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virtualcomposer
12-26-2008, 06:17 PM
Hey everyone, I just got my website up and wanted to know what your opinions are. This is the first time I ever made a site and first time using Dreamweaver as well. Definately a challange to learn in a week. Also, none of the video is up yet. Most of the audio is up though. I'm also going to scale down the picture to the Kb. With the video I plan to have an option of Small, medium, large, & HD. The audio will also have an option between Mp4 and Windows Media. If there is a better compatible player for PCs let me know. www.tranglemedia.com

Oedo 808
12-26-2008, 07:02 PM
I'm gonna give this website building a go when I get some more time, looks groovy enough for a first effort, nice and clean, a background of some sort would be cool, though I reckon it can be tricky finding something that stays in the background so maybe just a solid colour like here. I'd think about optimizing every images you use, things like the banner at 4MB is too much for what it is.

I'm pants at web design so I can't really critique it properly, looks like a good start though. :thumbsup:

virtualcomposer
12-26-2008, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the input. Every bit helps my site get a little better. I am, however keeping the site simple. I've been on to many sites that have so many things going on with it I can't see what's going. I want my site to be subtle yet not to simple. My animations are the same way.

COBRASoft
12-26-2008, 08:18 PM
Hey,

Well, for a first start, it's nice. But, it is too wide, try to get it max. 1024 pixels wide. Better would be that it follows the width of the browser. A background image is not really needed, pure black is fine because most background make it more difficult to read text. I would make the header a bit smaller, not everybody is having a 20" screen with high resolution.

Greetings,
Sigurd

virtualcomposer
12-26-2008, 09:08 PM
Hey,

Well, for a first start, it's nice. But, it is too wide, try to get it max. 1024 pixels wide. Better would be that it follows the width of the browser. A background image is not really needed, pure black is fine because most background make it more difficult to read text. I would make the header a bit smaller, not everybody is having a 20" screen with high resolution.

Greetings,
Sigurd

LOL! Yeah, most people aren't animators with 24" wide displays. I tend to forget that. I will work on picture sizes and change the width of the top as well. Man do I love photoshop though. It sure beats the cheap type letters in the default. I agree about the background. Simpler is better when trying to focus on words. To me it's about balance and about what I can offer to a company, not the complications of my webpage. I will however learn as much as I can about Dreamweaver and will eventually offer webpage services. That's good money and a growing market. Thanks again for your advice and will work on it tonight. :)

Stooch
12-26-2008, 09:46 PM
the website looks like it belongs in the early 90s..

Silkrooster
12-26-2008, 10:29 PM
LOL! Yeah, most people aren't animators with 24" wide displays. I tend to forget that. I will work on picture sizes and change the width of the top as well. Man do I love photoshop though. It sure beats the cheap type letters in the default. I agree about the background. Simpler is better when trying to focus on words. To me it's about balance and about what I can offer to a company, not the complications of my webpage. I will however learn as much as I can about Dreamweaver and will eventually offer webpage services. That's good money and a growing market. Thanks again for your advice and will work on it tonight. :)

Best thing to do if you want to use the entire width of the screen is to use percentages. Allow the page to scale to the size of the monitor.
Silk

Hopper
12-26-2008, 11:33 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Stooch on this one.

Not to be crass, but if the site is for commercial purposes and you want to attract clients with your website, I highly recommend you hire a professional firm. The "do-it-yourself" webiste is going to look... well... do-it-yourself.

I'm sure your web skills will get better with time, but if I was a prospective client, it would take me less than 5 seconds to make my descision based on the website design alone.

Simple is good, but some coherent design is pretty much mandatory if you want to hold someone's interest for more time than it takes to load the page.

If you are determined to do your own site, I would seriously consider purchasing some professional templates and a web design book at least. There are also thousands of articles and white papers on web design, human factors, and the proper visual queues you should be using to keep a visitors attention.

And I highly recommend you stay away from black backgrounds unless you have a really outstanding design. But if you do, keep the actual background real estate to a minimum.

Once again, I'm not trying to be critical or disparaging about your current design. I'm just trying to help.

virtualcomposer
12-26-2008, 11:57 PM
Problem is I can't afford a web designer. I'm all I got so it's better then not having a site at all. I think my content will be sufice as I learn to better myself at web developement. When I get more clients, then I can hire a web pro. Until then, this is the best I got.

Drakkheim
12-27-2008, 12:52 AM
Hmm.. you seriously need to resize your images.
The http://www.tranglemedia.com/DSC00528.JPG image is over 2megs and over 2k pixels wide.

That's about 16 minutes or so on a modem.
Your site scrolls horizontally even when I maximize my browser.

Don't resize the text inside a single menu just to keep the images the same size.

A mouseover on the menu would be nice.

If this is really a site you're wishing to use to promote your professional work, I'd recommend go and find a template from templatemonster.com and go from there.

It'll easily be the best 64 bucks you've spent.

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 01:08 AM
Hey thanks Drakkheim! I may not be a web designer but it's nice to know about a cheaper alternative for someone who has been out of work for a while. This weekends will be a busy one working on my site. ( : once I get some gigs I'll hire a pro for the web page.

Sekhar
12-27-2008, 01:34 AM
If you're strapped for cash, a cheap/quick way to get to a decent looking site is to go with templates. E.g., check out http://www.dreamtemplate.com/.

Another route is to try out free web builder sites/tools. There are a whole bunch these days. Some I've found are: Moogo, Sprout, SynthaSite, Weebly, and Wix. Look for fine print though (some charge fees down the road).

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 01:44 AM
If you're strapped for cash, a cheap/quick way to get to a decent looking site is to go with templates. E.g., check out http://www.dreamtemplate.com/.

