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Dreamweaver beginner - essential skills I need to know to improve and climb..

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Spiral, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Spiral

    Spiral Guest

    Hello :)

    I want to expand on my Dreamweaver knowledge and learn to design better websites using more features on Dreamweaver. I want to progress (not too fast) in the web design world. I can currently produce and upload basic websites with texts, picture, links, tables. I don't know code or CSS. I have done a basic Dreamweaver course years ago. I am currently using CS4.
    So to all your web experts out there what key features and skills on Dreamweaver do I need to learn?
    Preferably in order of a learning progression??? A list would be great so I can work through it.....I am currently learning layers and how to create CSS rules.

    Thanks loads in advance!!
  2. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    STOP!! Layers are no way to lay a website out (and neither are tables come to that). You should really close Dreamweaver down and forget about it for a bit. You need to learn the theory of how a website goes together. Try some tutorials from; HTML and CSS Tutorials, References, and Articles | HTML Dog

    Learn about CSS rules, page flow, the CSS box model and which HTML tags are appropriate for certain tasks (otherwise known as semantics). Once you understand all that, open up Dreamweaver and discover how it can improve your workflow and make you a quicker developer.

    Point I'm trying to make is that DW doesn't make you a web designer in the same way that a high-end digital SLR doesn't make you a photographer. You need the basic knowledge before you go and try and 'drag and drop' a disastrous website in Design View :icon_wink:
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Good advice :icon_thumbup:
  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, must have my sensible head on today :icon_smile:
  5. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Agreed with Corrosive; if you'd like to learn how to make the better sites then scrap Dreamweaver (or just use the code view, of course!)
  6. Spiral

    Spiral Guest

    Oh right, yes quite a few people have said to me I need to learn coding instead of producing a website in the design mode. I will have a look at the tutorials you recommended!

    Why is it better to produce a website in code view rather than the design mode? I don’t understand?

    Do you generally think web design is a difficult and stressful job compared to other professions? On a scale of 1 to 10 what would you give it? With 10 being super stressful and hard and 1 being, well you know…..
  7. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    two words; "clean code". How well coded your website is makes a huge difference to things like search engine performance and page speed. DW code view ends up leaving empty tags and stuff all over the place, i.e. mark up you just don't need.

    For example, if you hit return in Design View, Dreamweaver creates this;

    Basically an empty paragraph. OK, in the design it has created the space you want but what is it doing there? It is not semantically correct. Whereas a hand coder will make sure that the margins in the CSS handle the spacing so you just get paragraphs with stuff in them...As it should be.

    Web design 1 out of 10. Dealing with clients... 11 :icon_wink:
  8. meow

    meow Member

    To add to that, if you do everything with the design view you aren't learning how the elements work together. Write in code and you will find it easier to know what is what and to fix things that require you to get into the code when you can't do it visually.

    Once you have got to grips with CSS, it's far easier to adjust with style with it than to faff around with the design view.
  9. Spiral

    Spiral Guest

    Thought I'd let you know yesterday I order a book online called:

    "Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours (Includes New HTML 5 Coverage) (Sams Teach 24 Hours)"

    I will turn my pc off and have a look through this book and hopefully it will make sense then.

    Well thanks for all your help and tips :)
  10. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Looks good. It has great reviews on Amazon. Keep us posted with your progress and ask questions here if you need help or further clarification. :icon_biggrin:
  11. Spiral

    Spiral Guest

    Thank you Corrosive and Meow I appreciate the help and support and I will be back soon! :)

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