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Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


I finally decided to splurge and get the software package considered to be the best website building tool: Dreamweaver (CS6).  I got the Adobe "Classroom in a Book" book that is very highly recommended, and I went through all the lessons from start to finish.

However, I wasn't prepared for how NOT "...open-it-up-and-start-building-a-website..." it is!!

I'm getting my website built, but it's really slow and tedious.  Anyone have suggestions for good reference books, and/or other quick, easy and cheap ways to get up to speed with it?  (The "Classroom in a Book" is fairly good for learning the basics, but doesn't make much of ANY kind of reference book at all!)

Help!?


Backstory:

I've built and maintained 3 different websites from scratch over the past 7 years, first using "Yahoo Sitebuilder" (a complete free program that Yahoo web hosting clients can download and use to build sites from scratch), and later using "SiteSpinner" (a $50 simple but complete program for building sites from scratch). I built my current website with it:

              http://www.goofyroosterpublishing.com

Both programs I used before were VERY easy to use - about like using Word or PowerPoint or Excel - but Dreamweaver seems to be a tool you can only use if you possess tons of info on HTML, CSS, Java, etc.
May 06 13 12:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,521
Portland, Oregon, US


Don't get me started.

Dreamweaver is the industry leader.  It is capable of handling anything you've ever seen on a web site. 

But...
...  It's interface is not intuitive,
...  It's not a good tool for non-trained website developers,
...  It's very complex,
...  It presumes an extensive knowledge by its users,
...  etc.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I loved Microsoft's Front Page (which has been obsolete for several years now)...
...  It had a user interface nearly exactly like MS Word,
...  It had tons of built-in templates for all sorts of web page design,
...  It was WYSIWYG,
...  In short, it was a good tool for casual web site developers.
My web site is still developed by Front Page.

I have been looking for a suitable replacement for Front Page, and I haven't yet found one.  The ones I've found either still expect their users to be knowledgeable about HTML & web site protocols, and most don't come with professionally designed templates.



Ooops -- I guess you did get me started.  Sorry about the rant.

Okay -- how about this?  Look for some adult education classes in Dreamweaver.  A city like Dallas should have a few -- I know there are several here in Portland.  That might get you started.

Also, if it help you get organized, put together a word processor version of your page -- if you have a specific idea of what it should look like, it'll be easier for you to get a web editor to match your previsioned page (plus you can cut & paste the text).
May 06 13 01:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kenoe Foto
Posts: 54
Los Angeles, California, US


Gary, do a search on Youtube for anything you want to do. Someone has already done it and made a video about it. You'll learn a lot from those videos. I didn't try to learn everything when I first started, I just focused on the tasks I needed for my project.
May 06 13 01:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


I used Dreamweaver in college 8 years ago.  Didn't really like it, but good luck with it.  Maybe its better now.  I hear Dreamweaver doesn't even support Windows 8 yet.  Sucky OS, but I expect new programs to support all operating systems.

If you end up having no luck with Dreamweaver and give up, try out CoffeeCup..that's a little easier to use.
May 06 13 02:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Motordrive Photography
Posts: 2,930
Lodi, California, US


Dreamweaver does the html coding for you. I'm taking a class on building sites
now. I think the sites that you built from scratch are drag an drop style and other
than source images, the codes css' and behaviors don't live on your machine,
and only exist on the host servers.
May 06 13 02:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CrowX2M
Posts: 13
Odenton, Maryland, US


I don't mean to sound like a troll here and people will probably frown upon me asking this, but is there something you're trying to accomplish on your website that you can't do by using Wordpress? It's quick and easy to setup, and there is pretty much a widget that you can get to do almost anything you need.

I used Dreamweaver about 6 years ago when I was still in High School, but that was also when we still typed a bunch of HTML out. Never really liked it to be honest.
May 06 13 02:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Terrell Gates
Posts: 1,042
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Dreamweaver is more than anyone needs.... Go to www.jimdo.com and make a free page, or a Pro page for 5 bux a month...  Here's one of my pages from Jimdo...
www.nudespoetic.com   Keep it simple...
May 06 13 02:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Buggin Out Photography wrote:
I used Dreamweaver in college 8 years ago.  Didn't really like it, but good luck with it.  Maybe its better now.  I hear Dreamweaver doesn't even support Windows 8 yet.  Sucky OS, but I expect new programs to support all operating systems.

