Should I abandon my design and use Dreamweaver 8 templates?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by xyZed, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    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
     
    xyZed, Feb 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. 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
     
    Jonathan N. Little, Feb 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. xyZed

    Neredbojias Guest

    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.
     
    Neredbojias, Feb 12, 2006
    #3
  4. xyZed

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    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?


    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
     
    dorayme, Feb 12, 2006
    #4
  5. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    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
     
    xyZed, Feb 13, 2006
    #5
  6. xyZed

    Jose Guest

    > 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.
     
    Jose, Feb 13, 2006
    #6
  7. 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.
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 13, 2006
    #7
  8. xyZed

    dorayme Guest

    In article
    <>,
    "Travis Newbury" <> 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
     
    dorayme, Feb 13, 2006
    #8
  9. 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.
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 14, 2006
    #9
  10. xyZed

    Jose Guest

    > 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.
     
    Jose, Feb 14, 2006
    #10
  11. xyZed

    dorayme Guest

    In article
    <>,
    "Travis Newbury" <> wrote:

    > 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.


    Perhaps. But I find it hard to believe in this particular case.
    Perhaps a general study, taking no particular field or
    consideration into account, and maybe even vaguely constructed in
    the methodology or questions, you get the results you allude to.

    But I think we need to be careful before jumping to the
    conclusion that here we just have a particular case of a clear
    general pattern. To be brief, the pattern may be too general and
    vague to inspire confidence in your conclusion, considering that
    the difference between the OPs site and a possible flashier
    fancier one is not the difference between an amateurish one and a
    fancy one.

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Feb 14, 2006
    #11
  12. xyZed

    Neredbojias Guest

    With neither quill nor qualm, dorayme quothed:

    > But I think we need to be careful before jumping to the
    > conclusion that here we just have a particular case of a clear
    > general pattern.


    Actually, I think Travis was suggesting that we have a general case of a
    particular pattern.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
     
    Neredbojias, Feb 15, 2006
    #12
  13. Jose wrote:
    > > 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.


    Since it is pretty much all personal opinion on likes and dislikes,
    attempting to please everyone will inevitably displease someone. Bob
    Montgomery CEO of Career Builder had a great policy. The did not try
    to please everyone. He tried to please 80% of the people that came to
    the site. His philosophy earned their company a place at the top of
    all internet job search sites.

    I happen to agree with him.
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 15, 2006
    #13
  14. xyZed

    Jose Guest

    > Since it is pretty much all personal opinion...

    While true, the source of the personal opinion ("I am a corporation and
    want people to be awed", "I am a user and I just want to find out when
    the movie is playing".) is not so arbitrary.

    Jose
    --
    Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
    for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
     
    Jose, Feb 15, 2006
    #14
  15. Jose wrote:
    > > Since it is pretty much all personal opinion...

    > While true, the source of the personal opinion ("I am a corporation and
    > want people to be awed", "I am a user and I just want to find out when
    > the movie is playing".) is not so arbitrary.


    See you make the assumption that viewers don't want to be awed too.
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 15, 2006
    #15
  16. xyZed

    Jose Guest

    > See you make the assumption that viewers don't want to be awed too.

    Yes, I make that assumption. I don't think it's unreasonable that the
    view of a site is different from designer to user... in most cases a web
    site is =about= a thing, and not the thing itself. But for the web
    designer, it =is= the thing itself.

    When I want to be awed, I go to the movies. To see what's playing, I go
    to the website. I get annoyed when the web designer takes it upon
    himself to attempt to awe me when all I want to know is "what time is it
    playing?", and chances are he will fail to awe me on the hardware I'm using.

    Obviously some sites =are= the main attraction, but most are not. This
    fact is 96.2% statistically proven. :)

    Jose
    --
    Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
    for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
     
    Jose, Feb 15, 2006
    #16
  17. Jose wrote:
    > > See you make the assumption that viewers don't want to be awed too.

    > Yes, I make that assumption....
    > When I want to be awed, I go to the movies....


    Key word here is "I"
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 15, 2006
    #17
  18. Jose wrote:
    > Obviously some sites =are= the main attraction, but most are not. This
    > fact is 96.2% statistically proven. :)


    Interesting this is also about Marcomedia's statistic for player
    placement....
     
    Travis Newbury, Feb 15, 2006
    #18
  19. xyZed

    kchayka Guest

    Travis Newbury wrote:
    > Jose wrote:
    >> Obviously some sites =are= the main attraction, but most are not. This
    >> fact is 96.2% statistically proven. :)

    >
    > Interesting this is also about Marcomedia's statistic for player
    > placement....


    Having it doesn't mean you use it.

    --
    Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
     
    kchayka, Feb 15, 2006
    #19
  20. xyZed

    Jose Guest

    > Key word here is "I"

    Does anyone else matter? <g,d>

    Jose
    --
    Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
    for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
     
    Jose, Feb 15, 2006
    #20
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