Web Design Software Reviewed
In this post we going to review Two web design software programs that I am experienced with that being Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Expression Web.
Let’s begin with Microsoft FrontPage – First thing I should mention is the fact that FrontPage has been discontinued and no longer supported by Microsoft. However older versions are still available for sale both new and used on Amazon. The last version is FrontPage 2003. You will find many web hosting companies still supporting FrontPage along with FrontPage Extensions. Here is the Amazon link Microsoft FrontPage 2003 [OLD VERSION]
The software interface is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and comes with several templates to get your layout standardized. The WYSIWYG editor will create the HTML code as you type.
As this product is quite outdated you will not find CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) implemented and many users created layouts using Tables instead of CSS.
The design view allows the user to highlight a portion of the page layout, showing its nested tags above. The split-view is great for demonstrating how code will appear in presentation, and for explaining to the uninitiated how a polished webpage template would be coded.
Overall I found FrontPage easy to use and fast when creating pages with built-in themes and templates.
Microsoft Expression Web – Newest version is 3.0, I am current using version 2.0.
Expression Web replaced Microsoft’s now discontinue FrontPage. This new edition now supports CSS which I personally found a bit of a learning curve having come from “Tables” as my layout tool.
The opening screen is pretty standard with this type of editor. It consists of task panes on each side of the editing screen, which is in the center. The panes can be moved around to customize the editor to suit your preferences.
The editing screen can display the page in three different modes. In Design mode, the page is shown as it will be displayed on the Web, in a WYSIWYG format. Code mode shows the code only, as in a text-based editor. Both of the modes can be shown in a split screen display, making it easy to code by hand and see the results instantly. The split screens work in unison so changes made in one will also be shown in the other.
Expression Web isn’t a tool for the beginner. There are no drawing tools or easy drag and drop positioning. The supplied website templates are basic and you’re pretty soon left to your own devices. This is when you need to turn to the DVD-based training. Amazon Link for the full version Microsoft Expression Web 3.0
We will take a look a Web Design Product XsitePro in the next post .