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Building my own website, got a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by bentzak, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. bentzak

    bentzak Senior Member

    Hi all,

    I am building my own portfolio website. its my first full website and i have a couple of questions.

    first i will tell ya how im building it, i designed the layout in illy (very simplistic), then put this into dreamweaver. im now creating all the content in flash in different swf files which are linked by putting them on different pages in d'weaver.

    Q.1 my portfolio page is done in flash and uses xml to load the pictures and add the captions. this means i load my images from my harddrive and there not part of the swf they are just displayed in it. so when i put my website online, where is it going to load these images from? where do i put them? am i right in thinking it goes on a server? is that like online disk space where i put all my site files and its loaded just the same as if i was doing it on my own comp except its opened from entering a domain???

    Q.2 as you may have realised im not overly clued up with how hosting works, so if anyone could tell me or send me a link to a page explaining it, it would be apreciated cos i have searched through heaps of articles and threads and im still not sure!

    Q.3 i just read the post by jazajay about usability for disabled people. it made me think about my website which has an about me page, my portfolio page and a contact me page, does that count as a business website? do i need to make my page accessible? and do i need to consider any laws or legislation before i publish my site?? i want to put "please contact me for a quote" but does that cross the business/personal line?


  2. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Zak,

    I'll give you my answers on 2 & 3...

    2. In basic terms hosting is somewhere for you to upload your files so that someone using a web browser can access them through a domain name. You purchase hosting on an annual basis (usually) and then you have something called FTP access (file transfer protocol). Once you have the hosting setup you upload your files with FTP to the server. Your domain is then pointed to that server/those files (using domain nameservers) and people can thentype your domain name in and view the website.

    So in order to have a website up & running you need to register a domain name, this is an annual cost, many registrars available, I personally use for my UK domain names. You will then need web hosting, there's a variety of accounts available, but I would imagine a basic account on a shared server would suit your needs at the moment.

    3. As you're building the site in Flash you're already breaking a big rule for accessibility, you're not catering for users who don't have Flash installed. Also with current search technology it's not possible for the search engines to 'read' all the content contained in your flash files, so as the search engines can not read your content it will not index in the search results very well.

    Hope that helps in someway?!
  3. darren

    darren Member

    Are the paths that you have used in your swf/xml relative or absolute? if you have code in your swf to read an xml file like...

    xml = "myxml.xml";

    then it should be fine and will load from the server.

    I assume that your xml file contains the image links etc. As long as these are relative also i.e. "images/myimage.png" then as long as you upload all the content it should load fine off the server too.

    If the links you have used in your swf and xml file(s) are like "c:/my Pictures/image.png" then they wont obviously load as the swf will be running on anothe computer (the server).

    Just upload everything and see. Then if it does not work change the paths or post some source code here.

  4. bentzak

    bentzak Senior Member

    @Greg, Thanks, that has certanly made things clearer, web design is something i want to explore and take up.

    i did consider about whether to use flash to create my content and i realise it makes me less accessible, but i love the way it works and looks, and it gives the feel i want without loosing fluidity. also i want to learn more about flash and as3 because of an animation project i have comming up. flash is going to be one of my tools and i wanted to show it in my website. with that in mind i did think it might be worth doing a simplified html version for those who dont have flash, and after reading jazajays post on accessibility i thought it would be a fresh and entertaining challenge to make it as accessible as possible. thats the other thing i like about flash, how easy it is to make something really interactive and fun.

    @Darren, from what you said i think it should be fine then. all the files arein one root folder and linked within that. Thanks, and if i get stuck along the way i will be sure to post!

  5. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Hay Bentzak if you are offering services for payment and ppl can't contact you, or pay you, then thats an issue in my book TBH.

    Greg is totally right.
    The best thing a flash site can do is to have a HTML version, test to see if flash is installed if not redirect to the HTML version. That way you are only using flash as it should be used as an enhancment to the site. That also allows for all your content to be indexed by the search engines and ppl without flash installed, think corporate ppl who have it off for security, and ppl with disabilities to be able to use your site as well. Then just link to the html version on all your flash pages, perferably in the actual HTML itself, and link to the full interactive version on all your html pages.
  6. bentzak

    bentzak Senior Member

    cheers jazajay, i have built all of the flash now and im not quite ready to put it up yet just due to other circumstances, so i have time to make a html one, i am pretty new to coding and building pages, so i think also it would be a good way for me to learn. appreciate he feed back,

    Cheers, all!

  7. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    No worries Bentzak glad we could help. :)

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