Thursday, January 03, 2008

Calling All Webheads

A few questions for those who monkey around with creating webpages:

  1. Do you use any software for creating your webpages, or do you do HTML et al. on your own?
  2. If you use software, do you have any favorites? What are its (their) advantages/disadvantages?
  3. Any recommendations? Think - software vs. coding, in-house development vs. engaging a web designer, etc.
Here's the skinny: The webpage for my business is horribly out-of-date, and one of my immediate projects for the new year is to bring that baby into the 21st century. You can poke around and take a look, but please don't laugh - I already know it's a fairly plain-Jane site. I know the basics of HTML coding, but I haven't really kept up with the latest and greatest. I am trying to determine what the best solution would be - try and bring myself up to speed to do it myself, or hire someone to make templates for me. Of course, time and money are considerations for me in determining what is "best." Another fly in the ointment is that I need to include Korean and Japanese content, and rendering those characters is something I've not found a satisfactory solution to thus far.

Suggestions welcome and appreciated!


P.D. Nelson said...

Well I'm somewhat of a webhead and right now I am in a process of making a webpage for a co-worker of mine. Typically I do it all in a Text editor or sometimes in a program called Crimson Editor. However with your requirements (Japanese and Korean) I'd suggest you go out of house and find a professional.

wordsmith said...

Thanks for the input. Way back when I was more involved in updating my pages, I used Emacs as my text editor; one of the nifty things about that was that it had a basic template that you could start with, plus you could insert various tags with different keystroke combinations. All that stuff is now sitting on a secondary hard drive of a computer that sits in the basement and didn't boot up the last time I tried. I just haven't gotten around to taking out that hard drive and putting it on my current box, partly because it'd probably be better to upgrade to a current distro of Linux (the old one is the last distro of Red Hat, that's how old it is, lol), and with two little kids, I don't have a lot of free time to devote an afternoon to figure out what I need to do and how to do it :)

I'm shooting for getting a revamped site up and running by the middle of next month. Until I decide on a solution, at least I can work on content and course layout - which is probably the hardest/most important task, anyhow.

Jeff said...

Just roving around your blog (having come here through a convoluted path beginning at Rattlesnake6), I am impressed with your ambitious outlook on life. You must be one serious type A character.

Anyway, design of websites is, to put it in math terminology, 10% mechanics, 30% content, 60% art (10+30+60=100, yeah, that's right). These fancy high-end graphical programs will help give you a sense that you are being artistic, but they give a false hope, I think, in that they do the art, not you, and all the websites begin to look alike.

A suggestion: give tremendous thought to what it is supposed to look like. Design it in your head, first. Paint it. Color it. Shade it. Dream it. Blueprint it completely. Then, lay it out. It won't matter if you use HTML or Dreamweaver.

On the other hand, in order to make it look in a browser like the image you see in your head, you will need to learn some new coding. HTML ain't what it used to be. ASP is now "classic" (instead of "dead").

Reasons to buy Microsoft's Expressions (or alternative):

1. I'm no artist
2. I don't have time to learn new scripting
3. What's Dot Net?
4. Dinner will be a little late tonight, honey, Mommy is busy right now fixing this var data array, ok?

Reasons to code in pure HTML:
1. I am very confident in my skills with notepad
2. I am Excessive-Compulsive
3. I can make an HR smoothly curve around a 90 degree left turn with only 4 lines of java code.
4. I have a big freezer, filled with pizza.

I am having this very debate, too, with the people at work who expect me to create the modern website that can compete with a website designed and built by a team of programmers. Life isn't fair.