To start a Web Sitegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I am planning to start putting my Web Site together, and asking your advice on what is the best software to do it with. I am proficient with Photoshop and a few drafting programs, but I don’t want to go too deep into specialisied programming. Also any input is appreciated on how to go about it, and what pitfalls to avoid. I am also interested to now what to Hosting Service is the best go with. Thank you all. Geoffrey
-- Geoffrey Swenson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2002
I forgot to add that I have a PC system. Thanks again, Geoffrey
-- Geoffrey Swenson (email@example.com), January 03, 2002.
I've built web sites for years, and I've seen that people have trouble when they don't plan it out first. I would suggest that you think very carefully about WHY you are building the site. Do you want to sell fine art prints, promote your commercial photography, etc. Knowing why will help you design and build the site.
Then, if it will be a "static" site (no databases, etc.), decide what you want to have on every single page. I can't stress this enough - it is the point where most people have trouble. They may build a 20 page site and find out that they only needed four pages. I would suggest that you draw a simple flow chart that explains how the pages are linked. Then I usually create a precise look and feel in Photoshop, and then recreate it in code.
I would suggest that you use Macromedia Dreamweaver to build it. This is a personal opinion based on trouble I've had with FrontPage. I usually code by hand, but I've found that Dreamweaver keeps code relatively clean and tidy.
I don't have much direct experience with one particular host, but based on reviews that I've read I would recommend Verve Hosting (www.vervehosting.com). They seem relatively fast and inexpensive.
Also, you may want to check out sites that you like and figure out exactly what it is about them that you like. This may help when you design the site.
Good luck and don't give up!
-- Matthew Runde (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2002.
I only started building my web site a few months ago, so I don't have vast experience in this area yet, but my preference for software is Adobe GoLive. I've had brief experience with other programs, but at this point I like the Adobe best. I find it easy to get the results I want. I'm about to totally overhaul the design on my site, so if I run into anything else I think might be useful, I'll let you know. I use AT& T Small Business Hosting and have yet to find something I don't like about their services.
-- David Munson (email@example.com), January 03, 2002.
I use Frontpage and Photoshop, lets me focus on content and stay away from programming, I get enough of that at work.
-- Åke Vinberg (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2002.
I really agree with the recommendation to spend a LOT of time with notepaper and pen putting your ideas, both visual and literal, together. A web search will turn up some very nice guides on the thought processes in putting together an effective site.
In terms of web editing software I normally use Dreamweaver 4 and find it very intuitive to use. I have recently acquired GoLive, but haven't had much time to try it out. Macromedia has a 30 day free trial, fully functional, of Dreamweaver on their site for download. I downloaded it early one Saturday morning a couple of years ago (version 2 then) and by Saturday afternoon had some really nice pages ready to ftp to the server. All of my graphics work is done in Photoshop and Illustrator. I have just started to work some in Flash, but I do not find it nearly as intuitive as Dreamweaver.
As an afterthought, do some research on which fonts work best on the web. Poor font selection will drive viewers away from a web site.
-- fred deaton (email@example.com), January 03, 2002.
I would endorse the recommendation for GoLive. This is a very intuitive program and especially so if you have a graphic design or visual arts background. It seamlessly merges with Photoshop (same manufacturer) which is a bonus and is very easy to learn. It is also very stable and works well on Mac or PC. For an example of what can be achieved with GoLive visit Paul Schilliger's site at www.paulschilliger.com
Dreamweaver is also an excellent program and as stated above is very stable. If you are confident with HTML or other programming you will find it quite easy to learn too, but I find it is not so "designer friendly" as GoLive.
I can't comment from personal use of Frontpage but a lot of PC users I know have designed their sites with it and I think it is very good as a first choice for beginners. It is easy to learn and does a good job especially if you are used to the PC and Windows interface.
One other reason I like GoLive is that it is very good at managing large sites. There is also a nice, easy little 'action' for slide shows, something many photographer's like.
Any of the above programs will do a good job and it is really a matter of personl preference, depending on whether you are more attuned to visual design or to programming.
Good luck with your site and let us know when it's ready.
-- Peter L Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2002.
I used Frontpage for my first attempt at designing my web site. But alas I found that it writes very cluttered code. Frontpage was designed to be viewed with MS Explorer, and getting it to look the same in Netscape is a pain sometimes. Taking into account the dwindling amount of netscape users that might not be such a problem though.
