Sunday, June 9, 2013

An exercise in creating a website

Maybe you're a designer like me. You have print design samples that you want to place on the web. You have friends who design sites, but you want to "take the plunge" yourself. Where do you start?

In a word, templates.Yes, I know we have software (Dreamweaver and Muse) to perform the heavy lifting. But templates can be a great place to begin the process. Studying the styles and structures of template designers—including the underlying code—can help you decide your site's appearance and functionality. With hundreds of template site designs available, there are many designs you can obtain free and for purchase. Clear, easy to use instructions make it a less intimidating process.

Before you begin, though, you should be familiar with the process of designing sites. Here's one site. Another great resource is this one. Assuming you've already thought about the issues mentioned now it's time to look at templates. There are a lot of free designs. Some good, some not.  One popular site for free and templates for purchase and site hosting is Wix, the site I used for the examples below. Here is one of their templates.  This is a free site design that you can download after creating an account. I modified the index, or home page.

Site design from Wix.com

Using the tools provided I was able to change the colors, style, and modify the template.



I also inserted my own images. With the tools inside Wix I was able to enchance images and perform simple cropping.



This example shows how you can, with a little bit of effort, create a website based on a template. Obviously there is more that can be done. I plan to continue the work with this and other designs. Stay tuned.

Don't be afraid to take the leap and try out a few template designs. Make it your own, and use social media sites, and portfolio sites like Behance to get your work out there.  


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