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Ryan Duffy

Visual HTML Editor

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I want to start using a visual HTML editor for building my website. I really like frontpage, which is just about the only descent Microsoftware besides Excel that is somewhat good, but I need something good for a Mac. Anything that offers similar features. I searched around Google and found some things that looked okay, but I wanted to ask the Mac community before I buy anything.

 

Thanks,

 

Ryan

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Jesus, Front page is awful. Truly awful.

 

Anyway, if you're really adverse to learning html, then I'd recommend rapidweaver.

 

If you don't mind learning html (which is really rather simple), then I'd take a look at textmate. It's one of the best text editors on the mac (in my opinion anyway).

 

For a good html tutorial check out w3schools

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I don't really want to learn how to write HTML, I know the very basics, but for a huge site that I run, I'm going to need to use a visual HTML editor. I guess frontpage isn't that great, it has lot's of bug, but you have to admit, it's fairly easy to use and has a few good features.

 

Ewww... Did I just defend a Microsoft product? I'm not a worthy Mac geek...

 

 

-Ryan

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I personally love Dreamweaver and have been using it for about a year. I am using Dreamweaver 8 now, but last week Adobe anounced their CS3 line of software, so you can preorder Dreamweaver CS3 for $399 (a bit pricey). Dreamweaver also offers easy scripting so you can set up logins and things like that much faster, without coding anything.

 

However, if you are just looking for a WYSIWYG, then you can find a basic free one in Nvu. Nvu is pretty basic, but nice (and free!).

 

I'm no expert in what web development software is available, but those are the two that I use most frequently.

Here's a good list of the most commonly used visual HTML editors and a comparison of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...YG_HTML_editors

 

Hope this helps,

-Steve-

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Of course, you should realize that building static webpages is pretty outdated. Almost all interesting websites have some kind of interactivity, with a database at the backend. This is so professional, that hobbyists hardly make their own websites anymore. It simply isn't worth the effort, because maintenance is so much easier with the professional tools (which are mostly free), and a chore with static HTML.

 

I have seen sites made with RapidWeaver, which is much cheaper (and IMHO superior) than Adobe DreamWeaver, but lacks the interactivity. You can add a webforum for that, but I think that is a kludge. I rather add my comments directly to the articles when I visit a website.

 

The best solution if you want to host a website yourself, seems to be to install open source software on a webserver, some kind of content management system (cms). I believe Drupal is the most versatile as a general purpose cms, and Wordpress and Movable Type the most powerful for blogging. Remember that if you allow interactivity, you have to make your system comment spam resistant, and Wordpress has some good tools to combat spam, and is pretty easy to install.

 

Of course, for blogging there are more than enough of communities you can join, so you don't have to be bothered with the maintenance of your blogsite: Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress (yes, they have an online tool as well), etc.

 

So you see, there is hardly no need to build your own website anymore, because of those wonderful free tools you can use instead.

 

I highly recommend to read Blog Software Smackdown: The Big 3 Reviewed for a more in-depth review of blogging software.

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The only reason I dislike Frontpage is because it produces awful code, which is actually illegal to use for a commercial website in the UK, since it is not able to be displayed correctly in screen readers for the visually impaired.

 

Anyway, what I use for 90% of my sites is a combination of Wordpress, Textmate and CSSEdit. If you're willing to learn a little bit more, then there will be no difference in making one page or 1000, since wordpress will be generating most of the html and your stylesheet will be used throughout the site.

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Of course, you should realize that building static webpages is pretty outdated. Almost all interesting websites have some kind of interactivity, with a database at the backend. This is so professional, that hobbyists hardly make their own websites anymore. It simply isn't worth the effort, because maintenance is so much easier with the professional tools (which are mostly free), and a chore with static HTML.

 

I have seen sites made with RapidWeaver, which is much cheaper (and IMHO superior) than Adobe DreamWeaver, but lacks the interactivity. You can add a webforum for that, but I think that is a kludge. I rather add my comments directly to the articles when I visit a website.

 

The best solution if you want to host a website yourself, seems to be to install open source software on a webserver, some kind of content management system (cms). I believe Drupal is the most versatile as a general purpose cms, and Wordpress and Movable Type the most powerful for blogging. Remember that if you allow interactivity, you have to make your system comment spam resistant, and Wordpress has some good tools to combat spam, and is pretty easy to install.

 

Of course, for blogging there are more than enough of communities you can join, so you don't have to be bothered with the maintenance of your blogsite: Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress (yes, they have an online tool as well), etc.

 

So you see, there is hardly no need to build your own website anymore, because of those wonderful free tools you can use instead.

 

I highly recommend to read Blog Software Smackdown: The Big 3 Reviewed for a more in-depth review of blogging software.

 

Did I read this correctly, Rapid weaver is superior to Dreamweaver, jesus you just totaly changed the industry standard for a pile of crap! Perhaps you could recommend iWeb.

 

If I was you I would look at downloading Dreamweaver 8 (Bit-torrent) if for personal use! Its the industry standard and the learning curve you will spend on this software "just like any other" will be time well spent.

Edited by zionlion

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Dreamweaver and Rapidweaver are for two totally different markets. If you are a new web developer, dreamweaver won't be your 1st stop (due to price and the required knowledge to use it) Rapidweaver is probably the best web editor for new website creators. IT creates beautiful sites in a fast and easy fashion. I really don't think you can compare the two..They aren't made for the same thing! If you are new and aren't interested in becoming an industry web developer and just need a nice looking site for personal use, then take a look at Rapidweaver. If you want to learn the tricks of the trade, and become a web designer/developer/whatever then take a look at learning dreamweaver.

