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Article - 'Website Layouts Part 1 Getting Started' by Fighter

An item about Miscellanious posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

So, you have a website, but you want to go the extra mile? Try making a unique layout. Not only does this article explain about layouts, but also about getting staff and the like for your site.

Body

Well, most of you people of gw have probably felt the need to make a website at one point in your lifespan here, but never did it successfully. Your layout idea ends being one of the countless others scavenged over. Out of ideas to present your content? Website too much like others even with content? You gotta add the spice of life, ingenuity..creativity whatever you'd wanna call it. Please note, I won't give out code, everyone has their own style of coding, you have yours, I have mine, it would be odd. Plus, it can get you a little bit of learning experience.



Website Layouts Part 1: Getting Started



Well, websites aren't the easiest things to make, this article is assuming you at least know html. So first, I'll give some major things you'll need to know for this layout idea I shall explain first:

-Tables, and lots about them.
-Centering, justifying etc.
-Simple CSS to set your font properties, sizing, and other things to your liking.

Okay, this first layout is an extremely simple one, but it gets the job done. Basically it'll look like this in the end. Yes, I know that looks crappy, but you'll have all the oppurtunities in the world to spruce it up.

What Your Site Will Be About:

Before doing any layouts, or any thing of that sort, you have to at least know what your site will be about! Usually setting your horizons too far is a bad thing, you gotta start off simple. Maybe make it about something personal, maybe some of your articles/work, but just don't make it "A HUGE COMMUNITY JOIN NOW" site because it just won't cut it. You gotta slowly ascend to such a position, take gamingw for example, do you think it was this big from the start? No. That's because it wasn't. Basically, try and make your site about something that hasn't been done over thousands and thousands of times already.

Gathering People/Staff:

Well, if you have a site, what good is it without people? It's almost worthless, you have to get it known. There are a few ways to do that:
-Advertise
-Advertise
-Advertise!

Basically with advertising you can gain people, although there is a catch. Do you think people will go to your site if it has nothing more to offer? You need something that could get you recognized, maybe it'd be a community arena, a huge roleplaying board or whatever. In short people won't join for no reason...I know I wouldn't.

Also, getting staff is a must. The bigger your site gets, the more people you need to help manage it. When it starts off small, sure you and a friend could handle things, but when your site is tipping 1000, you need much more than one person to please the minds of many. Thus, you'd need a more advanced system to handle things, but explaining that comes another time. Before I conclude this part of the article, please note, don't hand out staffship and the like to random people, give it purpose, let them work for their position.

Coding Your Site:


As mentioned before, a site can't be done too easily when there's 1000's of people demanding. Manually creating html files for each article will kill your space, and make things more confusing. You need to learn some dynamic scripting, such as:

-PHP
-Javascript
-ASP

Those are just a few random ones, but there are plenty to pick from. Learning them isn't the hardest thing in the world either, so just get looking and you'll be able to have a more advanced system in no time. Basically, plan ahead, don't go starting off with a large scale system, start nice and easy.

Major Dos And Don'ts:

Yes, this article is slowly slipping to a conclusion, but I need to tell you some things not to do when making a site.

Hyping is a major no, not only do you have to live up to your lies to avoid scorn, but you also have work insanely hard just to have a fellow sitewatcher's neutral view.

Sitting Around is also a no. Sitting around basically means making other people do the work for you, you gotta sweat your own sweat to make it to the bigtime. You have to do some work..or else why should you run the site?

Rush, the biggest no in my book. Do NOT rush your site, it takes time, and sloppily preparing it, and making what could have been a massive empire..shoddy is just bleh. Take your time, no one is in a hurry.

Hopefully those don'ts helped you the slightest bit, there are much more, but those should only apply to you now.

Layouts:

True a fancy site with all of the graphics perfectly placed in a delightful blend of rich colors is a good thing to your eyes..to broadband users, but meanwhile, 56k'ers have to wait hours just to see that, and that only. Sure a good layout is nice, but good content is better. I'd prefer a content rich site over a flashy 2000000kb layout. It's basically thinking of your audience, and having them in mind. Most would think think that a 50 50 mix would be perfect, but I think content should outweight a layout in any case. With that said here are some musts for a simple layout:

-Navigation..and easy navigation at that.
-Presented in a nice fashion.
-Categorized.
-Basically, organized.

And that's it for a simple layout, with all of those ideas in mind, you should be well on your way. And speaking of on your way, this article is over, but except the follow up to this article soon, like really soon.

THE END.