If you end up having no luck with Dreamweaver and give up...

I'm slogging along.  It just takes me a while to make something work right...finding the right CSS rule to modify, or figuring out when to create a new CSS rule or whether to create and assign a "class" or maybe use an "ID", etc.

Positioning stuff is so difficult...can't just "drag and drop" stuff...with SiteSpinner, could just move stuff around with with the arrow keys, or open up a "properties" box and just change screen coordinates.  With Dreamweaver, you have to understand what you're doing - whether to use HTML or use CSS, etc.  I keep winding up with "gaps" between background objects, then it takes me forever to figure out which CSS rule to change to take the gap out...

May 06 13 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 762
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


Wordpress themes for you my man!
May 06 13 02:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kenoe Foto
Posts: 54
Los Angeles, California, US


Terrell Gates wrote:
Dreamweaver is more than anyone needs.... Go to www.jimdo.com and make a free page, or a Pro page for 5 bux a month...  Here's one of my pages from Jimdo...
www.nudespoetic.com   Keep it simple...

That's simple all right...but honestly it's hideous. Not your images, but the site layout. No one wants to scroll a gillion times to look at images. You need one portal that stays in frame and displays your images. At least that's what most photographers have on their sites. It was exhausting scrolling down your page.

May 06 13 02:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
Wordpress themes for you my man!

You must not have gone to my current website, which is for my publishing company.  Everything I've seen with Wordpress and the like look like personal and/or social websites.  I need the complete flexibility to create something that looks as commercial as possible, and allows me to use my domain.

I know there are advanced options with Wordpress.ORG* (I used to have a wordpress.COM* site)...but would cost as much or more than my current webhosting services, and from what I've seen - might not even solve my complexity issue.  At any rate, I've already blown the $300 for Dreamweaver, so I'm pretty much committed to learning to use its capabilities.  It's a bit like learning to use Photoshop, only more difficult...  smile

* now corrected

May 06 13 02:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CrowX2M
Posts: 13
Odenton, Maryland, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I know there are advanced options with Wordpress.COM (I used to have a wordpress.org site)...but would cost as much or more than my current webhosting services

There are no differences between a .com and a .org to my knowledge. My site's domain is registered through GoDaddy and my Hosting is through ReliableHosting. I have a friend who runs .orgs and .coms off a Yahoo hosting service.

My advice otherwise to learn DW is to search on Google for tutorials (Specific ones if you know what you're looking for.) There are a bunch of people who've made them, whether text based or video based and posted on YouTube.

May 06 13 02:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Sanchez
Posts: 3,482
San Antonio, Texas, US


Dreamweaver is not a beginner user friendly software for building web sites, but I think it's the most powerful.  You should go with the some of the sites like GoDaddy or Wix to do your web page, as you can build one with their templates in several hours.
May 06 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


CrowX2M wrote:
There are no differences between a .com and a .org to my knowledge. My site's domain is registered through GoDaddy and my Hosting is through ReliableHosting. I have a friend who runs .orgs and .coms off a Yahoo hosting service.

My advice otherwise to learn DW is to search on Google for tutorials (Specific ones if you know what you're looking for.) There are a bunch of people who've made them, whether text based or video based and posted on YouTube.

Wordpress.COM and Wordpress.ORG are 2 different websites you can go to in order to create a website.  Websites from Wordpress.COM* are free...no web hosting, domain or other charges; while websites from Wordpress.ORG* are NOT free...you have to buy web hosting and a domain, etc.

[see the link below, e.g. to see the differences more completely explained:]

        http://diythemes.com/thesis/rtfm/differ … s-com-org/

I already have a domain and web hosting (which I've been using for several years).

***Sorry - I just realized that I had that backwords...wordpress.COM is FREE and wordpress.ORG is NOT!***  (* now corrected)

May 06 13 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Ruben Sanchez wrote:
Dreamweaver is not a beginner user friendly software for building web sites, but I think it's the most powerful.  You should go with the some of the sites like GoDaddy or Wix to do your web page, as you can build one with their templates in several hours.

As I said in my OP, I've built several websites using much simpler, easier web design tools - I want to use Dreamweaver to create more advanced (more professional looking) websites.  (And I've been purchasing my web hosting from Yahoo Small Business for several years now.)

