Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Web Design with Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Bible

The latest book I have bought from my local bookstore with a gift card I got for Christmas was the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Bible written by Joseph Lowery and published by Wiley.  It is a paperback that is 1344 pages long (a big book) and came out in April 2010.  It cost around $60 Australian dollars but is well worth every cent.

The book covers every conceivable aspect of Dreamweaver - it showed me buttons and shortcuts I had never noticed before!  It is packed with instructions and tutorials that I believe would help web designers at all levels.  It is just so comprehensive!  There is even a website with files you can download to follow along with.  It also covers dynamic data-driven sites which I am particulary interested in; as well as HTML and CSS fundamentals which helped me understand the program much better.

I had seen some tutorials by Joseph Lowery at Lynda.com and I am only just beginning to comprehend how much of a Dreamweaver guru he is.  His writing is concise and to the point unlike other Dreamweaver books like Dreamweaver CS5 for Dummies.  I never was really fond of the "Dummies" series as I found they dumbed it down a bit too much and the headings were a bit too vague for a good reference book.  I suppose Dreamweaver CS5 for Dummies is good for beginners but I prefer this book much more overall.

The Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Bible is a must-have for web designers who use Dreamweaver and want a book that explains every facet of the program.  I love it and can't wait to acquire other books in the Bible series (different authors I know but I'm willing to take the risk).  I think the Adobe Fireworks CS5 Bible will be my next purchase so if I can find a copy I promise to write a review on it in a future post.  Happy reading!  

Monday, March 28, 2011


When I first acquired Dreamweaver 4 I felt I needed a book to teach me the ins and outs of the program.  Somewhere I managed to purchase Dreamweaver 4 H.O.T (Hands On Training) from a company called Lynda.com.  It was very helpful as it also had a companion CD-ROM with files to accompany the lessons in the book.  It helped me create my first website.

Since those early days Lynda.com has come a long way.  The company has since evolved into an online training library with video courses and exercise files on just about every aspect of web design imaginable.  The courses are presented by a variety of teachers who are all specialized in different areas of the web.

As I had a small hiatus during my learning I decided to enrol in the monthly premium membership which included all the exercise files.  I found it very stimulating at first and while I was enrolled I did learn a great deal about Dreamweaver, HTML, CSS and even dynamic languages like PHP which I am sill very intrigued by.

However, I left Lynda.com after about 3 months.  As I did not have much money to spare, I could not justify the ongoing cost.

I feel that if you are a beginner to web design Lynda.com is definitely a great place to start.  I guess in my case I felt I had attained an intermediate level of knowledge on those areas that I was interested in and the fees were burning a hole in my back pocket.  The web is a very big place and if you are willing to look a bit harder, there are many people willing to give away similar information (Youtube is a great place to explore) for free.  That said, Lynda.com certainly got me started on my journey and I am eternally grateful to them. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Adobe - King of web design

Way back in 2000 I was thinking about getting into web design but I wasn't entirely sure how to go about it. It just so happened that I went to this party and was talking to a female friend who was working for some internet company and knew a fair bit about the subject.

She said she used these products from a web development and graphics software company called Macromedia - namely Dreamweaver for web development and its sister program Fireworks for graphic creation and editing.

I thought this would be a good place to start and as luck would have it I was a student at the time and was able to get a student discount on Dreamweaver 4, Fireworks 4 (and some other programs that I never really looked at) bundled together for a reasonable price.

With these programs I was able to create my first website with some help from a book with a companion CD-ROM from Lynda.com and some tutorials combined with what I was learning at tech.

Today I own both Dreamweaver and Fireworks CS5 (the latest versions) from Adobe (who took over Macromedia in 1995) and am able to create websites fairly easily combining both these superior tools.

Even though these programs are a bit expensive and many programmers I talked to along the way told me they just hand-coded in Notepad or a similar basic text editor, I think that these 2 programs are a web designers dream and I simply can't live without them. Check out the whole Adobe family!

They really rock, save you time and are just brilliant!

Web Design is fun!

Web design is something I am really passionate about. This does not mean I am an expert on the subject of the internet or particularly advanced at complicated web design. It is just really fun!

I enjoy other people's web pages, especially those about web design. I thank those people that taught me and allowed me to reach my particular level of expertise; and I hope by writing this blog I might be able to help other people beginning to learn about web design attain the same level of knowledge that I have (or hopefully surpass it!)

There are many good websites about learning about the web, articles, technical solutions or code examples of HTML, CSS etc. and I intend to link to these to help other web designers and also act as a log or history of my own learning evolution.

It is still a learning process for me ... I don't think you ever stop learning or discover more efficient techniques to help you reach your goal.

This blog is, of course, only my opinion, and is nothing particularly new. Its been done countless times before but i think this blog will make it all clearer for me and just maybe it might assist people in the same position I am now or was a few years ago.

Anyway, here goes ...