View Full Version : When you get a website project from where you startup...

12-13-2007, 10:10 AM
When you get a website project from where you startup, from homepage & Navigation or .... ? what follows ? Which book has this info ?

12-13-2007, 02:48 PM
Decide on the basic layout.

There are many free CSS templates you can find using Google that will
give you the necessary XHTML/CSS code for your basic website layout.


Download the template that will look closest to your website ... the columns,
the banner location, navigation scheme, etc. Use that template to build your own
site, using your own graphics and content.

The whole point of using a CSS Style Sheet (.css file) is so every page on your website
accesses the same Style Sheet and the "look" stays the same through your site.

Just knowing what the basic layout should be, and what "look" your client is aiming for,
is the biggest step. Even if they sketch something simple on paper, you can find an
existing template that closely matches their idea and start from there.


If you have a website that needs forms, databases, content management, file uploads,
etc. ... now you're getting into "dynamic" web page design, and this involves a
server-side language such as PHP (and MySQL databases). A whole different topic.

12-13-2007, 03:01 PM
I think you need to think about data architecture before you think about layout. Not to mention what's actually going to appear on each page. How can you layout information when you don't know what that information is?

12-13-2007, 03:17 PM
ok, I have to choose navigation cue, design homepage , design rest of sub-webpages, choose server side scrpiting lang (PHP/MySQL, ASP,...etc),...etc , by what sequence I must do these ?

ASP(VBScript) work with mysql (and phpMyAdmin) ?

12-13-2007, 06:24 PM
Think of someone coming to you saying he wants a website. Which questions come into your mind at first? You need to get some information from the client before you know what to do, right? At least I do.

So, your first question would probably be: What’s the subject?
This means you need to know what the site is about before you know how to go about it.

Let’s say the client is an artist that wants to showcase himself and his work. You’d probably think about what information is supposed to be on the site (e.g. an about page with some text, a portfolio kind of page where the client’s work is displayed (i.e. a couple of images and text) and a contact page with a form), and accoding to that information you design the pages of the site then.
Of course, if you know that you will have, like, repeating structures that would be generated dynamically with a server side script later on, you can also incorporate this knowledge into the design already.

Then, after you have designed the site forget the design for a while and start to compile the page(s) (or the information on the pages) in a way that even if there are no styles right now a potential visitor would still understand the message. This is called semantic layout, i.e. everything you put on the site has a meaning (headlines are headlines, not just a bold line of text; a list is a list, not a couple of paragraphs with a dot in front of them…). And again, if you know there will be repeating structures that are supposed to be generated by a server side script, create code that allows for easy repeating.

After you’ve done that you go ahead and apply the design you created before to that plain HTML page, i.e. you style that page with CSS. And after that is done you can cut the code and apply it to templates that make up your dynamically generated site while thinking about the logic of the server side script etc.

Of course, it’s not always a linear approach. Sometimes you work on two aspects at the same time (e.g. while designing you’re thinking of how to design so it will be easy to code or something like that). Also if you’re more of a back-end programmer you might start thinking about the data architecture before thinking about how a design will present that data. But basically that’s the way to go.

12-13-2007, 06:27 PM
When a client calls me and says they need a website, I have never had a case where
they didn't know what the page content would be, or a general idea of what the site
should look like ... either a hand sketch, or comparing their idea to another website.

That's why I think the layout template is the first step.

Even if you decide to use a CMS like Joomla ... you need to nail that layout so you
can pick the correct template to build from. Pennimus is right that the data or content
will have an effect on the layout ... but the data and content to be shown would
already be known (to a certain extent). Again, I've never had anyone say, "I need
a website, but I don't know what it will be about, or what it will show". They call me
with a specific website requirement, such as a shopping cart, a catalog, a gallery, and
they already have photos and a list of things they require on their website.

The information (their ideas and needs) determines the very first thing ...
whether the CSS layout is fixed-width or fluid-width ... and what the width will be.

You can even provide the client with a few templates demonstrating various navigation
ideas ... vertical menu, horizontal menu, etc.

When your client calls, point them to CSS template sites, www.csszengarden.com and
other "creative idea" sites ... have them call you back and say "This is what I'm thinking
my website would look like. I like the layout, I like the color scheme ... I want my
banner to be like this or that... etc".

For me, that's the first step to take.