Web Design

Posted by: Mcteak

Web Design - 10/16/02 12:14 PM

My daughter and I want to start a part-time web design business. She has a PC (I don't think I am her father) and talent, I have Macs and the software. I have designed a couple of basic sites for work and friends using Go Live. I guess what I am asking for is guidance, where to start, how to start, etc. Thanks.<br><br>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 12:22 PM

Well... first you need clients... and that's the hard part. Get your name out there. You will need a website of your own to show them what you can do. Links to other sites you have designed always help as well.<br><br>I will tell you this though. According to industry pubs, the call for web designers has gone through the floor. In fact, creativepro.com has an article about it on their website.<br><br>It makes me particularly nervous, as I am a graphic designer and I don't have a full time job right now, I'm freelancing from home. My intention was to get a job and freelance on the side like I did in Las Vegas. However, the market is very scary right now.<br><br>
Posted by: Mcteak

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 12:28 PM

Thanks for you feedback. Good luck in your job search. I am in HR and understand where you are coming from. I think most hiring markets are way down. I live in Wilmington, NC and this area has been hit hard with several plant closings and layoffs.<br><br>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 12:34 PM

It sounds strange, but a good way to get a few sites under your belt to show off is to go to non-profit groups and offer to do their site for free. You make the stipulation that you will listen to their needs and ideas, but the ultimate decision about the way the site looks is yours (since it isn't costing them anything). I don't mean to say that they have no input, but little things that they may request that just don't look good, you get to veto.<br><br>You don't get payed, but it's usually the only way (outside of your own website) that you can really show off your talents and creative potential. Most clients tend to ruin their own site because they let their "personal taste" enter into the design concept and muck it all up.<br><br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 02:11 PM

I'd give you some advice, but I don't need the competition!!!<br><br><br><br><br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 02:15 PM

Good point... and it's too late for me to delete my advice... oh well, there goes another potential client!<br><br>
Posted by: carp

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 02:43 PM

DaddyMac did create a real nice web site for that Floral shop.<br><br>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 03:56 PM

I missed it? You got a link? I always like to see other people's work. It's a great way to steal, ehem... I mean gather ideas from!<br><br>
Posted by: Mcteak

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 04:13 PM

Thanks for you suggestions, but after seeing what you guys (this includes Mac Babes) do/have done, I don't think you will have anything to worry about.<br><br>
Posted by: iRock

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 08:07 PM

I really liked that site, too.<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 08:18 PM

...and here's two more i'm working on right now:<br><br>J&M Flowers<br>Stables Garden Center<br><br>Can't get enough of them flower sites!!!! I guess it'll help me in the long run- it's a challenge making them all look different!<br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>
Posted by: iRock

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 09:05 PM

Great diversity. All very nice.<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: iRock

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 10:00 PM

"Why go through the expense of hiring a designer to lay out a document in Quark [sic] or InDesign, when a document can just as easily be prepared in-house in Word and exported to a PDF with a click of the button," the report suggested.<br><br>We deal with a lot of this crap and I just have 2 cents;<br> They never ever embed their fonts <br> CMYK is a four letter word<br><br>The only saving grace is thatsince our small newspaper accepts alot of this crap, we are learning so much about troubleshooting all kinds of files. The job never gets boring for long.<br><br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: iRock

So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 10:20 PM

You guys both have really slick, professional looking websites. What programs do you use? And I don't know if it is a trade secret, but what is the deal with the large graphics in segments? I assume it is for easier loading but I notice you both have taken graphics with effects on the edges like some type of pillow emboss on MacGizmo's and a rough edge on MacDaddy's J&M. And do you need special software to make the textured backgrounds so they mesh smoothly between seperate parts of a header image? I want to do something like that with my own personal site on a smaller scale. Do you use some type of program beside Photoshop to make these images and then divide them? Maybe I need to RTFM that came with GoLive 4? I am very curious. I am hoping to pick up an Adobe Design Pack soon. Checking on it tomorrow in fact. Maybe even a Print to Web Bundle. Or do either of you know of a site with this information for amateurs? Full of it tonight aren't I? I think it is the excitement of new software.<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: iraszl

Re: Web Design - 10/16/02 11:32 PM

nice style. very organic and coherent. congats.<br><br>http://raszl.net
Posted by: iRock

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:32 PM

Yours is great too, iraszl.<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: iraszl

