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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I am messing around doing a web site for a friend...

see the link below..

Im using MS front page to do it.. and to qualify, i dont know anything about html coding or too much about web design..


the site is basic and looks ok.. although right now most of the stuff is duped from simliar sites.. the guy will get me his specific info to replace this stuff later..


Im looking to jazz up the site.. but not spend any money...


I see many sites that use macro flash

Does anyone know or have experience with that or a similair product? how much does it cost? is there a free product that i can put inot a site to enhance the site?

my test site
 

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Well, coding a site like my photog site takes a lot of time, patience and experience. You have to comfortable to work in Photoshop CS, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash MX2004, and several other smaller "utility" programs. Even this site, required a very good working knowledge of Photoshop 7.0 and CS among lots of other fun stuff like Linux, BSD, php, etc. :D

And you don't want to spend any $....
Well, that is a toughie ---- considering that in software alone to do it yourself (if you needed all of the above software and outside of the experience to carry out the work) would cost you $1500 at a minimum.

There are ways you can incorporate flash templates, headers, or even complete websites, but you will be paying a MINIMUM of
$50-100 for these blank template services and that DOES NOT include ANY customization of those HTML or flash templates. You still need FLASH 5.0 or MX2004 to edit .fla and perform any decent results.

Most importantly:
You need to have a plan first of what you want to the site to appear like in the end --- complete with EVERY SINGLE option --- from menus to toolbars, to colors, to buttons, # of pages, etc.
Website design is simply that --- design -- it is not an automated process that can be performed with a built-in Microsoft wizard and expect to get good results. You need to have a design from which you assemble the page. If you don't know exactly what you want in the end, how are you going to get there?

Question is this. If this friend runs a business and wants to have a professional presence for his customers, is this not worth the few hundred dollars ($150-500) (for basic .html and maybe a couple flash options) to get a website designer to handle the work? You get what you pay for and if wants it for free, you cannot expect the best results.

I am not trying to be negative with your efforts or ideas, but you need to understand more of the workflow and then you can appreciate the whole process and not assume that there are lots of easy shortcuts to quality website design work. It is not easy to produce a quality website. It simply takes a good design coupled with a good designer.

Andy
 

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Looks pretty good. There are plugins and stuff available for free on the internet, but you have to know what you want before getting your feet too wet.

The plan is the most important. If you don't know what the end picture is... don't start. Put something together in powerpoint first and show it to your buddy. This will save you alot of pain and headaches. Your vision may not match up with his vision.

Also, catch up with some college kid, they will probably hook you up with a cool site for next to nothing. Some of the kids have to do it as a college project anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i have no creativity (as you can see from thesite) I basically just looked at other sites.. and got their layout..

the guy wants to do it on the cheap for now.. as in nothing..

i would like to get some of the flash medai and other web programs but for me.. as an amateur i can not justify it.. although i would love to see pics of my tractor flashing across the screen like that flash media does..

thanks
sj
 

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Remember taking something from another site is plagerism, taking something from a lot of sites is research!!!:smoking:
 

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Well, if he doesn't have a plan and doesn't want to pay, then tell him that he won't get anything. There is nothing easy, quick or free about quality website design & development.

If he wants cheap and you aren't comfortable with the results from your arsenal of software and experience, then I wouldn't support this project personally. A poorly done website that reveals amateurish effort or result produces an inherent reflection on the company directly and his product offerings.

I just cannot understand these days why people insist on going the "free route" and trying to get something for nothing. It is just not the attitude to have if he wants to be a professional.


Andy
 

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I wouldn't be as harsh on the guy. This could be the getting his feet wet thing. Looking at what is on the page, there a lots of places out there like his "product", so he has lots to compete with. With that, the more information and organization is very important. Lots of pictures and lots of information will be important.

Now, based on what Andy is saying... there is a lot of truth to it. If you go to a site that looks dull with little to no information, generally, I hit the back button and go to the next one in google. I think what you have put together is comparable to others that I have seen, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done.

I suggest to use what you have and or will do as an exercise. Then with the intial results, pay some techie a few bucks to clean it up and make it look more like a large corporation. The front door to his business needs to be clean, informative, professional and present an image that he (or she) is the expert and has been doing this for years and years and that going somewhere else is a mistake. Putting together a website in order to get a checkmark is a bad idea.

I am not bashing what you have done, I think it looks nice. For instance, this side: http://www.merillat.com gives you a good feeling that they are serious about their internet traffic. They look expensive, but they look serious.

just my two cents... can I have change?
 

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simple John,
For a guy that claims no formal training or special talent in web design, I think you did an excellent job. I wouldn't expect a cabinet maker to have a razzle dazzle tech heavy site, like I would an engineering firm, or stereo dealer. You've got some nice photos and contact info and some basic specs and that should work pretty well for the time being. I am assuming that the business being featured is a small one? If it is the 3rd largest cabinet mfg. in the country (as an example), then he should be looking to offer more specs and photos, history, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks joe.. really front page did most of the work...

As for the operation.. real small time 2 guys..

Tis, that is a nice site.. thanks tis & Andy for the advice..


ill do what i can with front page.. and if he wants to spend more $$ we can proceed.. good idea about getting a youngin who knows this stuff..


I'd love to learn it.. so maybe i can get dreamweaver as a start.. i think thats a web design like front page.. from the looks.. flash is 300-400$...
 

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The only suggestion I would have is if it is worth having a site it is worth doing it right. Get people the informatin they want and make sure it works and doesn't hit dead ends. If you have a button for something the information needs to be there.

Just my .02 I don't know a thing on how they work but have seen one or two.:D
 

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Toba,

FYI Merillat is refuted as the nations cabinetmaker. They sell a middle of the line of cabinets. I think Home Depot or Lowes carries them.
 

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SJ,

I used a program a while back called Swish, Its a program that does flash animations for your website, very easy to use and alot cheaper than Macromedia flash. (alot easier to use also)

Also, you may want to do a search on downloads.com and see what you can find. If you are just looking for a simple intro page or something, you may be able to find a trial software that will at least get the first one done for you.

Mike
 
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