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Thread: How to Make a Website

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    How to Make a Website

    Well I've decided to step into the 21st Century, and design a website. I just bought the Adobe Web Design Premium Suite on the weekend (CS4 is great), with the plan to use Dreamweaver to build the site, but so far I've managed to open the programme, and upload a single photo . Now I'm stuck. Can someone with experience explain in two paragraphs, how to make a website with Flash using Dreamweaver? Of course I'm joking, but is DW the right programme to use, and how complex is it to learn?

    As always, any help is appreciated.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Hoolie Doolie, Tom, just as well you are joking! You are in the position of someone who has just bought a piano and wants to know how to write a concerto.

    Well, first things first: Flash is bad web design. Sometimes you have no choice - if you want to play movies, Flash is pretty much the only game in town - but for normal websites, Flash is a no-no.

    The best way to make a website is to make it yourself, but that will take quite an investment in learning how to code, and (more important) how to code the thing you imagined rather than create the thing that the coding language suggests to you (because it's easy, or because it is obviously possible).

    I doubt that you feel up to the task of learning how to do it properly - it's a non-trivial task, expect to spend a few years on it - so you need either to hand the job over to someone with the right skills (think a four figure expenditure for anything decent), or else use one of the various out-of-the-box packages. Personally, I have never yet met an instant website package that didn't seriously suck, but then I generally try to avoid looking at them if possible.

    Doubtless, someone with a more positive view of them than me will be along soon enough and will recommend some package that I think is dreadful to you. Seeing that I'll probably think that any reasonable alternative package is equally dreadful, I might as well shut up and let them lead you in whatever misguided direction they prefer.

    If you are not going to do it properly - i.e., learn to code it yourself - I'm not sire that it matters too much what you do, Just jump in and enjoy yourself, I guess.

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    just playing with it now and it has a thing called Live View, so if a change is made to the code, it will show up........well, live. i am trying to watch some "beginner" adobe videos, but even those are difficult to follow at times, and some of the instructions are specific to Mac. i've already bought the package, so i may as well use it, I just didn't know that i had to do the code thing. i was hoping to have it up and running before i went to bed, but it is looking less and less likely as the night progresses!

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Use www.msy.com.au as a great example of Web site design.

    Seriously, step 1 separate form from function! I.e. work out the mechanics first then style it later!
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Member Doug B's Avatar
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    G'day Tom
    First up I'm no expert. But .... a couple of years ago I had this idea that if I had a website I could post photos and trip reports of our caravan travels so friends and relies could see what we were up to. I was able to get a free legal copy of Microsoft Frontpage through a business I had back then so that's what I chose to use. Like you, I opened up the program and expected to have a basic website up and running before bedtime. About six months later I actually published it online for the first time. It was a HUGE learning curve - even with a basic package like Frontpage. I ended up buying two books (both on special at bookstores) about FP and they helped enormously. My website is still fairly basic and I find I don't really have the time I would like to make it better. Since I have taken a more active interest in photography I realise a lot of stuff I put on the site was of inferior quality. My aim now is to gradually get rid of a lot of it and post only good quality - but that takes a huge amount of time. The reason I'm relating this is that even though I am now retired I still struggle to maintain the site properly, so unless you are prepared to spend months working on it you should seriously re-consider whether you really need it. Oh by the way if you want to have a look at it go here http://www.aplaceinthesun.com.au/ Hope this helps.
    Doug
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    Well I've decided to step into the 21st Century, and design a website. I just bought the Adobe Web Design Premium Suite on the weekend (CS4 is great), with the plan to use Dreamweaver to build the site, but so far I've managed to open the programme, and upload a single photo . Now I'm stuck. Can someone with experience explain in two paragraphs, how to make a website with Flash using Dreamweaver? Of course I'm joking, but is DW the right programme to use, and how complex is it to learn?

    As always, any help is appreciated.
    1) Dreamweaver is for coding HTML/CSS not for Flash. If you don't know what that means, you got ALOT of reading to do. Can't help you there. Use Flash the software to build Flash objects.

    2) Dreamweaver's live view is pretty rubbish. It's only a very "inaccurate" view of what it will look like in the "big 4" browsers. (safari, ff, ie, opera) Don't depend on it.

    3) The first software to use when building website is Photoshop/Illustrator or a design software (Or even paint). Draw up a design, then try to build it by googling up the elements you need.


    I'll try give you a start on where to begin learning building website tho:

    Learn HTML + CSS. That's all you need for now.
    Currently snapping away with -> Canon 500D + 7D | EFS 18-55mm | EFS 55-250mm | EF 300 f/4

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    okay, i have the flash programme as well, but last night I have been watching some vids on the adobe site. it seems as though CSS is the key and i'm making progress. i get a free gift from adobe for registering my product. i can choose from various items, and one is some free software training. i think i might take that route. thanks all for the help.

    Kym, that is wierd that you posted that link to the msy sight, becasue it is the very sight that inspired me to start my own sight. kinda like ESP!

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    Member Sleeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    okay, i have the flash programme as well, but last night I have been watching some vids on the adobe site. it seems as though CSS is the key and i'm making progress. i get a free gift from adobe for registering my product. i can choose from various items, and one is some free software training. i think i might take that route. thanks all for the help.

    Kym, that is wierd that you posted that link to the msy sight, becasue it is the very sight that inspired me to start my own sight. kinda like ESP!
    Here are some website that you should definitively absolutely have bookmarked. Heck, they are probably better than 90% of the junk book about website building out there on the market:

    http://www.w3schools.com/html/
    http://www.w3schools.com/css/

    You can also google "w3school javascript" or "w3school php" and they'll have those awesome and free tutorials.

