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08/18/2005 05:57:37 PM · #1
:(

I've had this domain that I paid a good sum for, for about 5 months now. It is sitting there useless; unlinked to, barely viewed, not updated. I purchased it thinking it would be a great place to have my own private photography site and all but right now it is absolutely worthless.

On top of that, I am worthless when it comes to web design --- I can't even make it look good with the provided SiteCreator's and defaulted templates that my host offers. Beyond that, there was no way to have photographs on the site.

So I'm left with nothing but a poorly designed website that I did in about 15 minutes and which is rather embarassing.

If anyone could be of any help that would be great. If there is more information you need in order to help just let me know.

My last cry for help before I just forget the whole deal and leave it as a lost cause.

Thanks,
Lee
08/18/2005 06:10:02 PM · #2
It's hard to build a site...do you have any friends who may be into that sort of thing? I've noticed friends into that thing are usually more than willing to make something for you that you can update at your own pace.

I'm not sure of your html knowledge, but have you tried //www.htmlgoodies.com or even the library? They have tons of books out there.

In all seriousness, being that you are into photography, and a website can really attract business or viewers, you may want to look into taking a class at your local community college...not sure if they offer any classes at your highschool, but you should look into it. I went to college for IT and they threw in just about every language you can imagine...it'd be something to look into (not that I'm good, I know I'm not, but I know enough to get by in html).

Good luck...and a bump for you.
08/18/2005 06:10:48 PM · #3
I dont think web design is somthing people can explain over the fourms. It takes alot of work and an artistic point of view, along with knowledge of programming, photoshop, dreamweaver, file sizes, resolution and keywords. Unless you want to spend alot of hours designing and building your website, I would reccomend having one built for you. You can buy a template for about $70 and add your images and change the code, but that still takes some knowledge.

The easiest way is FrontPage, I would start there until you get enough knowldge to move to dreamweaver. But I coution you dont get hooked on frontpage it highly limits you ability to design nice webpages.

I know this probally isnt the info you are looking for, but its the truth.

Travis

Looks likedeapee beet me to it, but he is absoultely right.

Message edited by author 2005-08-18 18:13:38.
08/18/2005 06:14:23 PM · #4
an easy software to use would be microsoft frontpage. very user-friendly. comes with a little book in the box....go through the book (I did it in one evening) and you'll be on your way. very very easy program to at least get you started.

HTML is super easy to learn as well. i took an html class on //www.hwg.org/ and bought a couple of books....and learned it.

08/18/2005 07:41:07 PM · #5
I agree that HTML goodies is a site to use to learn web design: //www.htmlgoodies.com. I sent my friend there (psychology major) and she learned basic web design techniques in less than 3 days! She built a site and slowly did research on htmlgoodies on how to improve it.

I learned from a pocket manual (50 pages) back in 1997. I am now doing sites with php, mysql and databases! :)

I HATE frontpage by the way! I hate having to edit people's sites who've used it! It's terrible for programmers and designers (that have to help you make changes). It puts tons of useless code in place, making your use of html pointless (as you will be baffled).

I recommend Dreamweaver. It's more complex than it once was, but it's still very user friendly! Great helpfiles, visual ones!

Dreamweaver will also work as your file transfer client (to upload the work you do from your computer to the web). Good luck!
08/18/2005 07:58:47 PM · #6
If you're not wanting to design any website but your own, it might be easier in the long run for you to hire someone to design it for you. Price would of course depend on who you hired, and how involved the site would be, but it would save you the time and headache involved in trying to troubleshoot everything yourself.

But if you're looking to design your own, then I suggest Google - it's your best friend. Go to a basic site like htmlgoodies.com, and then if you need more help on a topic, just google it. You'll get more help there than anywhere. Just make sure the site you use is recent - some are outdated and the tags are now obsolete.

Good luck!
08/18/2005 08:20:43 PM · #7
I currently have 2 websites...
They are through geocities.com (a part of yahoo)
The service is great and it is really really easy to use. Check it out and maybe you may be interested in switching your service providers.

As I am a very ambitious person I have taught myself html. It seems like a daunting task in the beginning (as it is exactly like learning a new language) but it becomes easier with progress and practice. There are many good books on html and there are a lot of resources on the web, especially through geocities.

If you are interested in learning html and you like the look of someones website, you can view their html code by looking at the source code. On your browser menu bar, click "view" and then scroll down to "source". A separate screen will open up and you will be able to view the html code for that particular page of the website. Understand that the code is technically copyright, but it is a great way to get ideas for your own website.

I suggest you check out geocities
//www.geocites.yahoo.com
as they have a lot of differnt plans that should fit within your budget.

Good Luck!
08/18/2005 08:28:20 PM · #8
webmonkey.com

thts where i got started six years ago..havn improved much, but its a start
08/18/2005 08:31:00 PM · #9
Hey, it looks like you really nead an inspiring idea to get you going.
I suggest you take a look at some other photo sites, and first decide how you want your layout to look. Building it is another thing, however.