Yeah - using Dreamweaver is sorta analogous to using "layers" with Photoshop.  If you know how to use layers in PS, there is no limit to what you can create...BUT you have to know what can be done with them, when to use them, what kind of layers to use/create and how to create them.  There are different ways to accomplish the same things - some easier, some not...some flexible, some not so much.  It's a lot to learn.  It took me years to master PS, I guess it will take a while to master DW.

May 06 13 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 762
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


What I did was set up was set up a Wordpress account and install it at BlueHost with their installation software. I then purchased a theme from Photocrati for 50 bucks and then I made selective alterations using HTML in the wordpress browser and the Photocrati software integrated with Wordpress so i could easily upload my own logos. I looked at Dreamweaver and realised it was too advanced for me and was aimed at those designing websites all the time.
May 06 13 03:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Motordrive Photography
Posts: 2,930
Lodi, California, US


one thing I'll be working on is sort of a Dreamweaver cheat which is
making three program workflow that is actually a little faster, it goes
Photoshop>slice and dice in Fireworks>assemble in Dreamweaver.
That might be easier to get it to look like you want.
May 06 13 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
What I did was set up was set up a Wordpress account and install it at BlueHost with their installation software. I then purchased a theme from Photocrati for 50 bucks and then I made selective alterations using HTML in the wordpress browser and the Photocrati software integrated with Wordpress so i could easily upload my own logos. I looked at Dreamweaver and realised it was too advanced for me and was aimed at those designing websites all the time.

Yeah - quite a bit can be done with free and cheap web design software, and/or by using already on-line options (like wordpress)...but I've already had my website(s) for years that I've created using the low-cost software route.  I finally wanted to graduate to the next more professional looking/operating level...and I knew Dreamweaver was about the only way to go to get the virtually unlimited options I wanted.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy to use Dreamweaver...I just didn't know it would be THIS HARD!

May 06 13 03:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Motordrive Photography wrote:
one thing I'll be working on is sort of a Dreamweaver cheat which is
making three program workflow that is actually a little faster, it goes
Photoshop>slice and dice in Fireworks>assemble in Dreamweaver.
That might be easier to get it to look like you want.

Yeah - I'm building some of my components in PhotoShop, then bringing them into Dreamweaver.

May 06 13 03:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


Ruben Sanchez wrote:
Dreamweaver is not a beginner user friendly software for building web sites, but I think it's the most powerful.  You should go with the some of the sites like GoDaddy or Wix to do your web page, as you can build one with their templates in several hours.

+1

Dreamweaver really is the "Photoshop" of website building. It takes a LOT of education to function, let alone master. But once you learn it, it's worth it because it can do anything you throw at it.

Books help a lot...more so than online training in the case of DW (at least from what I've seen).

And please people...for the love of God, stop pushing WordPress. WP is a blogging tool and content management system...it's not web development software. It's not even remotely in the same class.

May 06 13 03:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


I guess what I'm really looking right for now are recommendations for a good Dreamweaver reference manual or 2...something I can use to help guide me, and to find solutions to problems in...
May 06 13 03:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


Gary Melton wrote:
I guess what I'm really looking right for now are recommendations for a good Dreamweaver reference manual or 2...something I can use to help guide me, and to find solutions to problems in...

Give me a second to look through my archives. I have several DW books, some dating back to the Macromedia days.

One that I remember is the "Classroom in a Book" series. Mine was an earlier edition.

Here's the other one I have that you might want to take a look at. Web Collection Revealed series. I liked it because it also included Fireworks and Flash into the mix...not sure how relevant those would be to you though.

https://www.google.com/shopping/product … CF0Q8wIwAg

Here's the Classroom in a Book that I have. I'm sure there are newer editions though.
https://www.google.com/shopping/product … CEYQ8wIwAg

May 06 13 03:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Terrell Gates
Posts: 1,042
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Kenoe Foto wrote:

That's simple all right...but honestly it's hideous. Not your images, but the site layout. No one wants to scroll a gillion times to look at images. You need one portal that stays in frame and displays your images. At least that's what most photographers have on their sites. It was exhausting scrolling down your page.

There's a slideshow on the first page... I am not a photographer I am a painter who makes photographs now and then... and don't always do what others tend to do. Hope you recover...

