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Old January 29th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Laugh Trying to Create an Authoritative Site - Suggestions?

Hi, I'm new to the forum and to webdesign but I'm sure you guys aren't.. I'm trying to get into website design and would love to make some sites about droids and gaming. I'm trying to learn everything I can about both so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or ideas they could pitch? I created a basic site thusfar and I'm trying to enhance it. I won't put the link here because I don't want to spam or anything but if you want to shoot any ideas take it upon yourself to look in my contact info and visit my site - don't be too harsh please haha Thanks!

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Old January 29th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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On a purely observational level, a lot of people I've seen with an interest in this approach it as more of a hobby than anything else. Professional web design/site management is more than just putting a pretty face on the information. It requires a good deal of business savvy and good old elbow grease. There are really no "tricks" that will enhance a boring or irrelevant web site and an informative, helpful site doesn't need to be loaded with whistles and bells.

If you are serious at making this a career, then I'd recommend two things. First is formal education, with an emphasis on the programming of websites so you fully understand how they work. Second, get a job -- even if it's volunteering for a non-profit organization -- and work with a team to do the day-to-day maintenance (aka grunt work) on an existing site to see how it all works from a business standpoint.

If you want to PM the link to me, I'll be happy to take a look.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the prompt and informative reply! I think for me it's just something I'd like to do as a hobby and grow into it at a moderate pace. I've been reading as much as I can and I'm starting off slow. Great idea though regarding volunteering to get some experience - I'm def going to look into that!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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On a purely observational level, a lot of people I've seen with an interest in this approach it as more of a hobby than anything else. Professional web design/site management is more than just putting a pretty face on the information. It requires a good deal of business savvy and good old elbow grease. There are really no "tricks" that will enhance a boring or irrelevant web site and an informative, helpful site doesn't need to be loaded with whistles and bells.

If you are serious at making this a career, then I'd recommend two things. First is formal education, with an emphasis on the programming of websites so you fully understand how they work. Second, get a job -- even if it's volunteering for a non-profit organization -- and work with a team to do the day-to-day maintenance (aka grunt work) on an existing site to see how it all works from a business standpoint.

If you want to PM the link to me, I'll be happy to take a look.
I tried to give my oldest daughter the same advice for things she was "interested in" I would tell her go talk to the pro's ask them if they had to do it all over again would they if not why if so why. Ofcourse I got more responce from the wall behind her. Now she is 18 and on her own just a few more months in school and really no direction. Unfortunately for us she is not the only one. Many of the kids today have no clue. I mean I don't guess we did either but it certainly seems we had more of one they they do.

To the Op
When you design a site you have to ask yourself a few questions
1. Who am I targeting? - What age group, What income level, Why that group?
2. What is more important? Giving out facts and figures of the subject matter or Giving pictures and oh and ahh to the audience? Basically do I win them with wit or win them with glit?
3. What are they viewing this on? Phone, Computer, Netbook, Notebook, ereader.
4.What is needed to get the full affect of the site. Video, Sound, Screen Resolutions. Software requirements (for Videos / Adobe Flash / others)
5. How much time do I need to set aside to update / maintain the site. How is this going to affect freetime / family time/ self time

I'm sure there are more questions you should have answers to but I have found that these were the foundation of the sites I used to do. Way before things as complicated as CSS and XML came out. We had Notepad and only one way to preview it.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the prompt and informative reply! I think for me it's just something I'd like to do as a hobby and grow into it at a moderate pace. I've been reading as much as I can and I'm starting off slow. Great idea though regarding volunteering to get some experience - I'm def going to look into that!
I took a look at your site. It is clean and fairly well organized, but frankly it could be one of a hundred similar sites out there. You will either have to promote the heck out of it (Not here, against site policy, sorry) or make it something special to distinguish it from the rest. Hope that helps you a little.

