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Thread: Recommendations of a user-friendly, template-providing web design software (USA)?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Question Recommendations of a user-friendly, template-providing web design software (USA)?

    Might anyone here have any recommendations for a user-friendly, template-providing web design software, preferably that has a business presence here in the USA (for accountability's sake)?

    My experience is that:

    **Dreamweaver is woefully lacking when it comes to generating templates. One apparently has to be a coder, basically, and obtain coding externally that I have found to work merely sporadically. It has been a major disappointment after all I've spent on Dreamweaver over the years. Meanwhile:

    **Xara.com is based in the United Kingdom and hopefully won't set up shop in the U.S.A. I wasted a significant amount of money and also weeks of time learning their recently released Web Designer 10 software. It doesn't even upload via FTP like they advertise that it will, though. It has bugs on other fronts, as well. The worst of all is their technical support. Their "support" staff will get back to you but not in meaningful ways, as they seem to know that their software "upgrades" are not ready for prime time. You'll wind up wasting loads of time hoping that they'll finally remedy matters. Good luck with that. It won't happen but they won't admit to being at fault. Good luck getting a refund despite a timely request, too...

    **I have heard about Holland's: http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com but after my negative experiences with Xara.com, I do not particularly want to deal with more companies that don't have a presence here in the USA.

    Any suggestions for designing template-containing websites affordably and efficiently, please? Again, I have Dreamweaver but I'm not a coder so fancy templates evidently aren't within my grasp using that software.

  2. #2
    This is going to sound harsh, there is NO polite way to put this, as it's the truth. The harsh light of reality is often what you don't want to hear, but here it is anyways:

    If Dreamweaver, an overpriced bloated steaming pile of how NOT to build a website, that at best is a crutch for nubes and at worst a blight upon the Internet is "too hard for you", you may want to consider that "designing websites" just isn't for you.

    The very notion of a WYSIWYG type "designer" ignores the entire reason HTML exists, the reason CSS exists, and generally speaking what websites are FOR. If you are unwilling to learn HTML, learn CSS, learn about accessibility through guidelines like the WCAG -- to be brutally frank you probably have no business designing ANYTHING for the Internet.

    I'm NOT trying to be cruel, I'm trying to be honest with you. The programs you listed are little more than nube predation, and have NOTHING to do with sane, rational, or accessible site building... if you can't write content (or a reasonable facsimile of future content) in a flat text editor (there are dozens if not hundreds of free ones -- Flo's notepad2, editplus, crimson, sublime, gedit), mark it up semantically, bend that markup to your will with CSS to create elastic semi-fluid responsive layoutS (YES, PLURAL!!!), testing in the actual browsers as you go and uploading it with a free FTP client (there are dozens of these too, I like filezilla) -- well....

    ...you REALLY should reconsider making websites at all as it sounds like you are not willing to put the proper effort into doing so; at least if you are serious about it and actually care about people visiting your sites to access your content.

    "User friendly" and "template providing" are just ways of saying you don't want to build websites properly, meaning you probably shouldn't be building them at all -- again, I'm sorry if that seems cruel; that's just the reality of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Just as we don't have to understand metallurgy, electronics and the internal combustion engine to drive our cars, we don't need advanced training or a love of coding to publish template-inclusive websites online. I welcome recommendations of software from providers that share in that philosophy.

    BTW, Henry Ford said "serve the masses and live with the classes. But serve the classes and live with the masses." :-)

  4. #4
    Your automotive analogy is interesting in that it illustrates that you just don't get it. Web design is about BUILDING sites, not using them. The drivers would be the visitors to the site, NOT the person/people creating it. You don't do a whole lot of design/creation/building while driving, do you?

    Honestly, I wouldn't want to drive a car designed by someone who doesn't know those fundamental engineering principles you are dismissing out of hand. That's like hiring a matte painter to design a building instead of an architect -- just ask NYC how well that works out... or saying you want to be the next "cake boss" but don't want to learn to bake, frost, work with fondant, or do piping... or saying you want to build custom bikes without learning how to weld, cut or shape metal.

    It's not about driving the car, it's about creating a car... that's what that pesky word "DESIGN" means.

    Means more than that in fact, since making a website is about a heck of a lot more than what you happen to see on the screen in front of you as a visitor to websites OR as a "designer" -- see why most of the PSD jockeys sleazing out pretty pictures and having the giant set of brass to call themselves "designers" typically aren't qualified to be designing a blasted thing so far as the web is concerned...

    ... and why WYSIWYGS and off the shelf templates are accessibility and design disasters; for the most part even when they are pretty they are effectively useless to actual visitors to the sites they are used on. The very notion of a WYSIWYG being the antithesis of what web design is, since with the plethora of screen sizes, device capabilities, font rendering engines, default font preferences, and user enabling/disabling of fancier bits out of distrust or crappy service providers, what the 'designer' sees on their display is pretty much guaranteed to NOT be what everyone else gets.

    Hence concepts like semi-fluid layout, elastic layout, responsive layout, separation of presentation from content, progressive enhancement, and all the other means of creating easy to use (for the visitor) accessible fast loading gracefully degrading designs.

    NONE of which you're going to get from some WYSIWYG or "site builder" garbage; such 'tools' do nothing but delude the ignorant into THINKING they can build a website; which they do -- right up until all the issues with that approach bites them in the backside. NEVER seen a site build from that approach that was worth a flying purple fish -- they are universally incompetent rubbish since they are basically built using a sleazy shortcut.

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