Website Redesign V1 « My Site/Blog
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Website Redesign V1

I thought I’d take a quick break from working on this website to explain the redesign process for anyone who might be interested. The new layout and the addition of this blog mark the third version of my personal webpage. Having no formal education in web design (I’m actually taking a summer intro class to html/css), webpages were always somewhat of a mystery to me however I’m hoping people can find some inspiration or guidance in the path I followed.

I’m going to start with the first site, v1, and work up to the current site, v3. I’ll cover the timeline, design process, and key features and include as many pictures and examples of code as I can, as that is how I learned. If you have any specific questions or requests as I’m going through, please do not hesitate to send me a message or ask in the comments.

V1

My computer tells me I first created the folder for the website on January 5th, 2012 at 3:22 am, which makes sense knowing my coding habits. So I don’t remember the exact timeline of this “website” but I think it took about four days. Four days meaning that on the first day I knew nothing more than what was on my previous site, which did not exist, meaning I knew nothing. I started with google and probably did some searches on “how to build your own website” or something along those lines. Somehow I stumbled across a video on youtube that showed you how to turn a Photoshop template into an html page (not that I knew how to use Photoshop), and for some reason decided to start there. Now, looking back was this the easiest/most efficient/most practical way to create a website? No. It was probably one of the worst, but it basically worked for what I had in mind.

All of the webpages I’ve created are not just about function, they’re about form. Instead of firing up Photoshop I could have just as easily started with some pre-built template, or WordPress, or some other web design platform, but I wanted my site to reflect me. I wanted my page to not only be a platform for me to share my work, but to be part of the work itself. Thus I stuck with Photoshop and an image for my homepage.

v1 homepage

The story behind the image is quite interesting in and of itself. It was taken on the corner of 42nd and Broadway at around 4 in the morning, when Times Square tends to be a little more empty than usual. I used it because I thought it looked nice, and would be something I wouldn’t mind seeing as a background. From there I diced it up and exported it as an html to Dreamweaver.

all diced up

all diced up

The picture above isn’t the exact file from the layout in the first picture but hopefully you get the idea. Once it was in Dreamweaver I used the GUI to add links to each of pages which were all created in the same fashion. They would just be images with the text embedded that were exported as html files. I think the cinematography page had an embedded video from vimeo (just copy/pasted code you get by clicking share vide0) and the photography page had a link to flickr. After each page was created and linked correctly I uploaded to my GoDaddy host and my first site was born (there are many sites explaining how to buy/setup hosting and connect via Dreamweaver so I won’t go into detail). It certainly wasn’t the best looking, or the most efficient but each page looked exactly how I wanted it to. And that’s what mattered to me at the time. I had created my own site, from scratch, without any real knowledge of html or css (I’m pretty sure the first site didn’t have any css, I’m not even sure if I knew what it was). Also I should point out that I use Adobe Dreamweaver for all my html/css editing. It’s a great program and all three sites were built using it.

So that’s one way to go about building a site. I would not recommend it for many obvious reasons, including the general lack of ability to edit any feature. If you’re interested in building a site that looks nice and you don’t need to update the content that often I would just recommend learning html/css. However, if you know you’re going to want to create lots of new content i.e. blog posts, I would recommend WordPress and you’ll see why when I start explaining the second site.

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1 comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    super helpful!

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