Amber Weinberg: Freelance Web Developer specializing in semantic WordPress, Mobile, CSS and HTML5 Development

The Blog

Thoughts on Using Coda For Development

Posted on 01/28/10 in blog, development about , , , ,

I’ve been trying to get away from using Dreamweaver as my development software for several reasons. Mainly because the software is bloated, slow and expensive. Partly because there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the program, and people tend to automatically think you use the design view, or WYSIWYG part of Dreamweaver and that’s bad for someone who advertises hand-written clean coding. Another reason is that I am personally angry at Adobe’s lack of caring about their customers – especially after the Snow Leopard fiasco.

The problem with leaving Dreamweaver is that it does everything I want it to. It’s an all-in-one program with FTP, file management, code hints, auto closures and it works with every programming language out there. If only Adobe had stopped right there, it would have been the perfect development software.

So with this in mind, I don’t want to have to use 3 programs to replace Dreamweaver. so I had to find another all-in-one that was affordable (and hopefully free to upgrade, unlike Dreamweaver) and as powerful. People kept recommending Coda.

First Thoughts

Installation was easy enough, and they offer a free 2 week trial so I was on board. The interface is appealing and keeping in line with Mac’s expected design. However this is a HUGE change for me. When you’re using something like Dreamweaver for 5+ years and never anything else (besides a blank text program in middle school days) it’s tough getting used to something new. However, it seemed pretty easy to poke around and figure things out (which is good because sadly, they don’t have much documentation or any help forums).

The Pros

  • Only $99
  • Seems faster than Dreamweaver
  • Hasn’t crashed…yet
  • Not really any bloated features I don’t need
  • Has plugins, but I don’t think they’re available for trials users…so hopefully this is a pro :)
  • All-in-one with FTP
  • The new version has upgraded their search to work as well as DW’s
  • Includes some searchable coding books for reference
  • Can save snippets of code for quick use

The Cons

  • Can’t detach the FTP window from the code window (I’m running dual screens)
  • Can’t view the local and remote files at the same time.
  • No save all button
  • No close all tabs button
  • No option to close tags automatically when typing </

The Getting-Used Tos

  • The new code colors threw me off for a bit – I know you can change these, but they don’t have the same settings as DW, so the colors still end up differently.
  • I have to get used to the new FTP, not using drag and drop for uploads BUT they have a cool button for publishing every doc you’ve changed and saved
  • If I upload without saving, it uploads the old file and doesn’t ask to save and upload the new file

Worth Purchasing?

I removed DW from my dock and have been trying to use Coda like it’s my regular coding program. At first, I didn’t like the cons and getting-used tos part of the program, but it’s slowly growing on me. I think by the time my trial runs out I’ll purchase it, and say goodbye to Adobe. Now if there was only a good replacement for Photoshop…

Your Thoughts

Have you used Coda before? What did you think of it? Is there another all-in-one program that’s better?

*UPDATE: Coda just upload an entire installation of WP in less than 15 minutes – versus 30+ minutes with Dreamweaver’s FTP…this is gold ;)

Amber Weinberg specializes in clean and semantic HTML5, CSS3, responsive and WordPress development. She has over 15 years of coding experience and is super cool to work with. Amber is available for freelance work, so why not hire her for your next project?

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