What do I need with industry standard?

November 15, 2009, by A. U. Crawford

I believe in doing more with less. You can go out and buy expensive “industry standard” software such as Dreamweaver, Front Page, Fire Works… or like so many others out there with little to no money get cracked versions. But why?

I’ve been doing web design for a long while, and I’ve used a great multitude of “industry standard” web design software. I’ve experienced how they’ve developed over time and I say enough. Today there are way too many free open source options available. You don’t have to have the expensive stuff to turn out quality web sites.

At my job I use GoLive, which I love for the simple way it marks up code. but alas you can’t even buy it anymore. It was bought buy Adobe some time back and they canned it in favor of their own software Dreamweaver. An inferior software if you ask me. Too much bling, not enough leave me alone and let me work. Its too much for beginners to deal with and to cumbersome for a lot of professionals.

The things these “industry standard” soft wares help you to do can be awesome, don’t get me wrong, but when you really get to know HTML, PHP, CSS or what ever language you work with you learn that the “industry standards” often just get in the way. They try to anticipate what you want and create the code for you.

Sounds great for a beginner but a lot of the code is not clean. Meaning it can sometimes make things difficult. Especially when you’re just starting out. It can be hard to understand all the things that the software is doing for you and when something breaks, or fails to work the way you want it, you are left trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it. You almost have to take a class to really know how to use it properly, or you get a “how to” book. Ether way you end up spending even more time and or money.

As a side note If you have a Mac then I highly suggest BBedit.  But It’s not cheep and how many of us can afford a Mac?  So…

anyway, at home I don’t have the money to buy whatever software I want. But I’ve learned that for all their flashy features when you come right down to it all you really need is a good text editor that does good markup (coloring your code). No two web designers are exactly alike though so you will have to find what works for you. A little trial and error. You might find you love Dreamweaver or what ever. But this is what I use:

PHP Designer found at http://www.mpsoftware.dk/. There is a free version that does just what I need. If you want more options then you can buy the professional version for pennies as compared to the “industry standards”. It does great with HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript, which is what I use most often.

There are many soft wears like this available. Try going to cnet download.com to search for free HTML software for your Mac or PC.

Mozilla FireFox found at mozilla.com. There is no reason why anyone should have just one web browser that they use for everything. I have several browsers (all free) that I use for different purposes. I will save that discussion for a latter post. But if you are going to be doing web design you have to have and design with FireFox. I will go into that at a later post also.

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