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Frontpage vs Dreamweaver with a CMS

Posted on 2009-05-16
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Our company wants to use just one software for web design/publishing. Our cms is Sitefinity. Currently, our graphic designers are using Dreamweaver, and we'll be upgrading to CS4 shortly. The designers design the websites, as well as HTML e-mails with go into Informz. The web developers create the web page templates in the Sitefinity CMS, and there's alot of back and forth to ensure the templates are visually correct. The designers have found it helpful to understand CSS and coding, using Dreamweaver, as this has streamlined the communication between the two groups. The web developers and web editors are using Frontpage. I am a layman when it comes to the technicalities, but I need to thoroughly understand the pro's and con's between Frontpage and Dreamweaver so I can speak to this issue effectively. To put it another way, if the graphic designers were forced to switch to Frontpage from Dreamweaver, what would the downside/upside be? Are there differences in the code quality? What about features, such as emulating your design on mobile devices, etc. My gut feeling is that we have two different levels of users, hence maintaining both softwares makes sense, but I may need to bow to corporate pressure, given the sensitivity around costs these days.
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Question by:Andreamc
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8 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:pedro_sland
ID: 24402970
Dreamweaver is a superior product and should help streamline the development process with its integration with the rest of cs3. Frontpage is really a toy in comparison as it generates code which is messier and its a struggle to make standards compliance. MS realised this and its why it released the Expression suite. You would be loosing out seriously if you downgraded to frontpage for your designers. Frontpage is also poor on the code side as it offers little help. Dreamweaver can manage code snippits, give better suggestions to what you are typing. Your coders would benefit from the features in Dreamweaver I am sure. Collaboration is much easier there too. They can also explore their databases with Dreamweaver. I can't think of any more "must have" features at the moment. If you want me to explain anything further then I can (I am technical :) ).
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Badotz
ID: 24402980
>> if the graphic designers were forced to switch to Frontpage from Dreamweaver, what would the downside/upside be?

<$.02>
They would revolt. DW is design-centric, while FP is not.

Both tools shield you from reality, making assumptions for you, and generating code, some of it awful, some of it less so.

The Poor User only sees the end result, so either will work. But DW provides the tools to create beautiful websites, FP is more onserned with utility.

Really, there is no comparison. DW is the way to go.
</$.02>
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:k_dietz
ID: 24403184
Dreamweaver is by far the way to go.  MUCH cleaner code, much more efficient, and quite frankly,  your developers who would have to ditch Frontpage to go to Dreamweaver will be laughing in 6 months about why they wasted so much time with Frontpage and asking why they didn't sooner.
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Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 24404685
Andreamc,

Are we really talking about Front Page?  Because my understanding is that it's gone, deprecated in favor of ExpressionWeb, and the other Experts above are correct anyway (DW is the superior product to FrontPage in almost all measures).  

If this is ExpressionWeb, then there may be some room for discussion, especially if you are an ASP.NET operation.  Dreamweaver is a superior design tool, but it cannot handle ASP.NET all that well (although it used to claim to).  EW is a fine design tool but it handles ASP.NET and that makes a lot of difference...
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Author Comment

by:Andreamc
ID: 24404880
You're right, Jason, our IT guy was saying FrontPage, but after I posted my question, I did a little research, and learned the FrontPage has been replaced by ExpressionWeb. Our company hasn't upgraded to it yet, it's still using FP. Thanks for mentioning this, and I will find out if we are an ASP.NET operation, and if we're not, then would you recommend Dreamweaver over EW?
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

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Jason C. Levine earned 2000 total points
ID: 24404913
If you want to try and standardize to one software, then the ASP.NET issue will probably be the deciding factor.

If ASP.NET = EW
If not = DW, but you may want to make a decision now that serves you into the future.  If you are not an ASP.NET operation, what are the odds you will become one?

In any event, dump FP.  It's not good.

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Author Closing Comment

by:Andreamc
ID: 31582226
Thanks for the excellent advice, Jason...much appreciated!
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Badotz
ID: 24405988
Well, so much for sharing the wealth, eh?
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