Product Type: Macromedia webdesign software
Newest Review: ... a URL and hey presto! an image which changes when pointed to and a link to another web page! Users familisr with Macromedia products wil... more
The tool of choice
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Member Name: thehud
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Date: 05/06/01, updated on 05/06/01 (43 review reads)
Advantages: Flexible, Powerful
In a great many spheres, there is an industry leader, one product or company which has consistently proved itself the best of the bunch, one which everyone will turn to as their first choice. In vacuum cleaners, it's Hoover, in private medical insurance, it's BUPA. The world of web design software is no exception and here without fear of contradiction I can state that it's Macromedia's Dreamweaver (no surprises there).
Macromedia are now pushing version 4 of this program, but I thought I'd focus on Dreamweaver 2 as it's the one that most web designers probably cut their teeth on and in many ways there haven't been very substantial developments since then, although the minor tweaks and midifications have undoubtedly enhanced the product.
Dreamweaver was the first product I looked at when I was getting into website design a couple of years ago, and I was alerted to its eminence by .tv's Masterclass programme, hosted by Richard Topping (what a wonderful fellow!)
You can use Word apparently, but there seems to be some drawbacks in terms of flexibility there, so I'd urge you to get started on something that is specifically designed for the job and DW is the beast.
I managed to get a demo version which had one month's trial available from one of those ubiquitous cover discs and was rapidly so au fait with the program and consequently dependent on it, that I simply had to rush out and but a copy. It doesn't run very cheap, be prepared to spend a couple of hundred quid (at the very least!), unless you want to get the combined package which also contains Macromedia's graphics package, Fireworks, but it is undoubtedly well worth the price and much, much more.
The most notable feature of DW is that it combines very easy, intuitive, user friendly ease of use with a great deal of power and flexibility and even the raw beginner can quickly churn out some pretty professional looking r
esults. It's probably worth saying that you get the best results when you use tables and embedded tables as the basic framework of your pages as that ensures the content stays where it was intended - my first few attempts ended up looking like a right pig's breakfast when looked at via a different screen set up from that which it had been designed on.
The other thing to note is the efficienncy and labour saving tools incorporated with DW, including, most notably, templates, where you can set up the same look and feel for each page in your site, although this will generally mean each one has to have the same set of keywords, meta tags, etc, although the title can vary.
There's lots of other neat stuff here including cascading style sheets, server side includes and frames, but I've found those generally best left to the pros. I want a simple program that's easy to use and makes things look exactly how I want them to and I certainly got that with DW, and I cannot recommend this product too highly, it's absolutely wonderful and Macromedia are to be heartily congratulated.
From the reading and research I've done, this seems to be the general consensus of opinion and DW is universally highly regarded. PC Pro has made all of its various versions their A-List choice for some time and I think that speaks for itself.
If you are a beginner, do not worry, you will find this an amzingly easy program, although it is also the one of choice for even the experts and professionals.
The manuals are all online and the help menu is very informative and well ladi out - it is very easy to quickly become very accomplished.
- Adobe Flash Professional CS6
- Adobe Flash Professional CS6 Student and Teacher Edition
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Student and Teacher Edition
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Upgrade
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS5
- Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5
- Adobe Contribute CS5
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Student and Teacher Edition