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  1. #1

    Question Frontpage replacement? What do you recommend for complete newbies?

    Hello,

    I used to recommend Microsoft frontpage for any customers that wanted to create their own simple website.

    It was a decent tool that allowed them to create a basic website, etc...

    What do you recommend now that Frontpage is no longer available? Are there any SIMPLE do-it-yourself website creators around?

    Note - Simple is better. The customer is not interested to create a fancy website with "web 2.0" features or look and feel. This is just so they can create something basic themselves and put it up very simply on their website. So it is critical that the tool be SUPER EASY to set up and actually use. It should be designed for idiots.

    (Free, if possible, is also better.)

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Why not a free open source CMS, you can offer free installation and a couple of free templates.

  3. #3
    CMSs are a good option. Or if you'd prefer a desktop app Dreamweaver's good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Publisher os good. Webexpression 2008 is also good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I used to be a Frontpage user with little web knowledge, moved to Dreamweaver and never looked back...

  6. #6
    There are some free WYSIWYG(What You See Is What You get) editors like NVU that are fairly simple to use. I think most people would be able master it in fairly short time.

    Dreamweaver is good, and probably overkill if you want to set up a quick site. It is also expensive unless you obtain it from less legal sources.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I use Dreamweaver and Expression for quick and easy sites...

    I prefer to code by hand is it keeps the site cleaner without inserting garbage into your code, also easier to categorize sections of the page so it's easier to edit if needed.

    Cheers!

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Yes, it's 100% free. Your own hand coded sites are the best. Using a program that generates the code for you is wrong, is coded horribly and teaches you NOTHING about actually writing the code. I suggest you go read up at www.w3schools.com and www.pixel2life.com. Also, while you're out reading those sites grab Notepad++, it's a lifesaver for hand coders.

  9. #9
    I agree my preference is to hand code, and I use PSPad. W3schools.com is a fantastic reference. My experience with WYSIWYG editors is that they add unnecessary code.

    The OP was asking for software that was simple, and inexpensive to create a basic website. Hand coding takes time to master. Some people just want to throw a site together, without having to learn CSS, HTML, or whatever. This was how I interpreted the original question.

    As for Dreamweaver I don't see how you can recommend it. I've had beginners try my copy, and they found it overwhelming, and cumbersome. It also costs $300+. Dreamweaver is great if you need to control revisions, site management, and much more of the nuances.
    The shortest answer is doing the thing.
    -Ernest Hemingway

  10. #10
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    NVU gets my vote. I've had several clients that wanted something to replace FP, and they learned this one in a matter of an hour or so.

    Why is it every time someone asks for a simple WYSIWYG web editor, someone has to start up with the hand edit vs automated argument? Is it so hard to give the OP what they asked for?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    NVU gets my vote. I've had several clients that wanted something to replace FP, and they learned this one in a matter of an hour or so.

    Why is it every time someone asks for a simple WYSIWYG web editor, someone has to start up with the hand edit vs automated argument? Is it so hard to give the OP what they asked for?

    Agreed. It's like a tables vs divs (css) debate. Good lean work can be done using either.

    Personally, I cast my vote for Dreamweaver. Quick and easy, and (mostly) standards-compliant.
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  12. #12
    bear, I agree. My request was for a simple program for newbies to create a website.

    Those people who recommended hand-coding, or a text editor may as well have not bothered to reply at all. Can you imagine giving your grandmother a copy of Dreamweaver and telling them to design a site? Good luck.

    The NVU software looks pretty good. I am trying to find out if there are any read-made templates that can be used with it. If so, then it would be the *perfect* tool for newbie customers who just want to create a simple site and have never heard (nor care to know) about "HTML".
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Clearly this is my opinion.

    I just think if someone is going to spend time to make a website, why not use about an hour or two learning (X)HTML, I get tired of people just referring to HTML Hell, I picked up XHTML and CSS in a matter of hours just with the basics and just a couple of days to really master it. It's not as hard as people think and using a program like Nvu, Dreamweaver is just an excuse to not learn it, that is use the WYSIWYG part of the programs.

    If you must give them a copy of a open-source (free) program, go with Nvu, <<snipped>>
    Last edited by bear; 06-03-2008 at 08:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karbon View Post
    Clearly this is my opinion.

    I just think if someone is going to spend time to make a website, why not use about an hour or two learning (X)HTML, I get tired of people just referring to HTML Hell, I picked up XHTML and CSS in a matter of hours just with the basics and just a couple of days to really master it. It's not as hard as people think and using a program like Nvu, Dreamweaver is just an excuse to not learn it, that is use the WYSIWYG part of the programs.

    If you must give them a copy of a open-source (free) program, go with Nvu, althought it's not hard to find a cracked copy of Dreamweaver on TPB (search google for that name).
    Or Nvu's fork/replacement, Kompozer. Correct me if I'm wrong
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  15. #15
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    "An unofficial bugfix/update called "KompoZer"

    More of a forked, fixed version?
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  16. #16
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    "An unofficial bugfix/update called "KompoZer"

    More of a forked, fixed version?
    I use Kompozer because it's the only thing I could find that's similar to Front Page but doesn't cost an arm and a leg but I hate it. It causes me more grief than you could imagine. For example, I have to do all kinds of extra work just to create a simple table that I could create in FP with no problems.
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  17. #17
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    Also have a look at Aptana the free equivalent of Adobe Dreamweaver. Very powerful and very stable.

    And for templates you can have a look at http://www.oswd.org http://www.openwebdesign.org http://www.opendesigns.org http://www.freecsstemplates.org
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  18. #18
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    I'd vote for NVU too.

    It might take only an hour or two to learn/create a basic (x)html page but it'll take several days if you want to learn how to add tables, layout your design and also - no beginner is going to want to do that.

    GUI all the way for grandmothers/girlfriends/complete beginners!

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