When you guys make your designs do you really sit there any hand code everything, or do you use a program to help generate a nice design?
What kind of programs are good to use? I used FrontPage years ago but was told it was really bad. I have Visual Studio now, but I'm not sure if that's good to use in order to get something that works in all browsers.
I think Adobe has a couple web design programs, but I'm not sure, and I don't know if they work...
I'm really bad at the design/graphics so I would like a program where I can drag/drop or graphically design the interface on the website, but then be able to still hand code the backend and make changes to the HTML/CSS where I need to.
I usually had code everything using some templates of mine (like example ready css file with the corresponding selectors for forms). HTML is always hand coded cause I'm interested in semantic code and I do lots of SEO.
You can use ready CSS frameworks (you can find some of the best here: http://www.webdesignbooth.com/10-promising-css-framework-that-worth-a-look/) to get you up and started and learn some CSS along the way.
It sounds like you can use Adobe Dreamweaver. I use it in my work, even though I mostly use the source view. As for doing the design/graphics I would go for Adobe Photoshop, which has the slice tool so you can prepare your design elements for the web.
Hope this helps.
I'd recommend you learn photoshop, and do your design from scratch. You'll learn better than way long term.
Youtube photoshop tutorials, don't pay for anything.
Use Dreamweaver and Photoshop if you can afford it. Otherwise KompoZer and GIMP are excellent free alternatives.
From a visual point of view, there's no real shortcut to nice looking designs, just as there's no shortcut to being a great artist. One good thing to do is study sites/themes you really like and examine them in detail to see how they are constructed. There are also some nice books around that focus on how to do nice designs, such as [The Principles of Beautiful Web Design and [URL="http://www.sitepoint.com/books/sexy1/"]Sexy Web Design](http://www.sitepoint.com/books/design2/).
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