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Looking for 'Visual' HTML/PHP editor.

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I'm rewriting my existing game, which is a Soccer management game. At the moment it's written in a very old version of BASIC, with the information parsed into text files which are then sent to/from the managers. I'm working on updating this to a web version, with a MYSQL database. I already have the website, have set up the database and I'm fairly adept with HTML and MYSQL and have started learning PHP. I know enough to get working on my game, but I'm not too happy with my tools.

 

At the moment I'm using Netbeans, which is good and just uploading the files to my server and testing them in the browser. It's all fine, but my biggest problem right now is that I need to design the webpages. I do know HTML but just putting everything into basic tables etc looks very dull and it takes forever to do anything that looks good, just by trial and error.

 

So, does anybody have any recommendations for something that I could design my webpages in, bearing in mind that they're mostly just for displaying the database information, e.g Tables of players (need to be interactive probably, so I'm looking at HTML5 and PHP), tables of finances, training schedules, transfer lists etc.

 

In my head, I'm thinking that I could design the tables, then lift the code out of the designer and add it to my files manually, though that's probably just wasting time, but I'm in no rush.

 

Sorry if this is a common question, but wondering if someone may have some ideas for my specific project.

 

I know Dreamweaver is often recommended, but I can't afford it. Also I really don't like VS from what I've seen of it. So something free and simple would be ideal, if there's anything out there.

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I've no experience with using such tools, but one option to quickly make a website look better is to include something like bootstrap - though you'll probably still want to customise it eventually.

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As far as I understand you need some kind of visual site designer.

 

As an example you can check Coffeecup ( http://www.coffeecup.com/designer/ ) or Google Web Designer ( ) or try to google some other such software.

 

With all honesty, though, whatever path you'll take, you will still spend a huge lot of time on user interface. It generally takes the majority of time in any project.

 

I'm sorry if I'm saying the basic things you already know, it's just that there is a chance that you don't and it'll save you a lot of time.

 

While you are learning PHP, pay attention to templates! You build a template and use it for output; you can use one template for, many tables, and if you need different functionality, you just copy the template and modify it. Combine a number of small basic templates to create a page of any complexity; reuse templates wherever possible.

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I did several heavy web apps (like games) for my day job last year.  The best IDE I found for javascript/html/php/SQL was phpStorm by JetBrains (http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/).  It is able to edit everything, deal with remote servers, databases (including mysql like you're using), integrate with version control systems.  There' s a long list of features.  They also have a webStorm without the php stuff or database stuff.  I believe you can try it out for 30 days and a buy it for $99 as an individual. 

 

cheers, 

 

Bob

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I did several heavy web apps (like games) for my day job last year.  The best IDE I found for javascript/html/php/SQL was phpStorm by JetBrains (http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/).  It is able to edit everything, deal with remote servers, databases (including mysql like you're using), integrate with version control systems.  There' s a long list of features.  They also have a webStorm without the php stuff or database stuff.  I believe you can try it out for 30 days and a buy it for $99 as an individual. 

 

cheers, 

 

Bob

 

I am on my third straight year purchasing WebStorm and I will say, it's a great product and easily worth the 50$.

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At the moment I'm using Netbeans, which is good and just uploading the files to my server and testing them in the browser. It's all fine, but my biggest problem right now is that I need to design the webpages. I do know HTML but just putting everything into basic tables etc looks very dull and it takes forever to do anything that looks good, just by trial and error.

First, run a local HTTP server to reduce turnaround time for tests.

Second, if you are "putting everything into basic tables" you do not "know HTML", sorry. In all likelihood, "trial and error" is why "it takes forever to do anything that looks good"; don't blame tools.

The proper way to do page layout is with very lean markup, most likely a few DIV and SPAN elements on top of simple P elements, equally simple CSS stylesheets, and possibly scripts to enhance parts of the page (e.g. ready made jQuery plugins that turn a humble INPUT into a popup date picker). Cruft begets cruft.

Third, develop layout as static example pages to make the graphical part of the task as simple as possible. When you are satisfied you can keep the exact same CSS stylesheets and scripts, and easily adapt the HTML page sources to dynamic PHP pages.

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