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Website Design Has Become TOO Difficult,

Jun 13, 2013 1:40 AM

Is it me, or is website design WAY TOO difficult? Granted, I'm a 3D Artist, and I have a conceptual mind, I just can't figure out why it's so difficult to get a page up and running the way you want it.

 

1. The folder structure for your root folder is too complicated - there are just too many folders and interlinking html pages.

2. The HTML language is too complicated - do I really have to know all these tag selectors and what's the difference between a class and id?

3. If you want to get anything done, you need to know javascript... great, another language.

4. Now there's cascading style sheets! This has to be linked to your html documents.

5. Every version of Dreamweaver, something gets created and something gets thrown out - things don't work with older versions

 

I am not whining here, I am just trying to point out that in order to get a page up and running, you have to jump through a number of hoops to get there. Why isn't there a website designer that is simple to use? Dreamweaver has gotten too crazy - the stage is too complicated, too many links, too many buttons, it just needs to be completely overhauled - streamlined, and made easier.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 2:03 AM   in reply to sclouston

    DId you need help with something or are you just "venting"?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 5:31 AM   in reply to sclouston

    I think DW is near perfect, really. As a web developer professional, it seems right on task for me. Now I might say the same things as you if I were struggling with Photoshop, or some 3D application. The secret is to learn the language and the techniques.  Yes, CSS is hard, but it's an essential piece of web site development....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 5:33 AM   in reply to sclouston

    Hi

     

    Creating a web page is like any other discipline, if you know why and how it is easy, if not then it is difficult.

     

    I cannot create 3d images, as they are too difficult to do in my opinion, maybe if the programs that you use to create your images were much easier to use, and did the work for me, I would be able to do so without having to learn how.

     

    It's all a matter of ones perspective.

     

    PZ

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 6:08 AM   in reply to pziecina

    I give you a 5/10 for the rant. It really sounds to me like you are trying to use a program with little to no training in it and it's frustrating you.

     

    1. If the site's folder structure is overly complicated, that's most definitely the fault of the person putting the site together. One way to ensure that your folder structure makes sense is to create a site outline on paper first. Use the main headings as folder names with an index.html page as the "home page" for that section and keep all of the sub headings for those sections as pages in the same folder. Organization is key.

     

    2. HTML and CSS are quite possibly the simplest languages you could possibly learn when dealing with computers. Javascript is a bit tougher, but still pretty logical. With the massive amounts of free scripts already available to do what you want, a very basic understanding of some of the elementary concepts is really all you need to make it work with your websites these days. There are a lot of places online to run tutorials to get a good grasp of the basics of html, css and javascript. One of my favorite reference sites is http://www.w3schools.com.

     

    3. Javascript is absolutely not necessary on a website. In fact, in many situations it is detrimental to a site. Javascript = Eye Candy. If you use it for anything else, you're doing it wrong, in my opinion.

     

    4. Cascading stylesheets are nothing new, they've been around for many, many years. Is there something specific about css that is causing you grief, maybe Media Queries (which are relatively new when compared to css in general)?

     

    5. Number five is true, I'll give you that, but the reason is "the internet" not Dreamweaver or Adobe. The web is a constantly changing medium. It's not simply a "new type of ink" or a "fancy paper" it's not just "high definition" or "digital radio". The core of how the internet works changes over time. As the internet changes, so do the technologies that work with it and therefore, so do the programs that interact with those technologies. To work in website design/development, you MUST be willing to learn as the core concepts evolve over time. There may well be a point in the future where we laugh about "remember hyper text markup language?". 

     

    Dreamweaver is pretty much what you make of it. It can be a very lean program where you use only a small set of features, or it can be loaded to the nines with tons of extensions and ad-ons. If you are looking for DW to "do it for you" that's just not going to happen. The program really requires that basic knowledge of html, css and (to a lesser extent) javascript in order to make the most of it. No matter what anyone tells you in the marketing material, it IS NOT a WYSIWYG web design program. That's one of my biggest beefs with Adobe's marketing department.

     

    All that being said, if you have specific issues with the program or web design in general, you have come to the right place. There are quite a few people here who will definitely do what they can to get you up and running and most of the time, we won't even ask for money .

     

    Just ask.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 6:25 AM   in reply to sclouston

    OK, I am not a 3D Artist. And I have had the privilage of working with a number of really, really good ones. Everything they did tended to amaze me, their work was beautiful, functional and told a story in an easy-to-understand way.

     

    As a web designer, I find 3D programs hard to understand. You have to know about modeling, skins and creating a vapor or smoke trail is certainly beyond me.

     

    So here's a challenge: Do some trade-out with a web designer who is really good. Show him or her how to do 3D drawings and have the web designer show you how to put together web pages that function. I think you'll feel better about creating a website that shows off what you do and you'll give a web designer the ability to create cool artwork they can put on their website.

