Web Designing

Thanks to the wonderful site discovered on this forum ([size=8pt][color=red]link removed[/color][/size]), it looks like Adobe CS4 is finally within reach!

Any of you guys out there use Dreamweaver for web design? If so, how was the learning curve on that puppy?
Ralph,

I've been scoping out your site and is that still all done with iWeb?  I really love that menu design and the staggered fonts and everything... was it a real painstaking process?
At first it was an absolute PAIN IN THE @$$, but that's really because I had no clue what I was doing. But just like any program out there, the more you use it the quicker you get. My site has gone through about 3 major overhauls since I started it a few years ago. I kept a page or two of what it used to look like , I can't believe I thought that looked good!

But yes, it's all done with iWeb. I want to add flash and animation, it's only now that I'm starting to see the program's limitations. Technically you can add all that flash stuff, and there are a TON of sites that tell you how to do it. Unfortunately it involves changing some of the coding and I frankly don't want to learn all that right now. I would rather spend that time throwing a 3 year old in the air or nailing my 4 year old on the head with a nerf ball:)
I really love what you did... both of your sites were completed from scratch from your mind?  No templates, correct?
Thanks man! I think the way it looks now is probably the best I'm gonna be able to get it with iWeb but I'm very happy with it. No cost... little time to maintain... easily uploaded... just what I want/need right now:)

The site for my lesson kids is from a Template, I just wanted something quick to get up and easy to maintain.

The Rosewood site is all me. The limitations of iWeb make it to where if I want a navigation menu OTHER than the ones in the templates, I have to manually make links and copy-paste into each page. So when I want to change the look I have to manually change EVERY STINKING PAGE. Next chunk of time I have free I'll figure out how to make a template. I";m sure it's easy, anybody out there recommend a site?

Glad you like the site, homey. Now if we can only get those band directors in your area to check it out...
Hey man... just because I love your website doesn't mean I'm going to let you steal my business!  I write for three schools and have been trying for the last 3 years to get more.  Lots of guys up here are happy to go with show in the box type things (MSC) or Key Poulan stuff.  The good bands already have guys who write the music or know guys who do... or just don't want to change from they stuff they have.

Anyways, that's a stinker about the menu.  I really liked that and was going to take a similarly inspired approach with my own site that I am revamping.

What I really like about iWeb is the X/Y coordinates.  I am partially OCD when it comes to things being lined up perfectly, so if it's out of wack a fraction, it drives me nuts!
Yeah dude, having those blue lines show up so you can see the alignment has been a major timesaver!
Some of the iweb stuff looks really fantastic but many of them take a LOOONGG time to load. Even at really fast internet speeds it still takes 2-6 seconds longer than most pages.

The menu thing is indeed a problem. If you don't like it then you have to do a lot of hand coding to get it the way you want it, and if you ever update your page in the iweb program, you pretty much have to hand code it all over again (or have the HTML in a text file somewhere so you can copy it in every single page). All in all kind of frustrating.

Wordpress has sort of the opposite problem. Things load really fast but it takes a lot of work to make a site that looks professional and less ";blog-ey";.

Both work though. If you have some basic html knowledge than you can make something for cheap (err free) with some time and effort.
[quote author=perpetualpoet link=topic=2905.msg16048#msg16048 date=1238526514]
Some of the iweb stuff looks really fantastic but many of them take a LOOONGG time to load. Even at really fast internet speeds it still takes 2-6 seconds longer than most pages.
[/quote]

NO JOKE dude, is it too many graphics? It loaded ";decent"; until I added those silver buttons behind the navigation links. I tried making them lesser quality but it still takes a long time. Any suggestions on how to minimize the load times?
I'm no expert, but I suspect it's a cache issue. For example if an image is going to be used a lot in a site, usually the file is stored in your cache somewhere and anytime that image needs to load it will pull it off your harddrive instead of the web.

If you look at your studio page, it seems that most of it operates fine except for the cool little cocopelli guy. Every time I navigate to a different link he loads from the web all over again instead of from my hard drive. (but if I go back to a page I've already seen he loads from the hard drive) So I suspect that there are many versions of the same image being downloaded for every section of your site. I'm not sure if this is due to the iweb software, or on dotmac's side of things.

On  your rosewood music page the same problem is occurring with your silver menu bar things (and your banner). Since all the bars are identical sans text, theoretically I should only need to download one copy to my harddrive, then the rest will load lickity split. However it seems to be loading a different file per bar, and worse, per page. So every time I click a link on the left, it loads a bunch of stuff all over again. Now, after I've visited every possible page on your site, then it all loads fast (from my cache)

Once again, i'm no expert and if i'm wrong so far please someone smarter than me chime in.

I'd check my temp internet files if I was on my PC, but on my mac I actually don't know where that folder is to verify any of this :) So that may be one thing to check. Also, after you upload your site, go through the file directory (on dotmac) and see how many times an image appears throughout the folder hierarchy. Or check the <a href> on the images and see if it's pulling the image from the same location for each page.

As far as image optimization, Your banner filesize seems to be inline with most banners, so while things may just be running a little slow off the server, fixing the constant loading would be a huge performance boost.
I had to read your response a few times to make sure I understood it all, it's just out of my reach in terms of web knowledge:)
I just cut and pasted the image so it should be one file, I'll shoot an email to Apple and see what they say. Thanks for the help, man. I've been meaning to figure that one out!

Have some karma for your troubles...
The other day I had just finished up watching a lynda.com training course and was scrolling through the course list to see what I was going to learn next, when I came across a couple of courses that I didn't remember seeing before. These courses were in the ";database"; category - which is what I have been leaning towards for a couple of months now.

What I found was: [url=http://www.joomla.org]Joomla![/url] and [url=http://drupal.org]Drupal[/url] are open-source (free) CMS packages, or more accurately, WCMS (Web Content Management System). Even though I have learned quite a bit of code recently, these types of systems (there are hundreds of them out there) require very little coding skills. All content can be uploaded via a web interface.

Both of them have a large community of users, both of them have thousands of add-ons for customization, and both of them are free (GNU/GPL license). Anyway, long story short, I have chosen to go with Joomla so far - I think that the backend interface is a little more user friendly (and at some point you gotta just pick one).

This type of system is going to save me tons of time and help get what I want done, done.

Depending on exactly what you need, you may find one of these systems to work for you as well.

Late
Hugh
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