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Webpage Design Programs

Many people design webpages using Macromedia Studio 8.. well professionally speaking, designers now should use Adobe Illustrator and After effects even though they are used more in commercial design and video productions, they would still be more better design in webpages
Hrmm... I'm not really gonna go into it, but macromedia software is geared entirely towards web development. Adobe's answer to this was to create some not quite as good software, and then buy Macromedia. Illustrator and After Effects dont even have siblings in Macromedia Studio 8. The crosspoints between the two are Photoshop --> Fireworks (Photoshop is infinitely better for anything). and Dremweaver --> GoLive (I'd argue dreamweaver is better, tho I've not used GoLive enough to know).

When it comes down to it you should be designing webpages using photoshop, eclipse ( and editcss plugin for firefox. ^_^
Well when it comes to web design software there is one program that beats them all, one program that does everything one single program that you can make every web page your heart desires in.
This one program is Notepad probably the best thing Microsoft has ever released :p

In My opinion the only way to truly design web pages and claim to have made them is if you code it yourself, that way you know every bit of it inside out and can fix problems easily. It also makes it 100% customisable and can use the full extent of any new HTML, CSS, PHP, Perl whatever without needing upgrades or addons. The best part is its free, if you use google aswell there is no better combination because anything you dont know google can find.
Any decent graphics editor can be used to whip up your initial web design. You don't really need these high end programs that cost a kazillion dollars. There's plenty of decent free graphics editors out there that will handle the job quite well. I've compiled a list at my site here:

Then when it comes to transforming your design into HTML, working at the source code level is definitely the way to go but the best is to get a good HTML editor that will automate the insertion of your HTML code so that typing it out is not such a laborious task. Something like HTML Kit or Arachnophila 4 will do fine. Notepad is okay but it is far too limited.
I've been using PFE in windows for years it's lightweight, very notpad-like but gives a few extras like semi-smart indenting. Develping robust websites can truly only be done in a text like editor. I really don't like those tag injectors. Let's see,.. type a bit, stop, grab the mouse, click the menu, click again (if you're lucky there's a button), click in the middle of the start/end tag resume typng. With a good editor (like PFE) you can define keyboard macros to inject your tags, place the cursor where it belongs and keep typing. This gives the author full control; rather than havng to accept the style/format of the editor's tag/control statements. You will develop your own coding style rather than having one handed to you.
I've been using kate from KDE (don't use KDE but this is a great editor (except for returning all my curly braces to the first char in the line) syntax highlighting that does't seem to require specific extensions (the file does need to be saved though). It is aware css, xml, html and about 30 languages syntax and even has an xml validator. as you type css properties nteyremain italicized until they are vaild properties. Valid values are higlighted unknown entities are left black; good stuff. now if i could find an editor like that for Windoze i might whinge a bit less when I had to work on that paltform Very little less but less.
WSIWYGdesigners? they inject so much inline style & excess code in such an unreadable format with no whitespace or indentation the code is next to impossible to read or change.
Good learning exercise: Genreate a page in a wysiwyg designer, then open the code and clean it up. Do that couple of times and you'll never go back to wsiwyg designer again
Just to clarify... When I said "get a good HTML editor that will automate the insertion of your HTML code", I was in no way, shape or form referring to WYSIWYG. (Yikes! Hate it with a passion!!)

Quote: if i could find an editor like that for Windoze i might whinge a bit less ...

You should give HTML Kit a try.

It is fully and I mean FULLY customizable. Keyboard shortcuts, user-defined plugins, user-defined toolbars, user-defined syntax highlighting, the whole magilla.
EasyHTML is an interesting adventure in coding. Laughing

As mentioned earlier in this post, MetaPad is a fantastic code editor.
I admit Photoshop is the best for web design, but as I recall it was very difficult to master. If someone is more of an armchair designer, I believe Fireworks, especially the new Fireworks 8, is a much easier to master tool, and can do most of the things Photoshop can do.

