New website prototype

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Pencil
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New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:10 pm

I've finally gotten around to re-designing the site. The old one was largely based on a default Front Page template, and I've been meaning to move to a more -standards-based site for quite some time; one that didn't rely on server-side Front Page extensions.
The new site is posted at: http://www.carsoncarshops.com/tempweb/
Any feedback is welcome - constructive or not!
I'll probably put the new site into production shortly, although I'll still play with some of the formatting for a while. This will let me make some content updates that have been on hold for a bit (new downloads, etc...)
As I get more familiar with CSS, I'll also update the forums and gallery to use a more similar look and feel.

Curtis

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TorenHynes
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Re: New website prototype

Postby TorenHynes » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:41 am

I think the old website looks ok.
Toren Hynes
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Hurricane Season is on!

Pencil
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Re: New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:33 pm

The old site does look OK. Unfortunately, it was created with proprietary tools that are no longer supported. The new one will be much easier to maintain, as well as being more flexible and faster to load. For example, I've updated the work in progress page to include a thumbnail; similar to the downloads pages.

Shortline2
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Re: New website prototype

Postby Shortline2 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:32 am

Hi Curtis,

I had a quick look at your new web look, and only thing I sort of reacted not fully great to was the little to dark background color on the left side where the various links, navigation stuff was.
It felt a little to dark brown, but, the right side is perfect. :D

I can understand the wish for lesser work on the website, finding better tools, get away from the old not supported MS Frontpage program (I suffer from the same, as I built my site with that program), and I applaud you for taking the time to learn new tools and ways. :)
A little curious about how much coding knowledge/understanding is needed to do what I see on that new site, I'm a little to used to the MS Frontpage method of building my pages and web, and any lines of codes where I can't in a window see directly how it affect a visual page freaks me out. :(

Anyway, I like the old, but I also think your on the right path to a new great design look. I did recognize the dark color seems to be the same as you had on the buttons on your old site - there it seemed to work well, but as a fully covering side panel, it feels just to much.
But, not that awful that it scares me away, more a mild irritation as it feels like the contrast between background and text is a little off and I need to stress my eye sight a bit.

Linda

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Re: New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:26 am

Thank you for the feedback, Linda. For the sidebar image, I had attempted to match the dark brown in the engine house image at the top, but as you say, it was a bit too dark. So, I've lightened it up a bit - does that look better? I'm certainly not attempting to make an annoying site ;-)

Coding so far has not been too bad. I started with this tutorial http://www.maxdesign.com.au/articles/two-columns/ - you can see the code I came up with at http://www.carsoncarshops.com/tempweb/i ... /style.css

Curtis

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Re: New website prototype

Postby Shortline2 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:22 am

Hi Curtis,

Your welcome with the small feedback I made. :) Had another look today and I think your are getting there!
I love the bluish (I know, it is probably called another color name, but I'm being simple in my English this morning) color showing which link I'm over at any time!
I think the brown tone is quite much better, I'm a little to tired to tell if it is really nailed down or not, as my eyes hurt a little, but that might as well just be the computer screen it self and not a hint of me stressing a little to see the page.
I notice in this forum too the same feel you see, hence me thinking it is just this old body of mine needing more sleep. :oops:

I can read the sidebar without problems, when you added in the bluish tint in addition it really made it even better, I liked the combination, it has a sort of old time style over it self.
Mostly due to the fact the color scheme (except the bluish, that was a modern twist :D) reminds me of the backing of so many old photographs I have in my collection from around 1893 onward. That paper/cardboard/whatever it is, is varying in color some, but is often along the brownish side of the colors, like your new website.
I like it. :D Not annoying at all :wink:

Thanks for the link to the tutorial, and your style.css file - I seen such css files before I realize, tweaked some around for a database program I use for many purposes and not just keeping track of my books like it was meant to do.
It uses xls and css files to show the results of searches, inputs and so on - and I have had my share of hacks in there to make the views I want.
Maybe there is hope for me after all. :P

Do you write all the code in a sort of text editor and just use the mind to keep track of the views the code represent, or you have a way to see how it looks as you change the code around?
Just curious, no need to answer much/fast. :)

Take care, and thank you for all the lovely stuff you have produced, and is making/producing!

Best Regards

Linda

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Re: New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:40 pm

Hi Linda,

Thank you again for the feedback - it is much appreciated!
I'm using Microsoft Expressions Web to do the new site. I'm pretty much just using it as a text editor, but it has a screen where I can see what the page would look like as I go along. It also has a built-in error checker which helps (although, it sometimes gets confused, and I have to close / re-open the page to set it straight :) )

Curtis

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Re: New website prototype

Postby Shortline2 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:31 am

Thank You Curtis too for the background info so to speak. Hope I wasn't to nosy, I sort of been looking up to your site as one good functioning one, and saw a way to get some of the ideas behind it in this thread while also giving my opinion as asked for. :)

I remember when I wanted to start my website I used Mark Baldwins Gilpin Tram site as a inspiration, and I loved this forum and place too over the years. Been looking for ways to clean up my own "messy site" for quite some time, but been a on/off project as I'm a slow person to change ways.

I think you done a good job, and I appreciate the place you provide for us to hang in so to speak. As long as it is no hanging tree in here so. :P
Thank you for your continued support of a place for old west/time models and a place for us to meet!

Best wishes

Linda

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Re: New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:50 pm

No problem - I'm happy to share my fumbling around, in that it might help anyone else who might be in a similar situation :-)

Curtis

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TorenHynes
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Re: New website prototype

Postby TorenHynes » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:23 am

There's an old saying that a change is as good as a rest. Maybe that's correct.
Toren Hynes
"Proudly Canadian"
Hurricane Season is on!

Pencil
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Re: New website prototype

Postby Pencil » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:59 am

The new site is now live! Let me know if you have any issues or suggestions for improvement.
There are some changes from the old site - the homepage just has news for the current year; the old news has now been archived on separate pages. The beta download page has been moved to the download section. The download section has been updated with new content, including Meridious' old west boxcars at TPR. The Ghosts section now has a small section on Minden. The WiP page now has images. There's a new tutorial on the tutorials page; something I had posted over at TPR a long time ago, but had never posted here.
I think that's it :)

Curtis

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TorenHynes
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Re: New website prototype

Postby TorenHynes » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:22 am

Well, the new site is kind of nice.
Toren Hynes
"Proudly Canadian"
Hurricane Season is on!


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