Another route is to try out free web builder sites/tools. There are a whole bunch these days. Some I've found are: Moogo, Sprout, SynthaSite, Weebly, and Wix. Look for fine print though (some charge fees down the road).

thank you.:)

Maxx
12-27-2008, 03:26 PM
Basically, what everyone else has said so far. You really need to look at optimizing your images - there's no need in the world to scale an image using width and height tags in the HTML - crop or resize the images to their final size and save the file at 72dpi in Photoshop, using the Save to Web (or something like that) save option. Also, turn off the table borders - they have a tendency to make a page look bad when the table is used as the base structure, and it emphasizes the lack of a margin around your main body text and visual elements. The site is too wide, though it fits on my monitor.

And this is a personal preference, but stay away from pure black and pure white. There are some situations in which they're fine, but I find you can achieve a richer perception if you go slightly off the pure color. If that makes any sense at all.

Also, don't use spaces in your file names. It looks like most of your image source and pages file names contain spaces. Replace those with underscores for file structure safety.

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 03:55 PM
Basically, what everyone else has said so far. You really need to look at optimizing your images - there's no need in the world to scale an image using width and height tags in the HTML - crop or resize the images to their final size and save the file at 72dpi in Photoshop, using the Save to Web (or something like that) save option. Also, turn off the table borders - they have a tendency to make a page look bad when the table is used as the base structure, and it emphasizes the lack of a margin around your main body text and visual elements. The site is too wide, though it fits on my monitor.

And this is a personal preference, but stay away from pure black and pure white. There are some situations in which they're fine, but I find you can achieve a richer perception if you go slightly off the pure color. If that makes any sense at all.

Also, don't use spaces in your file names. It looks like most of your image source and pages file names contain spaces. Replace those with underscores for file structure safety.

Thank you fir the info. What your saying makes allot of sense and is allot of help. ( :

pauland
12-27-2008, 04:30 PM
Problem is I can't afford a web designer. I'm all I got so it's better then not having a site at all.

I'm afraid the truth is that it's worse than having no site at all. Your initial blurb mentions attention to detail and the site design and implementation shows the complete opposite. Your work may indeed be good, but nobody looking at the site as it is will look further than the home page before walking.

That may sound harsh, but the site as it is is doing you no favours at all.

Paul

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 05:37 PM
I'm afraid the truth is that it's worse than having no site at all. Your initial blurb mentions attention to detail and the site design and implementation shows the complete opposite. Your work may indeed be good, but nobody looking at the site as it is will look further than the home page before walking.

That may sound harsh, but the site as it is is doing you no favours at all.

Paul

Yeah, I decided to search for a template instead. I need a template that represents music and 3D animation as well. Music being the prime. Any suggestions?

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 05:44 PM
With templates can you do what I'm doing now like pit all of my audio and video on there? This is my first time with templates. I need a professional template that is simple to use and allow me to focus on what I'm good at so that all of it looks good. Fir all of you who have template made sites, is it just as flexible as making your own in Dreamweaver? I was looking at www.flash-template-design.com since I can get a good deal since I'm using Lunarpages. What would you recommend as a professional looking template from that site?

cagey5
12-27-2008, 05:45 PM
If you are determined to do your own site, I would seriously consider purchasing some professional templates and a web design book at least. There are also thousands of articles and white papers on web design, human factors, and the proper visual queues you should be using to keep a visitors attention.



... or even visual cues.... Well it got my attention at least.

Hopper
12-27-2008, 06:44 PM
... or even visual cues.... Well it got my attention at least.
Ha! Good one. I hadn't even noticed. It was getting close to 1am. MY brain was slowly sinking into hibernation state. I'm surprised I even spelled 'queues' correctly.



Originally Posted by virtualcomposer
Problem is I can't afford a web designer. I'm all I got so it's better then not having a site at all.
I'm afraid the truth is that it's worse than having no site at all.
You beat me to it.

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 07:08 PM
On that site I said, wgich template looks most professional? I'm going to order this weekend.

Hopper
12-27-2008, 07:35 PM
On that site I said, wgich template looks most professional? I'm going to order this weekend.
The 3D Photo Portfolio one seems pretty simple and elegant. This is the kind of site I am talking about when I say "if you're going to use a black background, it had better be good." Since you are going for more of an "informational" only type of website, this one seems right in line. I'm not sure what kind of editing it would take to put your own materials into it, but it would seem that it would probably be simple to replace the content.

I would recommend not having background music on the front page though. Some people may like it, but it's usually more of a nuisance than not.

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 08:03 PM
The 3D Photo Portfolio one seems pretty simple and elegant. This is the kind of site I am talking about when I say "if you're going to use a black background, it had better be good." Since you are going for more of an "informational" only type of website, this one seems right in line. I'm not sure what kind of editing it would take to put your own materials into it, but it would seem that it would probably be simple to replace the content.

I would recommend not having background music on the front page though. Some people may like it, but it's usually more of a nuisance than not.

yeah it's not just info but my music and videos. Thank you for your input. This is really helpful.

ericsmith
12-27-2008, 08:04 PM
This is just my opinion, but I don't think you'll be serving your needs best buy buying a pre-made flash based template like you're planning.

I agree with the consensis that what you've got right now is doing more harm than good, but what you really need is just good design.

I know you're not classified as a web designer, but I'm assuming you've got some level of aesthetic accumen or you wouldn't be selling video production or 3d services. What you need to do at this point is take a step back, look at some well designed sites, and then re-design yours.

Before you get overwhelmed by this prospect, I think the key here to start with is to drastically simplify. Take a look at www.rezn8.com. Their site is well designed, but it is also simple. I would be surprised if you couldn't duplicate it with the tools you have at your disposal.

So the first step is to strip away all of the flashy attempts at adding visual pizzaz (ie. the warped type and whatnot in the menu items) and just lay out the basic elements of the site with just text and perhaps a few colored boxes (again, try to stay subtle, don't try to burn anyone's eyes out). Keep the entire site within 800 - 1000 pixels wide, and with the exception of pages that have a lot of content, even less tall.

