Oct 14, 2007

Front Page Web Design - Plan Ahead...

If you use Microsoft's FrontPage 2000 it pays to plan the overall format, the amount of content, and how it is displayed. The format being the 2 or 3 column or otherwise, content being components such as text, photo's, widgets, addins, slide shows, videos, etc. How to display type being component & photo sizes, their frequency, amount of links and type (e.g. shared borders/manual links), tables, submission forms, java modules and so on.
These features should ideally be planned before designing with FrontPage. Perhaps by manually drawing (Yeah - The old fashioned way) your design on paper, particularly for multiple web pages with several external links nested in tables and rows (displayed above in picture). I found that if you decide to do major changes to an already featured or comprehensive site, you run the risk of corruption or messing up of the HTML codes, and of the FrontPage server extensions on your host server. Also the hassle (multiple cutting and pasting) of visually adding, modifying, and rearranging of the overall site in an attempt to streamline it for viewers to view it effectively.

I wanted to change my manually inserted navigation links by inserting the automatic shared borders along the top pages (A popular feature in FrontPage) to allow quick and simple links to the other pages. But it involved moving the container tables downwards, and then moving multiple tables with rows in the container tables, then shuffling around associated photos with tables and so on. Then to align all these and other components to make the pages look intact and relatively viewable to visitors. And if you don't know HTML to shortcut these rearrangements then redesign becomes more difficult. Doing all this took hours, which I believe would not have been so, if I had added the shared borders from the start.

Additionally, It's possible that if you add too much too late, and if you already have too many components, then the FrontPage server extensions on your host site may have difficultly trying to handle them consistently. This could affect how the pages are displayed when visitors view your site. So perhaps if you use FrontPage for your web site, plan it well and maybe keep it clean and lean....


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