Website design software

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Big Bri

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Hello,
My name is Brian, my wife and I own a B&B in Missouri.
I am brand new to the INNspiring.com group after hearing about you through a friend today. They thought I might be able to get help with a question I have by posting it on your forum.
My question is for anyone out there who can give me advice about website design software.
I have been doing some research of my own and seen titles like Adobe Dreamweaver (seems to be one of the biggies), Intuit’s Website Creator 2009 (not too highly recommended by some), Web Easy…and one called Web Studio 4.0 just to mention a few I have looked into.
I have also seen sites where a person can download individual templates for building a site. Does anyone know about these and/or have you tried them yourselves.
I consider myself an intermediate techy. I know enough to fix small/medium problems and when to call for help with the big ones.
I have done the design of my website for the last 2 years and really enjoy website design. I may not be very good at it yet, but I want to get really good at it. Besides, I am very limited in what I can do with the ‘site builder’ program I use for my website which came as a bundled package with my current Internet/Phone/Cable/…company. The program I use has about 85 templates and their great templates, if a person owns a high tech business, a corporation or a law firm, but a B&B…not so much. I found some non-descriptive templates and that is what I have used on my site. Get lots of compliments by my guests about it, but I feel after 2 years its time for a significant facelift.
I do have a bit of background with computer code (basic, Pascal, C+….ok, have I just aged myself there with the first 2??? oh well) and I have done some html and worked with FTP, but I would not consider myself proficient with them.
Right now I lean toward Dreamweaver software because there is a community class in my town through the cities Education Enrichment program that gets offered twice a year about using Dreamweaver, however, Dreamweaver isn’t cheap and it may provide a bit more than what I need from a website building program. just don’t know.
If anyone can give me some advice I would really appreciate it.
Thank you,
Brian
 

swirt

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Hi Brian and welcome to Innspiring.
If you want to be a pro....Dreamweaver is probably your best bet. If you want a cheaper version (free) go with Kompozer (the last stable variant of VNU before the opensource project collapsed.
If you are gung-ho to do it yourself, please do your homework. The list of people B&B's that have done more harm to their business trying to do it themselves is not exactly a short list.
 

Samster

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My dh is also a techie. I had my website designed by someone who was experienced, a former innkeeper, and could work with me on the design concept. I wanted the site up quickly and with good SEO. :)
 

paulavery

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Dreamweaver is pro. Keep in mind that complete website design can be done with notepad or any text editor. The point of mentioning this is it handy if you are able to read the code and make heads or tails of it.
If you know which of below is right and which is wrong (only one right), then you are further ahead than most:
a) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com">Visit my site</a>
b) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com"<Visit my site>/a>
c) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com"}Visit my site</a}
d) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com"></a>Visit my site
For $29ish a month you can get online video training at totaltraining.com. I'd highly recommend you do this. DW is not like FrontPage.. DW is to webmasters what Autocad is to engineers. Autocad is not easy to learn. DW is a little easier.
Paul
 

Big Bri

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Thank you to everyone who has replied. I will keep your suggestions in mind.
I did find out that DW has a 30 day trial that a person can use the software and so I will give that a shot and that could help shed some light to help me decide too.
Paul, my answer to your questions is:
b) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com"<Visit my site>/a>
If I remember my education of programming is that in most computer languages when you have commands or arguments in a line of code, the programmer has to reslove all arguements for that line of code to function properly (I can tell you horror stories from my years of CNC programming about when programs are coded wrong and things turned ugly, not all were my programs, I just got to watch the aftermath). Even though the code may not be on the same line (like when useing Macro's for creating sub-programs, loops,...) it still needs to have a resolve.
So, what I saw in your quiz was that with answer 'b' you have two sets of '<>'. One encapsules the entire line of code with one on each end, the other two are located near the end, but encapsule the phrase 'Visit my site'. Which when a user clicks on that phrase they will be taken to http://www.mywebsite.com
Is this correct?
Thanks again everyone, you have been very helpful. I am glad I found this site.
 

seashanty

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hi and welcome.
my son taught himself dreamweaver and made us a bang up website for the b&b
he has his own online business and created his site (with dreamweaver) and maintains his own site. this saves him considerable money. he has to constantly change things on the site so it is important that he be able to make the changes himself.
me, i love websites and the internet but i could not teach myself how to use things. so i am looking into taking some classes.
best of luck to you. and i congratulate you for recognizing how important a website can be to the success of your business.
 

