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  1. #1
    Junior Member Flame Master's Avatar
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    Okay.... believe it or not I've been working on my site for a year now... and have never finished it. It's been through 4 different design phases, and none of them got 50% finished. I just flat out need help.
    First off, I'm a newbie here and this is my first post. YAY!
    Secondly, I'm a graphic artist, but most of my experience has been in vector graphics, and just getting into print (thus raster images and graphics). Web stuff just makes my head spin.
    www.jjwdesigns.com is what I have now. I know, it's pathetic, but if anyone has any suggestions or tips on ANYTHING... please post.
    I'm off to bed but I'm sure I'll have more questions tomorrow.

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  3. #2
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    What is with the lightning navigation? And you have some weird background as well.

    Keep it simple, look at what other websites are doing. Just remember that the website layout should be a container for your content. Create a website which helps show your content and doesn't draw peoples attention away from it.

    Simplicity is not a bad thing, you don't need to be doing things like the lightning style navigation you have. There are much simpler and cleaner options.

  4. #3
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Wow, this site needs major work.
    My advice, since you've changed designs so many times before launch, is to go out to template sites or HTML/CSS tutorial sites and get some ideas on something you might like.

    You don't have to go mainstream with your designs, and it is clear you have great graphic design skills, but you do need some sort of idea to have a site that looks good, yet still utilizes your graphic design skills.

    You have a long road ahead of you, just take it a step at a time. Define your logo, color scheme and elements and then put that into a layout that works for you.

    Good luck....
    GMan

  5. #4
    Junior Member Flame Master's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think the lightning thing needs to die, it's too hard to figure out. I technically have 3 different elements to my business, but all under the same name, so I want a master page that basically leads to three seperate sites... but all under the same name and host.
    I know, it's weird. But I already made up my mind on that. Until the budget and mind stretches a little anyways....lol.
    Problem I'm having right now (I'm using Dreamweaver MX BTW) is that I can't put my text where I want it to! Notice on the Motorsports homepage that there's a little piece of black text that says "edit"? I want that in the white area, not way over there! I have a new navigation bar, so don't worry about that at the moment, I just need to figure out the text thingy....
    I SUCK at web design, and that's why I joined this site. So can I ask if it's necessary to slice up the image in PS before bringing it to Dreamweaver? Will it effect download speeds???

    Thanks for the help!

  6. #5
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flame Master
    Yeah, I think the lightning thing needs to die, it's too hard to figure out. I technically have 3 different elements to my business, but all under the same name, so I want a master page that basically leads to three seperate sites... but all under the same name and host.
    I know, it's weird. But I already made up my mind on that. Until the budget and mind stretches a little anyways....lol.
    Problem I'm having right now (I'm using Dreamweaver MX BTW) is that I can't put my text where I want it to! Notice on the Motorsports homepage that there's a little piece of black text that says "edit"? I want that in the white area, not way over there! I have a new navigation bar, so don't worry about that at the moment, I just need to figure out the text thingy....
    I SUCK at web design, and that's why I joined this site. So can I ask if it's necessary to slice up the image in PS before bringing it to Dreamweaver? Will it effect download speeds???

    Thanks for the help!
    I'm a beginner too - for what it's worth, if it were me in your position I would make it imperative to learn some manual coding. Yes it will give you a headache but once it starts to click it becomes a bit more instinctive and you can start bashing it out.
    I am sure that if you do this you may find it easier to get things to do exactly what you want them to do - you will have far more control.
    I'm getting ok at coding (sort of) but I too suck atm at design. Perhaps if you undertook a couple of parallel projects of different styles they would give you some design ideas along the way? Sounds like you're almost kind of getting stale in a way......
    Just some thoughts

  7. #6
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    Yeah stop relying on dreamweavers design view. Its not all that brilliant. You can learn html in a weekend.

    As for slicing images, it will speed up your site a lot. The reason for this is to do with traffic and download speeds. If you have a 200kb image you need to wait for it to be loaded. If you have 5 40kb images, they will load up one at a time and at least give the illusion of the page loading faster.

    Furthermore you can optimize images with photoshop, A picture may look the same at 70% jpeg quality that it does at 100%. This little adjustment to your images will make pages load and display faster.

    The key thing with websites is to get something on the users screen as fast as possible. internet users are impatient and many won't wait for a site to load if its being slow. Just remember that by starting a business online you are in competition with 1000's of other businesses. This means that if your page takes 10 seconds to load because of bulky images, more often than not the user will have moved on to your rival with a fast site.

  8. #7
    Junior Member EngAdven's Avatar
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    If youíre starting out then Iíd suggest forgetting Dreamweaver altogether.
    This industry will be mostly instant sites soon; Blogging, Online CMS or Client side CMS etc. These all give you instant high quality sites with little if any coding. Even experts find it takes too long to create accessible, compliant sites by hand, especially when software does it instantly. All solutions now have templates that you can instantly apply and all you have to do is choose a free one thatís almost right then change the background images to your own and you will have a perfect, unique site in minutes (or two hours if youíre a beginner).
    You should also have three separate sites rather than spoiling them all with a text light entry page. You should also not over design the site itself but concentrate on making the content stand out instead.

  9. #8
    Junior Member Flame Master's Avatar
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    I'm not a big template fan. I just found the idea to be... well..... wrong. I had a template site, but it just always appeared to me as "cookie cutter" style. And I could never get the graphics right.

    So I put in too much graphics huh? I was thinking it was rather bland myself. I want something out of this world... but I know I'm not going to get it. So I'm just going for "okay". Here's a link to my competitors site that I like. I want to navigate a bit easier, but I like the idea. http://www.oneindustries.com/

    I'll re-do the site and post the link when I'm done with the basic designing.....

  10. #9
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    I agree not to use a template site. You can get ideas from them, but if you already have an idea of what you want to do then I suggest you go forward with it.
    It is obvious that you have good graphic design skills and you can capitalize on that.

    If you have a good skill, a target market and an idea of what you want, you can make that work for you.
    Your graphic design skills are good, so I'd ignore any comments on putting too much into them.
    I think you can make that leap from graphic designer to web designer......but you have to put in the effort.
    If you are going for "okay" then you can use the WYSIWYG programs like Dreamweaver.

    Just keep at it.

    G
    GMan

  11. #10
    Junior Member Flame Master's Avatar
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    Okay, I guess I lost my post. My problem now is...

    I'm using CorelDraw to design everything (just cuz I love Corel). I then take it into Photoshop and re-size it, and then slice it and save for the web. I bring it into Dreamweaver and add my text. Problem is, when I add a new layer in Dreamweaver to put my text in the white area, it won't let me!!! It puts the text like way over on the left! It looks fine in Dreamweaver, but when I preview on the web, the text is way on the left hand side!!!

    Any ideas? It's the only thing holding me back...


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