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Learning Website Design Can Be Really Easy With Today’s Tools!

Just 18 months ago, I didn’t have a clue about website design. Although I’m no expert today, I am able to knock up some pretty impressive websites, even if I do say so myself. It all started the day I went on a 12 hour Dreamweaver course spread over 4 days, and I’ve never looked back since.

If you are serious about web design, then there are some very simple rules to follow that will get you off to a great start. First off you need to sit down with a piece of paper and jot down a few notes starting with that all important question; what am I trying to accomplish through my efforts? Answer this and the rest will follow. If you have a few ideas floating loosely around in your head, but nothing specific, then you’ll be wasting heaps of time and energy unnecessarily.

Next you need to find a good domain name for your site. Try to include the theme of the site into the name. For example, if your site is about classical guitars, try to get at least one word, or even the key phrase into the domain name i.e. classicalguitars.com You may need to play around a bit as many of the short and logical names are already taken, but there’s still plenty left for the picking if you allow yourself a little time to research. A great quick online domain checking tool is called ‘Instant Domain Check’ and can is located at iwebtool.com/instant/ at the time of writing this article.

Once you find a suitable domain, you then need to register it online. There are plenty of places you can do this and prices vary from as little as $ 3-$ 10 for a dot com name which will secure your website name for 12 months. You can also buy for 2 years upwards if you so wish.

Next you need hosting. Once again, there are a lot of good hosting companies out there but beware of the cowboys too. Hosting can be had from as little as $ 2 a month upwards. I find that between $ 5-9 a month gives me a good service. You get what you pay for on most occasions so I tend to avoid the real cheapies like the plague.

So now you have decided what you want to do with your website, who your visitors will be, and a clear vision of how it will function. You’ve got a great name, hosting is arranged, and all you’re left to do is build the darn thing. Here are some tips:

Make sure you have an eye catching header. This can be fancy text logo, an image or both, but remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and so even if you have great content, if the site is not pleasing to the eye or is difficult to navigate, you’ll not do so well.

Design a footer. This can be a simple effect (look at other websites for examples). The footer will probably have something like copyright 2006 yourdomain.com. You may even incorporate a site menu (links to popular pages) into the footer if you want to.

Then comes the filling. This will simply be rows and columns filled with content, links, and extras.

If you are completely new to the game of website design, I suggest you make a check list and learn about the following components in order before you start. There are many great website that will give you free tips and tools to assist you with your first project.

Summary: (learn about each one separately, and don’t try to understand it all at once)

* What do you want to accomplish with your site i.e. commercial, fun, informative?
* Find a good domain name and purchase it before someone else snaps it up.
* Find a good hosting company (free or paid). Make sure it has the tools & space you require
* Get a free or paid online or off-line tutorial on using page building software if necessary.
* Make a home page, get it uploaded to your hosting account and make any adjustments.
* Start to promote your site so that folks where you are and what you offer.

Gary Tooth is a proficient writer for Lone Designer dot com where he has articles on The Tattoo Design and Cabinet Designs. He also has other ‘Design’ related pieces on the site.

The Sorbonne
website design tutorial
Image by Stuck in Customs
My friend (and website designer), Fabien Barral, met my wife and I in Paris to take us out to dinner. We left the hotel, and about 30 seconds out the door, we came across this street side cafe right by the Sorbonne, the famous university. Luckily, I think both of them were used to this behavior and chatted pleasantly while I snapped away.

I worked on this photo all day. People often ask me how long I work on photos. If you’ve seen the HDR Video Tutorial here on the site, you know it takes me anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours. This one was on the long side for sure… It was tough work, but I am happy with the results.

– Trey Ratcliff

Read the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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XSitePro 2 Review – Is XSitePro Still Easy Website Design?

In this review I will offer my opinion of XSitePro 2 upgrade and especially the following aspects:

1. Is the software easy to use?
2. Can you design a professional looking website with it?
3. What extras are there?
4. Are the extras worth more money?

Having used XSitePro quite happily for a year I was in two minds whether or not to pay for the May 2008 upgrade to version 2. The aspects that I liked about this website design software were the ease of use, speed and the quick analysis of my website pages for optimisation.

The downside has always been not very good templates and a recognisable same as look for many XSitePro sites. Despite that I found the software quicker and easier to use than Dreamweaver or Frontpage.

Temptation got the better of me and soon after the upgrade was mine I was redesigning one of my older websites. As some far more professional looking templates had been added I used one of those for practice after completing the website building tutorial.

Next I imported another of my sites but added my own banner and used one of the 30 navigational menu designs provided and changed it to my own colour selection to blend with the banner. I then started to build a music site using one of their templates and am now building a travel site from scratch with my own design.

I’m really pleased with all of the websites; to my eyes they look good and even my own designs look more professional than they would if I used Dreamweaver or FrontPage. The XSitePro sameness is a thing of the past. For someone like myself who has the aspirations but not the ability of a professional website designer and wants to design their own sites XSitePro 2 is a great tool.

