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I am designing my first website (sigh!) and would like some advice.
I have a top frame, left frame (which will become my nav bar) and a centre frame. I want to have a smooth curve joining the top frame with the left frame.
I have Photodraw and Fireworks MX as well as MS Paint.
My question is which is the best application to do it in and what are the steps required?
-Fireworks MX is a good choice for your web graphics. It can even generate active elements like buttons with hover effects (although the code may be a bit bloated).
-Frames are increasingly uncommon and present some search engine and usability issues. If you really need to use them, you can work around these problems, but I'd say most WebmasterWorld members avoid frames whenever possible.
-For creating the HTML, you can use anything from a text editor to a full-blown WYSIWYG program like Dreamweaver MX (partner of Fireworks). If you are a heavy user of MS Office, you might find MS Front Page to have a quicker learning curve. Find the recent thread about DW vs. FP for more discussion of this topic.
-Hang out here and ask questions!
Today, most sites just put the header and navigation into the page itself, either using tables or CSS positioning for layout. You lose the advantage of ever-present navigation as you scroll, but the pages generally work a lot better. To avoid repeating the same code in every page (and having to change each page when navigation changes), most designers would use either server-side includes (SSI) or site templates (shared borders in FP). Either approach means you can change one file and update the entire site.
May I also suggest spending LOTS of time using the site search at the top of every page. You can finds TONS of useful information that way from people who have already asked every question you can even think of asking. :)
As far as frontpage goes. I would recommend staying away from it. That coming from a guy who learned this job originally from Frontpage. I just think I would have been better off learning to code by hand earlier, or if necessary I think Dreamweaver is better. Although a little tougher to learn at first.
Nevertheless, I'd suggest you give DW a chance. Once you figure out some of the quirky features, you'll find it very productive.
You've all been brilliant in replying to my posts!
One major issue I have is that on the forums I've been advised to stay clear of using frames (which are simple!) and using something called PHP and ASP!
All I want to do is put up a website! No, not some kind of crao but something worth looking at...I don't mean to go as far as flash intros and the like; just something that looks like somebody has spent some time thinking about it......
But there is the 20/20......