Utimately, stay away from any kind of visual effects at this stage, like bevels, dropshadows, warping, etc. Just work with the elements that have to be there so that there is a balance in color, weight, and position.

Once you succeed at this stage, you can begin to add visual dynamics, but go slowly and sparingly. Chances are, less will be better. Somewhere between the last paragraph and this one, you'll want to put some siginficant energy into font choice. Find the RIGHT one(s), not just the flashy one.

I know you may think that this is beyond your abilities, but post your results and get feedback, and then keep evolving it based on the feedback. You may be surprised at what you're capable of. The thing is, from what you're saying, the one asset you have at the moment is time. Better to spend a few more days improving yourself in this area than to just spend some money on a boilerplate template that wasn't created to serve your unique needs.

Eric

Hopper
12-27-2008, 08:17 PM
Although I somewhat agree with what Eric is saying, there is one crucial component here and that is time. The template is around $50 and I would imagine it would take about a day or so to get a base site out with the content you already have.

Time is money. If you want your site up "now", buy a template. Then take a step back, do some research, and plan out what you "really" want out of your site and come up with something in the mean time. $50 is a drop in the bucket if you have to get it done now. It is a small investment and a sure thing. You have seen what you will be getting and you know it obviously works.

Now on the other hand. If you have the time and are not in any particular hurry, then by all means save your pennies and start simple. What you want to follow is called 'evolutionary prototyping'. Start with one simple thing, then slowly add the content and functionality you want by following one simple and consistent design.

Take a basic page such as the one Eric mentioned and basically copy it to your editor and work from there if you have to. You will eventually learn the nuances and coding techniques you need to continue developing on the basic design. They best way to learn is from other peoples' work. Programmers like myself do it every day.

virtualcomposer
12-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Thank you Hopper and Ericsmith. I like that site and like the wisdom. I'm new at the web stuff and know I need a website and it's tough to know what to do when you're struggling for money but know you need to get a site to help promote so you can get money. I'll just copy the codes and then add my own pictures and info into it. I will also keep everyone posted for feedback to continually improve and progress my site. Thank you again for taking the time to help.

cresshead
12-27-2008, 09:44 PM
good luck on this, keep it clean, readable and simple but "nice" to look at.
the example eric gave is a good one btw http://www.rezn8.com/

my own site being upgraded is long overdue btw...2009 maybe a new one eh!

Dexter2999
12-28-2008, 12:28 AM
On the site you mentioned I like this one
http://www.flash-template-design.com/preview.php?tid=1317

But, barring the flash part, you could just look at the site you like. Then find/buy royalty free clip art (like the iphoto stuff) and make your site look more professional.

For some reason, I like the visual of the Violin, then have like a gradient dissolve to a digital wireframe. It alludes to 3d model as well as electronic music.

My 2 cents.

AbnRanger
12-28-2008, 03:18 AM
Another option is that you could propose to trade service for service to someone you know (that does Web Design work)...that is to help them with the creative services you can do in trade for assistance in building your site. Even if it's just some tips and advice.

pauland
12-28-2008, 03:23 AM
It may seem a shortcut to buy a flash site template (and it can be), but these templates do need some expertise to be able to use them. Effectively you are buying a design that's made to work well enough to sell and nothing else.

For the absolute flash novice, these templates can be a nightmare to customise and I advise you not to buy one.

I would stick with a basic HTML site with good design elements rather than try and run before you can walk. It could even just be a single page.

The obvious way to build a presence with little web knowledge is to use a blog and a pre-made blog template.

Paul

Exception
12-28-2008, 06:47 AM
Yes... I'd agree with the suggestion to try to use a template.
This is a business card for your activities, and the quality of the site needs to be up to par with the quality of your work. If it's not, it gives a bad impression. While this site might be fine for a personal blog or something, it would certainly pay to either use a template, or hire at least a graphic design / new media student in school as a side job to make a nice site.

Dexter2999
12-28-2008, 09:41 AM
Another option is that you could propose to trade service for service to someone you know (that does Web Design work)...that is to help them with the creative services you can do in trade for assistance in building your site. Even if it's just some tips and advice.


Heck, I'd take a stab at that. I don't know squat about web stuff, but I have a good eye for layout and design. I could take a whack at designing something for you, and if you were happy with it, you do the score for the short animation I am just starting.

I might be contacting you for your services anyway but that isn't in the near future.

rsfd
12-28-2008, 10:17 AM
Well, you got some good advices, which you will surely pay attention to.

You could visit http://www.csszengarden.com/ , which is a web-designer long-time project of changing one sample page design just by changing the CascadingStyleSheet (and the images, of course).
Hopefully, this gives you some inspiration - just try the "select a design" / "archives" category, or just go to "view all designs".

Technically, Firefox with webdeveloper-addon might also be helpful, as you can set the browser window to fixed sizes letting you check how your page contents look on smaller screens.
(a macbook pro i.e. has 1440x900 full screen resolution - OSX menu line+safari+dock take about 150-180px in height).

Images need to be optimized for quality vs. file size, a slow loading website can be a severe obstacle for attracting new clients, as many websurfers switch to another site when they have to wait more than 6 seconds! (and even if they wait, that does not give a good first impression).

Avoid spaces in filenames.
And there is no need to show all the fonts you have installed.

You could use the w3c.org validators to check the dreamweaver code and if you generate separate css-files (highly recommended), you can check these too:

for html/xhtml: http://validator.w3.org/
for css-files: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
for link checking: http://validator.w3.org/checklink

JBT27
12-28-2008, 03:30 PM
Irrespective of the design and the image optimisations needed, I went straight for the demo reel.....but there isn't one. 'Coming Soon' is always a killer, as far as I'm concerned.

