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"Furry Tree Fan Zine"
|Software makes all the difference... or breaks the site...
|Next view takes us to the band selection page. WHOA! Let's clean this up. Your SerifPage
Plus software is killing you! See all those table cells? Death.
First of all, browsers don't like empty table cells. Unexpected things happen...
if you look at the page on the monitor, the empty cells cause the logos to slop over
into the left bar. (Not good.)
__ If you look at the cells in the HTML editor, you
see dozens and dozens of little cells generated to do nothing. (At right)
__ Nothing except pad the page with needless code, causing
slower, browser-confusing loading time. Man, what a mess. You get the same problems
with MS Front Page and Highway.
__ I've taken the liberty of suggesting a possible
solution to consider. A table with only the number of cells you really need. The
left table cell is a single Row-Span cell that runs the entire depth of the content
area. It contains a single line of underscores, colorized red, with cell set "NO
WRAP". This keeps the content moved over OFF the border. (If we must keep that
border!) Now, there's a cell for each band logo, either right or left. Simple, functional,
and rated to load in 14 seconds.
We've added a line of text there with each logo that will give a bit of a tease to
the reader. Not all readers will be familiar with the bands, so a bit of "pull"
may be in order. (Upsized version)
__ Always ask: "What visual signals am I sending
to my readers?" The answer should be "The message I want them to get."
__ Does that red border send the desired visual signal?
__ Finally, there were real problems with the graphics.
Some were tagged with different W/H sizes causing distorting. Two were so corrupted
they had raster debris in them. (We left the corruption in the "Millencoln"
logo for demo purposes.) Two were saved as GIF files, but called with .jpg extension,
which can also cause browser problems on some systems. We had to re-save each graphic
out of ImageReady to get them to behave on the final sample page.
__While I agree with Joyce about Tripod, I feel Darren
is making an honest attempt to build a good fan site. Technical skills should never
hinder the success of the site, which it does in this case.
I recommend a visit to NetMechanic, so you can be aware of specific mechanical problems.
(BBEdit's HTML checker turned up, like, 75 HTML errors on this page!)
__We want Darren to be successful at what he wants to
do... but his hard work may not be rewarded with readership and loyalty. Some technical
tweaking will go a long way to delivering the reader experience that Darren intends
Whew. I'm worn out.
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