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Web design series- Dreamweaver 8 and CS3: Should you Switch?

Upgrade to Dreamweaver CS3? Or stick with Dreamweaver 8? This is a question that many web designers who own Dreamweaver 8 are asking themselves as they consider whether it would be worth their money or their web design company?s money to upgrade their design software. Since it is your job as a web designer to work with the software in question, the onus of deciding whether the new version will improve service and overall work quality or not. Many web designers are also wary of the fact that Macromedia has been acquired by Adobe and are wondering whether the new owners have improved or destroyed this piece of software. It is my opinion that there is no clear choice between the two. The choice you eventually make must be determined by what you require from your design software.

Web design feature #1: Adobe and Dreamweaver Together
Some web design companies may find the integration between the new Dreamweaver software and existing Adobe tools a good enough reason to purchase the Dreamweaver CS3. Images can easily be transferred from one software to another and some designers find this feature very attractive.

Web design feature #2: CSS Support Made Better
Designers will likely find that one of the best new features of Dreamweaver CS3 are the fresh and improved CSS layouts. The software code contains detailed commentaries related to how these layouts function so understanding how to use them is a relatively simple affair. There are currently 32 different layouts to choose from, in 1, 2, or 3-column designs, and in fixed or liquid design layouts. The starting position of the CSS is easily defined and subsequent movement is also simple and easy. Designers can simply style the tag directly into the

Dreamweaver CS4

HTML through a style attribute, then transfer it to their style sheet. In Dreamweaver CS3, ?Convert Inline CSS to Rule? appears on a single right click of the tag and a custom class for that particular style or a full CSS selector is easily created.

Web design feature #3: Mobile Support
The incorporation of Adobe Device Central into Dreamweaver CS3 also makes designing pages for viewing on mobile platforms much easier than before. Although use of the mobile platform to view web pages has become increasingly popular, it was previously a rather challenging task to design pages that are compatible for viewing on both a mobile platform and a web browser one. Dreamweaver CS3 makes those challenges a thing of the past.

Web design feature #4: Ajax Implementation Now Made Possible
Adding Ajax widgets and effects to the web pages that you create is now possible through the incorporation of the Spry framework in to Dreamweaver CS3. A simple drag and drop operation will deposit them into your dataset. Transition effects such as shrinking, growing, highlighting and fading, integration of XML feed data and widgets for tables lists and forms are just some of the features of Spry that have been included in Dreamweaver CS3.

Web design feature #5: XLST Support
XLST support is a major feature of CS3 and both you and your design company will be delighted by the support included through the use of XML files as the database source. Viewing of the XML and integration into any HTML documents are made easy through XLST. Web designers who possess XML files of the same format can easily create a single template for them by using XLST.

Web design feature #6: Support for Mac Intel Processors
CS3 is now also native to the Intel-based Macintosh platform, and load times have been significantly reduced. The company behind CS3 claims that, whereas Dreamweaver 8 previously required four minutes to load, CS3 now accomplishes the same feat in under one minute. However, these claims have yet to be verified by proper testing.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade
The question does not have an easy answer. Personally, I chose to upgrade and have not looked back since. The new CSS features, XLST support and Device Central are all wonderful new additions to the software. However, live databases and server side scripts are still difficult to use with Dreamweaver CS3 and this may discourage web design companies from purchasing the software. If, at the end of it all, you choose to upgrade, it is unlikely that you will regret the money spent.

Moe Tamani is a Dallas SEO consultant for a leading Dallas Web Design company.

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Web Design Series- Dreamweaver 8 and CS3: Whats The Difference?

So you now have the Dreamweaver 8 and you are just not quite sure whether your web design company is willing to shell out some more to upgrade to the latest CS3 version.

This is actually a challenging decision to make for your web design company. As a web designer, you have to work with the software, so it is both your right and responsibility to decide whether the new version will help you come up with improved web design. This makes you wonder too: Now that Adobe has already bought Macromedia, what have they done to it? Have they ruined it, or have they made it so much better that you should already kick yourself now for not buying it earlier? Well, if I were to be asked, I stand somewhere in between these two.

Web design feature #1: Adobe and Dreamweaver Together
Your web design company may find it reason enough to buy the new Dreamweaver CS3 because of its full integration with Adobe graphics tools like those found in Photoshop. When you have an image, you can directly click on it and edit right away.

Web design feature #2: CSS

Dreamweaver CS4

Support Made Better
One of the best features found in the new Dreamweaver CS3 is the integration of better CSS layouts. These layouts are all well-commented in the code, so it can be pretty easy to start knowing how CSS layouts tend to work. They now have over 32 layouts that you can choose from in 1, 2 or 3-column formats, in fixed and liquid type web designs. You may also define the position where you want the CSS to be when creating a new page, not to mention how easy it is to move the CSS styles around.
You can stat out by styling the tag directly into the HTML through a style attribute and move it to your style sheet. With Dreamweaver CS3, you will only have to right click on the tag and set it to “Convert Inline CSS to Rule” to build a custom class for that specific style or to create one full CSS selector.

