How do you like to build your Web site?

I was just curious about everybody's preferred method of Web site building.

I just code mine in HTML. Some years ago I took some classes in HTML writing at the graphics college where I work. There’s something kind of cool about HTML, about the simplicity of writing in it. Not sure why, but I kind of enjoy it. I’m a graphic designer by trade so maybe it’s the love of simple things.

When I was giving the site a facelift a couple years ago, I tried a site-building program. The code it wrote was complete spaghetti, a useless mess, and it caused the pages to have alignment problems as well. I never published them; I went back to hand coding vanilla HTML and never used a site-builder again.

I just did another major update for 2006. I spent the three-day MLK weekend working at my computer with almost no breaks, it was hard work but I enjoyed it. The HTML, caption writing, image sizing, uploading and file mgmt was extremely tedious and time consuming but that's ok.

Sometimes I’ll add new elements one brick at a time, and sometimes I’ll sit and work on the site for extended periods.

So for me, I just write and edit my entire site in HTML. I don't care for blinking things and a lot of the "extras", but that's just preference.

What do you guys do, Dreamweaver, Flash, PHP etc.? How do you guys like to build and maintain your sites?
 
I started out coding in HTML in 1995. It is easy to learn, and once you get the hang of it, you can usually build a site faster this way than most people can with a WYSIWYG editor like FrontPage or DreamWeaver.

The problem with the WYSIWYGs is that it's hard to have precise control over details - like pixel-by-pixel sizing of table cells, fonts and alignments - important for complex designs. And yes the WYSIWYGs are very inefficient with code - sometimes I've had to take over maintenance of a site built with a WYSIWYG. The code was so jumbled, disorganized and excessive that I had to just re-code the entire thing by hand to clean it up.

The WYSIWYGs have a place, but if you can learn the code you'll be much better off. Most the time building a web site is in the graphics stage. Once I finish that, the HTML is a snap.
 
I'm a huge user of Dreamweaver. I, too, began by writing HTML code on Notepad, but when time didn't permit me to do that as much, I gave in to the editors and fell in love with Dreamweaver. I am still able to code it on my own if I choose, but the templates, WYSIWYG editing, and its own FTP client makes it such a nice program for website developers.
 
I've tried using site-building applications like Dreamweaver, but I've always come back to hard-coding using a standard text editor like Notepad. IMO, it's just as easy to code the HTML as it is to use a program like Dreamweaver. I'm sure there are a myriad of advantages to DW, but for me, at least, and what I do, it's easier to hard-code. I've always found that site-building programs tend to make pages that have excess, bloated code.

My first site used tables like crazy. I modified a few things to use server-side includes, but that wasn't a big change. A couple of years ago, I changed the site to utilize CSS stylesheets instead, and it's stayed that way until just a couple of weeks ago. I'm currently in the process of moving much of my site (as of now, just the storm chasing portion) to PHP. Since all of my chase logs have the same general format, using PHP along with MySQL makes the site much easier to organize. For example, if I want to change the look of all of my chase logs, I only need to change a single page, instead of having to edit the 50-odd individual chase log pages that I have now. I've found PHP to be incredibly useful, and relatively easy to learn if you spend some time at www.php.net and look through the tutorials (http://www.php.net/manual/en/index.php ).
 
vi with php

Am I the only one who found this humorous? Ahhh, the good old vi editor.

Back to topic, I've used dreamweaver in the past and liked it. I had a few problems with getting a template to all my pages. I often found myself digging into the HTML to correct the inaccuracies of the WYSIWYG.

Now I'm experimenting with Wordpress and php. Just started my new site although I'm not ready for total public release yet. It hasn't been too much of a problem although there are some resizing issues I have yet to figure out.
 
vi with php

Am I the only one who found this humorous? Ahhh, the good old vi editor.

Back to topic, I've used dreamweaver in the past and liked it. I had a few problems with getting a template to all my pages. I often found myself digging into the HTML to correct the inaccuracies of the WYSIWYG.

Now I'm experimenting with Wordpress and php. Just started my new site although I'm not ready for total public release yet. It hasn't been too much of a problem although there are some resizing issues I have yet to figure out.

LOL. The editor I love to hate, vi! It reminds me of editing in TSO (for any of you mainframe folks out there).

I use Dreamweaver. I like it for the site management functions more than using for the actual creation of the pages. I use the template function, which saves me a lot of time when making changes that need to be duplicated to all pages. But I spend most of my time in the "code" view. Dreamweaver doesn't seem to add as much junk code as other wysiwyg editors, but it's not perfect.
 
When I first learned how to make websites, I coded everything in HTML using wordpad or notepad. I did it this way for the longest time and then I started using Frontpage.

I love frontpage, though I still do a lot of tweaking in plain ol' HTML code.
 
I built the first version of my web site in Pico on the unix server at the WV Tech engineering lab in '95. Using IBM 286 workstations! Pico for the web pages and Pine for email! Everything backed up on a 3.5" disk vthat I took home with me. Those were the days. VI was there but was just too backwards, what a strange editor that was. I had four scanned lightning photos of mine on my site back then, with color depths of something less than 256 - the scanner was primitive and they looked awful, but I was excited to have something actually online!

