Starting a website....

longlegzs80's picture

I have never worked with any website programs, but am very interested in learning on how I can create my own website. As I mentioned before in other threads that I don't have the money to buy software as of now, so just curious as if anyone has ever developed a website using Photoshop? If anyone has created a website using Photoshop, is it a good program to use to start designing a website? Please let me know.

drew4au's picture

Photoshop is good for designing Web pages. I use it to design everything -- the slices tool and Web save command do a good job producing clean HTML. But I add any hypertext or links and do all my scripting in Dreamweaver because, honestly, I don't know how to do it in Photoshop. Also, Dreamweaver makes site management easier than if you were to use one of the many free programs to upload your site to the Web. If you've used Quark, Freehand or Illustrator, Dreamweaver is easy to use, and you can download a free trial version online to try it out.

steve_p's picture

Mostly its down to personal preference. Personally I would never use an image editor to create a website, although you could use photoshop to design the look you're after, then use a different program to actually transer that look into a website.
Which program you should use to create web pages depends on your current skill set, your general approach to learning new IT skills, the content of your website and the audience of your website.
If your aim is to learn how websites work, then start with notepad (or whatever the Mac equivalent is). HTML is quite easy to get started with and using notepad will ensure that you really learn how it all works. You can build up your skills until you can do everything that dreamweaver can do (and more) all using a free text editor. You can also make your life easier, while keeping control of your code, by using something like Homesite, which despite its amateur-sounding name, is the choice of most hardcore professionals. In the UK you can get hold of older versions of Homesite free on magazine coverdiscs - this may also be true elsewhere. (It used to called Allaire Homesite, but Macromedia have bought Allaire now, so as from version 5 its Macromedia Homesite).
If your aim is to get groovy content out on the web as quickly as possible, you might want to go for a web editor that writes the code for you, while you work in a more familiar interface.
Dreamweaver is the industry standard for this, and, as Drew says, its learning curve will depend on your familiarity with similar programs.
Whatever you do, give MS Frontpage a miss!
One problem with programs like this is that they let you do all sorts of effects, but some of these won't work in all browsers. This is less of a problem than it used to be but if its critical that your site works on 99% of computers, you'll be limited as to what you can do.
If you're interested have a look at thecounter.com, click on the link for 'global stats' - here you'll find the details of about 30 million web users along with links (easily overlooked, in a box on the right) to stats about the browser version, OS, resolution, colour depth etc of those web users. This is really valuable information if you ewant your site to work well for most users.
(eg - if you work on a Mac, be sure to test your site on a PC too, as that's what 97% of your users will be using - unless, of course, you're aiming at a target audience in one of the Mac dominated industries, such as DTP or graphics).

longlegzs80's picture

Thanks to all that replyed. I would love to learn HTML or Dreamweaver, but as of now I only am going to work with what I have unless I go rob a bank. Just kidding. I was playing around with Image ready and will probubly stick to that. Thanks again for all your help.

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