web design software

Posted on 2013-06-22
Last Modified: 2013-07-08
I am in the process of designing a website and I'd like to getyour inputs as far as which software I should use. Some of the software I have in mind are Muse, WordPress, css with Dreamwaver CS5, and any other good one you recommend. The website is not an e-commerce website. Thx
Question by:leblanc
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Jason C. Levine earned 333 total points
ID: 39268857
There isn't a real good answer to this because no one knows your skill level and skill set.

Muse and Dreamweaver qualifies as web design software although I have my doubts about Muse sticking the way Dreamweaver has.  These tools require some greater or lesser expertise in HTML and CSS to get the design you want and further require expertise in a scripting language to get the site to do anything.

WordPress (and Joomla, Drupal, ExpressionEngine, Concrete 5 and many, many others) is a Content Management System that has a better-than-average display layer in the form of Themes.  But unless you are going to purchase and tweak pre-built themes, you will need fairly advanced HTML, CSS, and PHP knowledge.  The strengths of the CMS approach are that you don't need any real skills in HTML, CSS or any scripting language if you restrict yourself to the themes and plugins that are available.  A complete novice can go a lot farther a lot faster with a CMS than with something like Muse or Dreamweaver.  

For more advanced users, it usually comes down to a personal preference for a platform and build process.  For example, I am inherently a lazy SOB and I hate building sites from the complete blank screen up.  So I tend to use WordPress to speed the process along and get the boring stuff out of the way faster.  There are other advantages to this approach (such as being able to hand off control to end users when I'm done) but in truth, that's my primary motivation :)
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 39268882
Most 'easy' sites - blogs, photo, customer, courses, help - are easily available  -

Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, Typepad, Blogger (GOOGLE), Flicr (YAHOO), Windows Live

Author Comment

ID: 39269937
I did not program for a while but I used to build websites from scratch (html codes, table, etc...). But looking at many software out there. Building from scratch seems to be a waste of time. I was thinking of css but I am very amateur with css. If I go with the css route, is there any other option other than Dreamweaver? Thx
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 167 total points
ID: 39269961
Please have a look at this article: What is HTML? What are CSS, JavaScript, PHP and Perl? Do I Need to Learn Them to Create a Website?
What is CSS?
Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, allow you to specify things like the font you want on your page, the size of your text, whether the page is to have 2 columns, whether your text is to be in bold or italics, and so on. In other words, it is the part that lets you control the appearance of your web page.

You may be used to the Microsoft Word "doc" format, where everything from the text you type to the appearance of the document is specified in a single file, transparent to you. On the web, the raw information is specified in HTML and most of the appearance is determined by the CSS.
As you can see from this, you can't use only CSS to build/program an Internet site.
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 333 total points
ID: 39270168
but I used to build websites from scratch (html codes, table, etc...)

This sounds like you last did this long, long ago before CSS was around.  If so, you have a tremendous learning curve ahead of you and I would stay away from Dreamweaver (which is pretty expensive) until your knowledge catches up.  One you know how modern web pages are built, you can make an informed decision on where to go from there.

If you cannot wait and need to have something up tomorrow, use a CMS and locate a theme that matches the design in your head.

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