There are several new features that I am enjoying experimenting with. 30 different navigational menus with colour selection I have already mentioned, but you can now easily place your choice of menu at the left, right or bottom of the page or as an info bar at the top. Your navigational menus can be added to more than one place and easily altered if you want to change the design.

New pages can be added easily and you are prompted to start optimising them for the search engines straight away. Article pages are new, there are 11 different styles that you can further customise or you can use a blank page. You can choose when the content is published, for instance you can set up an advertising campaign to automatically come online on a pre set date.

A new feature that I’m finding useful for the travel site that I’m building is that you can have a different right hand margin for every page. As each page has a different destination I am using that feature for my hotel affiliate links for those particular destinations.

Adding Google ads is still easily done but now you can add Amazon ads in the same way and customise the ads to integrate with your website. You can store your publisher ids and channels, so once they are stored a couple of clicks and your site is monetised. You can also store your affiliate links and you don’t have to visit Paypal to set up payment schemes. These features save a lot of time from having to search while adding your advertising.

I’m quite taken by the Mobile Site Wizard. In a couple of minutes I created versions of my sites that are automatically optimised for viewing on mobile phones or Internet able PDAs. I wouldn’t have thought of doing that but now my websites are available for viewing to a wider audience.

There are tons of graphics that you can use and it’s easy to upload your own graphics. A form wizard with different form designs that you can use to capture email addresses is new, also a banner rotator – and one of my favourites an image gallery creator. There is now a selection of social bookmarking icons that are easy to add to the pages and an RSS feed creator that can be used on the pages that you want syndicating.

You can now choose to add 3 different site maps and use siloing to help with the search engines. Redirects, customisable search boxes and pop ups are quick to add and I nearly forgot – you can have streaming audio and videos on your web pages.

There are so many new and improved features with XSitePro version 2 that it’s impossible to mention them all here. So I’m going to finish with my absolute favourite the Links Page Wizard. In the old version your links page was just a list of sites and descriptions, now you can do a lot more. You can customise the links pages to blend in with your site design, add your own text or ads to the pages and best of all split into categories and include a longer description and screenshot.

The screenshots get my vote – apart from it being more appealing to other webmasters to exchange links with you; every time those web pages are updated you get fresh content to help keep the search engines happy. Although this is my favourite feature it also holds the only downside that I’ve found so far. I wanted to add the XSitePro company website to my links pages but the software has problems with the screenshot for their site and it won’t view duh!

Is XSitePro Version 2 Worth The Asking Price?

For somebody who only wants one or two websites then I would say no. There are plenty of website designers including XSitePro users advertising on the Internet. Or there are lots of ready made free or paid for templates or free site building resources available on the Internet.

I believe that it is absolutely worth the full asking price if like myself you want to build multiple big websites with constant content updates, sales pages or smaller sites. Or if like me you wake up one morning and think that your site looks as messy as your hair and you want to change the design throughout as quick as it takes to get your hair restyled. It’s also easy to change your site design back when you realise that you should have woken up properly first with a cup of coffee!

I am having a lot of fun with XSitePro 2 and am finding using it refreshing after spending several months struggling to learn how to use the rather more expensive Memberspeed membership site software. It may not be fair to compare them as they have different functions, but although excellent in it’s own way I find Memberspeed hard to use and very time consuming and frustrating in comparison. Maybe that will be the next review.

What Upgrades Would I Like to See in the Future?

Although I got far more than I expected with the upgrade and am having a lot of fun using the software it does no harm to have a wish list. I think what would be the most useful is more interactivity with site visitors, perhaps the option of visitors being able to add comments. A shopping cart and a way to add members built into the software – you never know what they might surprise us with next!

Patricia has been writing articles and reviews and building websites for
several years. Check out more of her work at the Creative Writer and Make Money From Writing websites. Or visit the Mega Music Site

Dollmore Zaoll Luv, Painted by Robbin Atwell www.MadWifeInTheAttic.com
website design tutorial
Image by Robbin With 2 Bs
This is Zaoll Luv in normal resin. She is 52cm/21" tall so she is a bit small for an SD sized doll. She is designed by an accomplished Korean artist named Gu mi-jeong. Her dolls are marketed by Dollmore.net. Gu me-jeong has a unique style in the BJD world.

I used this doll as my model in a faceup removal tutorial on my website: madwifeintheattic.com/2013/05/22/tutorial-cleaning-a-resi…

Visit my website at MadWifeInTheAttic.com for more dolls and tutorials.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

Free Website Design Software Works

Professional website design is expensive, so it’s worth looking at the various free website design software that is available. There are many reasons why people are looking at developing their own websites.

Virtually every business in existence today should have a website. Not only does it help current customers or clients stay abreast of any new changes in the business, but it also can help draw in potential new clients.

Not only are businesses taking advantage of website, many individuals are setting up sites to keep up-to-date with friends and relatives, to post their photos and to generally socialize online.

One of the most popular brands of free website design software is WebPlus. It can easily be downloaded online and is simple and easy to use, even in the hands of a beginner.