Julian.

Red_Oddity
12-28-2008, 04:40 PM
I agree with most things said here.

Remember though that when using CSS that you check a browser style compatibility matrix as not all browser behave the same when using the same CSS style functions. (The W3C site is a good starting point)

Also, as a quick test i resized your top banner/image to the size you actually use in your layout and used Xnview to recompress it using 75% quality, DCT method on float and a SubSampling factor of 1x1 and it went from 1.x megabytes to 44KBs, without any preceptual differences in quality.

Oh, and coming soon is indeed a killer, adjust your layout when something isn't done yet or just focus on what is important in your field of work to get customers.


The way i usually work is i start building mockups in Photoshop (use the timeline to easily check buttons and clicked menus in your layout without having to endlessly turing layers on and off)
From there i check whether the design is functional and clear enough to show what i want to show and whether or not it fits our company profile (or atleast the way we would like to be seen)
That way i have checked off most things and problems i would otherwise run into when i would just start coding html.

As an example, the file attached is the very first site i did for our company, we didn't have a company style and logo yet, we just did animation and vfx and we wanted the show our latest work and showreel in a profesional manner on the very limited server space we had back then.
As you can see, it is very simple, very clear, yet still looks professional

Now we run a completely automated site (our third itteration) on Flash connected to MySQL and PHP because of the amount of work we do, but it is still all done in house, still by me in the spare time inbetween jobs, difference now is that everyone with an user account on the site admin page can easily edit the site via a template system i build.

What i'm trying to say i guess is that you better start out very simple but good than large but bad.

Hopper
12-28-2008, 04:55 PM
Remember though that when using CSS that you check a browser style compatibility matrix as not all browser behave the same when using the same CSS style functions. (The W3C site is a good starting point)

Also, as a quick test i resized your top banner/image to the size you actually use in your layout and used Xnview to recompress it using 75% quality, DCT method on float and a SubSampling factor of 1x1 and it went from 1.x megabytes to 44KBs, without any preceptual differences in quality.

Oh, and coming soon is indeed a killer, adjust your layout when something isn't done yet or just focus on what is important in your field of work to get customers.


The way i usually work is i start building mockups in Photoshop (use the timeline to easily check buttons and clicked menus in your layout without having to endlessly turing layers on and off)
:dito:

I started out doing the same thing but with Corel years and years ago. I tried other workflows, but there's nothing like complete visualizations first. Corel is dead and PS rules nowadays so that's where I go... and that workflow still seems to be the best way to go about it.

And like it has been mentioned many times in this thread and it can't be mentioned enough... compress those graphics. If you're using straight HTML, CSS, etc.. with no plugins or Flash animations - and your page is over 50-60k, it's too big. Bandwidth is cheap these days, but there's no reason to get sloppy just because you can.

Maxx
12-28-2008, 07:03 PM
*snip*From there i check whether the design is functional and clear enough to show what i want to show and whether or not it fits our company profile (or atleast the way we would like to be seen)*snip*
Among the other things mentioned in this thread, this is one to seriously consider - you can remove the spaces in the files names and compress the crap out of the graphics, but right now the site as a whole doesn't show much about who you are and what you do. The image on the home page of (I'm assuming) you in front of a whiteboard in a classroom-like setting doesn't speak of professionally creating "film and television music, radio & television commercials, music videos, and editing". If it were a site promoting educational courses on the creation of said things (upon closer viewing I notice the words on the whiteboard), then possibly. But as a company promising to fulfill the need, it's not the right image.

And the warped text on the image links - why? Actually, come to think of it, why are there circles behind the text in the links? The name of the company is Triangle Media, but you're using a circular displacement on the text over an image of a circle, and the header image is vignetted in a circular pattern at the edges - think about using a triangle in the images, or even in the design as a whole. Make the site - especially the home page - a visual representation of your company. With CSS, images, and creative HTML, you can create some very interesting and distinctive layouts - use the possibilities in a creative way and you'll have a site that joins creativity with technology, just like your company mission states.

Speedmonk42
12-28-2008, 09:52 PM
www.drupal.org

Start there.

Lots of themes, gallery plug ins ect....

There is also www.wordpress.org

I would go with drupal, but... both are great and in minutes will look great.

archijam
12-29-2008, 01:36 AM
vc - don't think of using a template as a humbling experience. You are trying to learn 3 key aspects at once - design, coding, and content management. Try to focus on one at a time, and when you have a chance, 'deconstruct' the template and try to alter and push it in new directions.

Design is important, as has been mentioned, but once the site is up and satisfactory, the MOST important thing is updates and activity. Making a convoluted site that it hard to update will waste days of your time over the long run.

Focus on one thing at a time, and you'll be far more satisfied with the results!

pauland
12-29-2008, 05:35 AM
Just a few more things to think about.

1) Decide who your customers are. Are you selling to companies or giving music lessons. You may be able to do both, but it confuses people when there is a lack of focus about the services that you are offering. If you want to offer music lessons consider a separate site just for that.

2) Are you promoting yourself as an individual or as a professional studio? Your website seems to promote a professional studio. Professional studios don't have a CV. You can either promote your company or yourself but don't mix them (though you can put yourself forward as the creative light of the studio).

3) Look at your website as though you are a potential customer - don't think of it as 'what can I say about myself?'. Your website should empathise with your target clients needs, not your history. Tell them how you can help them - by all means show how you've helped other customers - case histories, examples, etc.

4) Ask strangers what they think of your site, not your friends. Don't tell them it's your site. If people know you and know it's your site, they will be reluctant to be critical and they may just not identify with your market in any case.

Paul

WillBellJr
12-29-2008, 10:25 AM
I see Drupal was already suggested, I was going to suggest Joomla! 1,5x, which I went with after trying both Drupal and Joomla.

