Need advise with website creation

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ecks618, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. ecks618 macrumors 6502

    ecks618

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I need some help with what I need to use. I currently use .Mac to run a furniture website for my dad's store, and it didn't seem like a bad start, but the company is growing fast and the amount of things that I have been putting on the website has become overwhelming and makes the website look cluttered.

    I wanted to know if anyone had advise to what I should use to get a real website up. I have godaddy.com to forward a website to my .mac website. Searching the apple website I found Dreamweaver but don't know if thats what i need. If anyone has advise to what program I should use and how I should host it I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance for any advise.

    Also, here is the website, don't call me a noob, i know I am not that great at it, its an extra thing I do.

    www.FurnitureMagicLine.com
     
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    This thread is awesome, and its answers most of your questions:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=171456

    The website is a great start. None the less, I have a big issue with a lot of the text. I find some body text (and worse yet most of the navigation text) very difficult to read. This would be a big turn off to potential customers. Also, the big brightly coloured text is equally as frustrating. A good colour/formatting scheme is always a good place to start with web design. :D
     
  3. janitorC7 macrumors 6502a

    janitorC7

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    #3
    Well first off let me recommend a host that is not dotmac. It looks unprofessional to forward a domain to something as confusing as a dotmac sub domain, and at least mask if you dont want a host. However if you would like to make the move to a host let me recomend the grid server by media temple for $20 a month. It has yet to let me down and it has 100 Gb of space.

    As for dreamweaver, this is the industry standard WYSIWYG editor, However to build a really good site you should really learn the code and hand code it, as all WYSIWYG editors put out messy code. (however I think that the new DW has the cleanest of the WYSIWYG's).

    However for the price of dreamweaver, (if you dont intend on doing a lot of websites) it would just be cheeper to get a professional (grumm hmm, me, just kidding) to design the site for you and then put it on a content management system so that you can update the pages and the products on the site yourself.

    Cooper
     
  4. tominated macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #4
    If you really are serious, I highly recommend you learn xhtml and css and use textmate or coda to code your site. it should produce nice and clean code (depending on your skill level) and you will have the satisfaction that you have done it completely by hand
     
  5. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #5
    I would probably add some server-side scripting skills to that list as well, something along the lines of PHP or Rails, after xhtml and css.

    Just me, but even though for the first few hundred images hand-editing them is doable, it becomes insanely unmanageable and yucky after a while, and what I suggest would be a great solution.

    And if this is all out of the question or something you cannot do, maybe go with something like zen cart or oscommerce? (or are those overkill...)
     
  6. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    The website (once you get past the main page) is better than some websites I've seen created by "professionals." :rolleyes:

    Anyway, you say it's an extra thing you do. If you're just interested in helping your dad, I suggest like others have that you pay someone to setup a CMS or something for you.

    I'd stay away from the shopping cart software (zencart + oscommerce) because not only are they overkill, I cannot imagine people actually buying furniture over the internet.

    And having browsed your website, it just seems like one giant photo gallery. Perfect! Easy to do. I recommend you get some hosting. You can get some decent ones for around $10-$20/mo. I'd recommend going towards the higher end and getting a company with a telephone support line, so your dad has someone to phone in case of an outage or whatever.

    As for image, check this out: zenphoto.

    It's very lightweight and easy to setup. And basically what you have to do is just create a file architecture of images on your HD, for example:


    Living Rooms>
    Sofas​
    Couches​
    TV Stands​
    Bedrooms>
    Beds​
    Nightstands​


    Where each item above is a folder containing the images you want. The best thing about the program is that it can extract the titles from your images if you want to use them for names. You can also edit the captions yourself right from the program.

    You wouldn't need to buy Dreamweaver (if someone set this up for you) just Transmit to FTP stuff.
     
  7. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #7
    Well, twas just a suggestion. Shopping cart software sans the purchasing part (is that possible?) sounds better than the image gallery option to me, just because it's inherently more suitable for displaying info and pics about products.

    I've purchased furniture over the internet, usually when I can't find anything in stock in the stores nearby. The plethora of options available for purchasing furniture online would also probably suggest that I'm not the only one :D
     
  8. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    I haven't tried zencart. But I tried os commerce and it's overkill. A client wanted just a catalogue and I spent ages trying to make it work easily for them - actual cart, among other things got in the way. I ended up just coding something myself in PHP/MySQL.

    Aside from IKEA, I don't see many furniture sites in my area that allow you to order online. They're like Jordan's. you can check your order status if you want, but you can't order it online. Boston's not as hip at L.A. I guess :p

    If you look at his furniture site, he's just using iWeb's photo album features, which is why I'm suggesting photo software.
     
  9. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #9
    Well it would take more effort to learn PHP and MySQL, and if it was not feasible (either learning, or using something like zencart), even the image gallery would be preferable to straight html.

    I did look at the site, and what I'm hating most is how all the pictures are grouped into major sections. It would be nice if one set or piece of furniture had its own separate page, complete with, say, color/fabric/whatever options, as opposed to having them all on the same page. I know where you're coming from with the gallery idea though.
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    If you're asking for advice and want us to advise you, you may want to invest in some proofreading for the site as well.

    Janitor, I don't know many website professionals who will do a well-thought out site design and implement a CMS for a couple of hundred dollars.
     
  11. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    I never asked him to learn PHP/MySQL :confused:
    That was just my experience that it was better to code myself (not to learn it ... already did)

    CanadaRAM, I've done it for about $1k for non-profits and school groups using Wordpress. But I agree. A few hundred is probably too cheap - even for a simple install with a theme. You might as well get one of those free blogging accounts.
     

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