1) Im not really sure what the best way to do links is. Is there any efficient method of just changing the content area, or do I need to create copies of the main page and just change the content area? I was under the impression I could use php includes to just include different content pages in the content area DIV, but im not sure.
2) The site is very image heavy, I think its somewhere around 2.5mb of images total. The company that sliced the site saved some as PNG which are close to 500Kb images. What should I use to get the size down? JPG or GIF or what? The images that are PNG have transparency on them, and I cant remember if JPG has support for transparency. Either way I need to figure out some way to get the size down.
3) It seems to coding company did not code the layout to work with multiple resolutions. How difficult would it be to be more supportive of different resolutions? I use 1600x900 so I didnt notice a problem until people started telling me they had horizontal scrollbars. The company said they just code it as is, so im not sure what to do.
4) Last question is it seems the company that coded the layout just ignored some things that were in the layout. If you look at the original design (http://www.mosskat.com/BrutalServers) the login bar at the top has a design around the drop down box. Is it not possible to code a drop down box using that image, or was the company just being lazy?
1) You can use php includes, or just create X number of copies of that page and change the content accordingly, are you planning on just using static html files? How will you edit the files?
2) There are quite a few jpegs in there, and PNG's or GIF's are required for transparency. (although internet explorer 6 doesn't support PNG transparency without a hack) - you could try reducing the quality of the images, but as with all image/artistic based layouts, it makes your site look poor.
It may be possible to shave some size off (2.5mb is waaayyy too high for a homepage) by using image repeats in your CSS, but at first glance its quite confusing on how the layout has been coded, without really studying it, its hard to tell where you could cut down on size/use repeats.
3) The coding company can't really make that layout work in multiple resolution, again a limitation of using an images for layout purposes, the design is quite wide/high, i need to scroll down before i can see all the info on your web hosting packages, and there is a lot of wasted space at the top. You could probably do with shrinking the entire layout by about 25%, it will have lots of room either side in high res monitors, but it will cater better for the people with lower res. (looking at it in 1280 x 1024, which is quite a common resolution, you have to scroll quite a bit)
4) Depends on what you paid them to do, if it was just to slice an image into valid XHTML then no they wernt being lazy, its not complicated but it is extra work to add in drop menus that validate correctly, so it comes down to what you asked them to do.
It's certainly easy to get it working how you want it, but will require a bit more work i think to get it to your exact requirements.
If i've not made sense on any of the above just shout out and i'll try to explain better
Basically like lets say theres link a, b, and c. I would have div a, b, and c, each with an include like a.php, b.php, and c.php and just display whichever DIV using JS should be shown? Or is there a better way?
2) Yeah im worried about this, I used a website earlier just to see what it would look like lowering the quality a bit, and nothing looked remotely decent. Im not really sure what you mean by image repeats, if I understand correctly I know they use them for the gradient background, but most of the images aren't really repeated.
3) Alright, that makes sense, the designer did send me a smaller version of the design, maybe ill look into having that coded as well.
4) Makes sense
I will consult some more companies and see what they would charge for something similar to my needs.
PHP includes are not really necessary if I’m honest, but it does depend on how you want to edit your content, for example...
If you plan to use Dreamweaver or any other page editor software, then i think the best approach is to have multiple web pages, e.g.;
Index Page - Links to
About us page
Our packages page
Support page etc etc
Then instead of having any fancy scripting, you just have every page link to each other (using your navbar at the top) and then edit them individually, does that make sense?
That’s effectively all your doing with includes, except the include files will be missing the header and footer code!
Resizing the images down to a more suitable width and then a bit of code optimisation would probably only take a day or two to do, so don't let anybody charge you tons of money and say it will take weeks!
One example of where you could save size/space etc, is that all the little men at the bottom are separate images, they really could be merged into the main background, making it one whole image, that would certainly decrease the size!
Ive always just used notepad++ for any kind of coding/editing. If it would make the most sense just to have copies of the page though that would work, I was just trying to figure out what to do since the sites image heavy.
Heres my question as of now...
After talking to a few friends who do site coding and what not, it pretty much sounds like im screwed. The designer sent me a sized down version, which is 1262px wide, the original that was coded by that company was 1350px. Im not really sure that 88px difference is going to make enough difference to work for lower resolutions. I doubt the company will reslice/recode it, so its looking like I have a hell of a few weeks ahead of me (although my heads hurting so much right now im about to just take this as a nasty financial loss and give up) but if I can muster up the energy to change all the sizes of the images and everything, what should be the max pixel width of the PSD to support lower resolutions?
Again I thank you very much for the help. Im really to the point of tearing my hair out. Feel I made a huge mistake hiring an artist to do a webdesign (I was her guinea pig for getting into the business of webdesign)
The designs very nice, but yes, there is an issue with resolution. I agree with Carl that "coding company can't really make that layout work in multiple resolution", though the high usage of images certainly will have effect on how people will see the website on different resolutions.
You could get someone to re-size the images but only if you had the original format (something like PSD or ESP) where you still have the original image but can change canvas size etc.
The thing is: don't give up. There are plenty of people to help, especially on WHT. Everyone learns from their mistakes, I have & it's helped!
There you go, i have resized the core images to a nice, modern resolution supporting 960px wide, that's what i tend to design sites in nowadays. I also managed to almost halve the size of those images, without compromising quality i feel.
That should help you get on your way with getting back on track!
Is 960px wide pretty much standard or is that just your preference? The designer just said she would take a look and redo the image stuff for me since she sent it to me way too wide. This is a huge relief, as I was having a breakdown. I showed her the links you posted as well, so hopefully that will help to cut down on image size big time. I know some of the biggest images are the torn paper backgrounds, one of them is about 500kb, but I guess I will just have to pay the price somewhat for having a image intensive design.
960px is pretty standard i think, we stopped developing for the 800x600 resolution about a year ago, we found all of clients sites had less than 2% of their visitors using that resolution, so we took advantage of the extra real estate 960px can offer!
Good luck with getting it all fixed, do let us know how it turns out