Geocities is nice if it's a private collection and not a lot of people view it, but it can be the devil with all it's bandwith limits and all that jazz.

Back in the day, I used to use geocities' templates for a layout design and just host my photos on another free server such as 250free.com

I don't know what you're precisly asking for help with, but if you need anything just gimmie a PM
08/19/2005 12:28:00 PM · #10
Hey, thanks everyone for the great responses.

As far as Geocities goes, I already have a domain name: www.leesaper.com.

I had a quick look at HTML Goodies --- it seems like something I could use (my service provider has different templates/graphics and common web devices as well). But as I said, I suck at these things... I don't even know where to put the HTML and how to get it online. I know that I need to use an FTP server, but hell, this all does sound like Chinese to me (like the aforementioned language metaphor).

I would be absolutely find having a starting page with a link to something like the gallery feature that Ben has on his site or something Joey has. I have access to several pages beyong my homepage and, I believe, unlimited subdomains.

I have the capacity to set-up a site that looks like it was done in Paint, but I cannot get anything to look professional or respectable at all.

But thanks for the help so far --- I will be sending out a couple PMs.

Lee
08/19/2005 12:44:43 PM · #11
My husband is a professional website designer if you are interested in hiring someone to do it. Just let me know if your interested and I will pass on his details so you two can discuss it.
08/19/2005 12:52:39 PM · #12
You can do what I'm doing until I find the time to learn and create a website for myself. I have a pro account at smugmug. You can set up your domain to automatically take you to your smugmug homepage. You can customize your pages easily. Just an idea.
08/19/2005 01:51:44 PM · #13
Lee,

1. Where did you register your domain? Register.com, Network Solutions? where?

2. You will need a HOST (a place to 'rent' web space). I suggest HostSave (see my signature).

3. You will need an FTP program (search the web for FTP+software+free and see what comes up).

4. If you can download a TRIAL copy of Dreamweaver, it has a web design program and ftp program all in one. //www.macromedia.com. If you like it, use it!

5. If you want to design using html code (learned at htmlgoodies.com) open up your Start Menu (windows) click on "Run", then type "notepad". This is where you can do a "hello world" test (seen in htmlgoodies.com). You "save as" the file as index.html. Then open it up using internet explorer to see what you've accomplished!

6. If you create some html files you like and want to post them to the web, then you'll need the HOST and an FTP program (mentioned above).

Once you get going, it all falls into place (not too difficult to do). Good luck!
08/19/2005 02:01:20 PM · #14
The days of coding straight HTML in Notepad are coming to an end (though I tended to do that in the past). I'd suggest looking into Dreamweaver or some other visual designer and not worry so much about the generated HTML if possible. When you have a question, hit those websites for info. Some other resources I've found useful in my web design career:
//www.webreference.com
//www.w3schools.com
//www.coolhomepages.com
//www.apple.com (for inspiration, remarkably good web design)

If you're willing to learn a little more technical stuff and your host supports ASP.NET, check out Microsoft's Visual Web Developer Express Edition for a full featured web development IDE, that has WYSIWYG editing, database connectivity, and FTP-type site management functionality...for free!
08/19/2005 02:48:39 PM · #15
Notepad is still the best way to learn. It's 'basic' and raw. People have to learn new skills from the ground up to really understand the more advanced aspects that will come along later, i think :)
08/19/2005 03:01:20 PM · #16
Mozilla has a program called composer in its suite. Here's their description:

Composer
Mozilla's HTML editor keeps getting better with dynamic image and table resizing, quick insert and delete of table cells, improved CSS support, and support for positioned layers. For all your simple documents and website projects, Composer is all you need.

www.mozilla.org

I still do my work in notepad.
08/19/2005 03:09:24 PM · #17
I use 1st Page 2000 as my HTML editor. It helps with formatting and has a few quick edits. You still need to know something about HTML to use it but IMO it's far better than using notepad and its free.

//www.evrsoft.com/download.shtml
08/19/2005 04:08:45 PM · #18
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

I use 1st Page 2000 as my HTML editor. It helps with formatting and has a few quick edits. You still need to know something about HTML to use it but IMO it's far better than using notepad and its free.

//www.evrsoft.com/download.shtml


I used that program years ago with a couple of my old sites. It is a very good program for editing the coding. I recently came across two different programs off of Tucows.com. This website has a lot of programs to offer as far as website editing. The two that I downloaded was Namu, which is a website builder just to get it started even though it is a little rough to use to begin with you can edit the coding afterwards. The second program I downloaded was Alleycode HTML Editor a program so I could go into the coding and edit it the way that I wanted it. It is an all right program for what I need it for.
I don't know what your skills are as far as coding in HTML so hopefully those programs will work for what you need. I used both of the programs on my site Duane Fish Photography. Before you settle down on just one program I would recommend to go out a look at some of the shareware sites that are posted like Tucows.com or //www.download.com. They all have some great information on what would be great to use and probably buy in the future if you get further into coding.
08/19/2005 04:16:41 PM · #19
Originally posted by Tranquil:

:(

I've had this domain that I paid a good sum for, for about 5 months now. It is sitting there useless; unlinked to, barely viewed, not updated. I purchased it thinking it would be a great place to have my own private photography site and all but right now it is absolutely worthless.



