it.

Good luck.

Kazper
02-07-2008, 03:35 PM
Thanks Mango Freak! :-)

edbr
02-08-2008, 02:47 AM
one program i would suggest , although not as usefull as DW but not bad, look at Selida. it is a free WYSWYG that will save you some money initially

davidj
02-08-2008, 06:34 AM
try dreamweavers 30 day trial to get a taste of what your buying into

Kazper
02-08-2008, 08:01 AM
one program i would suggest , although not as usefull as DW but not bad, look at Selida. it is a free WYSWYG that will save you some money initially

Thanks a lot for this - really useful :grin:

Kazper
02-08-2008, 08:01 AM
Now there's an idea and I had no idea that you could do this - cheers big man

comicracy
02-16-2008, 05:40 AM
Buy it, and read a book. A really good one to give you the basics is the missing manual. I never learned much about code but I have been able to do everything I need, sometimes you will need 3rd party extensions. Webassist is a good brand. They keep telling me to learn code but I dont want to. Me and my buddy Woofy made this site, using little to no code www.comicracy.com, Have fun!

d a v e
02-16-2008, 09:42 AM
learn some code ;)

comicracy
02-18-2008, 09:15 AM
Why, in a few years it will be obsolete, they will have a software program to do anything, we all know it.

davidj
02-18-2008, 10:38 AM
Why, in a few years it will be obsolete, they will have a software program to do anything, we all know it.


drag-n-drop apps will get better and more bells and whistles will be added but you will still need an understanding of code.

look at it like this...

You could say "why do math because in the future calculators will get better"

If your a bedroom button pusher and wizard magician and your building a site to show your friends and say "look what i did" then fine, push all the buttons you like (who do you come running to when your stuck? Yes, the coders!)

If you want to take this seriously to be able to work in the industry then I'm afraid your going to have to bite the bullet and learn to code. I'm 40 now and i don't think ill ever see a developers job advertised like this in my lifetime ->

"Developer wanted no coding required
as we have a package which does everything for you"

We have sort of what your wanting in the terms of Frameworks which simplify writing code but that still requires you to understand the Framework and the underlying language

d a v e
02-18-2008, 10:38 AM
well in the meantime don't be such a waste of space and learn some code

if you can't be bothered and it's just a personal site, then fine, but don't come crying when your layout breaks in the next version of IE, or such and such a person can't view your website properly in their browser.
maybe it's to difficult for you ?

davidj
02-18-2008, 10:41 AM
hehe

me and DAVE are like twins

that was almost telepathy

d a v e
02-18-2008, 11:21 AM
hehe

me and DAVE are like twins

that was almost telepathy

........................... :)

domedia
02-18-2008, 01:06 PM
For hobbyists, it is perfectly fine not to learn code, imho.
But if you want to take it anywhere further, even building a site for your uncles business, it would look kinda weird if you go "uh.. I know it's broke, but I don't know how to fix it.. I just push buttons."

comicracy
03-10-2008, 01:10 AM
Yah its too difficult for me, like getting laid is for you.

Rob_Che
03-10-2008, 09:02 AM
Learn first, make a website for your grandma....

I would LOVE to make a site for my gran - that would be smart !

davidj
03-10-2008, 09:11 AM
i can just see comicracy charming the ladies with...

wana see my first edition of batman!

hehe

Rob_Che
03-10-2008, 09:20 AM
Wow comics AND pyramid selling... Your pushing all my (pre coded) buttons ! ;)

Your site is terrifying for an artist / writer;
so it's a 50/50 deal, you contribute your creativity and we handle all the business and legal aspects to get our stories published so we can ALL make a profit.

edbr
03-10-2008, 10:35 AM
i can just see comicracy charming the ladies with...

wana see my first edition of batman!

hehe

while wearing a killer anorak

comicracy
03-21-2008, 02:56 AM
Yah I changed it to 90 percent for the artist.