With a theme from Yootheme.com and the free extensions from rocketwerx.com, you'll be straight.

Way easier than DreamWeaver and HTML (which is what I used to do also...)

While drupal is solid as hell, I find Joomla to be more modern and to have way more extensions and attractive theme choices.

Both are easy to install (usually 1-click with most webhosts) - I say install each into a subfolder on your site and give them a play-around...

Good luck with your site design!

-Will

Liber777
12-29-2008, 11:35 AM
Right now your site is just giving a directory listing of your web root. Did you change index.html to index.htm perhaps? You should be able to tell the web server to use a variety of filenames for the default page, or you can change the filename back to whatever is was before.


Index of /

Name Last modified Size Description

[DIR] Parent Directory 29-Dec-2008 08:32 -
[IMG] Background-Final.jpg 29-Dec-2008 08:32 86k
[IMG] Company Name.jpg 29-Dec-2008 08:32 30k
[TXT] Index.htm 29-Dec-2008 08:32 3k
[DIR] cgi-bin/ 06-Dec-2008 16:08 -

Apache/1.3.41 Server at tranglemedia.com Port 80

Sekhar
12-29-2008, 02:53 PM
Hey, if all the crits got you down, check out http://yvettesbridalformal.com/ to feel good (no, great) about what you came up with.

Stooch
12-29-2008, 03:14 PM
That.

Is.

Super.

Yvette has redefined style for me.

I am strangely aroused.

Hopper
12-29-2008, 04:18 PM
Wow ... now if I can find my eyeballs after they went screaming to the back of my head somewhere..

I'm almost sure there's a label somewhere on the bottom saying:

(c) 2008, Crackhead Studios

Maxx
12-29-2008, 07:36 PM
Hey, if all the crits got you down, check out http://yvettesbridalformal.com/ to feel good (no, great) about what you came up with.
owie. ouch. eek. and owie owie owie ouch....:eek:




8/



no, really. ooooowwwwwwchhhhhhhh. it hurts.......:cry:

Dexter2999
12-30-2008, 02:13 PM
I took a free HTML template. Went and grabbed the samples from Shutterstock. Added a tweak here and there to colors and whatnot. Viola.

Still has a good bit of the sample text in there. Loved that freaking flaming Treble Clef.
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f106/Dexter2999/tranglecopy.jpg

I still have never built a web page. Got to get around to it someday.

I don't know about that Wordpress stuff guys. Install PHP. Install MySQL. Seems like alot of crap guys. Especially for a Noobe to web building.

Hopper
12-30-2008, 02:42 PM
I don't know about that Wordpress stuff guys. Install PHP. Install MySQL. Seems like alot of crap guys. Especially for a Noobe to web building.
You are correct. If you are only planning on serving static information, there's no need to over-engineer it. It will only add to the administration tasks to keep the site up, not to mention constant updates to "patch" potential security holes.

Until you get to the point where you might add a forum, sales, or any other dynamic content - I wouldn't bother unless the need to learn strikes you as something you wish to do.

pauland
12-30-2008, 03:27 PM
That's looking impressive. A world apart from where you started.

Paul

Dexter2999
12-30-2008, 03:35 PM
Sorry guys not my site. I was just trying to demonstrate that the tools are available so even a novice like me can do it.

Speedmonk42
12-30-2008, 07:17 PM
Install PHP? Install MySQL?

My god what kind of webhost are you using?

No one should ever have to install that stuff.

Wordpress is not heavy duty or difficult.

No website should be static.

At least post on a regular basis what kind to things you are working on ect....

Hopper
12-30-2008, 08:06 PM
Install PHP? Install MySQL?
My god what kind of webhost are you using?

That would be for local development silly. Those who design their websites 'live' are idiots and should lose all their data twice a week just out of principle.


No one should ever have to install that stuff.
Just out of curiosity, why do you think that? Almost every professional web designer I know does - along with a multitude of other development tools.


No website should be static.
What he is wanting to design is static. It's simple content. Nothing more, nothing less. If you're not "generating" pages from a 2 or 3 tier system, that's considered static. Basically an HTML spewing server. Even if the page has "media" on it, it's still static if it's hard coded to the page.

Silkrooster
12-30-2008, 09:07 PM
Install PHP? Install MySQL?

My god what kind of webhost are you using?

No one should ever have to install that stuff.

Wordpress is not heavy duty or difficult.

No website should be static.

At least post on a regular basis what kind to things you are working on ect....
You are correct, you shoudln't have to but that may depend on the service provider. They are not needed for a static html page but are required for wordpress, forums, chat rooms, etc. and can be quite handy for dynamic image galleries.


That would be for local development silly. Those who design their websites 'live' are idiots and should lose all their data twice a week just out of principle.


Just out of curiosity, why do you think that? Almost every professional web designer I know does - along with a multitude of other development tools.


What he is wanting to design is static. It's simple content. Nothing more, nothing less. If you're not "generating" pages from a 2 or 3 tier system, that's considered static. Basically an HTML spewing server. Even if the page has "media" on it, it's still static if it's hard coded to the page.
If you find that you have to then it may be a good idea to find a service provider that does it for you. But if you let the service provider do it, then you may have to abide by the settings that they choose instead of yourself.
The provider I go through has a default set up for php and mysql, but they do allow you to set up php your self if you need to do something like raise the upload limit for file attachments. But do not think they allow user installed mysql. I beleive it would depend on if it was a daemon or not.
Silk

Hopper
12-30-2008, 09:13 PM
The provider I go through has a default set up for php and mysql, but they do allow you to set up php your self if you need to do something like raise the upload limit for file attachments. But do not think they allow user installed mysql. I beleive it would depend on if it was a daemon or not.
Very true. I've only seen one ISP that allowed us to install MySQL, but we were leasing the entire box (I say 'box' like it was a tiny system... It was an IBM 595 and it was a single LPAR). And at that point the ISP is more or less just a co-location provider and not necessarily an ISP.

