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cb911
Nov 11, 2003, 04:37 PM
i'm going to have a heap of questions, so i thought i'd just start a thread where i can ask everything.

first of all... i'm making a personal site. i know the basics of HTML and Flash, but there's some more complicated things i'm not sure on...

firstly, i want to have a section of my site that i'll be able to update frequently with news and any random stuff i think of. this might help explain it better: k10k.net (http://k10k.net/). have a look at the 'News' section of the site. i want to do something like that, just a small box with text. is there an easy way to do that?

next question... i want to setup a email account at my domain. for example cb911@domain.com. is this done through the provided webmail programs like NeoMail, Horde, SquirrelMail? if so, which of those three would people here recommend?

and finally, what do people here think about HTML vs Flash for sites? i'm thinking of going the Flash route because i'm going to have alot of animations, and also, Flash is just cool. :D

coudl my first question about the 'News' section be done in Flash? i'm sure i've seen something like it before...

i'm not worried about having to learn stuff because i'm going to college next year to do web design, so i thought i'd just get a head start.

so no matter how complicated the stuff is that i want to do, just let me know if it can be done, and i'll search around the 'net for the answers.

thanks for the help, i really appreciate it. :)

bousozoku
Nov 11, 2003, 04:49 PM
When you use Flash, remember to be kind to the dialup users. Use smaller animations and load in sections to make sure they know that it's working. Progress indicators of other sorts help as well.

While just using Flash is tempting, even Macromedia like a mix of technologies in their own site. I would certainly consider HTML + CSS + Flash to be a balanced combination for it.

Makosuke
Nov 11, 2003, 04:57 PM
firstly, i want to have a section of my site that i'll be able to update frequently with news and any random stuff i think of. this might help explain it better: k10k.net (http://k10k.net/). have a look at the 'News' section of the site. i want to do something like that, just a small box with text. is there an easy way to do that?That site uses a fairly fancy backend to provide that apparently simple little news box, but there are simpler server-side programs to do the same thing. If you check out Hotscripts.com (http://hotscripts.com) (or a similar site) you can probably find plenty of interesting blog or light CMS (content management system) software that would do what you want when installed on your server.

That said, the easiest way I've found is to use Blogger (http://blogger.com)--it's not that hard to use once you get it set up, requires nothing to be installed on your server, and you can customize it to do just about anything you want.

They've got lots of tutorials, and you don't have to just use it for blogging--it works great for any sort of easy updating on a regular basis via a web interface.

next question... i want to setup a email account at my domain. for example cb911@domain.com. is this done through the provided webmail programs like NeoMail, Horde, SquirrelMail? if so, which of those three would people here recommend?No, you'll probably need to set that up with whatever webhost you end up with. Most webhosts (I use Dreamhost, for example, partly because of their spiffy control panel) have some sort of web-based control panel that lets you set up e-mail for your domain. You might then use a webmail program to access it, but you need to have the addresses/accounts set up first.

and finally, what do people here think about HTML vs Flash for sites? i'm thinking of going the Flash route because i'm going to have alot of animations, and also, Flash is just cool. :DPersonally I'm annoyed by 95% of flash based sites, but they can work, particularly if you like fancy design. I'd personally go with valid HTML (or XHTML, if you want to get modern) for the site, then link to flash movies of whatever animation you want to add, rather than using Flash for the whole interface.

Good luck with your project, however you decide to go about it. Oh, and by the way, don't forget content! (If you didn't already think of that.)

cb911
Nov 11, 2003, 05:12 PM
thanks for all the help. :D

i'll try and be kind to dial-up people as well. :) also i'll definitely have some sort of loading thing, nothing worse than having someone leave your site because they think it's broken or something.

Makosuke, thanks for those links, i'll have to check them out later. and so once i get my email account setup with my host, then i don't need any fancy app to access it? i can receive that mail in Mail.app? that would be alot more convenient.

and the content... rest assured there will be plenty of content. :D i'm working on that right now...

actually, speaking about content, do you think it's better to launch a site when there's a heap of content, or to just get it out there even if you're going to add more content later?

i'll probably have about 10-12 examples of my design work/digital painting and a couple of animations. that should be enough to get started on. and i'll constantly be updating the site whenever i finish new work.

thanks for the help. :) now i'm off to work on that content, but i'm sure i'll have more questions later.



edit>> i just set up a new email account. so now i've got myname@mydomain.com. but now i'm wondering how to set it up so that i can recieve email in Mail.app? is that possible to do? every time i try to access my email it just goes to a web-based program, like NeoMail.

Makosuke
Nov 12, 2003, 05:27 PM
and so once i get my email account setup with my host, then i don't need any fancy app to access it? i can receive that mail in Mail.app? that would be alot more convenient.Depends on your host; some offer POP e-mail boxes (x-nubmer of them or unlimited), and/or IMAP e-mail boxes, while some just offer e-mail forwarding. The host's instructions should tell you roughly how to set up e-mail; if they give you POP or IMAP info (mail.yourdomain.com, is frequently used) then you can set up Mail.app using that. Otherwise, you might have to use their web-based account to get to it.