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The only reason I dislike Frontpage is because it produces awful code, which is actually illegal to use for a commercial website in the UK, since it is not able to be displayed correctly in screen readers for the visually impaired.

Then you will certainly be disgusted with iWeb, because that is even worse than FrontPage, and it is a total lock-in, because pages created in iWeb can, in practical terms, only be edited in... iWeb. The only thing iWeb is good for is a throw-away website, for temporary use.

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Which is why I didn't recommend it. I'd never recommend dreamweaver either. It's incredibly over priced considering it does little what can't be done with a text editor and an ftp client.

 

TextMate and CSSEdit are all anyone needs if they're serious about making nice looking websites.

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TextMate and CSSEdit are all anyone needs if they're serious about making nice looking websites.

I agree, HTML and CSS are reasonably easy to learn in a few months. No need for a fancy visual editor. Heck, you could even use emacs to create your own static website. Not that anyone would be interested in visiting such a website... To do that, you also need to learn PHP and MySQL (and probably some JavaScript as well), and learn how to create a compelling layout and user interface, which would take you about 4 - 6 years in total if you're a total newbie.

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Take the time to learn html, it's your best investment here, and its really not that difficult. Html has got to be the next easiest language out there, css is even easier.

 

TextMate is a wonderful app for this, after you learn html, xhtml 1.0 and css, you can start with php :P

 

Otherwise if visual editing is really that important, get dreamweaver, which will allow for future expansion and flexibility. Don't forget that even Dreamweaver's wysiwyg editor drools out some terrible, terrible code, try and keep it w3c compliant.

 

good luck!

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If you need a CMS, use one. There are hundreds of cms's about, and most only need an html template with a few bits of php thrown in. Total learning time: an hour or two if you know html and css.

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True. Another reason to learn HTML: some forums assume you know some HTML, because if you don't, your messages look strange. For instance, you need to insert <BR> for a line break. You can do it with the buttons, like on this forum, but that simply takes a lot of time (or do you still use the button on this forum to typeface your words with italics, bold, etc.?). On some occasions you need to look in the source code of a web page to find a link or a piece of JavaScript code. If you don't know some HTML, it all looks gibberish.

 

So, in my opinion, some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript belongs in the standard toolkit of the power user, even if you hardly code in those and only use a CMS or visual HTML editor. If you run your own website, I even see it as a bare minimum prerequisite.

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I'm new to the MacCast forum, and am really enjoying the Podcasts. I'm also a newer Mac convert (Nov 2007).

 

I was searching this forum in an attempt to find help with a little problem I have, and found this thread. 10 years ago I developed a rather large (~300 page) web site for our company using MS FrontPage. This is a commerce site, primarily dealing with information about and sales of the products we produce. Now that I am primarily using using a Mac platform (running PC software that does not have a Mac equivalent on the system with Fusion), I really want to get away from FP, but feel faint at the thought of re-creating 300 web pages.

 

RapidWeaver can sort of do it, but the work-around sounded complex and time consuming. DreamWeaver seems to be my answer. As I understand it, it is able to convert pages created with FrontPage, but I don't want to invest in that software and learning curve without knowing a little bit more.

 

So... My question is whether anybody here has experiences to share in converting a web site created with FrontPage?

 

I do know a bit of HTML, but with as many pages as we have (all linked and cross linked together) I'd really rather keep my site intact. Starting again from the ground up just does not fit into my time schedule.

 

Thanks for any help ~ Linda.

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As far as I remember (I haven't used Front page for nearly 15 years when the code it produced nearly made me vomit, but I digress) FP exports something resembling (ok, ok, I'll stop slating the worst piece of web "design" software ever written) html, so you should be fine importing it into anything (well, not RapidWeaver as far as I know, but I will ask the guys at RealMac Software in the morning (the ones who make RW)).

 

But, if it is a corporate site, you may have to start again. The code produced by Front Page is absolutely disgusting and quite likely illegal under disability discrimination laws. If it's a static site, your time and money would be better spend getting it moved over to a proper content management system. This will make such changes trivial in the future. I really recommend you get a professional in to help you for a project this big. If you're trying to sell things to people on a site made in front page - well, you're going to be loosing money. Personally, I've not worked on a project that didn't pay for itself in a minimum of four months through increased sales.

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As far as I remember (I haven't used Front page for nearly 15 years when the code it produced nearly made me vomit, but I digress) FP exports something resembling (ok, ok, I'll stop slating the worst piece of web "design" software ever written) html, so you should be fine importing it into anything (well, not RapidWeaver as far as I know, but I will ask the guys at RealMac Software in the morning (the ones who make RW)).

 

But, if it is a corporate site, you may have to start again. The code produced by Front Page is absolutely disgusting and quite likely illegal under disability discrimination laws. If it's a static site, your time and money would be better spend getting it moved over to a proper content management system. This will make such changes trivial in the future. I really recommend you get a professional in to help you for a project this big. If you're trying to sell things to people on a site made in front page - well, you're going to be loosing money. Personally, I've not worked on a project that didn't pay for itself in a minimum of four months through increased sales.

 

Graham, I love that you totally ripped into Frontpage. I admit, it is a joke. I would recommend, as far as html editors and things go, Coda. It was $80 when I picked it up, but I truly enjoy it. It's an all in one editor (ftp, html, css, etc) and it's really clean looking. It's from the people at Panic!. I know that it's a bit pricey, but I really like it. Also, I recommend you learn html yourself as well. You just get so much more control over things when you know how to do it. Then, for example if you were doing a blog, you can use wordpress or some other blog content management system and you can code your own theme for it and let the CMS handle creating content for it. That's what I did with my site.

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