May 06 13 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Douglas_Elgenor
Posts: 299
Jackson, Tennessee, US


See if Lynda.com or youtube has any tutorials that could be of use.
May 06 13 04:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


In 2008 when the economy tanked I had a few panic ridden months of little work on my hands. I decided to take up Dreamweaver and do my own site and had the same notions that you sound like you had. In the end I decided that I'm a photographer and not a web designer. Because even if I came up to speed on Dreamweaver, I realized that it would take work to stay up to speed, and that time was better used mastering the photography workflow, and doing stuff like taking pictures.

There are a bunch of pretty inexpensive template sites you can use. Personally I use viewbook. Unless you want to really get into web design my advice is to hire someone who knows how to do it right, get a template, or use something like livebooks, viewbook, etc...
May 07 13 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
C.C. Holdings
Posts: 594
New York, New York, US


thats because Dreamweaver is bloatware

just get a joomla template or any other kind of template with some nice transitions
May 07 13 05:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zachary Carpenter
Posts: 129
Trussville, Alabama, US


Uninstall and buy Adobe Muse.
May 07 13 06:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brick Wilson
Posts: 370
Carol Stream, Illinois, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Everything I've seen with Wordpress and the like look like personal and/or social websites.  I need the complete flexibility to create something that looks as commercial as possible, and allows me to use my domain.

You must not be looking hard. Lots of companies uses Wordpress including plenty of major corporate sites. Here's a bunch of them: http://wordpress.org/showcase/

I was in the same situation as you 6 month ago, and learning Wordpress was much more helpful to me than anything I've learned in Dreamweaver.

If you insist on learning code, a general book on CSS will be more helpful than a DW-specific one. http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Meyer-CSS-Ma … im_sbs_b_6

May 07 13 06:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Well, I thought I was making some serious progress...but for every 3 steps I go forward, I'm taking 2-1/2 steps back.

Wow, this is frustrating!  I had my home page and 2 other major pages done late last night - thought I was well on my way and would have 4 or 5 more pages done today...but I have had to delete everything and start over from scratch 3 times today (that's delete ALL pages, templates and style sheets and start over!). I'm learning the hard way that there are certain steps you make which CANNOT be un-done!

Currently, all I have is my home page about 1/2 finished.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get 4 or 5 pages done...

[luckily, my site will only require about 25-30 pages right now]
May 07 13 06:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


Can I ask why you aren't just using a pay service that has great customization? With viewbook ( and no I don't work for viewbook but I just love the cost for what i get and can do ) I pay like $25 per month for the premium package. Spend your time planning, producing, and taking pictures unless you have a passion for web design. All clients want is to see your images and view them in a way that doesn't make them have to work some more.

Are you selling photography or are you selling web design? It's really two completely different things and I doubt you have the time to manage both.
May 07 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 10,224
Santa Ana, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:

You must not have gone to my current website, which is for my publishing company.  Everything I've seen with Wordpress and the like look like personal and/or social websites.  I need the complete flexibility to create something that looks as commercial as possible, and allows me to use my domain.

I know there are advanced options with Wordpress.ORG* (I used to have a wordpress.COM* site)...but would cost as much or more than my current webhosting services, and from what I've seen - might not even solve my complexity issue.  At any rate, I've already blown the $300 for Dreamweaver, so I'm pretty much committed to learning to use its capabilities.  It's a bit like learning to use Photoshop, only more difficult...  smile

* now corrected

Wordpress, although it has evolved to include some CMS-like features, it is not a CMS. Wordpress is a blog builder.

The leading true CMS today is Joomla.

But, seriously not too many organizations are building websites from scratch anymore with tools like dreamweaver. That's kind of 1990s. Most are developing their own custom CMS themes and plugins, so that the sophisticated infrastructure is already there. Or they're modifying purchased themes.

For my own website, I had to write my own php module and plugin for Joomla to get the simple image strip format I needed, because what's available commercially, isn't really made for pros, more like displaying vacation photos.

http://www.JohnAllanStudio.com

May 07 13 07:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,408
Chicago, Illinois, US


Gary Melton wrote:
[luckily, my site will only require about 25-30 pages right now]

If you've got 25-30 pages then my initial inclination is that you could use an edit.

May 07 13 07:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Guss W
Posts: 10,598
Clearwater, Florida, US


Douglas_Elgenor wrote:
See if Lynda.com or youtube has any tutorials that could be of use.