Web design feature #3: Mobile Support
Your web design company will also be pleased to know about the mobile support integrated into the new CS3 version. Creating pages made especially for mobile devices have been popular in the recent years, but it can be difficult to design one which is compatible both on mobile and web browser platforms. However, with the integration of the Adobe Device Central into the CS3, Dreamweaver now makes it easy to view your pages in cell phones.

Web design feature #4: Ajax Implementation Now Made Possible.
The Dreamweaver CS3 now has integrated the Spry framework so that it adding Ajax widgets and effects onto your pages have now been made possible. All you do is to drag and drop them and incorporate them into your dataset. Dreamweaver CS3 features Spry components which include: widgets for tables, lists and forms: transition effects such as growing, shrinking, highlighting and fading, and integration of data from XML feeds such as in database or RSS.

Web design feature #5: XLST Support
Another amazing feature about the CS3 that both you and your web design company will love is the extensive support it has for XLST through the use of XML files as database source. Through XSLT, it is easy to view the XML in a tree form and integrate it right into your HTML document. This simply means that if you have a number of XML files set in the same format; it is relatively simple to create one single template for all of them in the new CS3 using XLST.

Web design feature #6: Support for Mac Intel Processors
If your web design company works on an Intel-based Macintosh platform, you will be happy with the performance improvements of the CS3. It is now native to the platform and does not run on Rosetta so that it loads a lot quickly than before. In fact, CS3 claims that what loads in Dreamweaver 8 for 4 minutes can load in the CS3 in under one minute. You can do further testing to confirm this.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade.
That is the question. In my case, I have upgraded and haven’t regretted any of it. I appreciate the new CSS features, the XSLT support and the Device Central. However, your web design company may see one piece that is still missing, which is that of web design time and programming. As in the previous versions, the Dreamweaver CS3 is also still difficult to use in terms of live databases and server side scripts. However, there may be extensions to make things easier for you. On a general whole, go on and upgrade and you will most likely never have to look back.

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Moe Tamani is a Marketing expert with a leading SEO services company specializing in SEO web design.

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Designing Websites with DreamWeaver

With Adobe? Dreamweaver?, you can quickly and easily design, develop, and maintain websites and web applications from start to finish.

It has been built for both web designers and developers; Dreamweaver offers the choice of working in an intuitive visual layout interface or a streamlined coding environment. Intelligent integration with other Adobe products including Photoshop?, Illustrator?, Fireworks?, Flash? and Contribute? software. This ensures efficient workflow across your favourite tools and speeds up the web design process.

DreamWeaver is a superb application that lets you take advantage of all the flexibility and power of a world-class web design tool whilst being able to manipulate pixel-perfect designs in design view, craft complex code in code view, or do a little of each.

By linking to other Adobe products, DreamWeaver lets web designers and coders design, develop, and maintain content within Dreamweaver while taking advantage of intelligent integration with other tools, including Flash, Fireworks, Photoshop, Contribute?, and new Device Central for creating mobile device content.

The workspace in DreamWeaver is completely customisable. This makes working in DreamWeaver really simple. You can move commonly used tools and save their positions, toolbars and layouts so that the workspace is the most efficient setup for how you work. web design has never been more personal or easy.

When this workspace flexibility in DreamWeaver is combined with the many shortcuts included

Dreamweaver CS4

in the application, such as AJAX support, complete CSS support, integrating coding at the click of a button, XML support and support for leading technologies including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, Ajax, PHP, ColdFusion, ASP, ASP.NET, and JSP, Dreamweaver becomes the application of choice for web designers and developers everywhere.

Outside of the application is a huge community of support for DreamWeaver. Web designers can enjoy all the benefits of the extensive Dreamweaver community, including the online Adobe Design Centre and Adobe Developer Centre, training and seminars, developer certification programs, user forums, and more than 1,000 downloadable extensions available in the Dreamweaver Exchange.

In the newest release of DreamWeaver, CS3, there is also a separate site dedicated to cross-browser support. This is particularly useful when testing your web designs in several different browsers.

On the subject of CSS, DreamWeaver has a huge amount of integrated support for web design projects with CSS.

Developers can easily incorporate CSS into a project with the new CSS layouts. Extensive comments in each template explain the layout, so beginner and intermediate designers can learn quickly. Each template can be customized for your project, and the advisor website supports the whole process with a free online community.

Designers can also move CSS code from inline to head, from head to external sheet, from document to document, or between external sheets. Cleaning up existing CSS in older pages has never been easier than in DreamWeaver.

From inception to layout, from coding to CSS, DreamWeaver has all the tools that today?s web design community needs to create intuitive, attractive and interactive websites.

Article Directory: create HTML-based websites with Adobe DreamWeaver and recommend Adobe products for graphic design, icon work and creating rich multimedia for your web pages. Contact for all your web design, database design or graphic design needs.

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