Choosing Between Dreamweaver or FrontPage

I decided to use Dreamweaver after I had originally created with FrontPage.

I am little inexperienced at creating a website from scratch. After having created the site with some of FrontPage’s dynamic linking effects, I learned that this could cause problems with search engines finding all the links in a site. I tried to just shut them all off in FrontPage. This worked, to an extent. It looked good until you pressed an icon that linked to a page and it would show a broken image icon. Not real impressive, my fault not FrontPage.

My next problem was will uploading my site to the server.

 For some reason, there seemed to be a problem with FrontPage and my firewall. Part of the site was geting uploaded and then the rest would not be allowed to go through. After several tries, I decided to remove the FrontPage extensions on the server and use a regular FTP program. This worked and I got the site up (with the broken images on the link icons).

I had not really been happy with the theme I had anyway.

 My version of FrontPage (2000) just did not seem to have a theme that I liked. Actually, the themes remind me of some of the terrible colors they had for themes in Windows 98. I’m not sure who would want to stare at a screen with fluorescent colors all day. Someone at Microsoft must. So, I decided to redo it.

My wife had needed Dreamweaver MX for school (she had web classes, while I did not, funny huh?) but I had always felt it was a lot more complicated than FrontPage so I never used it. Looking at Dreamweaver, I liked the templates it had for CSS (it was exactly what I wanted) so I decided I would recreate the site in Dreamweaver.

First, I created a new title banner in Photoshop. I had let FrontPage do it the first time. I decided to leave the page background white so I made the banner background white also. This way, the banner looks better on different size monitors. It is left justified and the right edge blends with the page background on the right.

After moving the site into Dreamweaver, my next step was using the Dreamweaver template to set up each page in the site.

 I named each page just a little different than the original FrontPage version till I had copied and pasted the content over. I then deleted the original and renamed the new Dreamweaver page in the old version’s place. I am not sure I really needed to do this as I redid every page on the site. I am also not sure I did it completely right. It took me about as long to do this and set the styles right so the pages matched as it took me to set up the site originally in FrontPage.

I am very happy with the look of the site now.

I still have to create some images for each of the content pages. It is a little funny having a website on taking better photos with no photos on it. I am also preparing more content in the form of additional articles for it.

My goal for is to have somewhere between 50-100 pages of text content on it. I will also work at optimizing the site for search engines. I am hoping the large amount of text content that the site has and that I plan to add to it will help in SEO. I may have to work on shorter pages (the ones up now are very long) and try to concentrate more on individual keywords per page. I may be spread a little thin the way it is.

Would I try to start with FrontPage again or go with Dreamweaver if I were to do this again?

Dreamweaver certainly has a strong following. Dreamweaver has always been considered to do a better job of coding. Since I do plan make many more sites, I think it is worth the effort for me to learn to use Dreamweaver. There seems to be a bit more control of how things are done, and the way things are done. I am hoping that I will also be able to justify upgrading the version I have to the latest version soon.

If I were not planning to do anymore websites, and just wanted to maintain one site I think Microsoft FrontPage would be my choice.

 It is a bit less expensive. Using FrontPage was almost like using Word. It is really quick and easy to use. Despite my problems uploading the site this time, I have found Frontpage (again I am using FrontPage 2000 and Dreamweaver MX) seemed to handle maintenance on another site I have much better than my version of Dreamweaver does on this site. FrontPage 2000 seems to do a better job at comparing the newer version of a site when uploading and deleting the files no longer used. I’ve read that Dreamweaver had improved this on the later and current versions.

I guess your choice of FrontPage or Dreamweaver depends on where you want to go.