I actually used Pico and server-based editing for almost 3 years (1995 to 1998). It was a big adjustment to start using client-based editing with notepad/wordpad and WS-FTP when I graduated and lost my college server account.

Wordpad is easier to use than notepad, NP seems to have some quirky line wrapping issues in later versions of Windows. To this day I still use Wordpad. I don't change my web site MO unless I am absolutely forced to.

Hard to believe that was almost 11 years ago. Man things have changed!
 
I use a combination of things. Sometimes I will use VB to create online web programs, and interfaces. I usually, however create my layout/design in Adobe Photoshop CS2, and slice it there, then get the coding and code it with notepad and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. I then upload all my files with either WS-FTP Pro or FTPRUSH.
 
Contracting it out to someone who knows what the heck they are doing :lol:

I have a company website coming up, and then another project that will take several programmers a few months to write (it uses just about every prog. langauge out there, LOL).
 
ahhh, the joys of vi....brings back great memories!

for those folks that are using word pad or note pad, you might try a program called text pad that has several handy features for working with java and html including a preview option, automatic indentation and code highlighting . I always show this to my students and they really like it. You can also open multiple documents at once and they are listed in a side panel which makes editing linked pages much easier.
 
I use Microsoft Publisher, which has its own built-in WYSIWG editor. In fact, the idea of creating my own web site first came to me when I noticed the "create web page" option under the "New Publication" menu. You can set up your web page, then go to "Preview" and it will generate the HTML which pops up in Internet Explorer, and can then be saved as a .htm or .html document that can be uploaded to the Internet.

In the process of dabbling around with this for awhile, I learned some of the basic points of HTML editing so I can modify web pages without having to go back to Publisher and re-upload every time I want to make changes. My site still looks fairly amateurish, but I'm getting the hang of the finer things like animation and backgrounds that are making it look better.
 
I use FrontPage for HTML editing (I like the coloring of the code). I rarely use it's actual 'Editing' feature, just the 'HTML' code and 'Preview'. I edit my pages by hand in HTML using CSS (now that I'm getting the hang of setting up complex designs... if you can call them that). I use Photoshop 9 for graphics. I'm getting ready to break in to php when I get the time because it has a lot of features I'd really like to use. I usually redo my site a few times a year and make it better. I just redid it this past few months and the few parts I'm working on now are much better code-wise than the first part of it, so I'll end up redoing it later as always. :) Then I test my site in FireFox and IE to make sure everything looks okay. I would recommend anyone who builds I site (especially if your using CSS) to check it in at least IE and FireFox (as Netscape can render both browsers) to make sure everything looks correct since they both handle code differently. Even things such as 'alt' and 'title' HTML code is handled differently. God forbid you try CSS 'display: inline-block', heh.
 
Just started using Microsoft's Visual Web Developer. Have mainly hand coded in the past, but that takes too long and is severely lacking (for me) in several areas.
 
Graduated from Frontpage to Dreamweaver about 2 yrs ago.. still use dreamweaver. Im happy with its features.
 
I tried using Dreamweaver a couple of years ago, but I just didn't like it for some reason. Frontpage added too much junk to the code, so I didn't use that for too long.

I like using Notepad and coding the HTML, and now that I'm learing CSS, it's even more fun. Right now, my page is a half-hearted mix of HTML tables and CSS stuff.

JB
 
I had been useing Frontpage till this year... Buddy (my son and chase partner) is currently updating our site to PHP... We have an admin log-in area that we are going to use for chase accounts.. all we have to do is log in, put the date, chase info and any pics (file names) and it will automatically make a new page (for that date) for the chase and put everything where it goes, even all the new links on the other pages... pretty cool...

Dave
 
Originally posted by David Sallee
I had been useing Frontpage till this year... Buddy (my son and chase partner) is currently updating our site to PHP... We have an admin log-in area that we are going to use for chase accounts.. all we have to do is log in, put the date, chase info and any pics (file names) and it will automatically make a new page (for that date) for the chase and put everything where it goes, even all the new links on the other pages... pretty cool...

Dave

That is exactly how I am doing it. I just finished up my chase log submission script a couple of weeks ago... I enter things like the date, chase location, log, etc, and it will create all necessary folders and files/pages. This is considerably easier than copy/pasting old logs then having to rename and upload/FTP them to a new folder. Granted, that wasn't rocket science, but this is easier. I'm currently using breezebrowser pro to make my image pages, but I'd really like to move into a php/msql-based image gallery. That way I don't need to upload the pages made in breezebrowser... Or, as a compromise, it'd be nice if breezebrowser had an auto-upload / FTP engine built into it.
 
If you're doing web-based content management, make sure that you back up your work frequently. Keep a copy of your chase logs in a Word file somewhere on your computer before posting them. If there is ever a server crash or if you accidentally overwrite/delete photos or text, it's gone for good.

With client-based editing you have two copies of your site, one on the server and another on your computer. Web-based solutions usually remove the client-side backup element.
 
Good old HTML

I'm still using plain HTML, though I've borrowed occasional scripts and includes for a few gadgets on the site. An include is great for menus, since you change the file once and it's altered throughout the site. FrontPage code looks like a horrible mess when you're an HTML minimalist. I also like plain HTML and small photos because they load fast. I know more and more people have broadband, but I like to be kind to those on dial-up.
:)
Chris K.
 
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