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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Ok. I was not sure where to put this so if it is the wrong place, would someone please move it?

    I am working on a website and I have been taking too long on the design part. I take forever to create the layout that i want, but then I run into a problem and have to start over again. I have even considered using templates (the horror! ). I was wondering if anyone had some advice on what to do.

    My website will be a photoshop community that is devoted to -well- photoshop. It will contain a forum and a user managment system that will allow registered users to upload pictures and participate in forums. I want the theme of the website to be like this:
    Or This:

    I have tried many free user managment systems and none of them seem to be incorperated into my site.

    I want to ask if anyone has a website like what I want and can give me advice based on what you did, or if anyone has a sugestion in general.
    Also, if anyone wants to make the site for me, be my guest!


  3. #2
    Member Mateo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Member #

    Personally, I have not setup a site similar to the one you wish to create. But as far as designing the site in general... well, there is no other way to get it done than to just do it. I realize that your project is a rather huge undertaking and it may seem like you don't know where to start but you are on the right track by starting with the design and layout of it. However, it's a good idea to first figure out what pages and feautres you will have on your site and then what the content will be on each of those pages and then design for the content, don't try and fit the content into a design.

    Now, as far as the actual design, it helps to look at other sites that are similar to the one you wish to create for inspiration. I am not saying to rip off their design, but just to get a feeling of which layouts you like and which ones work. So, here are a few tutorial sites with forums that I found just by a quick Google search:
    (not saying they are the best, just to help you get some ideas)
    Absolute Cross
    Photoshop Cafe

    As far as setting up the back end of the site goes try searching google for "Open source bb" (this is for the forum), or something like "open source CMS" (this would be for the content management part).

    Hope this helps!

  4. #3
    Member LostInIreland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Arklow, Ireland
    Member #
    Here's some advice that might be of help to you. I agree with the comments above, although not entirely. The way I normally go about designing websites is as follows. Obvioulsy you would first get the initial sope and requirements from the client, thus being their requirements and functionality that they want. Now you also ask them what sort of style they want for the site, whether it be a minimalistic approach, or something very flashy and full of animation. As a designer some things that are worth doing is that as you surf around the net and you come across other websites, you will obviously see some nice ideas or things that you like about other sites. What i generally do then is add them to a folder in my favourites and rename with a brief desciption of what i liked in them. Then when it comes to designing a site you can go back and see what you liked and what you didn't and see if any of it could be used in your new site.

    Now obviously you can also look at template sites and get some design ideas off them, and then try to re-create them your side. Don't necessarily steal their whole design, but take certain things as ideas and then incorporate them into your site.

    I would always put together a mock design before going ahead with any development, because often a client doens't quite know what they want dfrom a design point of view, so before you go coding you give them a design of what it is going to look like so that they can potentially sign-off on it or give you some direction as to whether or not you are heading in the right direction. I would say the best way to tackle your problem is to do some research out on the net and see what you like and what you don't like, put them all together, then put together a design in photoshop and play around with it until you are happy with it, and then build your website around your design. While doing all of this bear in mind your content and what things your content might need in order to come out looking correctly.

    With regards to CMS systems, i would definately recommend the Joomla/Mambo open source Content Management System, it really is good and the upside to it there are loads of free modules and components that you can just download and install onto your site. Very good.

    I agree with the phpBB as your forum/Bulletin board for the otherside. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop me a mail.

    But good luck with the whole thing though
    Tip #44: never pee into the wind...

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