But my point was that you should have a local dev environment to create your site and test before pushing it to the server, so a local installation of php and MySQL is more the norm than not.

Silkrooster
12-30-2008, 10:44 PM
Very true. I've only seen one ISP that allowed us to install MySQL, but we were leasing the entire box (I say 'box' like it was a tiny system... It was an IBM 595 and it was a single LPAR). And at that point the ISP is more or less just a co-location provider and not necessarily an ISP.

But my point was that you should have a local dev environment to create your site and test before pushing it to the server, so a local installation of php and MySQL is more the norm than not.

Oh a local install, OK I must have missed that. yeah you are right. It is best to get the site up and running on your own machine before going live. though I admit their are time I have pushed things live just to test, but I don't have the audience that some have. The larger the audience the more professional you have to be.

Red_Oddity
12-31-2008, 03:45 AM
I use XAMPP (http://sourceforge.net/projects/xampp/) as a test bed, no need to install any server software just start the xampp server when you need it and stop it when you're done using the the handy control panel.

I run the xampp portable apps version so i can basically carry my entire 'server' and authoring tools with me on a simple USB stick and run it all from there.

Speedmonk42
12-31-2008, 07:20 PM
That would be for local development silly. Those who design their websites 'live' are idiots and should lose all their data twice a week just out of principle.


Just out of curiosity, why do you think that? Almost every professional web designer I know does - along with a multitude of other development tools.


What he is wanting to design is static. It's simple content. Nothing more, nothing less. If you're not "generating" pages from a 2 or 3 tier system, that's considered static. Basically an HTML spewing server. Even if the page has "media" on it, it's still static if it's hard coded to the page.


I can't even conceive of using a host that does not have this set up for you.

What are you saving 75 cents a month?

Of course professional developers install this stuff.

There is nothing wrong with a hobby person developing their site live especially if they are using Wordpress or Drupal which is 99% filling in the blanks.

I would say less than .001%of people need to install something like easyPHP or XAMP

On install things like Wordpress and Drupal are secure, so why not develop them live? You are theming and filling in content. For most people, like almost everyone, there is no problem with doing this.

Tom Wood
01-01-2009, 08:31 PM
Yeah, my WordPress site was/is developed live but I don't have a lot of traffic so it doesn't matter if someone sees mistakes. I may tweak some of the CSS but it's very easy to try things and change them back. When the time comes I will have a very short list of people I will be pitching to, so now I'm just focused on the content.

The good thing about using blog software as a CMS (Content Management System) is that it can be set to tell Google and Yahoo that you've updated the site. It won't help much in the early months of the site's existence, but after a while it might help get you higher on the search results. If you post regularly and get other blogs to link to you, then it can have dramatic effects on search ranking. WordPress is frustrating at the moment because they seem to be updating the software every few weeks. TypePad might be a better choice if you don't want to fuss with the program.

My site has two MySQL databases (databii?) - One for Wordpress that I can't access, and another that I use to serve the videos to the video player. HostMySite.com installed PHP and MySQL on their end (and WordPress) so all I do is manage the tables.

Wickster
01-01-2009, 10:47 PM
If you have the money ($129 for basic and $350 for pro) you can purchase a photoshop plugin called sitegrinder that takes your layered website layout and turn it into a full html+css site. check here: http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/

Red Oddity was right about XAMPP Portable on USB stick. It gives you PHP, MySQL, APache and others instantly. It's the easiest way I know how to simulate a live web server. Unless the template you have uses PHP though, you shouldn't have to run XAMPP.

I think templates are good, but you have to at least learn how to change some of the basic things on the template, to make it all yours and all.

A small but maybe valueable tip though if you're building your site. Install Firefox, Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari on your system and test it for all three. Your client might be using one or the other and you can't really tell them to install a specific browser if they wish to view your site. I have to code our intranet sites for all versions of IE from 6.0 to 7.0 because some people refuse to update.

AbnRanger
01-02-2009, 03:47 AM
If you have the money ($129 for basic and $350 for pro) you can purchase a photoshop plugin called sitegrinder that takes your layered website layout and turn it into a full html+css site. check here: http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/
Thanks for the tip on that. I had to do a lot of slicing in Photoshop, and it's not a very elegant or smooth way to work. It made things rough trying to add Flash video.
I like that this software creates nice clean CSS pages instead.

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:01 PM
well I took everyone's advice and found someone who was good at making websites and traded them for some music services. So check it out. I would say that's it's much better then my attempt at making a site. I think he forgot to put to copyright at the bottom. I'll have to call him on that one. Thanks for all of the advice and help all of you have given me. I would have had a crappy looking site to show potential clients and employers. www.tranglemedia.com By the way, the demo reels for the animations will be up soon along with downloadable music lessons. It's still in it's finishing off stages.

Stooch
01-05-2009, 12:13 PM
so far its horribly slow. im still waiting for something to finish loading. all i see is a blue bar on a dark background. heh and already im pretty sure i wont like it.

Hopper
01-05-2009, 12:14 PM
FYI:
It's been 3 minutes and it finally timed out. It couldn't load the main graphic. Just a guess, but I'll bet it's not optimized and probably huge. Or your ISP is having severe issues at the moment.

From what there is so far, I would definately not barter too much of your time for this.

IMI
01-05-2009, 12:21 PM
It's loading for me instantly. I mean, instantly - every page.

Hopper
01-05-2009, 12:22 PM
It's loading for me instantly. I mean, instantly - every page.
I'm using FF at the moment. You too? or IE? You never know .. it could be a browser issue, but as simple as this page is, it's unlikely. The main graphic seems to be only 67.5K so there's definately something going on.

Edit: I tried in IE and the main graphic is WAY different than in FF.

