Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by Quigonjecca, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. Quigonjecca Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2007
    star 3
    Hello,

    I have a Star Wars fan section on my website, http://www.jeccaland.com. However, I thik it may need a serious facelift. Since I started my website, I've learned a lot of stuff, and I think it looks kind of... immature. It seems like when I started my website, I was into this whole "Let's use lots of fun colors and graphics!" and stuff, and I suppose that's the product of a fourteen year old girl's imagination :p but I'm almost fifteen now, and my outlook has changed. As crazy as that may sound.

    Anyway, I was just wanting some feed back and suggestions. What do *you* look for in a good SW website? I'll warn you, I know very little HTML. I do all my design with Yahoo! Sitebuilder.

    One of my newest pages: http://www.jeccaland.com/darkchild
    My Star Wars main page: http://www.jeccaland.com/starwars

    Let me know what you think!
    Thank you,
    Jecca
  2. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Hi, Jecca! You sound like you're starting your web design "career" like I sort of did. I started messing around with then-Geocities when I was fourteen or so and made my own Phantom Menace website. I would use their wizard to choose a background and font colors, and to lay out pictures and whatnot. Pretty basic to start with, of course, but I had a lot of fun messing around and finally decided to break down and learn HTML.

    Now, I mention breaking down and learning HTML because at that age, I wasn't exactly going to run out and buy a copy (or illegally download, which is bad juju) of Macromedia Dreamweaver. So, I completely understand where you are and what you're thinking about attempting bigger and better with what you have right now.

    Basically, the limits of using a wizard are painful, but workable if you aren't willing to really do a lot of studying on HTML. If you choose to learn more HTML or just use the wizard, cleanliness and organization is essential no matter what. Even the most basic of sites with a clean, appealing look will outdo more complex sites. Since it appears like you can do a little bit of Photoshop work (or other image manipulation software), I'm going to go ahead and say that you can do more than you think you can. Are you using some program to do some Photoshop-like stuff? If so, you can create an awesome-looking banner for the main page with buttons underneath to link your guests to different sections of your website, keeping it clean and tidy.

    Let me know what you're working with. I wouldn't mind helping you out nailing down some design points that could get you started on a brand new theme for your site.

    Trikes
  3. Quigonjecca Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2007
    star 3
    Thanks! I know limited HTML (pictures, links, colors, font styles, moving text... you know, the basics) and I'm trying to learn more, but in the mean time, I'm using Yahoo Site Builder.

    I do no photoshopping or photo manipulation. Everything you see on that website is just me lining up the graphics and layering them on site builder itself. I would LOVE to use photoshop, but have yet to get my hands on a copy. I woul love to create a banner, but I don't really know how.

    I get what you're saying about needing to have a clean site. I feel like my old pages are just really cluttered-- I like the idea of a lot of them, but in general, they're just a mess.

    Ou of curiosity, where can you buy photoshop, and about how much does it cost? I don't know anything about photo manipulation. However, I've always wanted to learn, and my birthday is at the end of the month, so maybe I can put it on my wishlist!
  4. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Since you're a student, take advantage of getting Photoshop cheaper than at a regular commercial site. Now, it's still rather expensive (almost $300US), but if you think it's something you can get a hold of, journeyed.com has both versions (Mac and PC) for purchase as long as you can scan in a student ID for them to confirm your status as a student.

    Now, that would have been far out of my range as a teen, but someone else around here may know of some freeware that could do the same stuff as Photoshop and be free for download. Anyone?
  5. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Interesting site, I like that page you have for the fan fic. Looks real good. And I definitely understand your situation...I was there just a few years ago...Actually, I may still be there. :p

    I didn't use any WYSIWYG program starting out, I simply used Notepad, which is really good if you ask me. It's basic, but it works. About photoshop or other photo editing programs, I am not sure. I bet, if you did some searching, you could find an open source photo editing for free. Just do a quick Google search, I am sure you can find something that does similar stuff to photoshop. ;)
  6. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    For an alternative to photoshop, try out Paint.net or GIMPshop. Both are open source, which means they are more than free (free as in you can do whatever you want with it), and have a similar layout to Photoshop.

    And, 2 more good programs, that are also open source, and good alternatives to Dreamweaver, try KompoZer, or Amaya.

    NOTE: I know all of this stuff, because just earlier this year I was running Linux (which is incompatible with a lot of software, including all of the Adobe Products), due to my installation of XP Home Corrupting, and I couldn't find the disk. (Now I run XP Pro, but I still use Open Source because all my programs went kaput with my old install of Windows).
  7. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Whoa, sweeeet. We're totally going to set you up for success, Jecca! Just look at the wealth of knowledge spilling onto this thread!
  8. Quigonjecca Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2007
    star 3
    Wow. Thank you so much everyone for all this information. I had no idea all this stuff was out there-- I can't wait to try it out! In fact, I'm going to wake up early tomorrow just so I can try it before church :D

    I was wondering though, which one of these programs would be the most... user friendly? I can figure out the complicated stuff, but, if it was easy, it would be a good start. :p If you use any of these products, which one is your favorite?

    Thank you so much!
  9. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    I personally like Paint.net and KompoZer the best.
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