Another Newbie - Halfway there ???

  Furkin 14:09 26 Oct 04
Locked

Hi,
As a newcomer to web sites etc, I was wondering if anyone out there has the time to lead me through it from start to finish please ?
I have a domain (1&1), & I’ve started my pages,,, though very amateurish, using Netscape Composer.
I’d really appreciate some help in adding a bit of shazazz to the pages, and get it on to my site.
I know that I’m asking a lot, & will need someone with a bit of patience.
Feel free to contact direct or through these pages, for the benefit of others.
Thanks in advance
Furkin

  Taran 21:34 26 Oct 04

The overall topic of web design, from conception through to going live and publishing the site is just too big with far too many variables involved to offer a definitive guide.

Getting started is a matter of obtaining some useful software, having a topic that you know enough about and are passionate enough about to warrant spending the time to produce a site based on it, playing with your chosen layout and design, choosing colour schemes, creating graphics and/or taking relevant photographs and so on.

Your best bet is to start off with an idea along the lines of a hobby or other special interest you may have that you'd like to share with others. Think about how you might like to present this information to others, how our pages could be laid out, how they could logically link from one to another. Take a look at other sites you have found that you like and make notes of what it is you like about them. Don't steal ideas, but learn from what you like and discard what you don't like.

When you first start out it can help to draw with pen and paper and sketch out your ideas. Transposing a firm concept into a web page is far easier than fooling around with a general idea and o real direction. Planning and preparation is everything and it actually cuts down your end workload and learning curve to have a very strong concept in mind.

Your ISP will probably provide you with some free web space which you cam use to practise with. You can get a pretty good WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor free but for the time to download it from this link click here

It was originally written for Linux but has been ported over to Windows and it works well without costing you an arm and a leg. If you want to buy software, you could do far worse than NetObjects Fusion to begin with, which is about a third of the cost of Dreamweaver but far easier to use overall for most beginners.

Try the excellent WebMonkey and W3Schools sites click here and click here respectively, for more web based tutorials than you can shake a stick at. It's pointless suggesting one book on the subject when so many free articles and tutorials are available to you.

Basically, you need an image editor, a web authoring program of one type or another, the ability to use them and a good idea for a site. If you couple that with some of your free time you’re off to a good start.

Feel free to ask about specifics, but a full tutorial on designing a site is an all but impossible task for this forum. There just isn't enough space or time to post something like that.

Sorry.

  Taran 17:55 27 Oct 04

I should have pointed out that the nature of a site often dictates how it is written, or even vice versa.

A start-to-finish tutorial would have to use a fictional example site as its basis or it would merely be a step-by-step of various design techniques, leaving you to apply them to your own site design, as and when you have decided on it.

For this and other reasons (available space in/on this forum, available time to devote to such a tutorial and so on) it is all but impossible to offer a full walkthrough for you.

  Furkin 18:05 27 Oct 04

Hi Taran,
Thanks for taking the time to write back. As I say, I'm halfway there,,,,, thanks again
Furkin

  Forum Editor 01:33 28 Oct 04

Taran's suggestion that you use a pen and paper to work out what you want to do before you start designing.

Many beginners fire up their chosen web-design program and start making pages without having first given any thought to what they want the site to do. I always counsel people to think long and hard about the really important factors first - what is the site's function, is it purely for fun or does it have a more serious role to play? How will the navigation work? People will react badly to being marooned on a page deep in your site with no way back other than their browser's back button for instance. What about images - will the file sizes be small enough for fast loading but good enough to look crisp and rich? Have you thought about any relevant legalities - data protection if you are asking people to submit any personal information for instance? What about accessibility for people with impaired vision - red text on a green background will drive many people mad.

The list goes on and on, and as taran has already said, there simply isn't the room or the time to produce an exhaustive manual on web design here.

Tale a look at as many sites as possible, study the navigation system of the good ones, and see how their page layouts work. Don't fall into the beginner's trap and become infected with the "Because I can" virus, and fill your pages with animated gif and java applets until the site is a seething mass of movement - nothing shouts 'amateur' more loudly than that.

Practice and practice some more, and don't be discouraged by early failures - we've all had them and some of us are still having them. Someone once said that web design is a mix - 100% science and 100% art, and that wasn't a bad statement. Knowing how to design a site isn't enough, you need that extra little ingredient called design sense if you are to produce a truly professional result, but I'm jumping way ahead.

Come back here for help and advice as you go - we don't mind how often you do it, or how basic the question, we've all been in your situation, and I for one can clearly recall how confusing it seemed at first.

  Furkin 09:34 28 Oct 04

Thanks Ed,
I did set a site up many, many years ago when it was in its infancy. Because I havn’t needed it since, I havn’t progressed with it.
I used a trial version of cute/FTP at the time, which I thought was very good. I have tried others since,, but found some of them very awkward.
If someone fancies a look at my initial page, they will have an idea of what I want, and maybe they can give me a few pointers.
If not, don’t worry, I know that you are busy people.
All the best
Furkin

  steve263000 11:26 28 Oct 04

Hi Furkin,
I am very new to web design myself, and have my own site click here That is a pure homepage type site, but I have over 20 pages in it. I made it up using Front page. Very good to work with if you can hold of it. If you would like to have a look please feel free, and if I can help in any minor way please feel free to contact me. I have not even a percentage of the experience of most of the members, but I have enjoyed making up the site, and I am now in the process of renewing it with a new domain name that I have purchased.

  Furkin 11:44 28 Oct 04

Hi Steve,
Great for a newbie,,, love the clock/calendar !
I used Netscape for mine,,, but didn’t have time to look for other than default stuff yet.
I’d like to get it on-line,,, then adjust it as I go.
I already have a domain, but no ftp yet.
I’ll send you my Home page for your initial reaction,,, please be kind (!!!)
I looked at F.P many years ago, but never used it.
I also played with Dreamweaver,, but don’t have that on this machine.
If you have the time, I’d appreciate any advice at all,,,, firstly,,, to get it on the www site.
All the best to you all
Furkin

  steve263000 17:12 03 Nov 04

Hi Furkin,
Was the info I sent you by email any use to you? I will be publishing the site very soon. I just have to check all the links etc. I will let you know. Steve.

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