11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2010 12:14 PM by Rob Hecker2-uhQIgt

    workflow opinion?

    lcouri Level 1

      Being new to web design, I wanted to get a sense of efficiency amongst the more experienced developers here:  Is it realistic to comp/design in Photoshop, move it to Fireworks to add functionality then move it to Dreamweaver to activate the website?

      I'm just curious how well these suites will work with each other (providing my above question outcome is possible?)?


      Thanks in advance!


        • 1. Re: workflow opinion?
          John Waller Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Not sure what you mean by activate in Dreamweaver.


          You don't need both Photoshop and Fireworks in your workflow since they're both image editors and can produce identical artwork for the web.


          Choose whichever one you're comfortable with. If you've never used either, start with Fireworks for web graphics.


          Then use Dreamweaver to assemble the graphics, add interactivity and content (text), and upload all your files to the web for the world to see.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: workflow opinion?
            Ken Binney-GnPIX3 Level 4

            Never use a graphics program to generate code.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: workflow opinion?
              lcouri Level 1

              Sorry about that.  'Activate' in the sense of coding and uploading a functional webpage .... I'm new to FW (and DW as well) but I'm intrigued by it functionality ... I'll see if I'm able to 'create' web site ideas at that stage, first.



              • 4. Re: workflow opinion?

                Good Input... I'm a back end java/jsp developer crossing over to front end.    Adobe tutorials for CS5 make it seem as though you can mock up in Fireworks, then export to DW, and just update the CSS divs etc...  What do you think about that and why would they say that?  I'm doing a dynamic corporate site...e.g. need decorative css/images for section backgrounds to create 3px (e.g. it's specified in the style sheet) rounded corners, and 1 px drop shadows for the borders.  this is a lot of little images with repeats and stuff.  What do you think is best tool/workflow for this.  PS, or FW.  I like FW, but most of the on line hints and mini tutorials are for photoshop.... e.g. better user base means more help even if Fireworks is better... thx

                • 5. Re: workflow opinion?
                  BCDoherty Level 3

                  Was this site designed by print people?


                  At times, it's easier to just go from the design - whether it's on paper or in your head - straight to DW. Except for graphics of course. I know this may sound very un-techno, but why spend time creating something in PS/FW that can't be used for anything?

                  • 6. Re: workflow opinion?
                    Rob Hecker2-uhQIgt

                    A few posts up Ken said "Never use a graphics program to generate code." Absolutely correct.


                    For working out a design, I use Illustrator because I know it well, but Fireworks would probably serve better. Fireworks seems to create text as graphics and other GIF images better than Illustrator or Photoshop, even in CS5. As Jogn said earlier,  if you are starting fresh, learn Fireworks, then use Illustrator and Photoshop for those things FW can't do or isn't as good at. But never generate code with FW.


                    In Dreamweaver itself, I almost never use Design view. Better to write your own code. I never use DW templates, Spry, or any other part of DW that writes code for you -- better to write your own code and build repeatable elements usings PHP includes. (There are also non-PHP includes options).


                    I have not used DW templates for several versions, so I don't know if they have improved at all, but they can't possibly beat the simplicity and flexability of includes. You will need some method of managing repeating elements (such as your menu, your footer, overall page structure.)


                    HTML has a small vocabulary and there is a great deal of repetition. I find it useful to use a keyboard that has a set of macro keys that you can program, so in one keystroke you can enter <a href=""> or <scan> or even <p>. This makes writing code much faster. I use a Logitech G19, which is an expensive keyboard. There are less expensive options.

                    • 7. Re: workflow opinion?
                      MurraySummers Level 8

                      Templates can make your life easier.  I use the following scheme....


                      First, I mentally separate the page layout into three sections:


                      1.  Stuff that will not change for the life of the site (i.e., the basic

                      structural elements)

                      2.  Stuff that *could* change from time to time (e.g., navigation elements,

                      burst advertisements, section-specific navigation, etc.)

                      3.  Stuff that *will* change from one page to the next


                      Then I create a template containing all class1 elements.  Next I create

                      server-side include files containing all class 2 elements and place them on

                      the template as needed.  Note - some of the class 2 elements may be

                      "section-specific elements", and their placement on the template will be

                      subject to the next item.  Finally, I insert editable regions to cover the

                      class 3 items, INCLUDING the section-specific navigation.


                      This allows me to just cookie-cut the rest of the site.  I estimate that

                      even for fairly large sites, about 80% of my work goes into planning and

                      creating this template file.

                      • 8. Re: workflow opinion?
                        Rob Hecker2-uhQIgt Level 2

                        . . .but Murray, are you using DW templates, or includes, or a combination?


                        If you are using server side includes, why would you also use DW templates? (if you are)


                        Some form of templating is essential, but I have found DW templates to not be the best path.

                        • 9. Re: workflow opinion?
                          MurraySummers Level 8

                          I am using a combination of includes and templates, as described in my previous post.


                          If you are using server side includes, why would you also use DW templates? (if you are)


                          I use templates because they are convenient, predictable, and save me from the mindless error of overwriting a page with the wrong content when you open an existing page and add new content, intending to save it with a new name.  I have not found anything more usable in that regard.

                          • 10. Re: workflow opinion?
                            skudman1 Level 1

                            Good advice.  I really like the template approach and re-use of common components.   Im using grid960 css as a starting point which nice for initial layouts...  I found to focus on the template first, adding comments to the .css and breaking out .css for things like buttons, section headers makes it easy to follow.  I found that my best approach to DW is to just use it.  Start like a note pad on steroids then just read and google tutorials if you get stuck. (for me neccesity if the mother of invention.. I've spent too much time watching training videos on Fireworks) 

                            • 11. Re: workflow opinion?
                              Rob Hecker2-uhQIgt Level 2

                              I have accidently overwritten a page more times than I can count, so I see your point there. Usually daily backups have saved those from being too painful.


                              In most of my recent sites even most of the html is stored in the database, so the actual page is essentially just a call to the database followed by a small set of includes and variables triggered by the page_id. Even some of the PHP is stored in the database. This makes it possible to have layout flexibility even though the whole site is funneled through just one, two, or three "pages." The CMS interface is then used to manage almost everything. This method makes it easy to msanage even large and complex sites and also makes it easy to resuse the website structure for new sites.