Web Building software compatible with DreamWeaver?

Website Heads is building a site for a friend using Adobe’s DreamWeaver. She plans to get GoDaddy to host it, at which time she’ll get all the files from WH & plans to set it up herself, perhaps with my help. WH says we’ll need to use DreamWeaver to set up & modify it, or they can construct it with WordPress for another $200, and we can use that to maintain it.

Basically, I want to know if we should pay the extra $200 for a WordPress site , or if we can take the DW designes site & set it up/modify it at GoDaddy using GoD’s own Web Builder software? Is WH just trying to get us to pay for their hosting/maintenance services, or get more money out of us for the WP constructed site?

If you take a Dreamweaver site outside of Dreamweaver you’ll have a bunch of plaintext files made up of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other stuff like images. Without Dreamweaver you lose the ability to do things like edit the site template and have all changes propagated throughout, like if you were changing a navigation menu that appears on every page. However, you have a collection of fully formed HTML files. Nothing would stop you from changing the menu on every single page manually. Dreamweaver makes that a nearly instant process is all. And changing content unique to 1 page is as easy as opening a text editor and editing the content.

With wordpress you’ll be very locked in to your design. You can only change areas defined within Wordpress. With a decent template you should be able to log into a administrator page and change the content unique to each page with a WYSIWYG editor, and you should be able to change things like the navigation menu with wordpress forms.

I wouldn’t expect to be able to make any design changes to your Wordpress template. It’s possible, of course, but way more complicated than is worth doing for most people. If you want to use Wordpress you should plan on only being able to change the content, not the site template. I’ve also never personally had a good experience with the built in WYSIWYG editor.

You can set up your own GoDaddy site using WordPress without having to use Dreamweaver nor pay someone else an extra $200.00.

In fact, GoDaddy WordPress sites are on sale right now.

Only if you build a site with Dreamweaver templates. It’s an excellent web development tool in its own right, without having to create DW templates to manage pages and content. However, if you don’t have the requisite skills/experience you will be lost.

If it’s done in DW practically speaking you’ll need to have your own copy of DW and learn how to use it. GoDaddy’s (or any other) “web builder” won’t be able to touch it.

Thanks for the advice- let me clarify…

My friend got Website Heads to design a site. They have finished a proof she really likes & want the go-ahead to construct the whole thing. After that, she has the option of having them host & maintain it, or giving her the files, after which time she needs to find a hosting service & maintain it. This is costing her $350. As they built it with DreamWeaver, they say she needs DW to maintain it. They also offered to build a version with WordPress for another $200 so she would not need DW to maintain it, but could do it with WP.

She’s tempted to tell them to scuttle what they’ve done & refund the $350. BUT they have done a very good proof which she does not know if she could replicate if she does scuttle it & builds a new site at GoDaddy, or maintain if she OK them to develop the site but hosts elsewhere.

So that’s where things stands.

If they’ve put time in to design a site I’d be surprised if she can get a refund. $350 is cheap for the amount of time already spent. Dreamweaver is about $380 and, assuming she knows nothing about HTML or CSS, she’ll have a lot to learn to maintain it herself.

WordPress doesn’t require software to edit but she’ll sill need learn a fair bit.

Web design is a profession for a reason. If she wants a professional-looking site it has to be paid for either by hiring pros or becoming a semi-pro herself. It sounds like Website Heads is cheap for what she’d be getting. Or she can create crap with the GoDaddy web builder.

Unless the site is using Dreamweaver-specific things in its pages, like the templates, technically you don’t need DW to edit it.

This doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be easier with Dreamweaver; one important thing that DW does in manage the relationships between web pages. Imagine that I have two web pages, and page A links to page B. If I change the file name or file location of page B, I also have to change the reference in page A that links to page B.

Now imagine that I have twenty pages that link to page B, and I change page B’s file name. I have to then change every one of twenty different references in twenty different pages. What if I forget one? That link is then broken.

If I do what Dreamweaver calls “defining a site”, which involves telling DW where the main folder is containing all the pages, DW scans the folder and subfolders and builds an internal representation of the structure of the site. This replaces the one that you have to keep in your head when building a site manually. If you make a change, renaming or moving something, DW pops up a helpful reminder: “Would you like to change the references that point to the item you are changing?” I usually click yes. This saves an enormous amount of trouble.

Other things that Dreamweaver does includes highlighting various items so that you can see the structure of your page more easily, providing auto-complete of common code items, running various checks to see that things are working, and generally making the web developer’s job easier.

Now, what WordPress and similar systems do is, they move that whole “content management” function to the server. They give you a restricted set of templates for your pages, and still need a bit of an expert to set up. Their big advantage is, once they’re set up, you don’t need any special tools to add content. All you need is a web browser. You connect as an administrator and upload text and media to your heart’s content.