My website is designed on FrontPage. I'm told by everybody that DreamWeaver is far superior to FrontPage. Can I export my site to DeamWeaver and continue working in that enviroment with relative ease? How is the learning curve of DeamWeaver? Is it a wise move?
Designer of the unique
Yes, You can import Front Page Websites.
Look for the "Import Front Page Site Wizard for Dreamweaver MX 2004" Dreamweaver extension.
Not as good as building your site in Dreamweaver from scratch, but it works.
Dreamweaver in my opinion offers a more professional and more flexible web editing solution. Dreamweaver is also a great learning tool it has many visual yet, semi Manual execution of "even basic functions" this gives Dreamweaver at times a longer some times slower Workflow than FP at first. Of course you will need to also actually remember how to apply this knowledge. The result in the long run is that Dreamweaver will give you a more detailed work flow and a far more organized environment that becomes extremely productive as you learn. This detail offers a great deal more organization which is a key factor if you plan on developing bigger and/or more advanced Websites. But the ability to execute more refined organized tasks in a all in one environment comes at a cost. Dreamweaver is also some times reliant on other Macromedia applications like Fireworks to use it's full power. This can leave you at a loss in terms of Dreamweavers "full power", unless you have the Studio. Dreamweaver as a software, grows like a weed with all of the new "Plug-ins" called Extensions found on Macromedia Exchange. But "many" of the good ones are Not free..... also DW has some nice Code reference guides built in.
Dreamweaver Draw Backs: Longer to learn and Dreamweaver seems to require more typing, adjusting things and development knowledge to get anything done. Help function does not always yield answers to simple questions.
Front Page is very easy and much faster to learn and REMEMBER HOW TO USE. It's like learning "MS Word" and has a great Help function. Front Page is the fastest to setup Table layouts with little fuss with features like Table Distribute Columns Evenly and other fast easy functions like that. You can also get some FP "Plug-ins".
Front Page Draw Backs: NOT a very detailed work flow, and not as organized an environment less project control.FP also has to this date, relied on some special "Front Page Server extensions" that need to be installed on your Server to use a lot of these fast FP "One Click to make" components like "Website Search" features.
My conclusion as a user is:
Front Page: if your a novice to basic development or not wanting to learn much about the Development of Websites. Front Page is dirt cheap and it works extremely well. up and running in a day, no fuss.
Dreamweaver: If you want to move deeper into a more professional working environment and become more knowledgeable about Web Development Dreamweaver cost more. Way more if you get the Studio. But the detailed work flow and a far more organized environment makes it well worth the money. Easer to controle details and build more refined advanced Websites. As you learn it becomes an extremely productive tool.
I like, and we use them both in my Studio.