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Websites that don't suck #1: The Basics


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Ugly websites are bad...agreed? Ok, then let's stop making ugly ones! Today we'll start our series called "Websites that don't suck" by talking about the basics....

In this episode we cover HTML, CSS, and Metatags. We'll define those for you and give some examples about how separating content from layout can help you control that unruly site, and make it more compatible with all browsers.

Then we'll move onto website workflow. Whether you're building your own site, or hiring a designer, we'll chat about what the process looks like so you can be on top of it all. We'll chat about Photoshop and Dreamweaver, as well as some opensource (free) alternatives...

And, of course, This Week in Geek...


I heard about your podcast on the maccast. I listened to this one first, since I'm in the process of laying out a mission website.

You mentioned that dreamweaver is a must have, and it "doesn't cost too much." HUH?! Well, if $400 isn't too much for you, I'm glad you are so financially blessed! Have any suggestions for the do it your selfers for whom dreamweaver is a mere dream?

I couldn't decide if this is really a Geek show, in which case you don't have to define HTML, or a non-geek show, in which case defining it as a mark-up language doesn't help much. The geek would say "duh" and the non-geek would say "What in the world is a mark-up language?"

Dreamweaver Alternatives...

Hey Peggy,
First, thanks for listening...hopefully there was SOME helpful stuff in there...if not, I'll try and help here.

A Dreamweaver alternative that is opensource is suggested in the "software" episode of this series. It's called NVU...and it's open source! (ie. free) Find out more (including the link) in this show: http://geeksandgod.com/episode5

I also mentioned another alternative called "Seamonkey" on last week's 'cast. It's part of a full internet suite put out by Mozilla. Find out more at http://www.mozilla.org/project...

As you suggest, $400 for Dreamweaver isn't cheap to everyone...I was mostly suggesting that, when it comes to 'pro' software, it's very reasonably priced. A serious designer, who may not even be a pro, could pretty easily justify that expense.

Yeah, our market for Geeks and God is kinda mixed....some geeks, some laymen. Our challenge is really to ride that line. Our main goal is to help ministry people (the non geek), but we have many geek listeners, so we try and cater to both.

As always, if you need clarification on anything we say, just ask! We're happy to give you a custom answer...which will always be more useful than a general one.

Thanks again for listening...let us know if you have any other questions!

NVU and Seamonkey

I believe NVU is in Seamonkey. NVU is just an off shoot of Composer for Netscape. I think it's all the same code with different names. Mozzila does that a lot. If you want a good WYSIWYG try FrontPage. It is far easier to use then all of them. I know it's MS but you can take the bad code out by hand. I do.

God Bless

Still Different Programs, though...

Yeah, for the most part, you're correct. However, they ARE different programs these days. I found this out the hard way: NVU is not yet Universal for the Intel Macs, while Seamonkey (composer) is....so they're definitely developed by different folks these days...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host


NVU is managed by linspire while Seamonkey is some of the Mozilla folks. They have a lot of the same codebase since they both came from the mozilla suite. Though, as Rob said Seamonkey is in Universal Binary.

I have used MS Frontpage and don't recommend it. One reasons is what you said, all of the extra code that is added in. It doesn't produce valid html or xhtml code.

Peronslly I use a really good text editor, NVU, or dreamweaver.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host