+1 on Lynda. 
http://www.lynda.com/Dreamweaver-traini … 185-0.html

Also check Craigslist to see if there isn't some college kid that can give you help as needed.

May 07 13 07:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lee Paulson Photography
Posts: 43
Diamond Bar, California, US


It's been a couple of years since I've built my web page using DW.  But even back then, in order to really make DW work, one needed to understand Cascading Style Sheets.  Usually called CSS among web developers. 

I would suggest any book by Eric Meyer.  Actually, I would suggest all of them that he has in print.  I have two of them and they are superb.  Basically cascading style sheets allow you to make global decisions about all the pages on your site and put those decisions in one place.  That way if you wish to change the background color or a font style, you do it in one place and those changes are reflected throughout all the pages in your site.

I found that coming up with the look of my site, and making decisions about color schemes, font sizes and whatnot was a huge part of creating a web site.  That part really needs to be nailed down first.  Eric Meyer has lots of good, easy to construct ideas along those lines that you can use to get yourself started.

Once you have your site decisions made, DW allows you to create your pages either in HTML mode or Text mode.  Or, they allow you to split the screen and see both at the same time.   I found the split screen especially helpful. That feature was what got me to purchase DW back when it was a stand alone program many years ago.

I would also look around for a good current book on HTML.  Both a reference and...well...I hate them but something similar to a Dummies sort of basic book that can help you get started building basic web pages. 

Then you can, use the split screen, to help you learn what HTML code that DW is creating for you when you make entries in text mode.  After a while, you will seamlessly go back and forth between text mode and HTML mode. 

It is true that DW has all kinds of functions.  Most of which you'll never need.  So, I wouldn't worry about anything at first but the basics.  They will be enough to get your pages built.

As always, this opinion is worth what you paid for it.
May 07 13 08:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Seems that most people are not paying much attention to what I'm presenting as my situation:

-  I own a PUBLISHING COMPANY...I PUBLISH BOOKS...photography is one part of that.  The website I'm re-designing from scratch using Dreamweaver is a commercial/business site...NOT a  blogging site, or a social site, or a portfolio site.  It is to sell the books I publish for myself and others.

      http://www.goofyroosterpublishing.com

- I have created and maintained a total of about 9 websites over the last 7 years: 3 all new versions each for 3 different businesses that I have owned and operated.  All 9 websites were created totally from scratch with software, but with software that was very user friendly...you just dragged and dropped objects, set up a design and the software did 90% of the programming work.  They were still a  lot of work...probably averaging around 200-300+ hours each to build.  The down side is that there is limited flexibility...can't put all the professional whistles and bells into it I'd like.

- I got Dreamweaver to finally build a website with ALL the bells and whistles.  My frustration with it is how little the 3000 or so hours of website building experience I have has helped me.

Using Dreamweaver to build a web site is like me (an English speaker) trying to explain to someone who knows about 20 English words how to cook a very elaborate meal...versus trying to explain the same thing to someone who is totally fluent in English (i.e. compared to how building websites with simpler software was like).

I WILL KICK DREAMWEAVER'S ASS before this is all done with and I'll finally have more the class of website I've always wanted.

...Thanks for letting me vent....  smile
May 07 13 09:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 762
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


Ever heard the phrase, 'jack of all trades and master of none'? You're trying to do too much.
May 07 13 10:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
California Girls Skate
Posts: 343
Los Angeles, California, US


http://i.qkme.me/3uauby.jpg
May 08 13 04:18 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Scarlett de la Calle
Posts: 414
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Fuck that. Got trained in dreamweaver hated the shit out of it. I eould build 100 websites in flash before I used it again
May 08 13 04:24 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Scarlett de la Calle
Posts: 414
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Jim McSmith wrote:
Ever heard the phrase, 'jack of all trades and master of none'? You're trying to do too much.

Disagree some peoples minds never switch off

May 08 13 04:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,394
Dallas, Texas, US


Jim McSmith wrote:
Ever heard the phrase, 'jack of all trades and master of none'? You're trying to do too much.

Scarlett de la Calle wrote:
Disagree some peoples minds never switch off

Thank you Scarlett!

Yeah, sometimes I just don't think the world is ready for my Giant Brain!!  LOL  smile

May 08 13 09:45 am  Link  Quote 
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