Frontpage or Dreamweaver

  synthasy 21:55 27 Jun 2003
Locked

Hi,

I know this is discussion that has been going on since the dawn of both products but thought it may be good to go a little more in depth as to why one is better than the other.

Professional designers seem to have adopted Dreamweaver and frown upon Frontpage and anyone that uses it, but why? I believe that a product is only as good as the person that is using it, so it would be good to see the different views that people have on this issue.

I use Frontpage 2000 together with my Graphic programmes (probably a whole new discussion on graphics programmes) and get brilliant results - if i do say so myself.

Steve

  Forum Editor 23:13 27 Jun 2003

certainly doesn't frown on FrontPage, and I know of at least one other professional in the forum who feels the same way.

Both FP and Dreamweaver have their srengths and their weaknesses, and if you could combine the best of both applications you would probably have the perfect web-design tool. As it is, many designers use both applications, and there are some very big corporate sites that are entirely designed in FrontPage. About a year ago I completed the design of an online banking site for a major European bank, and used FrontPage for the whole project. So far, despite several attempts, no-one has succeeded in penetrating the security measures we put in place, and the site has functioned without a hitch.

I also use Dreamweaver extensively - it's a question of horses for courses and neither application is 'better' than the other in the sense you mean. If I had to recommend one of the two programs to someone who was starting out in web design it would be FrontPage, simply because its interface would be more familiar to someone who probably uses Microsoft Office already , and the learning curve is a good deal less steep.

  tandem 10:11 28 Jun 2003

I trained in Front Page but prefer Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver's strength lies in its ability to cleanse all the extraneous code that Front Page generates. Plus it will import websites designed in other programs. This can be a real boon.

I've used WYSIWYG programs where it's been necessary to import a site created in them into an html editor like First Page or Hot Dog to iron out some of the errors created by the software. But with Dreamweaver you can access both the html and WYSIWYG in the same program.

  synthasy 10:24 28 Jun 2003

I hear a lot about FP's extraneous code, but i dont really find it an issue.

I use Stylesheets and so all text formatting is removed and the only code is tables, cells and images. So i cant see how DW could make the code any cleaner?

  Taran 17:08 28 Jun 2003

If FrontPage generated a vast amount of unnecessary code, hardly anyone would be using it, myself included.

The "bloated code" you hear so much about doesn't really cause any issues in browsers and can make a file a few kb larger overall than a Dreamweaver counterpart. You can also get downloads and even online tools ( click here for an example) that strips out the offending tags if they bother you that much. I've noticed that in doing so, a web document sometimes gets mangled in the process...

I use FrontPage more than any other web designing software on any of my Windows computers. For generating a site and setting up its navigation if I ever find anything faster and more efficient than FrontPage believe me, I'll be the first to shout about it.

I was a firm Dreamweaver fan for a long time and have only comparatively recently drifted back to FrontPage after I decided that version 98 was a pretty awful product and not one I wanted to use. FrontPage 2000 and 2002 (sometimes called XP) however, turned that around and both are excellent programs while the up and coming version of FrontPage is better again.

As Forum Editor notes though, neither FrontPage, Dreamweaver (or any other product for that matter) answers all needs and if a blend of the two were available we'd be using that instead of having this debate.

For some tasks I still prefer Dreamweaver while for others I could put a very convincing argument forward in favour of Notepad which just about all professional web designers still use at one point or another. For general web work though, nothing comes close to FrontPage for overall efficiency and speed, without which I'd be out of business.

It's all down to the user at the end of the day. As I've mentioned above, I can and still do use Notepad for some tasks and if necessary I could still write an entire site with it, although I'll admit that I'd miss the ease of inserting all those code tags and one or two other features. There's not much in it when discussing what one product can do that the other cannot. I find that most people who damn FrontPage to the abyss don't even know how to use it properly. If they did, they'd probably do what I do and use both FrontPage, Dreamweaver and a small army of complimentary programs to boot.

Regards

Taran

  Forum Editor 17:09 28 Jun 2003

FP code is an an old chestnut.

My copy of FP is a beta of the next version - FP 2003 - and has an 'Optimise published HTML' feature which cleans up all the code on the server, so that there's nothing superfluous left in the page code at all. This produces code that is every bit as 'clean' as that which is produced in Dreamweaver.

I don't know which version of FP tandem used last, but of course all the recent versions allow you to see both WYSIWYG and HTML with one click, and FP can also import sites created by other programs.

  Forum Editor 17:12 28 Jun 2003

typing at the same time.

  Josquius 19:09 29 Jun 2003

I prefer frontpage and thats what I use most of the time (a lot quicker then using html) I don't see any point in dreamweaver (not that I've used it for much) it seems to be just some sort of special html editor which is a bit stupid to pay money for when you can do html in any writing programme.
So what can dreamweaver do so special with html?

  Forum Editor 19:38 29 Jun 2003

No professional web designer would be without Dreamweaver - it's a superb application, and capable of just about anything. If you think that it's just 'some sort of special HTML editor' you need to spend a bit more time getting to know it.

There's no room to give you an exhaustive explanation of Dreamweaver's capabilities here, so I suggest that you
click here

  e-kips 22:49 01 Jul 2003

I have used FP2000 to create my 1st mini site (on a file and print server at work) for intranet users only.
Had read how to ... using HTML and FP2000 books 'The Complete Reference FP2000' is very recommended.
Result = it looks good and certainly not created by a rank amateur.
Dreamweaver4 - just got a copy and it looks a little complicated but I haven't put in the reading time yet.
Both very powerful and adept at foing the job in hand.
Suggest use them together for different aspects, along with Fireworks4 and PaintShopPro7.

Spike

  magic 13:29 11 Jul 2003

Interesting discussion, when I saw title of posting, was expecting an anti FP replies.
The curious thing is, you extoll the virtues of FP but it doesn't even get a rating in your web design software section. Not even on the list.
Why is this?

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