Dreamweaver MX or Frontpage

  calluminmk 15:55 26 Apr 2004

I am a 13 year old kid and have been creating websites for a couple of years now. I have been using Frontpage to create sites but for a well done present my dad installed Studio MX to my Pc. Now, I am interested to know what are the differences between the two and which package is actually better.
All opinions greatly recieved,

A little troubled creator.

  tomleady 16:12 26 Apr 2004

i honestly prefer Dreamweaver.

Frontpage annoys me becuase of all the themes and such. however, i'm sure posts will come afetr this one praising Frontpage becuase the latest package is considered very good indeed.

i suppose if i needed to use and to learn Frontpage i would, but Dreamweaver is extremely useful and does all i need.

  imjasonurnot 17:59 26 Apr 2004

Ya i used Frontpage and my site had over 700 lines of code
i then used dreamweaver and its now down to 300+

Frontpage adds a TON of crap
it took me 4 hrs to fix this

No my page is much faster and my code is much cleaner..

still a work in progress
click here

  Forum Editor 19:07 26 Apr 2004

IS good, and has a code optimisation facility that cleans off surplus code prior to upload.

DreamWeaver is also good, and most professional web designers use it. This DreamWeaver vs. FrontPage debate is never-ending, and in a way it's to FrontPage's credit that it's constantly being compared with DreamWeaver - that certainly wouldn't have happened a few years back.

I use FP and I use DreamWeaver - it's horses for courses, and I certainly wouldn't say that one is 'better' than the other, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. If I am designing a site that makes extensive use of data sources I would probably tend to use FP - it's certainly ahead of DreaWeaver in that respect.

My advice to you is to learn as much as you can about both applications, and use them as tools - selecting the right one for the job in hand. Don't become excessively devoted to one or the other, keep an open mind and enjoy the power that's at your disposal with these two excellent programs.

  User-312386 21:00 26 Apr 2004

wheres the "code optimisation facility that cleans off surplus code prior to upload" in FP2003 then?

  Taran 21:11 26 Apr 2004

Three places for you to find the Optimize HTML option in FrontPage 2003.

1. Click on Tools, click on Optimize HTML.

2. Click on File, click on Publish Site, then click on the middle tab of the "Remote Web Site Properties" dialog screen, called, wait for it, Optimize HTML.

3. Open the FrontPage 2003 help panel and type in Optimize HTML.

You get all the options under the sun for cleaning up your code using the Optimize HTML.

It's worth noting that FrontPage 2003 generates very clean code to begin with and most of the optimizing seems to be in reducing the file size by getting rid of excess white space, line breaks and similar.

It's a brilliant feature on an already excellent web authoring tool.

  Taran 21:27 26 Apr 2004

I've just created two pages.

Each page had a 5 column, 3 row table, top banner image, body text and a copyright statement as a page footer. One page was created in FrontPage 2003 and the other was made in Dreamweaver MX 2004.

Since FrontPage has its Optimize HTML facility I used it to remove leading white space on new lines of code. FrontPage used two more lines for the same page content as Dreamweaver MX 2004.

I think that to reduce more than half your code from 700 plus lines per page down to 300 plus lines, we can possibly assume that there was more than a simple change of authoring program involved.

I can't and won't dispute that earlier versions of FrontPage did produce excess code, but it rarely gets out of hand once you are aware of it. In fact, there are a load of code cleaners you can use if you want to for just this purpose, but FrontPage 2003 is a completely different product and does not share any of the older versions code bloat issues.

  Taran 21:52 26 Apr 2004

FrontPage is superb at what it does and it has a lot of very, very powerful features. Most of the problems people go on about are with the older versions of FrontPage, prior to and including FrontPage 98, but from version 2000 onwards it matured into a serious web developers tool and the latest release is stunning.

Too many people think that its themes and built in templates are the limits of the program and this often leads to them looking elsewhere for a web authoring tool. Finding the true value of FrontPage takes a bit of rolling your sleevs up and getting into some of its more complex options.

A couple of good links that go some way to showing the talents of FrontPage are:

click here

click here

click here

Of course, not everyone wants an excellent ASP web application development patform or a system of easily hooking into XML data, but the point is that it's all there if you need it.

Dreamweaver is also a superb program but there is a lot of rubbish commonly circulated about it and its use. A certain type of snobbery is evident in the web designing world, where many people sneer at anyone who uses anything less that Dreamweaver. Although I like Dreamweaver and use it regularly, I also like and use FrontPage 2003, the truly excellent Adobe GoLive and several other programs.

No single program can do it all for you, but you can do it all for yourself if you heed the advice of "fourm member" and learn the underlying code.

The cleanest code of all is not generated by Dreamweaver or FrontPage. It is written by hand in a simple text editor like Notepad, and any good web designer can produce a superb website with Notepad as the source program.

It is time cosuming and laborious by comparison to Dreamweaver or FrontPage, but it does go to show one very important thing: people make great web sites, not the software they used to make them.

I'd echo the advice of Forum Editor. Learn how to use both products properly. The more you learn about them both, the more you will realise that FrontPage can do things more easily in certain areas than Dreamweaver can and vice versa.

If I could do all of my professional work in one program I would, but I find that some projects call on the talents of FrontPage while others require certain features of Dreamweaver. This is normally down to which program would allow me to produce the required output most efficiently.

Try programming a PHP site in FrontPage and you'll see where Dreamweaver comes into play. If you want to connect to more data sources than you can shake a stick at or have FrontPage generate a database for you to input user data into from a web page, it will do so.

Strengths and weaknesses from both programs.

Neither is perfect and both can be better than the other in different circumstances, or at least we could say that their use may be more appropriate for different projects.

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