There are two major WYSIWYG(What You See Is What You
Get) editors available for beginners. These are: Microsoft
FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver. So the question
is which one is better?
This article is not intended to humiliate Dreamweaver
or FrontPage editors. I just attempted to analyze both
programs from different points, based on Internet research,
experience of other users and my years of html coding
To say honest I am not the fan both of them. In our
production we regularly use AceHtmlPro but the fact
is that many of our customers DO use either FrontPage
or Dreamweaver and that's the reason our employee have
to be familiar with both. Writing the article I have
talked to our stuff and did some research about both
editors and I came up with the facts I'd like to share
Pluses and minuses of MS FrontPage:
Microsoft FrontPage Software
1. FrontPage as all Microsoft product has so
many templates and ready to use solutions that you
cannot admit it is easier for beginner to start using
FrontPage to build his first website. You can create
simple website personal or business with several clicks
and all you will need to do next is to enter your text
and pictures instead of used by FrontPage by default.
2. The good news is FrontPage html pages look
exactly as they appear in MS Explorer and the bad news
is that they look perfect ONLY in MS Explorer. However
you may program FrontPage to get rid of nasty tags
but I believe it requires some hand coding to adjust
pages to Netscape or Opera. Another good news for FrontPage
users: about 93% of all internet clients use MS Explorer
5 and higher.
3. As Microsoft application FrontPage is better
with ASP pages, which are standard for Windows based
hosting and windows based programming.
4. MS FrontPage perfectly interacts with other
MS Office products. For example you can easily cut
and paste some chart from MS Excel into FrontPage working
5. By default MS FrontPage uses table with
the fixed width and sometimes it can be a problem to
make it display tables with percentage width.
Pluses and minuses of Macromedia Dreamweaver:
1. You can build your own templates and use
them to edit hundreds of pages of your website with
one single click. Although Dreamweaver adds some comment
tags to html file to distinguish editable and non-editable
areas and I read in one forum that people experience
some troubles applying template to more then 700 pages
as they ran out of memory but I had never chance to
2. Pages done with Dreamweaver usually have
less trash in coding. They look almost perfect with
Netscape, Opera and MS Explorer.
3. Dreamweaver doing amazing thing with SSI
files and other server side include technology. Php
code looks much nicer however with ASP scripts FrontPage
4. Dreamweaver is much better interacts with
other macromedia products.
5. Both editors in most cases display CSS (Cascading
Style Sheets) correctly. But if you enter style attribute
twice in Dreamweaver for <td> it will definitely
ruin your page and you will be able preview your page
partly before this error. FrontPage however handles
such mistakes easily.
There are many others pluses and minuses in both editors
if I wrote about al of them I should probably start
a book rather then single article, but those I have
mention I heard most about.
My idea is that MS FrontPage is ideal for beginners
as it provides so much help and templates, then you
should move to Dreamweaver when you feel yourself more
comfortable with the html code and finally, if you
are serious about web design, you should reach the
hand coding level as it still best way for coding pages.
It gives you the freedom of using tags and styles,
as you want them to use. Do not forget however validate
you hand coding, or code generated with FrontPage or
Dreamweaver. You will be surprised if you knew how
many errors produced during coding starting from broken
links to invalid tag attributes.