To Freeway or not to Freeway ...

Hi … [first post … be gentle!]

I am 65 years old, not too savvy with computers, and need advice please.

I have a website [www.mewmusic.com if you are interested] which acts as an online catalogue for primary schools. This was produced years ago by a computer programmer friend of mine using, I think, Frontpage on the PC. It was his first attempt at anything like this, and it shows now. It has been cobbled since by someone else, but I am led to believe it is pretty crummily structured as websites go, let alone looking dated.

I want to make a new one myself and have control over new content and general editing.

I just bought a program from Serif software on the PC called Webplus X5 [I historically do all office work on a PC]. Yesterday a friend with an iMac, [I do music work on an iMac], told me about Freeway Express, which he really likes.

I have looked at reviews for both programs and they both have very good reviews, and both have a few niggles.

The question is, on which one do I invest my time? I can’t learn both.

My needs are simple … a catalogue of 26 musicals, each with at least 7 audio clips and a bit of information about each musical. No shop. The usual ‘About’, ‘Contact’ etc.

I would like some sort of feedback facility, which I don’t have now, and also an oline email order/contact form … but no payment. [Schools mainly use county order etc].

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Dave.


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The problem will be that you are unlikely to find a Webplus user here to offer any sort of direct comparison.

What I will say is that FW’s ease of use coupled with the familiarity of an iMac that you already have and the unbounded resource that exists at FWT will make the process relatively easy.

Your site is not complicated - and easily reproduced and improved with FW.

David


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Hi Dave

The best way to find out what Freeway is like to work with is to download the free 30-day trial and then build the Using Freeway tutorial site. You can download the trial from http://www.softpress.com/downloads/trialdownload/ and you can find all the stuff you need (Using Freeway guide - which contains the tutorial - and the resources for the tutorial) at http://www.softpress.com/support/usingfreeway.

The best way to learn is to read through the tutorial section of the Using Freeway guide as you build the site - you can always watch the movies of the tutorial if you get stuck or require clarification.

At any time, feel free to contact Support through our Help Desk if you need help with the trial. You will soon find that support is quick, jargon-free and very personable.

Once you’ve worked through the tutorial, you may also be interested in watching the task-specific movie tutorials at http://www.softpress.com/support/tutorials/ (note that the first eight “Moments” are in Freeway 4, but they are still very relevant).

Best regards

Keith Rigley


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Hi Dave,

Another big plus for choosing Freeway is the user forum(s). They are great for problem solving - be sure to search the prior messages as any issue you may encounter will already have a detailed answer.

Bryan


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Your quote “not too savvy with computers” scares me, because it’s not the computer (you have an iMac, simplicity itself) but the software. For many here, including myself, Freeway is a great tool that we all know well and utilize fully (with some people, even more so!). But I remember the first serious site I built using Freeway, and it was a decently serious learning curve getting “up to speed”. Not as steep as using Dreamweaver, but steep, nonetheless - I knew next to nothing about what I was getting into. The fact that Freeway is built upon a “desktop publishing” chassis may give the impression that it is easy, but it will require working closely with the manual to fully understand if you are a novice. Plus, while it isn’t strictly necessary, a basic understanding of how web pages work, their elements and so on, would be very helpful in speeding up the process of using Freeway and understanding how it works in producing web pages. Having said that, would I, at this point, use anything else? As much as certain on-line web designers continue to ignore Freeway in favor of other WYSIWYG software packages, I personally would use nothing else, given the way the software continues to evolve, it’s ease of use, intuitive design, and so on. The on-line forum is top-notch: several here have literally saved my bacon from time to time. Lastly, I’d forgo Freeway Express and go straight to Freeway Pro, as the features in Pro are almost certainly things you may need or want to use, and learning one is more or less tantamount to learning the other. Of course, you could upgrade later if you want - I upgraded to Pro from Express almost immediately a long time ago and never looked back. Good luck…


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If I may add my comments to this, I used GoLive for years, I am not a
web designer, I have a web site, that is, “One” web site and I may
make changes once or twice per year, I choose Freeway Pro because it
allows me to do as little or as much as I need. If I want to learn new
tricks I can and with the great forum here I know I can get help if I
asked. Also just watching others go through their troubles I have
learned a few things. I did look at several other programs before
choosing FW, like Dreamweaver, Rapidweaver, GoLive (newer version),
iWeb… I would certainly be in the “Not Fully Utilized” category and
don’t need to be anyway, I do however want the capabilities of Freeway
Pro so I can at least try to do some things that I might not be able
to do in Express or require me to go back to school to learn how to do
HTML coding.
I can come back to Freeway after not using it for 6 months and still
find my way around the things I want to do.
This is what computers are supposed to do for us.

Going on 11 years of being a novice web designer.

Thanks,

Dave Wilson
S. I. Studio
626 303-6275
email@hidden

On Sep 6, 2011, at 11:12 AM, Rick Vieh wrote:

Your quote “not too savvy with computers” scares me, because it’s
not the computer (you have an iMac, simplicity itself) but the
software. For many here, including myself, Freeway is a great tool
that we all know well and utilize fully (with some people, even more
so!). But I remember the first serious site I built using Freeway,
and it was a decently serious learning curve getting “up to speed”.
Not as steep as using Dreamweaver, but steep, nonetheless - I knew
next to nothing about what I was getting into. The fact that Freeway
is built upon a “desktop publishing” chassis may give the impression
that it is easy, but it will require working closely with the manual
to fully understand if you are a novice. Plus, while it isn’t
strictly necessary, a basic understanding of how web pages work,
their elements and so on, would be very helpful in speeding up the
process of using Freeway and understanding how it works in producing
web pages. Having said that, would I, at this point, use anything
else? As much as certain on-line web designers continue to ignore
Freeway in favor of other WYSIWYG software packages, I personally
would use nothing else, given the way the software continues to
evolve, it’s ease of use, intuitive design, and so on. The on-line
forum is top-notch: several here have literally saved my bacon from
time to time. Lastly, I’d forgo Freeway Express and go straight to
Freeway Pro, as the features in Pro are almost certainly things you
may need or want to use, and learning one is more or less tantamount
to learning the other. Of course, you could upgrade later if you
want - I upgraded to Pro from Express almost immediately a long time
ago and never looked back. Good luck…


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