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OK, in the ideal world one should learn how to design / programme your own website by learning the relevant software packages.
But, as we know, there are quite a few companies that offer various ready made designs ( templates ) and have free trials so that you can try them out.
So, how does one go about it ?
My first thoughts are:
Get a selection of images / collections / albums already prepared before starting the trial.
Then sign up for several so that you can switch back and forth comparing the features, ease of upload / deleting etc.
Followed by changing the various templates every 3 or 4 days and making notes and giving them ratings as you go along.
After the trial then I can decide which one, if any to go for, scrap the lot, buy a domain name and sign up for the chosen one then start afresh for real.
However, probably the most important thing I have yet to work out is: How does one actually test them out viewing in various web browsers ?
I am certain I have probably missed quite a lot of essential things to take into consideration before embarking on this idea , so any thoughts would be both welcome & appreciated
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Quote: However, probably the most important thing I have yet to work out is: How does one actually test them out viewing in various web browsers ?
That's the easy part! Simply download a bunch (they are all free), install them and just copy/paste your chosen URL into each. most packages will work with the popular browsers so there shouldn't be a problem. Of course, response to support queries (like, e.g, why doesn't my site work with browser XYZ?) should be high up on your list of priorities...
Thanks for stopping by jools, comment noted.
Quote: Get a selection of images / collections / albums already prepared before starting the trial.
Browsers, do as joolsh says. I don't agree with him over the support unless yours is a commercial site. It is impossible to cater for all the dummies too lazy to update their browsers and all the haphazard incompatibilities that dog Microsoft's browser. If you are not using complex scripts and detailed design, the vast majority of browsers will interpret your html correctly.
You can do all the testing on your local machine and them just upload them to a folder on your web space.
I wrote my site entirely by hand myself for compatibility with the latest browsers only and have not had a single complaint. That may be because only 2 people have ever visited it, of course
Before you go using Dreamweaver and the like which give immensely large html files and slow down everyone's viewing, think on doing it in notepad or another text editor by hand. It is a lot easier than you might think and gives you complete control over what you are doing.
There are tutorials here ww3 tutorial
I think there is a lot to be said for your idea but I can't help but think it could be a heck of a lot of work for you.
I run an image-based (not photographic) web site hosted by one of the freebie companies and have, in the past, changed templates. It can have significant knock-on effects that are time consuming to resolve. Things like page, text and image formatting may have to be tweaked to fit the new template. Header images may have to be re-uploaded; drop-down menu structures re-thought (if, for example, they change from being arranged horizontally to vertically on the new template).
You may think I just chose a crap company to use - maybe I did - but I tried quite a few and they all had similar issues.
I'm not saying don't do it. Just bear in mind that it could drive you demented constantly having to tweak things just to keep the site working and looking good.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the comments
A few more things to think about, perhaps I should just pick one Company and a template out of the hat and make the best of it instead of attempting to assess all of them and then choosing ! !
Wordpress has some good options and layouts with easy updating
I have used Zenfolio for my website for the last 5 months and have found it to be excellent. It is ideal for first timers (like me!) as it is relatively straightforward to get up and running.
Quote: I have used Zenfolio
Have browsed their website and they do appear to have a lot of template options, which is possibly going to make deciding which one to choose even harder !
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