Not really finished because a website never is, especially when the content relates to a constantly moving target.
I recently changed the compiler from FrontPage 2003 to Ewisoft Website Builder, and I knew that it was going to take time. The HTML produced by FrontPage was not new standard friendly, so there was little point in Ewisoft being able to import FP 2003 stuff directly.
This lead to opening up pages in IE from my old site, and then copying and pasting into WordPad or MS Word. The stuff copied well but the default font changed to the Word Processor default. So, as each paged was copied into the Ewisoft editor, the look of the text changed AGAIN.
Some of the photo I had used didn’t want to play ball at all, and when it came to publishing the website, the built in Ewisoft FTP tripped up over a lot of of the content.
I found out from Ewisoft that they were aware of the FTP issues and were presently working on them. The other technical issue was having to learn different conventions which didn’t prove to be too bad.
OK, so I have a new compiler, and I know how to use it. Et voila.. the unfinished project..
- The old look was very FrontPage. How can I get away from that?
- Who is my audience and what size text should I use?
- Should I remove the ‘Reviews’ section?
- How relevant are some of the older pages?
- How do I ensure that old pages stored here there and everywhere on the Internet are overwritten by the new ones?
This is a difficult one. The type of website determines the look to a large degree, and where you have multiple sections which contain subsections, there has to be somewhere for the main menu and subsections. As we read from left to right, it is sense that the menu should be on the left.
The top of the site has to give a clue to who you are and why you have taken the time to produce a website, and there are not too many ways in which this can be achieved.
My website is primarily for my local clients, but is for general release too. Many of my local clients are getting on in years and reading a website has to be easy. It does for me too, so there can be no use of multiple coloured backgrounds or anything too dark.
Text has to be around 12 point and needs to be a font which is clear. Arial is about the best that I have found, but I tried a lot of similar fonts before settling with plain, boring Arial.
Reviews and recommendations are always subjective. I was only reviewing three items anyway, and wasn’t about to add any more. They don’t exist in the menu now.
Sometimes, it is nice to look back at older products, if only to remind oneself of just how far the industry has come, and how much better it really all is. To this end, I have left some history in, but ‘first impressions’ of anything have gone.
This is easy. Ensure that all of the new pages have the same name as the old ones. Easier said than done as the new website does not contain all of the original complement. Oh well.. . .
What is left..
I am reasonably pleased with the look, and I have rewritten quite a bit of the content. It looks fine on a 19” widescrren, ok on a smart phone screen if you don’t mind swiping around, but it looks dreadful on a 17.3” laptop widescreen because it gets so elongated. Reading it is like reading across two adjacent pages of an open book. Short of adding a right margin which would box the text in a la FrontPage, I don’t know how to resolve this one. In the short term, I have added graphics to break it up a bit, but the danger of adding too many graphics is that they will take away from the content.
Truth is that widescreen laptops are optimized for movies and videos. Websites look better and are easier to read on 4:3 screens, but who has a CRT or early LCD screen anymore?
Websites are not an exact science. It is easy enough to assemble the tools and materials into nice, neat piles, but when it comes to using the tools and building what you hope will be an interesting, cohesive, easy to understand product, life becomes way more difficult.
What I have done is ok, but amateurish in as much as I have to use a basic design because I don’t have the knowledge to make up my own from scratch. There is a lot more work in it than might be apparent at a glance, a lot of ‘trying’ different themes, fonts
The most distressing part though, is the belief that your website will automatically seen by all. It won’t. There is no guarantee that anybody will see what you have done.
The rest of my website can be seen here,, http://thecomputerguy.mvps.org/index.htm.
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