Software for producing websites - to replace Serif WebPlus

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by paulears, May 28, 2017.

  1. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    My website demands are quite modest, and I've used Serif Webplus for years - but it's being dropped, and while they say it's perfectly functional, it's reached the end of it's life. I like the simple style, similar to their other products and it copes with things I need. Simple click on buttons that use the code pappal provides and does the usual hyperlinks, hotspots and images - quite simple stuff, I guess.

    I do have Dreamweaver as part of my Adobe CC subscription, but I've never even started it up.

    My question is - as I have Dreamweaver, should I start making the effort to learn how to use it, and knowing Adobe, I doubt this will be as obvious and simple as WebPlus was - or should I be looking at some other product. If it helps, I tend to use Serif's templates and the tweak ratheer than starting from scratch. I could pay an expert, but as my websites aren't really designed to generate business, just be a kind of window I change the content quite frequenctly and really need to be able to do everything myself.

    Any suggestions?
    Paul
     
    Posted: May 28, 2017 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #1
  2. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,363 1,102
    I never liked Dreamweaver.

    Also, I'm a big fan of open source.

    If you want something easy and free, try Kompozer. I used it a few times over the last year and I find it a darn sight more user friendly than Dreamweaver. I'll go so far as to say I quite like it (and I've used everything from MS Frontpage to Notepad++).
     
    Posted: May 28, 2017 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #2
  3. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Why are you still handcoding websites?

    Using a CMS (any CMS) will make your life so much easier.

    I use Wordpress because I'm now very familiar with how it works but even complete novices can put a site together in minutes. And because it's a CMS if you don't like one theme you can switch to any one of the thousands of freebies.

    Have a bit of a play and you will soon realise how clunky and time consuming hand coding can be compared to the automation a CMS can give you.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #3
  4. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,363 1,102
    Wordpress is a pain - less secure, more problems, steep learning curve (if you want to run it properly and securely), higher demands on server resources ...there are lots of reasons to not use it.

    The #1 most visited page on my site, by a country mile, is wp-login.php! Every script kiddie in the world is trying to hack sites running this CMS.

    Yes, I use it for some sites, but there are other sites on which I wouldn't dream of installing the complicated bloatware called WP.

    Or Joomla / Drupal / other CMS.

    Some sites are better off with plain, vanilla hand code.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2017 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #4
  5. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    Thanks for suggestions so far - but they're making me see how good web plus actually is - looked at a couple of youtube demos for composer and dreamweaver and I'm amazed at how slow it is to simply slap a box in a certain position on the page and sticks some text in it. In web plus, you simply drop in a box, shape it, move it, type text in, enter things like hyperlinks and images - Dreamweaver appear so clunky and horrible I cannot imagine duplicating the multi-page sites I currently have up and running. There must be something drag and drop - surely?
     
    Posted: May 28, 2017 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    There are also lots of good reasons to use it. But that's a discussion for another day.
    Not anymore. There just isn't the demand for them. And in any case, drag and drop site builders product horrible code and are poorly responsive - which is more important these days than almost anything else.

    Despite @Clinton's aversion to a CMS, using one will make your life so much easier. And it'a not a steep learning curve. A hour watching youtube videos or reading tutorials and you will be able to do most of the basics.
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    730 105
    Well I never knew they were finishing off Webplus. I started off with that in the 90s and ran an ecommerce site for many years before changing over to Zen Cart. I really miss being able to put a box exactly this size in exactly that place!
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #7
  8. ryedale

    ryedale Contributor Full Member - Verified Business

    1,536 364
    As previously mentioned, the problem with the wsyiswyg builders is that they produce massive amounts of bloated code with inline styles- the same screen element that a properly built site would create in 5 lines of code takes 100 lines and so on

    The way they produce sites make it very hard for them to create true mobile designs hence why they are dying out (thankfully)

    CMS's used properly don't need to be bloated at all, using pretty much zero server resources.
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: ryedale Member since: Dec 17, 2013
    #8
  9. profitxchange

    profitxchange UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,704 192
    Again an obsolete programme that I have just used MS Expression 4 . I agree wysiwyg web builder create the masses of code but if you only want a simple page - so what.
    I used MS publisher for the visual appearance saved as web page and loaded into expression to create functionality.
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: profitxchange Member since: Apr 16, 2005
    #9
  10. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,542 265
    My first thoughts - were ugh ! - Move to word press !

    But then of course it depends why you are asking and what you are trying to do
    But from your description it sounds perfect

    Super easy to get going with and you can learn more as you go along

    Loads of templates and add on's off the shelf - free or pretty low cost

    Why not play with one to see how you get on

    This easy to try - https://wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

    Choose the option on the left

    Allow 30 to 60 mins for that first understanding
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #10
  11. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    5,940 1,633
    As mentioned, with responsive designs, wysiwig builders just don't cut the mustard so the demand has collapsed.

    10 years ago tools like DreamWeaver & Kompozer were useful.

    With grid based frameworks, why not just code it in CSS, it really isn't hard to do basic stuff.

    A simple clean framework / boilerplate like Skeleton http://getskeleton.com/ would be a good place to start.