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:35 PM

thx... and i like your signatures.<br><br>http://raszl.net
Posted by: iRock

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:37 PM

Thanks I try...<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:38 PM

I use Adobe GoLive for building the site. I am taking a look at Dreamweaver right now, but it will be a while before I could make the switch.<br><br>For graphics, I use Photoshop & ImageReady (which comes with Photoshop as part of the install). For my site, I basically built the whole website in photoshop, with each page as a seperate layer. I then opened the .psd file in Image Read and made guides where I wanted to "slice" the images (that's what it's called when you chop up the images like we did). You can save directly out of ImageReady and it will create the web page with all the slices in place for you, or you can piece them together yourself. Usually, the html that ImageReady creates can be used as-is, but I like to go in to GoLive and "clean it up" and add things to it, like setting my margins to zero, changing page titles, adding meta data, etc...<br><br>The trade secret:<br>You will notice on my portfolio pages that most of the "slices" never change, just the area that has the pictures of my work and the headline. The logo & navigation bar never have to reload. That's because of the way I sliced the images. I made sure to keep the parts that don't change seperate from the parts that do when I sliced the image. Every page in the portfolio is sliced exactly the same. Now, when you click to the next page, the only slices that have to load are the ones with "new" graphics (the middle area). This obviously helps the load time for the web page. <br><br>The graphics:<br>I used a white box in photoshop with the pillow emboss layer effect to give it the edge you are referring to. For the background, I used a small piece of a large photo of brushed metal and set it to tile in the backround. If you really look closely, you can see about 1/4 inch outside the white area the brushed metal foreground doesn't line up perfectly with the background. It's very slight and most people won't notice it unless they are really looking close. I could have avoided that by slicing the images exactly at the edge where the white meets the metal background, but it would have been more work than was really necessary.<br><br>Oh, by the way:<br>Keep in mind that building the entire site as a bunch of images pieced together has an upside (it looks exactly the way you want it to in any browser on any platform), but also has a downside. The pages will load slower than a normal text/image mixed page. You also have to take into consideration that if you have to make changes often, you are stuck image editing, re-slicing, and re-linking the sliced images for even the smallest change. And finally, search engines can't read text in an image. Many search engines compare your keywords and meta tags with what is actually typed on the page. That tells them what the page/site is about, and it ranks it accordingly. Obviously, I'm not concerned with it because my site is already in the search engines and it must show up because I get calls from people all over the country and they always say "I found you when I searched for designers." But that will probably start to change. I rely on word of mouth for my business for the most part. I have found that for what I do, anyone who would search on the web to get a designer worth a sh!t, probably isn't the type of client I want anyway. If your website (or your clients website) depends on "search engine traffic", there are several websites that will give you all kinds of tips on how to improve it. What I did on my site is not one of them.<br><br>
Posted by: iRock

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:51 PM

Hey great. That is something I have always wondered. For now I am strictly wanting to perfect my own, but want more polish. This will give me something to aim for depending on the learning curve. My niece is meeting me tomorrow at work and we will run over to 'shop' on my break. If I can't get the Print to Web, I will get the Design bundle now & upgrade GoLive later. It will be mine, oh yes it will be mine. See ya & thanks a lot, I'm mass stoked now!<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:52 PM

What is the "Print to Web" you referred to?<br><br>
Posted by: iRock

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:56 PM

http://www.adobe.com/education/printtoweb/main.html<br>My niece may need these for college. We are going to see about it tomorrow.<br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/16/02 11:59 PM

Ahhh... that's the same bundle I just purchased for $399. <br>I got it from the Apple website though, I didn't even think to look on Adobe's site for it.<br><br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: Web Design - 10/17/02 08:26 AM

The first one I think he's talking about was this:<br><br>bayport flowers<br><br>Not 100% my design, but very much my handiwork...<br><br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/17/02 08:38 AM

Looks like SOMEONE's been staring at the 'brushed metal' iTunes window for too long...LOL...<br><br>Very nice- mine's all in Flash, but I've been toying with the idea of doing an All-HTML version too..<br><br>iRock: Dreamweaver's my weapon of choice- It's really a matter of what interface you're most comfortable with, and that the one I just happened to learn first.<br><br>I HAVE heard, though, that DW does the 'least' amount of tampering with the HTML code- for the purists out there.<br><br>I found that using earlier versions and my lesser experience often produced sites that wouldn't 'stick'- what I mean is that when later versions of browsers came out, the layout would shift or the scripts would go haywire...<br><br>The last few versions of DW have really been awesome, though. I thought 4 was great, and MX has a lot of new stuff that I don't really use but it's nice to be able to work in X....<br><br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/17/02 09:07 AM

Your comments are exactly why I'm taking a look at DW right now. I'm working on a site for a client and I have the window open in GoLive and it looks great. I open it in IE, it looks similar, but not perfect. I open it in OmniWeb, it looks completely fscked up, I open it in Netscape, it looks OK, but doesn't work totally correct. I suspect that it is the code, because It's just the basic shell artwork contained in some tables and no fancy scripts at all.<br><br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/17/02 09:25 AM

Not that you'll be completely screwed designing ONLY for IE...<br><br>That's probably what 90% of your viewers will see it on anyway- on a (shudder) PC to boot!<br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/17/02 09:32 AM

Yeah... that's why I check it in IE. I'm gonna have to give DreamWeaver a try. I've been meaning to for years, but as you said, you stick with what you already know - especially in this biz! <br><br>The last time I seriously tried a new commercial app was when Adobe came out with InDesign. It was the only app that I ever switched to from another app that I had known for years. <br><br>Before that, the only app I ever tried on a whim and actually liked & purchased was CyberStudio by a little company in Germany called GoLive (of course Adobe ruined the app when they bought it and renamed it GoLive) It was the best thing out there, and their tech support was incredible. They would actually sit there on the phone while I built a web page and walk me through it. There was no tech problem, they just wanted to help!<br><br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: So Giz & DaddyMac... - 10/17/02 09:42 AM

Yeah, I actually attended a web design app 'shoot-out' way back in about 95 or 96 in NYC, that featured both GoLive (then GoLive CyberStudio) and Dreamweaver, and a few others (I believe ColdFusion?) that I can't remember...<br><br>We all got demo discs and back then Cyberstudio seemed to be the easier of the two...However, it kind of fell off the map for a while and DW was 'out there' more with help manuals and tutorials that I just settled into it...<br><br>My advice- go get yourself a 'Quickstart' guide (the best computer self-help manuals on EARTH- IMHO), and while you have free time sit there and teach it to yourself...<br><br>You'd certainly get more out of it than creating different 'What' pictures all day long...you already seemed to have mastered Photoshop!!! LOL...<br><br>NOT that we don't enjoy them all...<br><br>[color:orange]Hey! Wait a 'minute'....</font color=orange>