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Thread: My new music website. As a beginner, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  1. #1
    Junior Member guitylerham's Avatar
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    Default My new music website. As a beginner, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 2 Jun 2010 @ 23.46

    Hello all.

    My name is Tyler and I've been building my first website for the past week. I was a complete beginner then and now... I feel like I'm still a complete beginner. I used Photoshop to create an image of my site template, sliced and exported it to Dreamweaver, used the 'design view' and commands to program code for me. I've spent countless hours educating myself through youtube and article tutorials. I've learned that using Dreamweaver to code for you can leave your code overcomplex and invalid. Suffice it to say, my site after having been checked by site validators is now full of errors. I also learned that I need to define my doctype which could lessen the number of actual errors.

    Anyway, I've also found out that my site is a little heavy and takes a little long to load. My question: if I want my site design to be image-rich like it is currently, do I need to be learning flash-based site design? I don't want my site to have solid color backgrounds, common css-style navbars, borders, etc. I know those styles make a site much lighter to load and view but is there a way to keep my site looking like it does now but improving is performance?

    I have much to learn and the willingness to learn it, I just don't know how to organize the procedure of learning/implementing the techniques involved. Perhaps a comprehensive book is out there that can help a person such as I? This site looks like an awesome resource for this stuff and I've very excited to get this ability under my belt. I appreciate you taking the time to look this over.
    -Tyler
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    Whacked shinyshadow's Avatar
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    Default 3 Jun 2010 @ 00.32

    No, you don't need flash. You might want to learn how to do it without tables tough.
    The photoshop export doesn't make good code; the right way is to learn and do it by hand.

    In the beginning (at least for me), I did do it less image heavy,
    this isn't any harder to do.

    While slicing, you'll need a big image for the background, that includes everything under the navigation and header.
    , One for your footer and separate ones for your navigation buttons.
    Setting your background-layer invisible while slicing those is a good idea, this way when it not pixel perfect, you won't be able to tell, they will have transparent backgrounds.

    You then use these as backgrounds in CSS not as images.
    First you'll need another tutorial, as you probably don't understand the basics yet.

    *sorry if I'm of little help
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    Member shalom_m's Avatar
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    Default 3 Jun 2010 @ 05.34

    Your design looks nice (maybe I would make the header a little smaller)
    The code is a disaster! But this is what happens if you let a program write your code.
    It is akin to creating a song where you decide in the key and the instruments and allow the computer to generate random notes!

    I have taken the liberty to make a page based on your design.
    No Java-script. No Tables. Just simple HTML and CSS.

    Here is the result: http://mandelbaumonline.net/csspop/Tyler/

    Feel free to copy and learn
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    Senior Member Mike Hopley's Avatar
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    Default 3 Jun 2010 @ 09.28

    quote
    My question: if I want my site design to be image-rich like it is currently, do I need to be learning flash-based site design?
    Originally Posted by guitylerham View Post
    Certainly not. Avoid using Flash unless you have a specific need for it; as a general rule, web pages are better made in HTML & CSS than in Flash.

    quote
    I don't want my site to have solid color backgrounds, common css-style navbars, borders, etc. I know those styles make a site much lighter to load and view but is there a way to keep my site looking like it does now but improving is performance?
    Well, your site's performance is actually fine. I ran it through AOL Page Test, which reported an empty cache loading time of 2.3 seconds, and a primed cache loading time of 1.4 seconds. This is actually quite fast.

    The reason it's fast is that your page is nearly empty. You can expect the performance to get worse as you add more items to the page -- although text is basically free.

    At this stage of your design, and given your current level of experience, I would not be worrying about performance.

    quote
    I have much to learn and the willingness to learn it, I just don't know how to organize the procedure of learning/implementing the techniques involved.
    I think deciding on some goals would help. What is it you want to achieve?

    Are you in this just for your own music website? Or do you want to become a professional designer?
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    Junior Member guitylerham's Avatar
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    Default 3 Jun 2010 @ 16.44

    Thank you, ShinyShadow. You were of great help! Any input only points me in the right direction. Good idea about setting the images as backgrounds!
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    Junior Member guitylerham's Avatar
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    Default 3 Jun 2010 @ 16.52

    Shalom m! I really can't thank you enough for taking the time and energy to write some simple code for a site that rivals my design! I found a program to extract the html code from your example and it was pretty compared to what DW spat out. Man. I will study that code and make it work! Someone recommended not using tables and now I see what that means. Again, thank you so very much! I'll get right to work and see if I can't lick this thing.


    Mike H: Glad I don't need to learn Flash. I was watching some tutorials and it seemed like an odd way to make a website compared to html--it being a movie and all...

    I can see how an empty site would be pretty quick to load. I just used some site checkers and got some warnings about it's current size. You're right, I should be more concerned with getting the code/design correct and then maybe performance. My goals for this website are only to get a presence on the internet for my music career. I'm a songwriter/musician first and foremost so web design is only a necessary tool I need to help my music career along. I love to learn about anything I can so I'll submerge myself in this as deep as I can until my goals are met. Basically, I just want a functioning website that I can carry along, update, add content (music, pictures, blog, sell merchandise, etc), and be able to depend on. I'm going at this alone so my network of resources is quite small! But with a bit of determination, I think anything is possible! Thanks for your advice, it helps a lot.
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    Senior Member Mike Hopley's Avatar
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    Default 4 Jun 2010 @ 11.38

    quote
    My goals for this website are only to get a presence on the internet for my music career.
    ...
    I just want a functioning website that I can carry along, update, add content (music, pictures, blog, sell merchandise, etc)
    Originally Posted by guitylerham View Post
    In that case, I would focus on getting your content out there. The design of your site is less important.

    You'll need a way to play music on your site (only on user request, please!). If you're planning to sell stuff, you need to think about what and how you want to sell.

    I would worry about getting the site functioning first. Make a list of your requirements, and try to be specific.
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    Member corie_michele's Avatar
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    Default 14 Jun 2010 @ 02.24

    I'm originally from Kent! I miss the NW terribly. I am a new design student myself, so I don't think I can give you much direction in the coding area, but as a future visitor the site is esthetically pleasing, especially for someone just beginning, good job.
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    Junior Member guitylerham's Avatar
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    Default 14 Jun 2010 @ 02.35

    Thanks Corie! I really appreciate the feedback. The NW is a wonderful place though I think traveling myself would really put it in perspective how wonderful it is!

    I think the site is almost done. I have some minor coding issues that I need to fix (nav bar/email signup box move around too much currently). I agree with Mike Hopely from above that I need to focus on getting my site functioning. I decided to go with a different hosting company more tailored to musicians. Thanks to all who've helped me go from nothing to having a website now!
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    Trusted Guru WelshStew's Avatar
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    Default 16 Jun 2010 @ 13.32

    Hi Tyler, great to have you on the site.

    For a first website this looks great (you should see what I first came out with).

    I would look to remove the frames from the homepage, as these are really not needed.

    Good luck
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