Dreamweaver vs FrontPage

There are two leading WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web page editors on the market available to help you design your web site. They are: Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia/Adobe Dreamweaver.

Microsoft FrontPage is a program that allows you to create and maintain your web site, even if you don’t know any HTML. It allows you to design your web site on your local computer and then publish it to your web host. FrontPage components can make your pages more interactive.

Dreamweaver from Macromedia (now owed by Adobe) is a powerful and flexible web editor.

Users can access the Macromedia exchange to download free objects, behaviour actions, and commands (called extensions). These add extra functionality to Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver users can choose from three viewing options. Straight code window, part code / part visual design window or design window only.

The visual design window is an accurate WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. The code view window allows you to directly work with the code. Professional designers love the clean code for which Dreamweaver is renowned. The code window allows the user to customize features including syntax coloring, code navigation, and auto-indenting.

Advantages of Microsoft FrontPage:

  1. FrontPage includes many templates that make it easy for a beginner to build his or her first website.
  2. Because it is a Microsoft application, FrontPage is better with Active Server Pages (ASP) pages, which are standard for Windows based hosting and windows based programming.
  3. Microsoft FrontPage interacts well with other Microsoft Office products. For example you can easily cut a chart or table from Excel and paste it into FrontPage.

Advantages of Macromedia Dreamweaver:

  1. You can open and edit non-html files such as PHP, Perl, ASP or Javascript without having your code removed or changed.
  2. By splitting the main window, you can watch the code being generated as you build the site – a great way to learn about code.
  3. Includes a reference library for beginners or anyone in need of help. The comprehensive reference includes HTML, CSS and Javascript.
  4. Includes an HTML clean-up command which removes redundant, nested and empty tags.

It is generally accepted that Microsoft FrontPage is more suited for the novice web designer while Macromedia Dreamweaver is better suited for those more advanced. Expert designers may choose to work directly with the HTML code. While this provides the greatest degree of freedom, you should always check or validate your work as it is easy to make a mistake.