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  #1  
Old 03-12-2010, 11:38 PM
eb626 eb626 is offline
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Wink Need Help choosing WYSIWYG software

I'd like to create a website to serve a niche that I'm actively involved with.
I don't expect to design more sites.
I've never created a website before but I do want control of my design.

Dreamweaver looks intimidating and costly. I saw reviews for SiteSpinner V2 and they were good AND it's advertised as solving your different browser issues. It's also only $55.

I'd like for my website to have the following structure:

It will organize information for my niche in the form of lists which link to more lists. There will be some brief descriptions and a page devoted explaining each product/website/etc. I'd like it to be minimalist (very easy to find info), but professional looking.
I'll have minimum graphics.
I'd like to be able to have visitors post reviews
some youtube videos
maybe a forum down the road.
If this website becomes a well-visited website, then I'd like to add a personalized, homepage-like feature where a member can save bookmarked links found on my site.

Sooo....where do I need to look so far as software goes? If SiteSpinner will do this with good SEO code, then I'd like to go that route. I just don't want to put in a lot of time figuring a program out only to realize I got the wrong thing.

Thanks so very much for your advice. This is a pretty long post, but I figure more info brings better advice! :-)

eb
ok, saw acronym mistake in title. Sorry, can't change it. Now I really look like a newbie :-)

Last edited by eb626; 03-12-2010 at 11:42 PM.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2010, 11:51 PM
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HTMLBasicTutor HTMLBasicTutor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
eb
ok, saw acronym mistake in title. Sorry, can't change it. Now I really look like a newbie :-)
Fixed it for ya.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2010, 12:42 AM
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Jim Gillum Jim Gillum is offline
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Good software is not cheap......don't know the price of dreamweaver....
Found a copy of frontpage on the net for $260......other good ones are not cheap...

Maybe have someone build a site for you...if it takes off then go to software....
Or learn code.....
 
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:01 AM
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HTMLBasicTutor HTMLBasicTutor is offline
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Expression Web is the replacement for FrontPage so I wouldn't recommend buying FrontPage at this point.

Expression Web 3 Full Version is $149 USD off the Microsoft site.

You could take a look at Evrsoft First Page 2006 and then decide if you wish to purchase it.

What ever you decide on keep in mind:
  1. Software takes time to develop therefore no matter how spiffy their ad says they are, they can't keep up with all the changes that go on in the standards.
  2. Even if you get a free WYSWYG program or buy one, it can't do all your thinking for you. You will notice some typical "panels" appear no matter which button you press. These can present properties and/or attributes not applicable to the HTML element you are working on.
  3. They let you use absolute positioning when not necessary which is a big headache when you are a beginner and the layout isn't working out the way you want.
  4. They all look different in the design screen than in the browser. Another thing that frustrates beginners to no end.
  5. They tend to add your CSS to the head section unless you set them up right. This adds extra coding to your web page and makes it hard to make site wide changes if you made the template and recycled it for the whole site. Using an external stylesheet is much better.
  6. Still on the subject of CSS, they also tend to name styles that won't make sense to you in a couple of days because you are going to forget what it was for.
WYSWYG editors are good if you learn how to use them properly. To know this, you need to learn HTML and CSS yourself so you can troubleshoot when things go wrong.
 
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2010, 05:58 AM
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I would rather see you learn code but if you must buy a WYSIWYG editor figure out the one you want and then shop online for it. The 3.0 version mentioned by HTML can be found for about $100. That would be true of anything you choose.

The Google shopping tab is the best place to start.
 
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:15 AM
eb626 eb626 is offline
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Thanks, Jim for the suggestion to have the site built and then learn code to manage it myself. Didn't think of that option.
Thanks also, htmlbasictutor and Scriptman for your suggestions. I'll keep referring to them.

Here are some more questions, if I may...I've seen templates for about $12. I've looked through only one site, actually. I think I read somewhere that pre-made templates can have messy codes. Is there a good site for buying clean templates (I do want good SEO)? I've thought of buying WYSWYG pgrogram, loading in a template close to what I want (to get me going so I don't have a blank page) and then modifying it with the help of tutoring sites/forums. Can you see any issues of concern with this approach? I did play with dreamweaver trial 2 yrs ago and watched both views to see what was going on. I didn't play with CSS.

Also, CSS or the older style? I do want a site to load fast for dial uppers, so does that mean old style?

I did play around with html a couple of years ago at 3w school (I think that was the name). I think it's alot of fun to learn code, BUT, I only have maybe 2 hrs / day to work on this (rest of the day taking care of my little guys & house). So, I'm afraid I'll spend way too much time designing a website instead of getting one going (hence the desire for WYSWYG).

Also, is there a way I can post my work online and have folks here look at my pages to make recommendations? I have visions of making everything look right but have messy code.

Ok, thanks again!
eb
 
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:19 AM
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CSS may help a dial up user load faster after the first page as the file is stored in the user temp files.

Keep the graphics to a minimum and highly compress the ones you use. Avoid nested tables.

I can pull up some numbers for you later but you will want fairly small pages, total KB count, to optimize for dial up.
 
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
I've seen templates for about $12. I've looked through only one site, actually. I think I read somewhere that pre-made templates can have messy codes.
Yes that is true. Hiring someone you can get messy code too so this is the reason you should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS before your purchase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
I've thought of buying WYSWYG pgrogram, loading in a template close to what I want (to get me going so I don't have a blank page) and then modifying it with the help of tutoring sites/forums. Can you see any issues of concern with this approach?
That would be an idea. You may find as you get into it that you spend a lot of time improving it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
Also, CSS or the older style? I do want a site to load fast for dial uppers, so does that mean old style?
Quite the opposite. If all the styling is done through an external stylesheet the browser only has to download it once (stays in memory). This makes it so that any additional pages the visitor looks at there's one less thing to process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
I did play around with html a couple of years ago at 3w school (I think that was the name).
w3schools is a good reference to start with.

If you are going to learn HTML I'd learn to make your coding in compliance with the HTML 4.01 Strict DOCTYPE declaration.

Learning XHTML would be another route. HTML 4.01 forms part of XHTML so there's no time lost learning HTML 4.01. Differences Between XHTML And HTML

The W3C (people who write the specs) just issued a Working Draft of HTML 5 the other day. HTML5 differences from HTML4 W3C Working Draft 04 March 2010 This has been in the works for a while but it is not an official spec yet.

w3schools also has CSS Tutorials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eb626 View Post
Also, is there a way I can post my work online and have folks here look at my pages to make recommendations? I have visions of making everything look right but have messy code.
You could upload your site to the webspace provided by your ISP (if that is included in your fee) for testing but don't play on using this location as a permanent home.

Purchasing your domain name now is important. It would be terrrible to wait, have the site already to go then find out the desired domain name is taken.

The cost of hosting is relatively cheap. If you got that now you can put the site in a testing folder for people to review it. Just make sure you put instructions in the robots.txt file for the bots to stay out of there please.

We do have a Website Review section here. Just follow the rules before submitting.
 
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2010, 04:04 PM
eb626 eb626 is offline
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Thanks, again, for your help. I had forgotten that I did make very simple templates using notepad for ebay listings a couple of years ago. Had a border even :-)
So, I think I'll get back to creating & organizing all my content and see what web design should come from that and then approach the "how to" part. I'll be back!
 
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2010, 08:01 AM
masterhaseeb masterhaseeb is offline
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I think hiring someone would be good for you because if you buy that particular software you want and when working on that project you stuck some where it would be difficult for you to solve it if it is your first time building a website.
Dream Weaver is good for its price.
 
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