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sSimontis

[web] Web Design On The Cheap

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I do some PC repair part time in order to make some money, and I end up doing some basic web sites as well. I know basic HTML, and know of enough resources so that I can hand code a basic site. However, at the rate I charge for websites, it isn't worth it to hand come pages. It just takes too much time for what I am charging. Anyways, I am looking for a decent HTML editor. I love Dreamweaver, but it is out of my price range by far. I am looking for software that is under $100, the cheaper the better. I know that the best tools probably aren't in this price range, but I just need something that will get the job done. Right now, I am using the OpenOffice.org editor, which doesn't seem to be that powerful. As a high school student, I am eligible for an academic discount on programs. I have found three programs so far, and would like to know which one is best for basic web design. Most of the reviews I have found don't give much information, and the author's credidentials are not given, but I figure someone on a web design forum should know what they're talking about. Here are the products I am looking at: Namo WebEditor 2006 VCOM Easy Web Professional 2006 GlobalSCAPE CUTEHTML Pro 6 I am leaning towards Namo WebEditor right now, just based on what I have seen. Does anyone have any experience with these tools, or at least know where a good review is? Thank you for your time.

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I would highly reccomend that you don't go with a WYSIWYG editor. In my opinion the websites don't come out very well. Your best option would be to hard code some templates of your own and have the customer choose a template then you can spend a small amount of time modifying it to their specification. If you make 10-20 templates you should be able to attract quite a few customers and not have to do a whole lot of work.

With XHTML, CSS, and javascript you should be able to make some awesome templates.

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The thing is, I only know basic HTML. I learned from a book published before the XHTML standard came out, so I would need some relearning. I don't know any javascript either. None of these web sites are very big or complex either, so I just want something that gets the job done quickly. I only charge $20 for a basic website and 5$ a month for updates, so I don't want to really waste too much time.

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Quote:
Original post by I_Smell_Tuna
I would highly reccomend that you don't go with a WYSIWYG editor. In my opinion the websites don't come out very well. Your best option would be to hard code some templates of your own and have the customer choose a template then you can spend a small amount of time modifying it to their specification. If you make 10-20 templates you should be able to attract quite a few customers and not have to do a whole lot of work.

With XHTML, CSS, and javascript you should be able to make some awesome templates.


...I agree totally!

Dreamweaver has been the only editor worth the bother, until I got that, I was using NotePad.

If you're tired of starting from scratch each time, the as I_Smell_Tuna suggests, you should code standard templates that can be re-used over and over.

Also consider writing javascript and CSS files to do common things as you would with Object-Oriented programming.
For example;
- A javascript file to update your windows status bar
- Or a CSS file to alter the plain text/color/alignment of common HTML tags, like <p>, <a>, <h1>, etc.

Then all you have to do is link them each time you want to use them.

Quote:
The thing is, I only know basic HTML. I learned from a book published before the XHTML standard came out, so I would need some relearning. I don't know any javascript either. None of these web sites are very big or complex either, so I just want something that gets the job done quickly. I only charge $20 for a basic website and 5$ a month for updates, so I don't want to really waste too much time.


You wouldn't be wasting your time learning a bit of javascript (it's a very simple language, but difficult to be good at as it's a bit messy), and there aint much difference from what I've seen between XHTML and HTML, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Daed.

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See if you can spot which sites use templates purchased from Template Monster. The download counts are so low.. I bet you can't.

Seriously, at this point, if you are not a serious web designer than don't waste your money trying to duplicate a professional web design. Just purchase a template for $50-$60 and customize that. It's substantially easier to present an array of choices to the customer so they can be satisfied with what they are getting.

Template Monster

It's almost analogous to coding your own engine each time you want to make a game. So many templates exist that you probably will stumble upon one that matches your tastes.

---
Michael Tanczos

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Quote:
Original post by sSimontis
I love Dreamweaver, but it is out of my price range by far. I am looking for software that is under $100, the cheaper the better.
...
As a high school student, I am eligible for an academic discount on programs.

I got Dreamweaver for like $100-175 with my student discount.

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XHTMl is very easy. In a nutshell XHTML is a very strict version of HTML. You have to use propper coding, make sure you use closing tags, quotes, etc. CSS is also very easy just a bunch of formatting tags. The best guide I have found is www.w3schools.com The people who put that website together literally made the standards. (www.w3c.org)

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Give PHP Designer 2005 a try! It's fast, free, and really nice! It comes with a preview pane, functionality tools, and so much more. Try that first before consider buying anything. [wink] Oh and BTW it says PHP designer, but it's more of just a Web Designer application, it supports more than just php with extras and the syntax hi-lighting.

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I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but academic discounts usually stipulate that you can't sell what you make with the software. Educational use only.



~BenDilts( void );

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I'll try PHP Designer and see if it works well. If not, then I might just look for trials of the various programs and choose on experience. Thinking about it, templates make perfect sense, so eventually I will get to that. I have midterms in two weeks, so I don't want to start working on templates yet, but after that I should have plenty of time to brush up on XHTML and CSS.

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If you want WYSIWYG (I recommend not) then go for Dreamweaver. For a source code editor, try the free HTML-Kit and spend your money on a good XHTML/CSS book.

Oh, and you can ask a *lot* more than you do now (please do. heavily undercutting the market is bad in the long run). Some research of mine led to cheapo (but professional) webdesign is about 50 euro's an hour. Personally (being a part-time hobbyist) I ask about 25-30 euro's an hour with the average site taking about 20-40 hours to build .We usually tell our clients out hourly rate, write down what the client wants, figure out how much time we think we'll spend on it and set a fixed price on the whole website. If the client later wants extra things or changes the design in a late stage then the extra hours start counting.

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