You can see the result at http://www.nigelturnerphotography.com
I've also used GoLive 5 but found that to be rather buggy. The interface is not that user friendy, and although it integrates well with Photoshop you have to know Photoshop, which in itself is a rather complicated programme.
I also have Dreamweaver 4 Ultra Dev and Fireworks 4 and have found this to be the most useful WYSIWYG web authoring software available.
Dreamweaver writes extremely good, clean code and has a very good user interface. If you add this together with all the extentions that are available for free at Macromedia's web site, and use Fireworks 4 for any graphics you'll be well on the way to producing a good looking, friendly website. Macromedia also makes Flash, but I don't really think you need that in a photographic website.
As to pitfalls.. I suggest you spend more time on design and presentation of your site, and the presentation of the photography you plan to show rather than fancy graphics that take to long to download. There are still a lot of people who bimble along at 28k and use either IE1.1 or Netscape 2.
Earthlink provide a great hosting service at $19.99 per month. I haven't had any down time, and the user logs are very useful.
If you have any questions then please feel free to email me and I'll try to help.
-- Nigel Turner (email@example.com), January 03, 2002.
My goal was just to present my photos and make a simple homepage. I also use FrontPage. For small corrections and making similair pages I use Notepad or Ultraeditor. Regards, www.janez-pelko.com
-- janez pelko (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 04, 2002.
I use and like FrontPage, but I have not really tried anything else. As to a place to host it, if you have or are planning to purchase your own domain name, Your-Site.com offers reliable (in my limited experience) and comprehensive service (ie several email accounts, 50mb space and Java/Perl/CGI support) for $60/yr.
-- Erik Asgeirsson (email@example.com), January 05, 2002.
I use a text editor.
-- John H. Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
Peter Brown: Many thanks for the mention of Paul Schilliger's web site. Paul's site is an inspiration and not only because of its beautiful landscape photography. The presentation, writing, -in english and French and the textual content are admirable, the whole thing is truly one of the 'must see' things in the web. If adobe go Live can help produce such pages, it must be good. However, I did look at Go Live and perhaps I did not spend enough time on it but to me it seemed entirely un-intuitive and felt I would have to spend much more time with it to get going. With Microsoft FrontPage 2002 it was go right from the start, without need of the manual until much later. Though I am a beginner in FrontPage, I was able to do with it what I wanted right from the start. My question is, am I loosing something without Adobe go Live ot Dreamweaver. What makes those programs a must for a user? Could Paul's site not have been created in FrontPage?
-- Julio Fernandez (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
Julio, thanks again for your kind email sent privately and for your nice words about my site. I think, if you are working with Photoshop images and graphics, Adobe Golive does a great job. It wasn't easy for me to master and I had to take a course to get the basics, but then it went all right with some help gotten on the way. I wanted to point some resources at Adobe Website where you can watch small step by step tutorial movies. Had I known about it, the course would have not been necessary. There is also a forum very useful when seeking help. There are some great specialists there! I think, if you only want a small simple website, FrontPage might be all right. Otherwise, I would advise not to loose too much of your time and energy with it, but go straight for a pro solution. There is also the DreamWeaver option that some use, but I know nothing about it. Here are the links. The second requires registering. Good luck!
-- Paul Schilliger (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2002.
Although I have sent this to you privately Julio, I thought others may also be interested in an answer to your question; >What makes those programs a must for a user? Could Paul's site not have been created in FrontPage?<
Paul's site may have been able to be created in Frontpage, but by using GoLive he was better able to integrate it with his Photoshop images. There is seamless integration between the Adobe programs and using tools called "Smart Objects" allows you to work with native applications, Photoshop, Illustrator and Livemotion, manipulating images and objects while they are updated "in real time" in GoLive. This makes creating and working on images very easy. The main reason though, for using a professional program like Dreamweaver or GoLive, is that they are both very good at site management. This is not a problem with small sites with just a few pages and with few links, but once the site grows it becomes important to have good site management. GoLive and Dreamweaver also make finding and fixing broken links easy. Using templates and page content which is used often and needs to be duplicated, is very easy with these programs and saves lots of time 'cutting & pasting". The good site management of these programs also allows you to easily update or change web site content.
If you are planning on your site growing or if you intend doing more web site design, I would recommend either GoLive or Dreamweaver. I have and use both but prefer GoLive which seems to fit with my graphic design skills better as it works just like a illustration layout program.
Good luck with your site.
Kind regards, Peter Brown
-- Peter L Brown (email@example.com), January 11, 2002.