     

    Just sayin'

     

    -Mark

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 12:57 PM   in reply to sclouston

    Firstly, as with Maya, Dreamweaver is a complete tool. It excels in not being "dumbed down." It is not Microsoft Publisher, it's AdobeInDesign or Quark Xpress. As such, it's going to reveal all to you and I can appreciate your learning curve.

     

    My 3D experience is pretty much limited to either receiving completed projects from talented guys like you or building stuff within the 3D DVE in Avid's DS (not their Media Composer). The DS learning curve was much more difficult to master than was Dreamweaver, as it's a compositor like After Effects as well as an editor like Media Composer, Final Cut or Premiere. Took me some six months to get really useful at it.

     

    You describe folder layouts for Maya. Here's what I do with Dreamweaver:

     

    I create the following folders for all websites:

     

    • css
    • images
    • js

     

    From there, lots depend on what the site is going to do. For example some of my sites that do sales have the following:

     

    • cart

     

    Other sites that have extensive image presentations have:

     

    • portfolio
    • photos
    • video

     

    When I create a website with drop-down menus, I create a folder for the master thusly:

     

    • about
      • press
        • article-1
        • article-2
        • article-3
      • testimonials
      • portfolio
      • history

     

    As you can see, my sites may be several folders deep but everything is done along the lines of what seems organized to me. Dreamweaver lets you do what you want. I have seen many sites where everything exists on the root level. I sometimes wonder how anyone can find stuff that way.

     

    As to layering in Dreamwweaver, it is highly advisable that you never do that while you are learning Dreamweaver. The only way something can sit on top of something in Dreamweaver is if it's in an AP div. That is usually bad practice as it is done by neophytes. If you construct pages that are all on one level, you'll find everything works in all browsers, no matter what.

     

    Of course there is layering, using backgrounds as well as placing divs in front of and behind one another. I created a great layered effect for a club in my home town and they really liked the result. But you should try to keep things simple.

     

    I admire your skills in Maya. My experience with what you do began when I was working with artists using SGI workstations and supercomputers, laying off their animations one frame at a time to a 1" VTR. I did a lot of work for pharmaceutical companies and, for one client managed to hire an animation house to the ttune of about $1Million for a period of a year, working with one client.

     

    I come out of broadcasting and then entered web design. So I can understand your frustration, but Dreamweaver is a lot easier to learn than Maya in my opinion.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 1:01 PM   in reply to mhollis55

    Like Mark, I create these folders for every site -

     

    _css

    _img

    _inc

    _js

    _media

    _Local

     

    I use the initial underscore to make those 'system' folders always sort to the very top. That's a big convenience.

     

    Pretty much everything else is the same as he mentions.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 1:19 PM   in reply to MurraySummers

    Good idea, but I'm not old like Murray and can see my folders.

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 1:40 PM   in reply to mhollis55

    Yeah - but you have to search for them up and down. I don't!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2013 2:19 PM   in reply to MurraySummers

    On my Mac, I can sort by kind.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2013 5:24 AM   in reply to sclouston

    You should be doing HTML5.

     

    ---

    When a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.

     

    -Mark Twain

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2013 6:06 PM   in reply to sclouston

    Dear sclouston,

     

    You are so right to vent your frustration with Adobe and it's Dreamweaver website creation (frustration) software.

     

    It is over bloated and a perfect example of something that tries to be all things to all users.

     

    And yes it sometimes wants you to use it proprietary code. (spry...what a joke).

     

    That said, you are aware that you are trying to learn two disciplines or constructs, as some might say, at the same time.

     

    You are trying to learn how to use dreamweaver and you are trying to learn how to code websites.

     

    That's double the frustration...hence your S.O.S. on this forum.

     

    I was once in the same boat. Trying to learn how to build a website while trying to learn go-live/dreamweaver.

     

    Do yourself a favor and learn html and css coding first.

     

    Use a simple text editor like Notepad++ to code your website/webpages in.

     

    Buy a used html/css textbook(s) at the used book store, or go to w3schools.com to learn how to code.

     

    After a short while you will realize how easy it is to code and make websites/webpages without dreamweaver.

     

    Once you are familar with coding...then you can tackle that over bloated dreamweaver software...knowing that if anything goes wrong you can correct it on the coding level.

     

    HTML is the framework of a website...like the 2 x 4 framing of a new home.

     

    CSS is the decoration of a website...fancy siding, doors, and windows.

     

    JavaScript is the coding that makes the windows and doors open and close...think dynamic.

    Yes, JavaScript makes your webpage/website dynamic.

     

    Although now days more and more dynamic action is happening in the CSS code, due to security issues with JavaScript.

     

    Learn Coding first...then move on to Dreamweaver.

     

    That is all...for now.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2013 7:06 PM   in reply to Zignmahn

    While I appreciate the main thrust of your response here: Learn HTML and CSS, I cannot agree with the following:

     

    It is over bloated. It is not if you use it as it was intended to be used.

