Sunday, 30 December 2007

Website Design

I am currently redesigning my '' website and am employing some totally new tactics that I thought I would share with you. These are not new to good established website developers, but new to me as a keen amateur...
I am using Dreamweaver, but the principles would be the same for any similar software. For the first time I am using proper templates where I can make a change to the single template and the change takes place site-wide. previously I have just created a page called 'template' and built every page around this template. This method is time-consuming when changes need to be made, but the strict template (extension .dwt [dreamweaver template]) option means that you have to know pretty much what your final layout will be before you start working.
I have built the navigation into the template and copyright info (and google analytics tracking - nearly forgot it!). I also placed my high-rise adsense banner in there too along with site title and logo. I made a cell (middle top) for my title which I placed as a background image - I was pleased to discover that I could then make this an editable region of the template even though the background was fixed. This means that each page could carry a SEO aware sub heading right at the top of the page. I have yet to discover if the template element needs to be SEO aware, but will play with that idea later.
I have found that I can arrange the whole template to sit in the centre of the page so that viewers using different screen setting won't get a lop-sided view with the page pressed to the left-hand side of the monitor.
I think that all future sites that I shall build will be done in this way and I have started to make a site here for which I don't have a use yet, but I want to prove that I can make a nice-looking site with the tools that I have and no formal training....

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