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Thread: Wanna criticize my wip website?

  1. #1
      Lingon is offline
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    Default Wanna criticize my wip website?

    So I've began working on a website this weekend… figured it might be useful if I want clients to come to me, rather than the other way around I've mostly finished the design for the front page, which I was thinking of using as a template for the rest. I'm working in iWeb right now, but I'm very much considering getting something else, as even if you find the skillfully hidden personalization options, it's a very limiting app…
    Wanna criticize my wip website?-screenshot1.jpg

    By the way, if anyone has experiences with other site-building apps (that runs on Macs, and preferably free ), I'd love to hear about them

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      Larb is offline
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    If I was using my site for anything important what I'd do (and have done before) is just install wordpress and tweak the graphics/CSS slightly. WP is free and easy to use and install so you could always try that.

    At the moment though my site is just basic HTML so I don't have to worry about keeping it updated.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I'd set the page background to match the green of the borders, center it, and keep the central column white.

    Here's what it looks like on my screen (full HD):
    Wanna criticize my wip website?-screencap.jpg

    Fully agree with the Wordpress suggestion. You can run it off of Wordpress' site, or you can install it server-side on your own webhost fairly easily.

    It does take some time to figure out the CSS, though, if you want to customize your own theme. There may be some low-cost WYSIWYG editors out there that would help, but I always do all of my design in a text editor (in spite of having a license for Dreamweaver). Not that my web design is particularly good. Or adequate, even. But at least it keeps people from trying to hire me to design their websites when they see mine!
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      Korash is offline
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    I would agree with Mid on the background thing...been a while since I did any webbing (and that in HTML without CSS), but you should have the background such that it fills the window, no matter what the window size. Also try to have the border graphics tile-able top/bottom wise. It would make for a smoother browsing experience.

    Beyond that wee bit of "advice", looking good as a start.
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      Lingon is offline
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    Thanks for the feedback! The picture I posted is not a real preview of the site, it's a screenshot of what it looks like in the editor Though I am actually having some problems with the width of the site. A friend of mine recommended Freeway Express, and I'm playing around in a demo and really liking it so far, but I still have to find a way to make the site fill the browser window. Freeway requires a license after the demo month has passed, but it's not too expensive, and I think it might be worth it if I just can figure out all its features.

    I'm surprised by the Wordpress suggestions, I thought that was about as basic as these programs get? Like, you get to choose background color? I'll look into it though, thanks for the idea!

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Wordpress is primarily a blogging tool, but it's pretty flexible and has become the standard in content management systems (CMS) because you don't need any technical knowledge or special software to keep it updated. Every page type it generates is completely customizable, and there are even plug-ins to give it things like animated galleries. It's more limited if you're running off of Wordpress.com, but a local install can be quite snazzy. For example, this is a Wordpress site: Visual Effects - Eden FX Los Angeles
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      TimPaul is offline
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    So, what's the end use of the website? Is it meant to be a professional portfolio of map work, to get work, or just for your own use, a place to showcase your work?

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    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    I'd set the page background to match the green of the borders, center it, and keep the central column white.

    Here's what it looks like on my screen (full HD):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	screencap.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	54.3 KB 
ID:	58560

    Fully agree with the Wordpress suggestion. You can run it off of Wordpress' site, or you can install it server-side on your own webhost fairly easily.

    It does take some time to figure out the CSS, though, if you want to customize your own theme. There may be some low-cost WYSIWYG editors out there that would help, but I always do all of my design in a text editor (in spite of having a license for Dreamweaver). Not that my web design is particularly good. Or adequate, even. But at least it keeps people from trying to hire me to design their websites when they see mine!
    While I haven't tried it yet, Xara Designer Pro 9, the application I use for all my maps has web design features built in as well. I can create java drop down buttons/mouse-overs, navbars with DHTML menus, creates CSS3/HTML5 compliant sites, supports third party widgets (G+, Facebook, Youtube, Paypal, EBay etc.), export to .MOBI and other phone formats, font embedding, optimized export, flash animations, GIF animations, popups and slideshows, custom photo gallery creation, Retina resolution for IOS/Android devices, image maps, hexidecimal RGB color selector, and full page background control. You can directly link Xara templates to Dreamweaver so they can work hand-in-hand. Magix, the company that owns Xara offers free web hosting (for 1 site) and really cheap ($2.00/month) hosting and domain registration included with the purchase of the software. It even has a cool automatic button graphic stretcher - if you type in a long button text, the button stretches in side-to-side proportions, automatically.

    I've used older versions of Xara to create buttons and web graphics, but not actual HTML/CSS export as I can do now. Basically I can design an entire, feature-rich, multi-page website and never leave Xara, nor require a separate web page editor (even though it works well with Dreamweaver.)
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 10-22-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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      Lingon is offline
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    @Midgardsormr
    Wow, that looks really good! Prejudice crushed I might give locally installed Wordpress a try then!

    @TimPaul
    The first, definitely. That's why I'm really picky about how the result looks. And then I stupidly made up my mind on how it's gonna look before finding out about the limitations of wysiwyg-editors…

    @Gamerprinter
    That seems like a really impressive program… unfortunately it's not for mac and costs far more that I'm able to spend. I'd sure love to get it sometime in the future though.


    So I'm still fiddling with Freeway Express, and almost everything turns out exactly like I want it – except it's missing one crucial function. It can't make the page auto-size itself to the viewer's browser window. I've been looking at the support forums and there are several people asking about the same thing, but it's not an option in that app. So I'm starting over again. My brother is sorta into coding, so I'm trying to bribe him into building the site in HTML for me… but I have no idea how long that's gonna take (he's more into Dota 2 than coding), so this weekend I'll probably by a domain and try to install Wordpress and maybe Modx and Joomla (two more friend recommendations) and see if I can build what I want with any of those.

    Does anyone have opinions on the layout of the page or the design of the elements, by the way? Is it even something I should pursue?

  10. #10
      TimPaul is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lingon View Post
    @TimPaul
    The first, definitely. That's why I'm really picky about how the result looks. And then I stupidly made up my mind on how it's gonna look before finding out about the limitations of wysiwyg-editors…
    As a professional illustrator, who also teaches about the business side of freelancing, it's best to have a functional, presentable site, than a fancy bells and whistles. You don't really need more than a page, showing your best 8-12 maps examples. You might want to have more, like a blog section. But you should only put up what you are actually ready to put up. With a website you can always add more when you are ready.

    The site is simply a means to show your work. Focus on that. The longer you take to get your site up and working, the longer you are waiting to get work.

    Personally, I use wordpress. timpaulillustrations.com for illustration work, and timpaulmaps.com for map work.
    Last edited by TimPaul; 10-27-2013 at 12:46 PM.

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