For HTML, I have Dreamweaver (MX 2004 and Cool as well as GoLive CS and it is no contest: Dreamweaver wins hands down. Homesite is also a great product by Macromedia, geared more for coding, but I haven't found much reason to have it in addition to Dreamweaver.

Just my .02
Oh, and Visual Studio 2005 for .net sites is really nice as well. I know, it's Microsoft, but it really is a nice program and is available for C#, VB, and JS I believe as well. Free trial is available, but it's one of those "download this 2 mg installer which will download the 80mg program" type things, which i hate, but it's worth looking at if you're into.
You should give HTML Kit a try.

In my book HTML Kit is the best. And is packed with high end features.
And most of all it is totaly FREE.
Also Top Style Lite is a good Style sheet editor.
I have used a lot of different editors over the years but I always end up using HTML Kit. It is the most stable and flexable program I have ever used.
Dreamweaver and such programs dont give you the true idea of web development, by using such programs you have no idea how to make web pages on the source code level.
By knowing basic code you also know limitations and in most cases can code it faster than any programs designed to convert where your pictures are into source code. Im not saying never take code from other places but incorporate it yourself, this is what visible source editors help do, they let you add things which arnt in the program.
I just heard of this open source html editor called Nvu (pronounced N-view). I haven't actually tried it yet, but its free and it has gotten some good reviews. I'm gonna try it out.
I agree that the best way to code is to get down into the source code yourself. it is so much better in the long run to understand whats going on behind the scenes. I do use Dreamweaver mostly as a text editor with code hinting. I can't stand the design view of Dreamweaver.
Just freaking use eclipse with an html plugin and be done with it.

That should be all you need.

Maybe the gimp if you're gonna do some images editing

The other option for css is Firefox with EditCSS

Thats the best free setup ever.

Make your site usable by everyone if possible.
Don't unnecessarily do things that limit the number of people that can benefit from your site.
Make your site as fast as possible.
This not only makes your site more enjoyable to use, but also allows those with expensive and/or slow Internet connections to use your site.
Make your site easy to use.
Make it uncluttered, easy to navigate and easy to read.
Make your site useful.
Create a site that fills a need.
Maintain Integrity. Be Professional.
Be honest. Offer what you claim to offer. Check your spelling.
Make your site friendly and fun to use.
Make your site as attractive and fun as you can without making it slow.
Use "cutting edge technology" wisely and effectively.
Use it when it's the best way to do something, but don't annoy visitors with "cute" stuff.
Remember that what you think is true may not be true.
Some possible misconceptions.
Should I really worry about the minority who use less powerful computers, use older browsers and have slow Internet access?
The design and layout of your site is the most important part of building a website. Make a bad choice here and it won't matter how great your content is or how much advertising you do. If your site looks bad no one will visit and those that do won't stay long or buy anything.
Choose your colors carefully and keep in mind that your tastes may not be appealing to your target audience. Try a few different color schemes and ask some of your friends or family for their opinions about them. And remember this term, "white-space". In general, white-space is the cornerstone of good website design. Keep the background areas where your information or products will be displayed white or another light / pale color. Dark or oddly colored backgrounds distract your visitors from your information and also can make it difficult to read. Background images are also a big don't for the same reasons plus they make your pages load more slowly. Colored text should also be used sparingly. Contrast is key, otherwise it can be very difficult to read. Here's an example. Try to use colored text only to emphasize important information. If you choose to use a color other than black throughout your site make sure it is dark.

The layout is how things are arranged on your pages. There are many different ways to display your content and we'll cover that a bit farther down the page. What we're going to discuss here are the elements that frame your content such as your navigation menu buttons, any graphical accents, logos, etc.

The name of your website, domain name, or business name should be prominently featured somewhere at or near the top of your pages either within your logo or near it. And it should fit within the typical boundaries of the page. If you make it too big or it contains too many words then it will stretch your pages so wide that most visitors won't be able to see the whole page unless they scroll sideways. Very annoying, and definitely not good website design. More about this later.