May I suggest that you sit down and decide what you want on the site - page by page. For example, I wanted a home page, gallery page, rate page, info page, and links page. Then decide on "those" pages what you want - my gallery page needed additional pages for example.
If you do this - you will feel more organized - it took me 1 hour to do my website (not that it's the best) but I felt better about it when I was done and have made several changes since then as I can see what I want and where. Like I took out my "enter" page and just have the home page. I redid the "buttons", etc.
I hope that helps... Good luck on this.
08/19/2005 04:20:00 PM · #20
I have made quite a bit of web sites with advanced functions like administrator panel and stuff. I've been interested in website coding for years, and it sure does take time to learn enough to create 'decent sites' from scratch.

For you, I suggest you find some free templates to create a decent layout for your site. Google helps a lot (keywords "free templates" give a LOT of results), //www.freewebtemplates.com/ looks like an obvious answer. So, there's the layout for your site.

Now all you need is content. Get some decent editor (Adobe Dreamweaver if possible, it's the best by far) and it should be a piece of cake to keep your site up-to-date. It is important the editor you use is "WYSIWYG" - What You See Is What You Get. That kind of editors (Dreamweaver and MS FrontPage for example) let you edit your site without even seeing the real code if you don't want to.

Never go with stuff like geocities. All those ads.. you are just driving away your possible visitors. Also, it's not a bad idea to build your site BEFORE buing domains and webhotels. Good luck with your site!
08/19/2005 04:23:35 PM · #21
Hey Lee...

I've created a simple template for you: CLICK HERE to view it!

Nothing fancy, not the "nicest" site for sure. Nor did I spend time to use the latest techniques. (ie: I used tables, old <FONT> tags, etc.). It's what I'd call sloppy. However, it works!!! And for about 30-45 minutes...well what more could you ask for?

I've included the files in a .ZIP format for download!

Download ZIP file

This should help get you started. As I said, it's not a great site. But in truth...as simple as it is - I've seen a LOT LOT LOT worse for professionals.

(A note, I highly recommend SAM's Teach Yourself HTML in 14 Days. It's how I got my start 6 yrs ago and I liked the book much better than HTML for Dummies. With that book you should be able to learn what I did and begin to modify it to your needs.)
08/19/2005 04:24:30 PM · #22
Originally posted by mirdonamy:

Lee,

1. Where did you register your domain? Register.com, Network Solutions? where?

2. You will need a HOST (a place to 'rent' web space). I suggest HostSave (see my signature).

3. You will need an FTP program (search the web for FTP+software+free and see what comes up).


1. 1and1.com
2. They are my host ^
3. They provide an FTP-server.
08/19/2005 04:26:09 PM · #23
Thanks Jason!!! That's greatly appreciated!
08/19/2005 04:29:11 PM · #24
Although they provide an FTP server. You will likely still need a program to "upload" your files to the server.

CuteFTP is free and fairly commonly used. (The host should provide you with a ftp login (password/username) and a location.

- Jason "The Saj"

PS - I hope you don't mind my taking the liberty of using a few of your photos for the mock-up design? Do keep in mind that whatever you do....the number one design philosophy is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly). As such, you'll notice I took a very minimalist approach. With intent to keeping the site basic, fast (low download requirements), clean lines, not too distracting.

For an example of a really bad site visit www.hollywood.com (great content, desired content, but it's a labor to navigate thru and extremely slow...sure it's professional...BUT IT SUCKS!)

Another good book to buy is "Websites that SUCK!" Learn what not to do from the websites that did it wrong... ;)

PPS - My email is temp. down...so I might not get your PM's for a while.

Message edited by author 2005-08-19 16:32:40.
08/19/2005 04:31:35 PM · #25
I'm going to suggest that you need to learn HTML, regardless of your decision on how to build your site right now. Not using the Internet to display your images would be a mistake for any photographer. So, either you pay someone else to build and maintain/make changes to your site, or you do it yourself. Take a guess which will be cheapest...

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a lite version of FrontPage that comes with Windows XP? Not sure if it's there under earlier versions. I'm not a fan of FP, for reasons previously posted, but it's easy enough to use, and you probably already have it on your computer. Once you understand HTML, and can afford it, Dreamweaver is the better choice (IMHO) for WYSIWYG site creation. It also lets you manually edit code much more freely than FP.

For FTP, I use FileZilla. Free & easy to use. Gives you a side-by-side Windows Explorer-type view of files on your computer & your website. CuteFTP is another popular FTP app. Also free, I believe.

My 2cts.

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