I, for example, use a combination; I have some addresses set to forward to an existing mailbox at my ISP, while others go to a mailbox with my webhost. I check the former with Mail, and the latter with a combination of my host's preinstalled webmail client and Eudora.

What is your host? Maybe I could point you to the right section of their documentation.

actually, speaking about content, do you think it's better to launch a site when there's a heap of content, or to just get it out there even if you're going to add more content later?That depends on your goal. If you're just having fun, might as well just put whatever you've got up. If you're actually trying to attract people to sell yourself, then you should probably have a more complete version before you start sending anybody there--don't want to give an unprofessional image because you're not done yet.

If you want repeat visitors through Google and/or advertising, I'd do this: Go ahead and go live with whatever you've got, but don't submit to any search engines/directories until you've got some solid content up. If you decide do regular updates (rather than just whenever you have something new), wait till you've been doing them for a couple weeks at least. That way your site looks real and filled out, as opposed to an empty shell (which I hate to see while surfing) when the first people start coming in the door

cb911
Nov 15, 2003, 08:14 PM
i'm hosted with www.crisishost.com.

i don't think they've really got any documetation. well i haven't found any anyway... i should just email them about it.

Makosuke, thanks for the tips about updating a site then listing it on a search engine. :) that would really make it look filled out. i can't stand to see an empty site either...:rolleyes:

cb911
Nov 17, 2003, 02:46 PM
i'm back for some more help.

i'm just wondering how i should orgaznize my site with folders and stuff, i mean on the hosting/server side.

should i have a folder for button's and things like that. say i've got a bunch of animated gif buttons, is it common practice that you put them in a folder by themselves to keep things organized?

i also just found out about indexing yesterday, so if i have my buttons and images in seperate folder ("buttons" and "images") with indexing turned off, that will mean that i can still use them in my site, link to them? will that enable me to use the buttons, but because indexing is turned off, others who try to view that folder over the 'net won't be able to see it, right?

thanks heaps. :)

Makosuke
Nov 18, 2003, 06:13 PM
I'm not quite sure I follow what you're saying about indexing; if you're talking about search engines, then it doesn't matter where you put your buttons, since they don't care about images anyway.

Your organization system depends on how you like to classify things, how you write your pages, and how much stuff you have to sort. Personally, I keep all my on-page graphics (banners, buttons, etc) in a single directory, so I know where everything is. Other people prefer to have the HTML and images in the same directory, but I find that conceptually displeasing, although it makes no real-world difference.

The one advantages of using well-organized directories is that visitors can sort of self-navigate if they get lost--if they're at mysite.com/level1/level2/level3.html, and they figure they want to be at level1, they can just delete the last chunk of the URL, and if you designed well with indexes at every level, they're right where they want to be. Images don't really matter one way or the other in this case, though.

I also always use relative links, so it's easy to move and preview my site.

For example:

Page A is at: mysite.com/subsection/pagea.html

Page B is at: mysite.com/pageb.html

And my images are at: mysite.com/images/

So if I were to use the same header image file from each, I'd link it like this:

From Page A: <img src="../images/head.jpg">

From Page B: <img src="images/head.jpg">

If that makes sense to you, great. If not, sorry for confusing you.

cb911
Nov 19, 2003, 06:33 PM
yeah, that helps. :)

i'm also wondering about the different types of html. i know there's dhtml & xhtml... but what are their purposes? why would you use them over normal html?

and if anyone knows good guides to that sort of stuff, links are always good too. :D

Makosuke
Nov 25, 2003, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by cb911
i'm also wondering about the different types of html. i know there's dhtml & xhtml... but what are their purposes? why would you use them over normal html?

and if anyone knows good guides to that sort of stuff, links are always good too. :D XHTML is figureatively a hybrid of HTML and XML (HTML that works out to be valid XML, I think), but it basically amounts to the next version of HTML--I know of no plans for an HTML v5, with XHTML1.1 taking its place.

Functionally, XHTML1.0 transitional isn't a whole lot different from HTML4, but it is somewhat more strict about forcing you to close tags (like paragraph), which is good practice anyway, and weeds out some ancient junk that was depreciated anyway.

XHTML1.1 isn't much different, but is strict-only, with no transitional form. It is, therefore, much harder to write, and there's honestly not much point in it yet, but it gets you uber geek-points if you can turn out valid code.

DHTML is dynamic HTML, intended to design pages that change on the fly without having to re-load from the server. In very simple terms you can set things like malieable visibility on elements, but I have no experience with writing it.

As for links, how about the W3C?

http://www.w3.org/

Can't do any better than the guys who set the standards, although the documents aren't as easy to read as a tutorial.

Macette
Nov 25, 2003, 06:28 AM
it's quite late here in Australia, and I've been at work all day, so I won't give you my full helpful notes now - though I will tomorrow if I remember. But right now I have a few quick things to say:

http://www.movabletype.org

(for 'blogging' tools - great for your idea about regular news)

http://www.zeldman.com and Mr Zeldman's book, called "Designing with Web Standards" (check Amazon), for more information about the latest in web design ideas;

Flash is not the way to go for your whole site - Zeldman will tell you why

Keep XHTML and CSS in mind. Learn them - they're great things to know. Check http://www.westciv.com for some great tutorials.

- Kill me if my links are wrong. i will check back with this thread soon...