Monday, July 13, 2009

Last week of class

Well, here we are at the last class. I did exactly what I said I would probably wind up doing in my last blog. Right after posting that blog, I completely changed the whole theme of my web site project. I went with a work theme. We make copper wire & cable, so I decided to put together a small information web site. It seemed to have a little more flow to it than the family theme (and like I said, I hate talking about myself). I had the new layout all together for last weeks class, and went completely insane trying to get it together in class. During the week, I tried to mimic it in Webnode (you can check it out at Once you have used both the Frontpage program and Webnodes design templates, you can see that each one has its limitations, and they each have something that the other is lacking. Although FP doesn't have a tone of templates, it does allow you to cusomize them a little by allowing you to make color changes within the cells, change the border colors, and cell spacings. In Webnode, I was not really able to find a way to alter the templates color, but you are able to add "cells" which are just text or picture boxes. I had to make the sites a little differently because of this. I even tried to hack the html code, but it seems it is "view only"(no touchy).
What Webnode lacks in its versatility, it makes up for in ease of use. It is almost as simple as drag & drop to add pictures, and the application manages them very nicely for you. One of the agrivating things about FP is when I drop something in a cell, and that cell changes dimensions. Fight with this for 15 minutes and you will have to just get up and walk away for a mental health break. In Webnode, the "cells" stay the same size. This can be good or bad. It is good because you know how big the cell is going to be. It sucks because you have to make your pictures conform to the dimensions of the cell.
The thing I hate, that both programs do, is when you have everything laid out just the way you want it, and you go to preview it, and see that things do not line up on the web the same way they do in the design view. That is truly enough to drive you over the edge, because you have to try to make a change, toggle to the preview, toggle back to design view to try something else, toggle back to design view to see if that worked, etc, etc, etc...
I feel with more experience in html editing, a program like FP, that allows you to edit the html, will prove more useful than an application like Webnode. Webnode is a good start for somebody that has little-to-no experience in web site designing, but allows them to produce a product that they can be proud of.
Even though we have only touched on the basics of html editing, it is clear that with some knowledge and practice, you can take full design control of any web site that you attempt to create. If you know what you are doing (html editing), and you how to set up the site (do's & don'ts of web site layouts), you can create some pretty amazing sites limited only by your abilities & creative imagination.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 5

Well, this is it. Preperation for our big project; creating our own web site. I have been trying to come up with a layout in my mind. Actually, I have come up with a rough draft, but I keep thinking that maybe I will do it a little differently. My topic is going to be my family. Two other subjects that I had tossed around was a work website (but we already have a web site), and a web site for a church (one of my bosses if a pasture in a small church, but he has recently started a site for his church). I guess the home page will touch on my family. This is probably the hardest part since it entails writing about myself (one of my least favorite topics to talk, or write about). The other three pages of my site will be about my wife, my son, and my daughter (three people, three pages. At least that works out well). Each page will have a photo(s) and will talk about that particular member of my family. I have been taking pictures and trying to decide which ones to use on my site. Taking pictures is something that I never really got into. I have a pretty good concept of what I want my webpage to look like and how it will be laid out, but I haven't come up with a name yet. The hardest part is waiting until class to see if I can make it work or not and what it will look like, because I don't have Frontpage on my PC. I think that this is one of the drawbacks for this class, that we are working on software that we cannot even get a trial version of. At least by planning it out ahead of time, I can spend most of my time trying to make the creation match the concept, and not have to waste time on trying to design and create at the same time. The best I can do is try to have my concept, photos and everything else in order, and hope that I can make it work when I am in class. Or, who knows, I may scrub the whole idea and go a different direction (I have been known to make drastic last minute changes).