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Should I abandon my design and use Dreamweaver 8 templates?

 
 
xyZed
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      02-12-2006
I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
as possible.

I've just purchased Dreamweaver 8 and to be honest, the CSS designed
templates look great. They make my site look amateurish in comparison.
I now want to make my site look professional because I'm going to rely
on it for my sole income from now on and I'm very tempted to use these
templates.

I don't have time to develop the markup and site design to a more
professional standard myself, I need to invest my time in adding
content. My question is, should I do a total redesign based on one of
the Dreamweaver 8 templates which use CSS and XHTML? My site would
look great inside one. Are they now up to a good enough standard to
use? One of the things putting me off is that some use javascript to
show added links on mousover. Would they still work with java script
off or would Windows XP service pack 2 systems block the javascript?



--

Free washing machine help and advice.

www.washerhelp.co.uk

www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
 
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Jonathan N. Little
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      02-12-2006
xyZed wrote:
> I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
> looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
> simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
> as possible.
>
> I've just purchased Dreamweaver 8 and to be honest, the CSS designed
> templates look great. They make my site look amateurish in comparison.
> I now want to make my site look professional because I'm going to rely
> on it for my sole income from now on and I'm very tempted to use these
> templates.
>
> I don't have time to develop the markup and site design to a more
> professional standard myself, I need to invest my time in adding
> content. My question is, should I do a total redesign based on one of
> the Dreamweaver 8 templates which use CSS and XHTML? My site would
> look great inside one. Are they now up to a good enough standard to
> use? One of the things putting me off is that some use javascript to
> show added links on mousover. Would they still work with java script
> off or would Windows XP service pack 2 systems block the javascript?



On quick look, look fine to me and the markup also looks good, why
bother!!! If you want to change the 'look' of your site,leave the markup
alone and experiment a little with your stylesheet! That's how it is
supposed to be done, don't need DW for that!

--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
 
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Neredbojias
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-12-2006
With neither quill nor qualm, xyZed quothed:

> I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
> looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
> simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
> as possible.
>
> I've just purchased Dreamweaver 8 and to be honest, the CSS designed
> templates look great. They make my site look amateurish in comparison.
> I now want to make my site look professional because I'm going to rely
> on it for my sole income from now on and I'm very tempted to use these
> templates.
>
> I don't have time to develop the markup and site design to a more
> professional standard myself, I need to invest my time in adding
> content. My question is, should I do a total redesign based on one of
> the Dreamweaver 8 templates which use CSS and XHTML? My site would
> look great inside one. Are they now up to a good enough standard to
> use? One of the things putting me off is that some use javascript to
> show added links on mousover. Would they still work with java script
> off or would Windows XP service pack 2 systems block the javascript?


There's nothing wrong with using templates although one should be
capable of adjusting them for mistakes and to more-or-less fine-tune for
personal taste. However, I just visited at your site and agree heartily
with Jonathon. Your site looks great! Possibly you are "bored" with
its appearance through familiarity (-"familiarity breeds contempt"), but
to me it seems quite professional and synergistic in aspect. I'd only
make minor changes if any and would certainly not use any foreign
template.

Javascript does not work with javascript turned off in the client
browser so it should be used in non-essential ways only. XP sp2 doesn't
"blanket-block" javascript but there is some kind of setting for "active
content" which is in typical Microsoft fashion defaulted to off and
should be turned on. (-That may be a local-only setting or the
opposite; I just didn't care enough to futz with it to find out.)

--
Neredbojias
Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
 
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dorayme
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-12-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
xyZed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
> looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
> simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
> as possible.
>
> I've just purchased Dreamweaver 8 and to be honest, the CSS designed
> templates look great. They make my site look amateurish in comparison.
> I now want to make my site look professional because I'm going to rely
> on it for my sole income from now on and I'm very tempted to use these
> templates.
>
> I don't have time to develop the markup and site design to a more
> professional standard myself, I need to invest my time in adding
> content. My question is, should I do a total redesign based on one of
> the Dreamweaver 8 templates which use CSS and XHTML? My site would
> look great inside one. Are they now up to a good enough standard to
> use? One of the things putting me off is that some use javascript to
> show added links on mousover. Would they still work with java script
> off or would Windows XP service pack 2 systems block the javascript?


I doubt that you would get more work by getting fancier with your
website, fancy doodle dandy is hardly uppermost in folks' minds
when they have washing machines on them. But this is no veiled
criticism. The look of your site actually appeals to me (and I
get quite emotional about washing machines.). I have bookmarked
it and will surely be in touch one day.