First pic is FF, then IE. It looks like I had hi-lighted it, but I made sure I hadn't.

Stooch
01-05-2009, 12:23 PM
im using IE

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:26 PM
The homepage is only 76kb It's mostly likely a browser issue. I have DSL and it takes about 3 seconds to load. My mother is using cable and it takes less time for her. Only took my stepmother 16 seconds on dial up.

IMI
01-05-2009, 12:27 PM
I'm using FF at the moment. You too? or IE?

FF, yeah. I only use IE when I have to, which is every now and then when I run across a page that seems wrong in FF. Javascript, I guess.

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:29 PM
It's loading for me instantly. I mean, instantly - every page.

Thanks IMI. Glad to know my page is doing better then the first attempt. Webpages are always a work in progress and I'm going to continue to work with the web designer on optimizing but hey, I think it looks rather good and is much more user friendly then the first.

Hopper
01-05-2009, 12:30 PM
After it had cached the image, it worked fine of course. I cleared the cache and reloaded - took another 2.5 minutes. Odd since it's only 65k or so.

The site is looking much better but you are still lacking some consistency between pages. The titles are shifting vertically and you have to scroll to see content. After the main page, your main logo and menu items shouldn't take up half the page. They should be a much smaller version than your main page if you're going to go that route.

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:31 PM
I'm using FF at the moment. You too? or IE? You never know .. it could be a browser issue, but as simple as this page is, it's unlikely. The main graphic seems to be only 67.5K so there's definately something going on.

Edit: I tried in IE and the main graphic is WAY different than in FF.

First pic is FF, then IE. It looks like I had hi-lighted it, but I made sure I hadn't.

that's strange.

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:32 PM
After it had cached the image, it worked fine of course. I cleared the cache and reloaded - took another 2.5 minutes. Odd since it's only 65k or so.

The site is looking much better but you are still lacking some consistency between pages. The titles are shifting vertically and you have to scroll to see content. After the main page, your main logo and menu items shouldn't take up half the page. They should be a much smaller version than your main page if you're going to go that route.

Noted and will work on that. thanks.

IMI
01-05-2009, 12:34 PM
Thanks IMI. Glad to know my page is doing better then the first attempt. Webpages are always a work in progress and I'm going to continue to work with the web designer on optimizing but hey, I think it looks rather good and is much more user friendly then the first.

No problem. :)

I think it looks pretty good, myself. I couldn't give an opinion about whether it's "professional" or not, because I really don't know much about it. Far as I'm concerned though, if it looks good, it is good.
Helluva lot better than I would do at least. Hell, I'm still on page 1 of WWW 101 - "hello world". ;)

pauland
01-05-2009, 12:40 PM
I'm afraid I'm going to stick with my comments on the original site..

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:44 PM
No problem. :)

I think it looks pretty good, myself. I couldn't give an opinion about whether it's "professional" or not, because I really don't know much about it. Far as I'm concerned though, if it looks good, it is good.
Helluva lot better than I would do at least. Hell, I'm still on page 1 of WWW 101 - "hello world". ;)

LOL! I totally understand. I'm a music composer 1st, and 2nd I'm a visual effects an animator. Websites lingo is a whole new ball of wax that I don't want to get into. I went on the dreamweaver forum so that I could understand more about it and the stuff and lingo that talked were totally foreign to me and will continue to be. LOL One reply, a guy sent, said, just "html this, switch to code mode and do this and that and it's easy". I think I must have spilled my coffee on the floor going "WHAT??" Now I know how my wife feels when I tell her about some technical stuff I did in Lightwave. She starts fazing out in about 10 seconds.

archijam
01-05-2009, 12:48 PM
Viewed on FF3 -

The site could be fine, but I would fix a few things:

- It's too wide. I have to maximise my browser window (or scroll) to see the whole thing.

- The logo is center justified, but much of the content is not.

- It is risky changing the colour theme for every page, but maybe ok since you have such a dominant logo.

- Logo is a little big I think - remember the old NEWTEK forum logo? eek.

- There is consistently too much empty space above every page

- At the -very- least the pages should be consistent. For example, the coloured horizontal line is jumping heights on each page, then disappears on the musical lessons page. The front page logo is much lower on the first page, which would be fine if the others were smaller, but isnt working here.


Perhaps some of these issues are Firefox related, install all the major browsers on a computer at work with a normal sized screen (15 - 17 inch) and test for yourself ..

IMI
01-05-2009, 12:49 PM
One reply, a guy sent, said, just "html this, switch to code mode and do this and that and it's easy". I think I must have spilled my coffee on the floor going "WHAT??" Now I know how my wife feels when I tell her about some technical stuff I did in Lightwave. She starts fazing out in about 10 seconds.

Hehe.
Yeah, I hear you. I bought Dreamweaver way back in the day, like 2001 or 2002 or so - DW version 4. I learned some basic stuff, but I quickly decided if I were ever to have a website I was just going to pay someone for it. I can mess around in LW and Zbrush all day and spend half that time with my face buried in manuals, but just have no patience at all with web stuff.

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Viewed on FF3 -

The site could be fine, but I would fix a few things:

- It's too wide. I have to maximise my browser window (or scroll) to see the whole thing.

- The logo is center justified, but much of the content is not.

- It is risky changing the colour theme for every page, but maybe ok since you have such a dominant logo.

- Logo is a little big I think - remember the old NEWTEK forum logo? eek.

- At the -very- least the pages should be consistent. For example, the coloured horizontal line is jumping heights on each page, then disappears on the musical lessons page. The front page logo is much lower on the first page, which would be fine if the others were smaller, but isnt working here.


Perhaps some of these issues are Firefox related, install all the major browsers on a computer at work with a normal sized screen (15 - 17 inch) and test for yourself ..