    I agree that WordPress is horrible overkill for simple pages.

    But that said, with WordPress there are many wysiwig page builders - some actually are not too bad, like Beaver Builder.
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #11
  12. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,542 265
    Wordpress

    It might be over kill for simple pages - but is also very simple to use
    It might not produce neat efficient code - but this probably does not matter based on the initial post
    People now have fast broadband and 3G etc - and by the sound of it there is not much to the website

    It just has to do the job - which is cheap simple - effective - based on
    "I could pay an expert, but as my websites aren't really designed to generate business, just be a kind of window I change the content quite frequently and really need to be able to do everything myself"

    For myself it is a no brainer to use wordpress
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Only if you don;t know what you are doing. A properly configured and optimised Wordpress site and be as light and compact as a hand coded HTML site. And a hundred times better than anything created using Serif or Expression Engine.
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,474 824
    I do get repeated complaints from various companies trying to sell me web services telling me my sites are not mobile compliant, and now at least I know why. Years ago I used to write the html myself but the prospect of having to TYPE replacements for the sites I have on the go is a bit scary, and time consuming. I suppose the simplest thing to do would be to recreate a single page from one of the sites - probably the audio file downloading one and see how difficult it is to create the lists of track titles that people can click on to hear a sample and then click on the buy now button to trigger the payment process and initiate the download. I had quite a bit of grief with a php update a few months back - does wordpress exist on the server with no impact on how php functions?

    Quick question for fisicx - a hundred time better than the serif software manages? I can very quickly produce exactly what I want in Serif, which makes it very cost effective - surely manipulating dozens of potential objects on a page with rollovers, hyperlinks, hotspots and images will be horendously time consuming - or have I missed the point? Just that wysiwyg is accurate and quick, and the bloated code it no doubt creates doesn't really cause me issues, does it?
     
    Posted: May 29, 2017 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #14
  15. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Wordpress (and any other CMS) manages all the objects for you. For example, if you want to add a link you select the anchor text then begin typing the target page title and Wordpress will search the database looking for suitable matches. Or if you want to add an image, you can search your media library or computer and drop it onto the page and edit the size and location.

    Bloated code slows down page load speeds. And this along with being mobile friendly are two ranking signals (because they affect the user experience).

    And you mention audio clips. Wordpress does all this for you, it tread sound and vision just like any other media file.

    It can also manage all your payments and file downloads using a plugin.

    If you want to give me a call I can give you a demo on how simple things are to do.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    Thanks - I'll do some more research I think - I suspectI don't understand the basic concepts behind how wordpress works yet - so that's next on the list. Thanks
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #16
  17. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    An analogy:

    Wordpress is like a building - it is the repository for all your stuff.

    Once all your stuff is in the building you can move it around and organise it in any way you want.

    Once organised you can paint the walls, at some curtains, put a fancy reception desk behind the door and so on.

    If you want you can add new stuff, move some bits into storage and even get back stuff you threw away.

    And you can redecorated the whole building without having to move any of your stuff. Even better you can switch your interior design as often as you like and return to old schemes any time you feel like it.

    And there's more....

    Suppose you want some new-fangled doodah in your building. You could go learn how to do it yourself but with wordpress there is no need. There is a huge warehouse full of free stuff next door, you just need to go in and pick the things you like. For free.

    And the best bit of all, wordpress keeps track of everything and will go find your stuff for you.

    And there are thousands of people out there on the interweb who can help you if you get stuck. For free.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #17
  18. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,306 2,828
    Half of all websites being launched in 2017 are using WP - and for a reason!

    The library of free templates is massive and the community of users, many of whom go out of their way to help beginners, is even more massive. The number of plug-ins to do anything and everything is not massive, but (to quote that great poet and philosopher Dizzy Rascal) 'Bonkers!' Over 50,000 free plug-ins, from on-line shops to on-line radio and TV streaming, from quizzes to surveys (so no more lame 'Survey-Monkey' postings!)

    Do you want to start your very own business forum? There's a whole range of plug-ins just for that!

    Short of learning how to write in html (which I had to do and in a hurry back in the 90s) no other platform gives you the possibilities of WP.

    WP is not some amateur numpty platform, but is used in whole or part by The Good and Great such as CNN, dozens of newspapers, ebay, Reuters, Google Ventures, NASA, Sony, the list of corporate users just goes on and on!
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #18
  19. Videoguy

    Videoguy UKBF Regular Full Member

    160 10
    Another vote for WordPress (sorry Clinton) as it's come a long way in a short time. There are lots of templates (themes) and plug-ins which can turn it from a blog site into an e-commerce site, sales site... the list goes on and on. You can also use the Elementor plug-in to drag and drop a custom template - or use lubith (although that's not very mobile friendly) You can also make it pretty bullet-proof and keep the hackers out - including hiding the log-in page.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: Videoguy Member since: Sep 4, 2006
    #19
  20. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    Nooooo!

    Don't use drag and drop anything. Or a page builder plugin. They create awful code and tie you in to their product.

    You can create stunning layouts using just CSS. No need to faff about with anything else.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #20