first webpage

  Jaynedoe 14:03 31 May 2007

Hi Guys
I have been asked to design a webpage by bossman. I have no idea how to do it or start even. If I get some guidance on it he will buy appropriate software he says. No he wont pay anyone to do it, I asked. Business is slow and I seem to have free time so... Anyway I looked on net and there seems so much stuff on it but I dont know which to try first so I need a BASIC guide on how to start and what is the best program to use. A friend has suggested something called any suggestions please? Thanks. jayne.

  adamcoppard 20:04 31 May 2007

Um, go to click here and read all of the XHTML and CSS sections. Once you feel as if you understand head on over to click here and download a template that you like the look of. Start taking a look at the code, and playing around with it, with the tecniques you learnt over at click here
You should then be able to see over trial and error, what does what, and should then feel comfortable enough to start copying the DOCTYPE and normal code, and start creating your own design. If you want anymore help contact me via e-mail or my site click here or click here

  lg2127 20:05 01 Jun 2007

If you have Microsoft Office it would be easier to use Frontpage as this is a drag and drop program as it puts in the code for you which is good if you have not done HTML

  Forum Editor 23:13 01 Jun 2007

is not a drag and drop program, it's what's known as a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web design application. Front Page is a well-known and very powerful application, but it has reached the end of its life cycle, and there have been no new versions since FrontPage 2003.

fourm member is right to ask what the site is going to be expected to do, because the answer to that question will to a certain extent dictate what software would be best for the job. Either way, you're in for a bit of a learning curve, and your boss will need to support you with the right software purchase. I suggest that for a standard information site you begine with NetObjects Fusion. The latest release is version 10.0, and to my mind it's the best starting point for someone who wants a program that will keep pace as design skills grow. NetObjects has all the power you're likely to need, and can easily cope with e-commerce site design, yet it's fairly easy to learn, and has dozens of ready-made themes that can be applied to a whole site with a single mouse click.

For more information click here and feel free to come back for as much help and advice as you need. It won't be easy at first, and you're bound to have questions - that's what we're here for, so don't hesitate.

  kindly 19:02 02 Jun 2007

I made my site up by using a program called "ewisoft". Its free and makes making a site quite easy. I managed to use it and it has the added bonus of having an uploading program built in.
If you have web space already, you are ready to go as soon as you do your first page.
Look at click here
My first attempt but I add to it. This shows what you can do with little experience of site building.
good building jane.

  Jaynedoe 22:46 07 Jun 2007

Thanks chaps not replied because being ill. I have not attemted anything yet. The site is to advertise stock as regards jewellry. We make custom made diamond jewellry. We send loads of colour brochures out that cost a lot and the assumption is that if we had a site we could direct clients there to view examples. If you take a look at Marlows Diamonds site you will see the type of thing I mean. Up until last year we didnt even have a computer and I was put on a course to learn how to use one and he bought a new computer, printer scanner the works for me and that system was recommended by you guys in here. We seem to be competing against foreign imports that sell for much cheaper than ours (less tax and ready made) and they can be ordered online. We tend to invite the customers in and match colours of stones and gold to skin tones and make to measure if you like. Its a very old traditional company with old ways of doing stuff. Probably too much info here I suppose but it gives you an idea. Marlows is a good example of what he wants though. We did approach one web company out the yellow pages but they came back with a figure in excess of £12k to design and maintain for a year; hence me. Thanks Jayne.

  Jaynedoe 23:06 07 Jun 2007

click here


That's a bit steep. I've just started doing websites for friends and small businesses (clubs, etc.) and I always think in terms of say £500 + hosting + mntnce. This would be for a CMS. A small brochure site say £250. But then I don't have 2 kids and a 4 x 4 to run. Seriously, there are a lot of lone web developers out there. You need to start asking around or look in your local rags, parish news, etc.

  Jaynedoe 23:16 09 Jun 2007

Hi cantthinkofanickname are you local to Birmingham Hockley. Whats cms and hosting? We have now tried 3 companies from the yellow pages and for a site like Marlows they are all about £10k inc ongoing maintenance and updating for a year. A lot of that is the professional pics of the pieces. In excess of 200 pieces at £20 a pic. We can only presume thats normal prices for a professional web design co as they are all about that price. And adamcoppard thanks. I followed your links and have to say i didnt understand much of it.

  Forum Editor 00:23 10 Jun 2007

that we don't encourage forum members to work for one another, there are a million potential problems.

Professional photography is expensive, and each time I design an e-commerce site for a client I get the same surprised reaction when I mention the catalogue photography costs. Unfortunately there's no way around this, and that's particularly the case with jewelery. I recently designed a site for someone who designs and makes silver jewelery, and in an attempt to reduce costs she tried to do the photography herself. It was a failure, and we reverted to professional work. The result was stunning images, and the jewelery is selling itself.

Diamond photography requires skill if the products are to look their best, and I advise you not to skimp on this aspect of the project. Your online catalogue will be your prime selling aid, and without good images you'll be going into the ring with one hand tied behind your back.

CMS stands for Content Management System, and is a technology that enables clients to update their own website content without upsetting the site design - you would be able to amend product descriptions, and other textual and image content yourself. This will save you money in the long run, but it will not reduce the initial design and development cost - in fact it will increase it slightly.

If you intend to get serious about selling online my advice is that you don't skimp on the setup cost if you can help it. Money spent on getting a good designer at the outset will usually pay dividends later. A couple of years ago I designed a site for a major importer of fancy goods from China - illuminated Christmas trees, candles, firworks, and a thousand other lines. We spent weeks with a photographer, and then more weeks whilst my team designed the site - it was a mammoth task, and the client got very nervous about the cost. Eventually it was done, and retailers were invited to start buying from it, rather than visiting the warehouse. Two years later the client tells me it is earning him a frightening amount of money, and he's forgotten all about the initial cost.

You'll find someone to do the same for you, but be choosy - ask to see other e-commerce sites designed by the same people, and spend time thinking about what you want before you pull the trigger. Changing your mind halfway through the design process can be expensive.

The big money is in the online catalogue and the shopping cart, not the basic site design.

  Forum Editor 18:15 11 Jun 2007

your last post because it contained a defamatory statement. Please do not name people and then accuse them of ripping people off - making such an accusation because someone drives a Mercedes and tells you how much he charges other clients is hardly valid.

Approaching web designers from the standpoint that your boss "thinks designers rip people off" isn't going to get you from A to B, and thinking that you'll get better value for money from a lone designer isn't necessarily true. From what you've said, your requirements are fairly comprehensive, and developing an e-commerce site with a 200 item catalogue isn't a walk in the park - at least it's not if the client wants a truly professional job.

I do this kind of work all the time, and I know what's involved. My advice is to get quotations from a couple of lone designers and a couple of companies. Make sure that you provide a written brief, so all of them are quoting for exactly the same thing, and don't worry too much about what car people drive - maybe that man got his Mercedes by being extremely good at what he does. Successful e-commerce isn't just about slapping any old site online and waiting for the money to roll in, there are complexities involved, and a well-designed and configured e-commerce site should pay for itself quite quickly.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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