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.

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