EmptyNest

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Thank you to everyone who has replied. I will keep your suggestions in mind.
I did find out that DW has a 30 day trial that a person can use the software and so I will give that a shot and that could help shed some light to help me decide too.
Paul, my answer to your questions is:
b) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com"<Visit my site>/a>
If I remember my education of programming is that in most computer languages when you have commands or arguments in a line of code, the programmer has to reslove all arguements for that line of code to function properly (I can tell you horror stories from my years of CNC programming about when programs are coded wrong and things turned ugly, not all were my programs, I just got to watch the aftermath). Even though the code may not be on the same line (like when useing Macro's for creating sub-programs, loops,...) it still needs to have a resolve.
So, what I saw in your quiz was that with answer 'b' you have two sets of '<>'. One encapsules the entire line of code with one on each end, the other two are located near the end, but encapsule the phrase 'Visit my site'. Which when a user clicks on that phrase they will be taken to http://www.mywebsite.com
Is this correct?
Thanks again everyone, you have been very helpful. I am glad I found this site..
In my opinion, professionals use Dreamweaver. Having said that...just because you know how to use software does not mean you know how to create an appealing and user friendly web site. Look around at the "good" ones. If you can do what they do, or something in close approximation....then go for it. ie: RareBrick, WhiteStone, Acorn etc..
If you take a course at a local community college, perhaps you can purchase Dreamweaver at a student rate in their bookstore or they may have a deal with the company.
 

paulavery

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Hi Big Bri,
b) was a good answer, but not the right one - your reasoning is sound.
The correct answer was
a) <a href="http://www.mywebsite.com">Visit my site</a>
Whatever is opened, must be closed.... just look at the less and greater than tags.
Paul
 

HighMountainLodge

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I have used Dreamweaver for years to create and maintain websites, and I used it to create our website. If you are going to go to the trouble to create and maintain your own website--and you have the chops to do so--then it is the only realistic solution. There are a lot of gimmicky solutions out there, but Dreamweaver is head and shoulder above any other WYSIWYG/Code editor.
FYI: in paulavery's test, solution "a" was right because HTML code is designed to display text on a screen. Anything not enclosed in angle brackets is going to display on the screen; notwithstanding that, any HTML command (in this case the <a> command must be "killed" by the </a>
There is a hierarchy here. Note that the "href" is a subset of the <a> tag--there are a lot of <a> tags out there--and "href" is only one of them. Also note (and this is important) that what the <a> tag refers to is enclosed in straight parentheses (" ") to distinguish it from the command.
Like all structured programming languages, HTML has a syntax; it's just a matter of learning the conventions.
All that notwithstanding, we have found it invaluable to be able to update our website quickly without going through another person. Even if you have a designer do the initial design, educate yourself enough to be able to make your own updates. And do it with Dreamweaver.
And a final comment: navigation is infinitely more important than pretty. People want to find information on your website, not be dazzled by graphics. People will think your website is awesome if they can find their way around and discover the information they are looking for. Rooms; rates; what their experience will be. I have seen far too many "pretty" inn websites that make me work to find out how much a room will cost and what it will look like.
So skip the Flash. Besides, Google and other web crawlers can't index Flash, so stick with HTML. This is a marketing issue as well as a design issue.
 

JBloggs

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I have used Dreamweaver for years to create and maintain websites, and I used it to create our website. If you are going to go to the trouble to create and maintain your own website--and you have the chops to do so--then it is the only realistic solution. There are a lot of gimmicky solutions out there, but Dreamweaver is head and shoulder above any other WYSIWYG/Code editor.
FYI: in paulavery's test, solution "a" was right because HTML code is designed to display text on a screen. Anything not enclosed in angle brackets is going to display on the screen; notwithstanding that, any HTML command (in this case the <a> command must be "killed" by the </a>
There is a hierarchy here. Note that the "href" is a subset of the <a> tag--there are a lot of <a> tags out there--and "href" is only one of them. Also note (and this is important) that what the <a> tag refers to is enclosed in straight parentheses (" ") to distinguish it from the command.
Like all structured programming languages, HTML has a syntax; it's just a matter of learning the conventions.
All that notwithstanding, we have found it invaluable to be able to update our website quickly without going through another person. Even if you have a designer do the initial design, educate yourself enough to be able to make your own updates. And do it with Dreamweaver.
And a final comment: navigation is infinitely more important than pretty. People want to find information on your website, not be dazzled by graphics. People will think your website is awesome if they can find their way around and discover the information they are looking for. Rooms; rates; what their experience will be. I have seen far too many "pretty" inn websites that make me work to find out how much a room will cost and what it will look like.
So skip the Flash. Besides, Google and other web crawlers can't index Flash, so stick with HTML. This is a marketing issue as well as a design issue..
Highmountainlodge I love you already!!! Welcome to the forum and we look forward to reading all your feedback. Your common sense speaks volumes...I hope you can stick around and we can all benefit.

 

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