The placement of the navigation buttons or links of a website are usually placed in one of 3 different areas of the page. Across the top of each page or down the left or right side. The Site Builder also allows you to automatically include a second set of navigational links at the bottom of all your pages. Regardless of where you choose to put them try to keep the text on the buttons or in the links as short as possible. Anything longer than one or two words will cause that part of your layout to be too wide and crowd your content area.

Where your navigation buttons or links appear on your pages should be decided by the number of main or primary pages you will have in your website. Primary pages are the pages organized just below your home page in the structure or diagram of your website.

In general, you can only fit up to 8 buttons (maybe less depending on how much text you use) across the top of your pages and if you choose that layout then how the subpage page links are displayed also may have a limitation. Some layouts with top page primary page buttons will also display subpage links in a second row across the top and others will display them down the left side of the page.

Navigation buttons down either side of your pages don't run into any limitations due to the endless amount of vertical space on every page. Remember though that the amount of text on the buttons will greatly affect the amount of space for content.
One of the most frequent mistakes we see people make is they build their site in such a way that it looks great on their own computer, but terrible on just about any other. How can this happen you ask? It happens because of the various screen resolution or display settings available on every computer.
A few short years ago, monitors were so small that the best screen resolution setting on them was 640x480. Then as average monitor sizes increased the best resolution moved up to 800x600 and eventually the standard will move up again to 1024x768 or higher. The problem that occurs because of these different display settings is that a page created on a computer set to 1024x768 or higher will only be seen the same way on other computers set to the same resolution. Because we are at a time in the evolution of computers where the standard is currently moving between two widely used settings this issue occurs a lot
Flash changed all that and made it possible to create larger animations that incorporated more detail and more style while still maintaining a relatively low file size for downloading over regular dial up connections. That was many years ago.

To view Flash animation, your computer must have a special plugin or program installed on it called the Flash Player. When it was first developed everybody had to go to Macromedia's website and download the player. Nowadays it is already installed on your computer when you buy it.

The increasing availability of broadband (high speed) Internet access has changed the way website developers incorporate Flash into their site designs. It used to be implemented as a minor design element to give a little spice to an otherwise boring page. Someday, broadband access will be the only way to connect to the Internet and by then most websites will be constructed completely with Flash programming. But we're nowhere near that time. In fact, it could be 5, 10, 15 years or more before broadband access is the standard.

Flash is the future of the Internet and how websites will be built. No doubt about it. But at the present time, the use of Flash comes with a number problems every website owner needs to consider before they add it to their site.

First of all, Flash is still very much in development. As of this writing, the Flash Player that comes installed on almost every new computer sold today is version 6.0. A special program is also needed to create Flash animations (our Flash builder is based on it). There are a number of programs available that can create Flash, but they don't all recognize the same standards. Macromedia's own current Flash Player can't even recognize animations that were created using the original version of its creation software. So it is possible that a visitor to your site could have a 2 year old computer with Flash Player 3.0 installed that can't display your animation because it was made with a newer creator or vice versa.

Another problem is that the more dynamic your animation is, the larger the file size will be and therefore the longer it will take to download. For a visitor with a broadband connection that isn't a problem. But 60% - 70% of the Internet using public are still on slow 56K dial up connections. Using even a little bit of Flash will cause them to have to wait longer for your site to load. That's never a good thing.

Search engines don't like Flash either. Their spiders can't read anything contained in the animation. When they come to index your website they are looking for text, not graphics. If the first thing they run into is a Flash intro screen then the spiders will almost always immediately leave your site and go elsewhere looking for what they do like.

Finally, it is a well known fact that constant movement of something on a webpage will draw the visitor's eyes to it. That can be a good thing if whatever is moving is the primary reason for the visitor to be there, but if you want the visitor to see something else then the movement becomes a distraction. That's also never a good thing.