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    check out squarespace.com. unless you work at it for 2 years you will not get results that are as good as are here.

    it is all done for you. you just make it look like you want and add content. you sill have a lot of control.

    checkout some examples here

    honestly DW is the best you can buy and if you have been trained in it for 3 years plus you could make a real nice website real quick. but to be learning it while you are going unless you want to make a career out of it is a waste of time. spend time doing what you want to put in the website and leave the website for someone else.
    Last edited by elgoogoogle; 02-12-2009 at 9:44am.

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    Yep Tom, sleeper is right, use "edit plus" for your code and to write you CSS. Java is a long haul and I have guys I know that I tell them what I want and they right the bit of code for me. There are sites on the web that put up code that you can use.

    I look forward to seeing you whiz bang site by 5pm.
    Jim Canon 40D – Canon 70-200mm f/4L – Nifty 50 f/1.8 – Tokina 12-24 f/4 - Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Critique welcome
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    Hi Tom
    Like Doug, I use MS front page for my websites, it is simple to get a basic website up and going with no coding knowledge and as you learn, you can alter the coding to add your personal touches. My work in progress (on hold due to other commitments) is www.keithgossphotography.com
    The site was rushed through in 3 days to show some Go Kart Photos so a lot more development to go yet.
    Another I have done and look after using frontpage is for the Sidewinders Junior Speedway Club http://www.sidewinders.com.au/
    Keith.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    As Tannin said, it's a pretty serious investment in learning. I tend to code by hand (notepad) and cross-check it using the validators at w3.org, but there are a few tools which can help develop a site that is at least functional. One of the obvious choices is Wordpress. The coding is all done for you. Select a theme, upload it, tweak it and away you go. Not quite that simple, but it is much easier than learning everything from scratch and it is quite good for uploading and presenting images and movies.

    For Flash animations, Swish or SwishMax is much easier to manage than Macromedia's software if all you're after is the basics. Took me a while to learn, but I got what I need out of it. My Mum uses Namo to do the rough design of what she wants her sites to look like and then fossicks through the code for errors and inconsistency. It gives her a graphical interface to work with and also colour codes the tags, making it easy for her to manually spot errors.

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    thanks all for the input. okay, so it seems as though dreamweaver is definately going take me a while to learn, and i doubt that i'll have my website done before the year is out. as "free gift" for registering CS4 suite, adobe gave me a one month subscription to lynda.com. i have to say that this website is fanstastic, and i will subscribe to it once the 30 day gift has expired. it lets you learn at your own pace, and you can also get certification through the site. i have already learnt alot, even over the last few days. i highly recommend it, even for advanced user's of photoshop. there are so hundred's of movies you can watch, and if your internet is fast, the videos will load faster than you can play them.

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    Hi Tom. I've taken a few web and Flash classes at TAFE, and Dreamweaver is pretty tough to use. It's easy to get confused about it, especially using the Live View function. I wouldn't recommend an entirely Flash-based website, as getting your photos to show in that can be an absolute pain (I tried to do this as my final project and it took a lot of trial and error, and even then it wasn't exactly as I'd hoped for). I'd stick to displaying thumbnails and finding a code for enlarging them if anyone wants to view them properly.

    If you want some inspiration on what CSS can do, I'd say check out this site: http://www.csszengarden.com/ Hopefully it might give you some ideas on what you should and shouldn't do.

    Good luck!
    Getting a Nikon D5000 soon! Can't wait!

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    Hello Tom,

    Some information if that can help you.

    - As everybody said, Flash isn't the right thing to do a full website with, you can find very beautiful flash website but they would need tone of work, and I believe it is harder to learn than the HTML.

    - I think first of all, you have to decide what you want your website to be. What kind of design do you want (do you want a menu, on the left or on the top, what will be the different pages etc...) . Like Sleeper said, take a pen and draw your website on a paper so you can have an idea of where to go. If you just want something easy I believe you can do it with Dreamweaver but that would be a pretty simple website and I think that's where you have to begin with. (Not that you can't do nice websites with Dreamweaver but I think that would need more knowledge) Of course if you have time you could learn the HTML and CSS , and that will be very helpful (and that would make a cleaner code than Dreamweaver), but once again, it will depends of the results you want and the time you want to spend on it. If you are not interested with code, and don't really want to bother learning it, use Dreamweaver. And I think its not very hard to do some pages with Dreamweaver, link them together, put some photos up. I did it a long time ago when i was younger, and it did the job. (It was a very simple website, but still)

    If you can be more precise of what kind of result you want, maybe we could be a better help (or can try at least!)

    Good luck with it !
    My Flickr
    ----- Please excuse my broken English -----

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    One option for you is Simpleviewer. A simple flash gallery concept and you just have to edit the core files.

    http://www.simpleviewer.net/simpleviewer/

    Have a read, and check out the examples, as this may be something that suits you.

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    Wow, so many options. I'm gonna go with Dreamweaver, and take my time. As prescribed above, first step is a pen and paper. Should be fully done by Christmas......just not this one!

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    Member Doug B's Avatar
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    G'day Amadeus
    Just had a look at Simpleviewer. It looks as if it would be an easy way to add galleries to my website. Have you actually used this program or know anyone who has? I'd like to see some real examples in websites if you know of any.

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