I have kept a front-loader going for more years than most can
drink schooners in a day. For more on this you will have to wait
till I write something of the history of this beast. Actually,
perhaps you could have a blog or place on your site for folks'
experiences...

--
dorayme
 
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xyZed
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm not sure now. I think I might go
for just using a small (modified) part of the template while keeping
the main aspects of my current design. I am looking at replacing the
tabbed navigation with a right navigation column.

Does right navigation have usability issues with browser readers? or
even seo implications with the nav links being pushed down to the
bottom of the page?

I think having at least one column is good because it can be used to
place adverts, tips, and related links as well as making the main text
not spread all the way across a screen which (because of the fluid
design) can make very long lines of text on some monitors. Comments
would be very much appreciated.

--

Free washing machine help and advice.

www.washerhelp.co.uk

www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
 
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Jose
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
> I think having at least one column is good because it can be used to
> place adverts, tips, and related links as well as making the main text
> not spread all the way across a screen which (because of the fluid
> design) can make very long lines of text on some monitors. Comments
> would be very much appreciated.


What happens to the main text when the window is shrunk? Not everyone
uses a 21 inch monitor and has the browser fully expanded. If the user
thinks the text is too wide, the user can narrow it. But the user
cannot widen it beyond his physical limits.

Adverts are not something the user wants to see. When they are in a
column, I just hang the column off the side of my screen, especially
when they are animated.

Personally, I find columns very annoying, because it shoves all the
content I'm actually looking for over to the right, where I don't want it.

Jose
--
Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
 
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Travis Newbury
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
xyZed wrote:
> I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
> looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
> simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
> as possible.

(snip)

Unlike many of the others that replied, I kind of agree with you that
the site is neither great or fancy (Professional? Depends what you are
judging). I can not comment on the templates as I have not seen those.
While it is true that no one goes to a washer help site to see a fancy
site. Many people (myself included) do base their opinion of the
quality of information they will receive from a site based on the look
and feel of the site. They could care less about validation if you
used CSS or not, or any other technical thing mentioned in other posts.
Your site looks plain and simple (though much better than most) Some
will interpret that as your content is also plain and simple, and go
elsewhere (is there anywhere else to go?)

If you think the template looks better, then go for it. If validation
and accessibility is important to you, then tweak the template to
assure those things.

 
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dorayme
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
In article
<(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
"Travis Newbury" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> xyZed wrote:
> > I've built up my site over 5 years using XHTML and CSS. It's never
> > looked great or fancy - or even professional? but I've always felt
> > simple is best and was keen to have it work in as many circumstances
> > as possible.

> (snip)
>
> Unlike many of the others that replied, I kind of agree with you that
> the site is neither great or fancy


snip

> Your site looks plain and simple (though much better than most) Some
> will interpret that as your content is also plain and simple, and go
> elsewhere (is there anywhere else to go?)
>


Just think about it, a person goes to the site to look for info
on washing machines (because he or she has a problem probably)
and he or she takes a look and sees all the stuff simply laid out
and he or she does not bother to read any of it, just looks and
thinks, "Oh no, this is too plain a site, not enough flashy
things, fancy doodle colours, I won't bother to read any of it at
all..."

Not likely.

--
dorayme
 
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Travis Newbury
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-14-2006
dorayme wrote:
> > Unlike many of the others that replied, I kind of agree with you that
> > the site is neither great or fancy
> > Your site looks plain and simple (though much better than most) Some
> > will interpret that as your content is also plain and simple, and go
> > elsewhere (is there anywhere else to go?)

> Just think about it, a person goes to the site to look for info
> on washing machines (because he or she has a problem probably)
> and he or she takes a look and sees all the stuff simply laid out
> and he or she does not bother to read any of it, just looks and
> thinks, "Oh no, this is too plain a site, not enough flashy
> things, fancy doodle colours, I won't bother to read any of it at
> all..."
> Not likely.


Uh, no quite the opposite. And the research shows it. (google it your
self) Many people base their confidence of a sites contents on the look
of the site. The stats have been posted here several times over the
last few years. I believe googling something like "consumer confidence
stats website design" may lead you in the right direction. As a
matter of fact there was someone here that did usibility studies for a
living that posted the stats.

 
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Jose
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-14-2006
> Many people base their confidence of a sites contents on the look
> of the site.


Yes, but what a web deigner values in the look of a site is often not
what the user values.

Jose
--
Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
 
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