Hey thanks for wisdom. I will keep tweaking and taking all of your advice. ( :

virtualcomposer
01-05-2009, 12:52 PM
Hehe.
Yeah, I hear you. I bought Dreamweaver way back in the day, like 2001 or 2002 or so - DW version 4. I learned some basic stuff, but I quickly decided if I were ever to have a website I was just going to pay someone for it. I can mess around in LW and Zbrush all day and spend half that time with my face buried in manuals, but just have no patience at all with web stuff.

I totally understand! I hate website stuff! It's a totally different world that I don't want to be a part of. Once the site is up, then I want to forget about any type of starting from scratch garbage. UGG!

AbnRanger
01-05-2009, 01:48 PM
well I took everyone's advice and found someone who was good at making websites and traded them for some music services. So check it out. I would say that's it's much better then my attempt at making a site. I think he forgot to put to copyright at the bottom. I'll have to call him on that one. Thanks for all of the advice and help all of you have given me. I would have had a crappy looking site to show potential clients and employers. www.tranglemedia.com By the way, the demo reels for the animations will be up soon along with downloadable music lessons. It's still in it's finishing off stages.As was mentioned by someone else, I would definitely separate your music, and the content creation/video editing. They are not related much if at all, and it can give a potential client the idea that you do one or the other predominantly...with the other being more of a garnish or novelty. Causing unnecessary confusion is not what you want.
Perhaps name the music side "Trangle (or is it Triangle?) Music" Trangle Sound", etc., and then provide a link to a separate site...not just a separate page of the same site.
If it sounds to complicated, bear in mind, the client is likely to think the same thing. No one expects to see anything about music lessons on the same site for video editing and effects work.
Something to think about...and for what it's worth, I actually liked Dexters preliminary layout better...much better.

adamredwoods
01-05-2009, 02:59 PM
As was mentioned by someone else, I would definitely separate your music, and the content creation/video editing. They are not related much if at all, and it can give a potential client the idea that you do one or the other predominantly...with the other being more of a garnish or novelty.

Sound advice as this happened to me on my website years ago. I tried to be a "do all" guy and clients were not sure what I did. Then I re-strategized and focused on one major strength (Flash Design) and had much greater success from then on.

It also helps when you are pitching yourself to potential clients to have a clear objective. If you do editing, and someone says "do you know of anyone that can do music too" then you can pitch that in as a side thing. People ask a LOT for additional services, but only AFTER you get the gig and prove your worth.

Tom Wood
01-05-2009, 03:02 PM
I went on the dreamweaver forum so that I could understand more about it and the stuff and lingo that talked were totally foreign to me and will continue to be. LOL One reply, a guy sent, said, just "html this, switch to code mode and do this and that and it's easy". I think I must have spilled my coffee on the floor going "WHAT??"

Don't even get me started on the Dreamweaver forums. :thumbsdow

Okay, too late. There are a lot of 'helpful' programmers there that will offer to assist for a fee. Hours of time later, I still had nuthin'. Switched to WordPress and had a site right away. Okay, it took some more programming, but at least we both had something to look at. And even then I was the one that figured out a fatal flaw in the video loading routine, and I had no idea what I was doing!

BTW, there is a site somewhere that will test your site in all the browsers. Do a search on browser test, or something like that. Here it is: http://browsershots.org/

pauland
01-05-2009, 05:20 PM
Virtualcomposer, I have to say that most of the respondents here are pretty non-commital about the 'improved' site and you yourself have focussed on the technicalities rather than what is really important - business focus, commercial message and design aesthetic.

In all those respects, the new site is not an improvement on the original and though it may just be my opinion and I don't regard myself as an expert in any way, I don't see the site as a positive contribution to your business.

With my own clients, time and time again I see people get attached to sites they have designed themselves or had designed in the past. The common denominator seems to be that they don't get feedback from impartial observers. You need that feedback.

In one of the posts you showed a template with a flaming clef image which looked very suitable for your business. Take that design and get your web developer to customise it - it will enhance your business. What is happening right now isn't helping you.

These words may seem like harsh criticism, but I am trying to be constructive. I'd rather you step back and consider my words rather than assume everything is going well - after all you can ignore my comments.

I mean well, I hope you can understand that. Please look hard and long at the direction you are taking.

guardonduty
01-05-2009, 05:30 PM
I like some of your music. Can I use them royalty free.

Wolvy_UK
01-06-2009, 02:41 AM
Check your spelling. You have "comprAmise", when it' s spelt "comprOmise".

It' s on the special effects page.

virtualcomposer
01-07-2009, 11:00 PM
I like some of your music. Can I use them royalty free.

no sorry. They are copyrighted to different shows and cannot be used other then my demo stuff. Thanks for the compliment though.

virtualcomposer
01-07-2009, 11:05 PM
As was mentioned by someone else, I would definitely separate your music, and the content creation/video editing. They are not related much if at all, and it can give a potential client the idea that you do one or the other predominantly...with the other being more of a garnish or novelty. Causing unnecessary confusion is not what you want.
Perhaps name the music side "Trangle (or is it Triangle?) Music" Trangle Sound", etc., and then provide a link to a separate site...not just a separate page of the same site.
If it sounds to complicated, bear in mind, the client is likely to think the same thing. No one expects to see anything about music lessons on the same site for video editing and effects work.
Something to think about...and for what it's worth, I actually liked Dexters preliminary layout better...much better.

Yeah, I took all the video off and kept to my music. When I'm able to afford another domain then I'll put the video on there as well. Thanks for the advice. As for everyone else, I appreciate your advice but there are some things I can't do right now and that is hire a professional web designer. I would have to wait for a couple of projects to help pay for that but this is all I got so it will have to do. Thank you again and as soon as I get some more cash, my site will be redesigned by a web junky who understands all of these codes and everything else. Until, this is all I got and I'll have to trust in the Lord to see me through.