Website Design Articles

WebAssist Makes Web Design Easier

If you're a website developer who codes any kind of database function into your sites, WebAssist extensions for Dreamweaver can save a ton of time and let you focus on less repetitive tasks.

As a web designer, I'm always looking for ways to make life easier.  When designing sites, I like to use Adobe Dreamweaver (formerly Macromedia).  Dreamweaver is definitely a top tier development tool, and it simplifies a lot of the repetitive functions done while coding a site.  However, the complexity of Dreamweaver lends itself to developing applications that are more involved.  This results in more coding and problem solving.  I came across WebAssist about a year ago, and found their products very intriguing.  I bought their Super Suite application which includes a ton of Dreamweaver extensions that make life as a web designer a lot simpler. 

I'm not going to review each extension, as you can read about them on the website, but I will say that they are major time savers when developing database driven websites.  The DataAssist extension automatically generates backend admin pages such as insert, delete, update, etc.  These are always the pages that take quite a bit of time to code by hand, and now they can be created in a matter of seconds at the click of a button.

I've also used the Digital File Pro extension quite a bit, I just wished it had automatic image resizing functionality.  I was working on a client site trying to hand code the Google Maps api to dynamically generate location maps, and I wasted some serious time.  It just so happened that WebAssist release their Pro Maps for Google extension at this same time.  I bought the extension and had the dynamic map function installed in a matter of minutes.  Again, another major time saver.

SiteAssist is for creating entire websites at the click of a button, but I'm not crazy about the included templates.  I think they could have spent a little more time coming up with a better selection of templates.  If you're trying to crank out a site fast, however, SiteAssist would do the trick.

 

There are extensions for using cookies and session variables, a full-featured shopping cart called eCart, dynamic dropdown extensions, client and server side form validation, and a website importer which comes in handy when I find a site I like and want to find out how it's coded.  They just released a new extension called iRite which is a WYSIWYG text editor plugin for Dreamweaver based on FCKeditor.  I've contemplated buying this one, as I frequently code client sites to include the WYSIWYG editor into the site administration back end.  I've used TinyMCE with the ibrowser image plugin for the most part, so I'll have to do some homework to see if iRite is worth switching to.

If you are a website designer, the WebAssist Dreamweaver extensions are definitely worth looking into.  They are pricey extensions, but if you can catch them on sale you'll get them for 1/2 price.  When time allows, I'll do more extensive reviews of the extensions.