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Thread: To start a Web Site

  1. #1

    To start a Web Site

    I am planning to start putting my Web Site together, and asking your advice on w hat is the best software to do it with. I am proficient with Photoshop and a fe w drafting programs, but I don?t want to go too deep into specialisied programmi ng. Also any input is appreciated on how to go about it, and what pitfalls to avoid. I am also interested to now what to Hosting Service is the best go with. Than k you all. Geoffrey

  2. #2

    To start a Web Site

    I forgot to add that I have a PC system. Thanks again, Geoffrey

  3. #3

    To start a Web Site

    Geoffrey,

    I've built web sites for years, and I've seen that people have trouble when they don't plan it out first. I would suggest that you think very carefully about WHY you are building the site. Do you want to sell fine art prints, promote your commercial photography, etc. Knowing why will help you design and build the site.

    Then, if it will be a "static" site (no databases, etc.), decide what you want to have on every single page. I can't stress this enough - it is the point where most people have trouble. They may build a 20 page site and find out that they only needed four pages. I would suggest that you draw a simple flow chart that explains how the pages are linked. Then I usually create a precise look and feel in Photoshop, and then recreate it in code.

    I would suggest that you use Macromedia Dreamweaver to build it. This is a personal opinion based on trouble I've had with FrontPage. I usually code by hand, but I've found that Dreamweaver keeps code relatively clean and tidy.

    I don't have much direct experience with one particular host, but based on reviews that I've read I would recommend Verve Hosting (www.vervehosting.com). They seem relatively fast and inexpensive.

    Also, you may want to check out sites that you like and figure out exactly what it is about them that you like. This may help when you design the site.

    Good luck and don't give up!

  4. #4
    aleatorist David R Munson's Avatar
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    To start a Web Site

    I only started building my web site a few months ago, so I don't have vast experience in this area yet, but my preference for software is Adobe GoLive. I've had brief experience with other programs, but at this point I like the Adobe best. I find it easy to get the results I want. I'm about to totally overhaul the design on my site, so if I run into anything else I think might be useful, I'll let you know. I use AT& T Small Business Hosting and have yet to find something I don't like about their services.

  5. #5

    To start a Web Site

    I use Frontpage and Photoshop, lets me focus on content and stay away from programming, I get enough of that at work.

    http://www.vinberg.nu
    Lars Åke Vinberg
    Portfolio: http://www.8x10.se/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    50

    To start a Web Site

    I really agree with the recommendation to spend a LOT of time with notepaper and pen putting your ideas, both visual and literal, together. A web search will turn up some very nice guides on the thought processes in putting together an effective site.

    In terms of web editing software I normally use Dreamweaver 4 and find it very intuitive to use. I have recently acquired GoLive, but haven't had much time to try it out. Macromedia has a 30 day free trial, fully functional, of Dreamweaver on their site for download. I downloaded it early one Saturday morning a couple of years ago (version 2 then) and by Saturday afternoon had some really nice pages ready to ftp to the server. All of my graphics work is done in Photoshop and Illustrator. I have just started to work some in Flash, but I do not find it nearly as intuitive as Dreamweaver.

    As an afterthought, do some research on which fonts work best on the web. Poor font selection will drive viewers away from a web site.

    Good luck.

    Fred

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    138

    To start a Web Site

    Hi Geoffrey,

    I would endorse the recommendation for GoLive. This is a very intuitive program and especially so if you have a graphic design or visual arts background. It seamlessly merges with Photoshop (same manufacturer) which is a bonus and is very easy to learn. It is also very stable and works well on Mac or PC. For an example of what can be achieved with GoLive visit Paul Schilliger's site at www.paulschilliger.com

    Dreamweaver is also an excellent program and as stated above is very stable. If you are confident with HTML or other programming you will find it quite easy to learn too, but I find it is not so "designer friendly" as GoLive.

    I can't comment from personal use of Frontpage but a lot of PC users I know have designed their sites with it and I think it is very good as a first choice for beginners. It is easy to learn and does a good job especially if you are used to the PC and Windows interface.

    One other reason I like GoLive is that it is very good at managing large sites. There is also a nice, easy little 'action' for slide shows, something many photographer's like.

    Any of the above programs will do a good job and it is really a matter of personl preference, depending on whether you are more attuned to visual design or to programming.

    Good luck with your site and let us know when it's ready.

    Kind regards

    Peter brown

  8. #8

    To start a Web Site

    I used Frontpage for my first attempt at designing my web site. But alas I found that it writes very cluttered code. Frontpage was designed to be viewed with MS Explorer, and getting it to look the same in Netscape is a pain sometimes. Taking into account the dwindling amount of netscape users that might not be such a problem though.

    You can see the result at http://www.nigelturnerphotography.com

    I've also used GoLive 5 but found that to be rather buggy. The interface is not that user friendy, and although it integrates well with Photoshop you have to know Photoshop, which in itself is a rather complicated programme.

    I also have Dreamweaver 4 Ultra Dev and Fireworks 4 and have found this to be the most useful WYSIWYG web authoring software available.

    Dreamweaver writes extremely good, clean code and has a very good user interface. If you add this together with all the extentions that are available for free at Macromedia's web site, and use Fireworks 4 for any graphics you'll be well on the way to producing a good looking, friendly website. Macromedia also makes Flash, but I don't really think you need that in a photographic website.

    As to pitfalls.. I suggest you spend more time on design and presentation of your site, and the presentation of the photography you plan to show rather than fancy graphics that take to long to download. There are still a lot of people who bimble along at 28k and use either IE1.1 or Netscape 2.

    Earthlink provide a great hosting service at $19.99 per month. I haven't had any down time, and the user logs are very useful.

    If you have any questions then please feel free to email me and I'll try to help.

  9. #9

    To start a Web Site

    My goal was just to present my photos and make a simple homepage. I also use FrontPage. For small corrections and making similair pages I use Notepad or Ultraeditor. Regards, www.janez-pelko.com

  10. #10

    To start a Web Site

    I use and like FrontPage, but I have not really tried anything else. As to a place to host it, if you have or are planning to purchase your own domain name, Your-Site.com offers reliable (in my limited experience) and comprehensive service (ie several email accounts, 50mb space and Java/Perl/CGI support) for $60/yr.

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