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  1. #1
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    Ok, here's the story.
    I apologize for having only an image of my design ( http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5651/xgnnetmw2.jpg ) but I haven't created and coded a website in probably 5 years (back when I was 14 years old). Back then, I used HTML and that was fine, now, after doing a lot of research, I've found that HTML only is not really acceptable anymore. I want to take the next step, but I have a few questions.

    1. Would a design like mine be easy to implement using CSS?
    2. What kind of content management system would you recommend for a design like mine (keeping in mind that I would like comments on news stories, a lot of content on many different pages, and a full blown message board)?

    And if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear some feedback on the actual graphical design. I've been designing in the last 5 years, but then I just have a template image in a new folder with no intention of coding it.

    I thank all of you in advance and look forward to your comments and criticisms.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Firstly it is XHTML, not HTML and you HAVE to use this for the structure of your website. Make good use of tags such as <p> and the <h1-6> tags. You can easily style these with CSS.

    1. Assuming you know CSS i don't see why not. It will be far quicker to make a site with CSS instead of having to use tables with every single page.

    2. I plan to try out Joomla, however I haven't got round it, i would suggest it as a good place to start off looking at. Install this on your webserver and see how it work's. I plan to have a look at it tomorrow so can back to you on how this might work with your design.
    http://www.joomla.org/

    After reading through your first article I have to say it seems a bit ambitious for one person. Perhaps you would benefit by advirtising for a partner.

    As for feedback, its a bit too black and white for my liking. I am not too over struck on the "Click here for full story". Furthermore you need to do some more work on the background of "featured articles" and navigation. Currently these parts just doesn't cut it.

  4. #3
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    Akron and Alliance, Ohio
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    First of all, it is not good practice to use "Click Here". Your links should be descriptive of where they are going. Just use the titles of the articles/features as the look. People will get it.

    Your design feels a bit dated. Check out this site:
    http://www.screenalicious.com/
    Here are a lot of designs for inspiration. Maybe you could go off of some things you see there to "modernize" the design some.

    As far as a CMS, I have no idea.

    Good Luck!

  5. #4
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Liking the wireframe globe in the top left.:smoker:

  6. #5
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the comments and criticisms, guys. I've been around the internet, reading articles on how the design should/shouldn't be done. Well, without publishing a real website in years, I guess I do realize my web design isn't quite "Web 2.0".

    I'll explain my reasoning for some of the things you've suggested changing.

    I agree with you, Perad, on the backgrounds of the top features and site navigations, I was going to edit these parts graphically before going live, I just needed a couple of fresh ideas as everything I tried didn't look very appealing.

    The "click here for full story" was just because that particular spot felt too plain, but I guess useless graphics that only increase load times aren't that necessary.

    The "click here" on the top features were because of an article I read that said the most important part of a design navigationally (I think that's a word) was to really highlight the links you want the users to click on. So I figured I'd throw the top features in the upper left hand corner, under a heading "Top Features" with a descriptive link and a click here graphics to really set it apart from the rest of the links. I didn't like the click here graphics either, and in retrospect, I see that it really doesn't add any visual appeal or navigational help.

    I think I may take small parts away from this design and redesign in a more "modern" fashion, as I said my last published website was 5 years ago, and was intended for 13 year old Dragonballz fans, I guess styles would change .

    Thanks again.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferro
    Liking the wireframe globe in the top left.:smoker:
    D'oh - top right, sorry. Wasn't paying attention when I wrote that.
    :nervous:

  8. #7
    Junior Member
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    Maybe I missed something but I believe the coined 'Web 2.0' term referred more to the idea that a 'Web 2.0' site's content was more user-generated than it was static. IE: It didn't have much to do with the browser code or gui design.

    Usage of HTML has changed some over the last 5-10 years, however it is still used. XHTML is simply a more 'clean cut' so to say version of the latest HTML DTD, with a little more extensibility. The idea behind using XHTML DTD is closely related to the concept that HTML will not show up in all browsers the same; using XHTML helps with this, but doesn't change much the tags that you use and how layouts are created and designed.

    Where does CSS fit in? Using a defined document type and code standard that is compatible with all browsers does not limit your design options by much, however using the powers of CSS with your new layouts will help keep your designs consistent in all browsers as well. It will also help you when using tags such as H1,H2,P,etc more frequently without having to do individual font tags or text styling each time you create a new header. This will reduce the amount of actual code to be parsed and indirectly will help your pages load cleaner, faster, and more bug-free visually.

    Anyhow, before you begin if you are not fully comfortable with XHTML, designing layouts with division tags rather than tables, and CSS, I would go do some reading. A little time spent preparing beforehand will save you a LOT of time in the long run. Hope this helps!

    Also, Check these out:
    http://webdesign.about.com/cs/xhtmlxml/a/aa013100a.htm
    http://www.w3schools.com/xhtml/default.asp
    http://www.w3schools.com/xhtml/xhtml_html.asp
    http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp

    -----
    We offer Irvine Ca Web Design and Anaheim Ca Web Design.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
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    Well, there is a distinctive `Web 2.0' style that has become associated with the term in terms of design, as well. This includes things like gradients and gradiented+pinstriped backgrounds. So the Web 2.0 term has been overloaded in a few different ways, which is why some people really don't like it.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
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    Well hey, versioning sells more than actual change does What can we do about it?

    I mean... How do you slap a version on what an artist feels is cool looking today versus yesterday? Maybe 5 years from now the next 'in' thing will be grayscale websites laced with mixed size polka-dot backgrounds and we can call it Web 3.0! We won't have to change much how we actually code and develop our sites, but every design firm on the planet in its right mind would go re-market to all of their existing clients that they should update their designs to 'Web 3.0'! See where im going with this? That topic has been beat to death while going nowhere on a variety of sites.

    Anyhow, its probably more important for Xerigen to be developing his new sites with more modern coding practices.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
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    I appreciate all the help, guys. I was joking about the whole Web 2.0 thing. A friend joked that design-wise, all I have to do is slap on the word beta at the end of my title and it's Web 2.0. There are only so many things you can do as far as design goes, and I am confident enough with my design skills that I will be able to adapt, I was more worried about the coding side of things.

    I think for my next design I may try to code the website before I make one graphic, that way it forces me to code properly instead of fudging things to work like I normally do.

    It's just a little bit overwhelming after not coding for years when things like css, php, AJAX and the like pop up when they were relatively unknown/unused/underdeveloped in '01 and '02, but I've been reading in my spare time, as web design is only a hobby. I'm definitely grasping CSS better as I look at it as html for the most part, and I plan to take an advanced javascript/ajax course next semester in school, so hopefully that may help me a bit.

    Thanks again.


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