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Determine If Dreamweaver Is Right For You

Nov 8, 2007
When it comes to building your own website, the goal is to make it functional as well as professional looking. However, it is also important that the website building software you choose be user-friendly. The product Macromedia Dreamweaver is a popular choice for website designers, but there are factors to consider before determining if Dreamweaver is the right product for your purposes.

With more sophisticated features and tools, Dreamweaver is typically considered the best option for the site builder who has some experience under his belt. It provides the ultimate control when it comes to HTML code, so someone who has already created a site with advanced programming language such as Flash will benefit from using the Dreamweaver product.

Some Dreamweaver basics include the ability to switch back and forth between different sites on which you are updating or creating. If your plans including building more than one site at a time--for example, someone who is a web designer by trade--this feature makes working on multiple projects much easier.

Also, this product simplifies the coding process with its Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) tool. With a click of a mouse, you can add these styles to your site. CSS is great for a website because it provides more flexibility when making changes that apply to the entire site, makes it accessible to all users, and decreases code overload streamlining the size of your web files.

The rollover buttons and pop-up menus you can create in Dreamweaver make your website come together and aid the users' navigation. Again, with Dreamweaver you do not have to create the codes to make this happen; it is all done for you with a few point and clicks.

A unique aspect of Dreamweaver is its template files, which allow you to fix design mistakes on numerous pages at once, eliminating the need to go to each page and make the changes. In addition, Dreamweaver's web forms creator aids in the process of developing those very important web forms every great site needs to have.

With all of the tools and benefits of Dreamweaver, there are still designers who prefer another popular site editor: Microsoft FrontPage. This goes to show Dreamweaver is not for everyone, and it is wise to take a look at both products, as well as other products on the market, before making the choice for what suits your individual needs and website design goals.

Both Dreamweaver and FrontPage are labeled "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editors, but there are some significant differences between the two programs. Many web professionals believe FrontPage is best for the beginning website builder. It provides very simple, basic templates in which the only real task you have to complete is typing in your information, text and photos.

Although it may be great for the novice designer, one drawback to FrontPage is the fact that the HTML pages may only look like you want them to look if the site visitor is using MS Explorer. With more and more online users choosing alternatives to MS Explorer, this could cause issues and more editing work for the FrontPage designer.

A benefit to Frontpage is the ease at which the designer can input text and information from other MS Office products, such as Excel and Word. Basically, Frontpage's tools and features are catered toward the designer who is more comfortable using basic skills than advanced design codes and tools.

When it comes to deciding which website design product is right for you, research is the answer. Consider your personal skills, the time you want to put into learning a program, and the features that are most important to you.
About the Author
Matthew is the developer of TheWebReviewer: Legitimate Home Based Business Reviews, and NetWebVideo: Mastering SEO, Adwords, and Affiliate Marketing. Matt currently lives in San Diego, CA and is married with two children and has been an online marketer since 2006.
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