I started my website 7 years ago in FrontPage and just purchased Dreamweaver thinking; in today's technological world aimed at 12 year olds, this has got to be easier than FrontPage or at least I'd have a head start since I created and have maintained my own 10-page website. Wow, was I ever wrong, Dreamweaver is strictly for people with computer degrees and only speak html. I'm told I have to html every dot, space, sentencing space, centering, etc. I paid $699 for the program, paid $250 to a web designer to just get my website into DW then teach me how to maintain it (got nothing), found another web designer, paid a $100 deposit, she "redesigned" my home page, told her that wasn't what I wanted (after explaining what I did want), never heard from her again. Just talked with a recent computer designer graduate, he wants $450 to get my website into DW and put in new navigation buttons. I know html, here's the site I created with NO training, just studying and learning FrontPage: www.nilesbottlestoppers.com
Some one, PLEASE, give me some words of encouragement because, right now I'm crying (literally).
On the other hand, Adobe Muse is consumer level software aimed at designers, hobbyists and non-coders. The price you pay for all that ease of use, however, is limited features and code that needs to be maintained in MU. It might be all you need for now. Then again, if you want to add advanced features to your site later, you may be forced to switch away from MU which might be a worse place than you are right now. I don't know.
Suffice it to say, a lot has changed in web standards and technology since FP was retired in 2007. Designs & layouts must cater to an ever growing list of new web devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to desktops and flat screen TV screens.
I don't know what your budget is. But for a small business web site, you really should contract with an experienced web developer (get references) who can re-build your site within a prescribed time frame to include a simple CMS (content management system) which you can use to edit the site yourself.
DW won't be much help to you unless you learn to work with code. Code is not hard to learn. No computer or science degrees required. Just a few focussed hours and a little effort on your part will get you started on the path to success.
HTML, CSS & Web Design Theory Tutorials -
Creating your first web site in DW -
Thank you very much for the opinion/advice/suggestion, it was all very good. My biggest concern is that if you do a google search for "stainless steel bottle stoppers", I am the first two hits (under the paid ads) and my competitors are right below me. I run this business alone (ordering, packing, shipping, bookkeeping, do trade shows alone) this is my only means of support..... I need that position with google and I am so afraid of having a new site designed and loosing it. Even temporarily is not acceptable.
I do so wish I was smarter, at 73 years old, it's not like I can just go back to school!
Thank you again.
Building a new site to replace the one you have now should not be an obstacle for you or your Google rankings. Your domain name will remain the same. The page titles and file names can remain the same. If anything, standards compliant code will help you not hurt you.
Nancy has given sage advice which you should follow especially regarding familiarizing yourself with HTML and CSS. Having said that, considering that you only have a 10 page website you might want to consider doing something along these lines: go over to Project 7 http://www.projectseven.com/ purchace one of their Dreamweaver extensions like the Affinity template, customize it to suite your needs and then just apply the template to your existing 10 page site. This will save you a lot of time and work. You still need to know the basics as Nancy said but using the P7 extension will make it a lot more painless and P7 gives good customer support.