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Why I don't use Certain Software for Web Design

Last Updated: Friday, 09-Jan-2015 12:32:42 PST

The web is based on open formats, so you can use different software and achieve the same result.

Why I don't use Professional Adobe Design Tools

I have nothing against Adobe products in general. I use Photoshop Elements for a lot of my web graphics and in my drawings.

The main reason why I don't use professional design software like Adobe Dreamweaver, In Design, Illustrator, Fireworks, Flash, and Acrobat is because these products start at $300-400 for basic features and the more advanced ones can easily cost $600-700. You can buy them in bundles for less money, but you only save if you are only doing web design or only doing print design.

Another related reason is that these professional products offer hardly any more functionality I can get with free or low cost tools. Another reason is that both the Adobe professional and free software have features that don't work right. The only thing worse than finding your free software doesn't work like you need it to, is to spend $600 on a product and still not be able to get it to work like you need it to. The reason why professionals buy these products is that they make enough in one project to pay for each program.

Alternative Options to the Adobe Creative Suite

A good example of these problems is illustrated in my experiences with Dreamweaver. I bought Dreamweaver for $400, which does little more than just design web pages. I was not any easier or provided any more features than a free web design program I use called Kompozer, based on Firefox.

Some people try using old versions of these Adobe professional design programs to save money, as they release a major new version every 18 months, which costs hundreds of dollars to upgrade each program. The downside is that they don't support older versions on the latest version of Mac OS X.

Finally, I take pride in using low cost tools. Many people can design with professional Adobe design tools, but few can design just as well on a budget. I also want to promote the use of open source software and show what can be done with them. I also am planning on migrating to 100% open source tools, so all my source files will eventually be in open formats as well as my published formats.

Why I don't just use a Blog or CMS

Some people try to overcome the many design difficulties of authoring web sites by using software on the server called a content management system, so they don't have to worry about design details and rather focus on the content and they sound like a marvelous solution, especially as they don't require the user to have to install anything other than a browser. You can also update your website from any computer without installing anything on it.

The downsides are many though. First, you only get a narrow range of possible designs so your site will look like many others. Secondly, you are introducing more complexity and things to go wrong. Third, you also make it easier for people to hack your website. Fourth, you have to pay more money for web hosting, so that you can install the latest version of the software on your website. Fifth, you constantly have to update the software on the website to keep out hackers and fix bugs. Sixth, you rely on someone else for your website to work. Seventh, you will have a difficult time trying to move all your content over to switch software.

Final Options

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