    Spry is proprietary code. It is not. It is Open-Source. It it a name Adobe gave to Ajax and XML JavaScript framework. When lots of people started clamoring for jQuery, Adobe took out Spry, gave it to GitHub, and included jQuery. Are you going to call that proprietary next?

     

    Dreamweaver's code editor is very helpful, and more so than Notepad, as it actually will tell you if you have a JavaScript syntax error, it will color your code and it auto-indents. You can type a comment and then click on a button to make it into a comment. Right-clicking the code brings up a context-sensitive menu of options.

     

    Checking your work is faster than a browser refresh -- from the same app, you can see it rendered in WebKit. Uploading to a server is easier than with a separate FTP application, and if you move things around to reorganize the site, Dreamweaver will update your links. You can also do a search and replacement across a complete local site (can't do that in Notepad)

     

    Admittedly, there are some UI issues with Dreamweaver but, to the extent you don't like the panels, you can just not use them.

     

    Learn HTML and CSS. Hating Dreamweaver is a waste of energy.

     

    -Mark

     

     

    ---

    When a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.

     

    -Mark Twain

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2013 10:11 PM   in reply to Zignmahn

    Zignmahn wrote:

     

    Although now days more and more dynamic action is happening in the CSS code, due to security issues with JavaScript.


    Please explain!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2013 11:29 PM   in reply to sclouston

    @sclouston,

     

    HTML5 is the baseline html of today - more semantic, more features like video. It also is a name under which more visual and interactive aspects of the web 3.0 are collected, like 3d, a flash like canvas element, and so on.

     

    Learning html and css is not as hard as it seems. For 95% of a web page layout you only need to know about perhaps ~20 tags. And most of the css properties speak for themselves. There are, however, certain rules you must know about, for example: validating html and css, the box model, the CSS cascade, CSS specificity, floating, margin collapse, types of CSS selectors. Look those up. Then spend a bit of time with DryCSS, OOCSS, and SMACSS - and use CSSlint.

     

    A good starting place to start to learn is http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Main_Page

    Stay away from w3schools if you can help it - some bad and antiquated coding practices there. Sitepoint is a better reference site instead: http://reference.sitepoint.com/html

     

    Avoid Quicktime like the plague for the web - it's absolutely dreadful, outdated, badly supported on Windows (64bit platforms are unsupported), and you should be using html 5 video when and if you can.

     

    You may find it easier to just learn html5 and css from scratch instead of trying to learn it through Dreamweaver. (Btw, there are better code editors out there if you do not need the confusing visual fluff of DW.)

     

    I am a 3d generalist, as well as a web developer - and an indy game developer in my spare time. Building a web page is as logicial, if not much more so and rigid and linear, than building 3d models, texturing, rigging, animating and rendering. The hardest thing is to learn html and css the right way. Do not trust any book older than two~three years, and even then it can be difficult to track down the correct information - especially on the web. There is a lot of rather bad and old-fashioned html and css code floating out there. Again, comparable to 3d, which has evolved pretty fast in the last ten years, and is still changing quickly. Web development is a hundred times worse: what was in fashion last month, has become old hat today. Literally at times. New frameworks and technologies are introduced at a rapid rate, and to keep up with it all is not really possible anymore. Just keeping track of all the new toys out there is a full time job. ;-)

     

    It does not make it easier for the novice web page coder. Try to find a good mentor - that works best, and/or regularly visit sites like smashing magazine.

     

    An alternative approach is not to code at all, and use a visual tool.

    Muse kinda works *shudder*, or Xara Webdesigner, and these let you focus on the design without worrying about code. The resulting code is pretty bad in both cases, though. Macaw looks very interesting, but is still in beta and not yet available to the public.

     

    Another visual tool for html5 interactive applications and games is Construct 2 - it allows you to pretty much do almost anything in 2d interactivity. It's meant for web games, but people have been using it for very dynamic and interactive sites as well (but forget about content indexing by search engines, and so on). It can also be used for certain more interactive components in your website. I would never build a complete site in Construct 2 myself, though. It's a lot of fun, though, and introduces a form of easy to understand visual coding. For mac there's Game Salad. (Who comes up with these names anyway?)

     

    There are also some very powerful html/css frameworks available like Foundation and Twitter Bootstrap - but forget about using those without at least a medium level of knowledge of html and css knowledge.

     

    PS 3d can also be implemented "relatively easy" now in your pages now. Check out http://acko.net/ and three.js

     

    BTW Never liked Maya much myself, never could get used to that GUI - I mainly use Blender, Lightwave, and Cinema4d. 3DCoat for sculpting, uvmapping and painting.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2013 3:44 AM   in reply to Ben Pleysier

    There aren't any. JavaScript is generally executed in the browser. It may also execute on a server, but I am betting there is not much server-side JavaScript out there.

     

    Now Java, and the Java Virtual Machines are a different issue. Those run on computers -- not just within the browser, and may be exploited.

     

    Zignmahn may have started writing before he engaged his brain.

     

    -Mark

     

    ---

    When a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.

     

    -Mark Twain

     
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