An alternative brand of software is Nvu. It can also be obtained free of charge and is compatible with both Windows and Microsoft operating systems. Nvu also does not require any knowledge of HTML code, making it suitable for beginners as well. The program even provides ready-made templates and some generic images, and users can design an entire website using just the tools included in the program.

Most website designers are of the opinion that Dreamweaver and FrontPage are the best software to use in designing a website.

Dreamweaver is produced by Adobe. It is an excellent program with lots of detail and extra features. It is also very expensive.

FrontPage is also very expensive, and like Dreamweaver requires knowledge of advanced HTML to make good use of the program.

With so many free website design software options available, a beginner really does not need to pay in order to obtain software suitable for designing a web page. Websites can be easily designed using free software and they can be made to look professionally done as well.

As long as the individual using the free website design software understands basic computer commands and takes their time choosing a template, colors and fonts, they can create a great looking website in under a day.

With a tutorial available in nearly every free program users can learn how to make use of the program and get started on their web design project. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and you will soon be on your way.

If you have had little or no experience in using web design software, there really is no need for you to spend large amounts of money on professional design software. You can simply download a free software package and create your website quickly and easily.

For more information about professional and free website design software , Dreamweaver and Macromedia Flash web templates, Photoshop beginner and advanced tutorials, go to http://www.websitedesignsoftware4u.com

The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk
website design tutorial
Image by Stuck in Customs
Daily Photo – The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk
I had spent the previous night up in Napa, visiting my mom and grandmother. This was a long day with a stop in Petaluma to see Leo’s operation, a fast hike through the Muir Woods, and then a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge to catch its majesty at sunset.

I’m sure locals know this spot very well, but I found it thanks to Google Earth. I knew it would be a cool spot, but driving to these spots is always a bit sketchy when you have never been there before. It appeared to be a simple jog off Highway 1, and it actually was. It’s nice when something that looks easy ends up actually being easy! This isn’t usually the case. Even better, the wind wasn’t howling a mile a minute, which I think can happen around here if you don’t watch out!

After I took this, I could hardly wait to get back home to process the final image. I don’t know about y’all, but I find the post-processing just as fun as the actual shooting… I really get a kick out of it!

New Free Video Coming Soon
Tonight I edited together another video about how I took a photo in New Zealand. I’ll get it uploaded soon to share with everyone! In the meantime, you can check out others in the Video section of the website.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

Professional Website Design: Placing The General Criteria

Appropriate implementation of the professional website design can unquestionably add charm to any advertised products or services. In excess of the visual appeal, it can also enable Online people to navigate simply from one of the site’s webpages to another. Inadequately made websites can rapidly discourage website visits and may even direct into a destructive branding from the search engine. Though judging the grade of a professional website design might be subjective, specific factors are deserving of consideration to normally distinguish professionally crafted internet websites from individuals that are not.

The very first set of requirements for the high-quality professional website design contains visible balance and unity, concentration, and distinction. Proper placement of style aspects can help relieve the navigation for the website. The art of integrating easy factors along with the complicated pieces with the design and style shall generate an overall visually attractive net masterpiece. Moreover to considering balancing and unifying components, focus for the vital features or highlighted tales of your page must be emphasized. Indications ups and advertisement conversions usually tend to get area if buyers are guided plainly into the correct target of your web page. Lastly, a correct amount of contrast involving the colours of your text and also the main qualifications has to be managed all throughout the website page. Total readability is considerably improved when this criterion is properly executed.

Problems, even the most minimal types, need to be prevented as much as you possibly can if a professional website design is usually to be achieved. These blunders can conveniently discourage viewers who may take into account the web site as one thing of substandard top quality. With hundreds of thousands of websites posted for general public intake, an easy error can wreck the possibilities of getting a much better rank amongst the most effective internet sites. Published info must always be checked for accuracy. If possible, references should be cited because these can definitely add to some website’s trustworthiness. Apart from making certain that every piece of data is factually proper, grammar and sentence framework should be, just as much as feasible, flawless and well-arranged. Given that not every person can write effectively, choosing material writers for that job is definitely the most effective method to head to keep up with this criterion.

Eventually, the very last established of requirements contains the technicalities on the internet site attributes. The 1st technicality to consider is usability, which includes ease of navigation round the webpages on the internet site and necessitating significantly less effort with the facet with the user. Visitors will not wish to stop by web-sites that is going to ask for registration quickly to watch information. Turning into a trustworthy site is a thing for being earned by publishing high-quality and pertinent content material matched with visible attraction. The next technicality in developing sites is layout validation and compatibility throughout unique platforms. Buyers from throughout the globe use different browsers so that XHTML and CSS codes should be carefully validated prior to launching the web page. To start with impressions can definitely past in today’s fast-paced World-wide-web age. Furthermore, tests the site’s layout on cell browsers would also increase its audience. If all the things from style to information has been checked, then website homeowners can contemplate the final technicality of professional website design by dealing with web site optimization.

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