So Flash can give your site that dynamic POP that can really set off your design. But in doing that it can also distract from your overall message, slow down the loading of your pages, and possibly not even be seen if the visitor doesn't have the right software. So, should you really be using it?

If your site is business related in any way then the answer is definitely no. The downside just isn't worth it. You can't afford to alienate or discourage any visitors. But don't take our word for it. Go to any of the high-traffic, well known websites that actually sell products or services. Sites like,, Yahoo,, IBM, Microsoft, etc. Do you see any Flash animation? The answer will be no. Even uses it in a limited way on their own website and they are the creators of the technology. Notice if you go to their site that they suggest to make sure you have the latest version of the Flash player installed on your computer. Again, that's because if you have an older version then you won't be able to even see the flash at all. When a visitor comes to your site they want to see your site. They don't want to have to download and wait and install any new software to be able to see it.

The companies listed above are multi-billion dollar companies. There is no doubt that they could have the most technological and visually stunning websites on the planet if they wanted to. But they don't and the reasons why are simple. Flash slows downloading, distracts the visitor, and may not even be viewable if the visitor doesn't have the right version of the player installed. One of the most common sense rules in business is "Don't try to re-invent the wheel." If those companies don't do it then it is likely that you shouldn't either.
about windows xp service pack

The recently released Windows XP Service Pack 2 from Microsoft increases the security settings on any computer it is installed on. In most cases, Windows update will download and install it automatically. That security setting increase classifies any Flash animation on any site as an ActiveX program and blocks it because ActiveX is a potential vulnerability for hackers to exploit to gain access to the visitor's computer. Obviously, the Flash on your site isn't any kind of security threat, but a visitor's computer can't dtermine that on its own. If it is set to block any ActiveX programming from running then that's what it will do. Until either Macromedia or Microsoft figure out how to exclude Flash from being classified as ActiveX programming any Flash on your site will be blocked from showing to any visitor who has the Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed on their computer and has not manually lowered the security settings afterward
hey i am sorry abt tht last entry

i wanted to send that to another forum topic

but it is information ne ways to all u ppl
Rhysige wrote:
Well when it comes to web design software there is one program that beats them all, one program that does everything one single program that you can make every web page your heart desires in.
This one program is Notepad probably the best thing Microsoft has ever released :p

In My opinion the only way to truly design web pages and claim to have made them is if you code it yourself, that way you know every bit of it inside out and can fix problems easily. It also makes it 100% customisable and can use the full extent of any new HTML, CSS, PHP, Perl whatever without needing upgrades or addons. The best part is its free, if you use google aswell there is no better combination because anything you dont know google can find.

I have to agree, I used to use Dreamweaver (Good program no doubt) but then more and more I used the code part of dreamweaver to edit things to my specification, and I still o use it but I use the code to edit it, and I only use the design view or the split screen for finding bits of code and seeing how it went wrong or if it went wrong.
For me I think its best to use Photoshop for designing the template, and Dreamweaver for codeing. You can use Imageready to slice your template but it may not always be needed depending on the quality and how high-tech your site is.
thats better reply By the way i use macromedia in makin my website for coding makin designs and flash .. out there but its easy to use it helps a lot and faster ....
I use Dreamweaver 2004 MX at home and Dreamweavr 8 at work. I always use the split layout so I can see the code being entered by Dreamweaver while I am diddling around with the design. If I see redundant code, or excess CSS, I remove it.

I learned HTML using Notepad in college (learning HTML strictly through coding is probably the best thing you can do). Because of that, I can use the GUI of Dreamweaver and also go into the code and make changes or work from there because I know how to read t all and how to change it.

Learn the hard way, then work the easy way Very Happy
thats better ... Laughing Laughing
I prefer Adobe GoLive. It's really good. Other than that, NVU is a free one I found on the internet. It's just as good.
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