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I tried to give my oldest daughter the same advice for things she was "interested in" I would tell her go talk to the pro's ask them if they had to do it all over again would they if not why if so why. Ofcourse I got more responce from the wall behind her. Now she is 18 and on her own just a few more months in school and really no direction. Unfortunately for us she is not the only one. Many of the kids today have no clue. I mean I don't guess we did either but it certainly seems we had more of one they they do.
I've met some people who knew exactly what they wanted and went out and got it, but the vast majority of High School Grads have no idea. I think part of the problem is the "you can do/be anything you want" attitude schools impart to children at a very early age, but never offer any direction in accordance with their interests or abilities (except, of course, where athletics are concerned.) My son has a proclivity for mathematics, but found early in college that he was bored with the theoretical applications. He will be graduating (God willing -- I want my bank account back) in May with a degree in economics. His internship has already provided him with several good employment prospects, and if he heard it correctly, one real offer.

When I graduated high school, I was as clueless as the rest of them, but felt pressured to go right into college regardless. I, instead, took a year off and worked in the "real world" before I started college and it was the best decision I ever made.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I got out of high school and joined a punk band and was going to make billions of dollars

I am employed with the City of St'Marys and while I'm thankful for my job and I have really good benifits I really wish I would have finished High School and went to college. (I did get my GED and do some college years later) I have also tried to express that to my oldest. Last I heard she wants to be a "Stay at home Mom" Nothing wrong with that but I know my daughter she really needs a job.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In the wrong kinda punk band if you were after money From another former punk.

Web design is tricky, I'd really say just look at sites you like, view the source, and see how you can mimic it with your own twists on it. And you gotta stick away from pure html/css. Need some images somewhere, I've tried to find a nice design without images, very tricky. You'll end up creating a dozen stylesheets that look like junk and finally get one that works in a minimalistic sense or something.

Good luck.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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In my opinion, experience should become your new best friend. Spare time, free time, etc. shouldn't exist anymore (and sometimes sleep deprivation is necessary). Just start coding/designing, the internet is awesome at references. I tend to avoid books, because they are usually outdated (sometimes even a month old can be bad). Personally, I never needed a degree to get a great job, but I hear degree(s) could help increase your pay. I've been to school for coding and I learned more from myself (and the internet) than I did in class. But everybody is different.

Also, try HTML 5. Most modern browsers support this, and it has some incredible possibilities.

Edit: For the sake of mankind, do not use tables. CSS can do better formatting, it makes for better code, etc.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Also, a little bit of javascript can do wonders. Throw in jQuery and you'll be preforming some arcane web rituals.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In the wrong kinda punk band if you were after money From another former punk.

Web design is tricky, I'd really say just look at sites you like, view the source, and see how you can mimic it with your own twists on it. And you gotta stick away from pure html/css. Need some images somewhere, I've tried to find a nice design without images, very tricky. You'll end up creating a dozen stylesheets that look like junk and finally get one that works in a minimalistic sense or something.

Good luck.
Yeah well ya no The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag didn't do so bad. And Rollins has branched to all kinds of different horizons. But yeah we could have bashed Corporate America and made billions just not in money Wow the most hated band in the world Oh well my punk Carrier pretty much ended as fast as it began getting stomped will do that. However it was all good I went and got a real job and been working ever since.

I did do a bit of webbing back in the late 90's when I really started to take it seriously. The one thing I had to keep in mind is how does it look for other people. What is very appeasing to me may not be to others. If you really want to make your mark think outside the box. Don't do what everyone else does look for things that will make your web/s unique and different. I cant tell you how many sites I've gone to that look so much alike maybe some different colors and maybe more graphics / less graphics but in the end they all look alike. Most movies sites look a lot alike so really in order to stand out look for the uniqueness that one would not expect of a web page.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Was just busting yer chops amigo.

Personally, as far as web design goes, I really like minimalistic designs, and use of negative space.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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AJAX can be useful, but I don't know enough about your site to recommend it.
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