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View Full Version : An idea to start some activity in the Website Design Forum



boyelroy11
02-07-2012, 10:20 PM
Well, let me start by saying that I am no web designer, programmer, or any such person. I dabble in Wordpress, and that's about it. I was excited, however to see this forum show up, as I thought I might be able to glean some info from the geniuses on here :) At this point, however there isn't much to learn here...

I thought as a way to start some discussion, we could do a thread that would basically be a repository for member websites. A lot of you have great sites, and finding them can be tedious if you don't remember whose was where, etc. I propose any member that has a website for their display (or other hobbies?) just post it. That way we can associate your username and website, and have them all in one spot. Just as we rely on each other's displays for a creative impetus on our own, we can peruse other websites for ideas to use/modify/borrow and put on our own pages.

Anyone think this sounds like a good idea?

Edit (2/8/12): Okay, a couple of positives responses and Dave had added his, so let's make this happen.

www.williamschristmaslights.com

Bruce

DIY Sparks
02-07-2012, 10:34 PM
Having looked (unsuccessfully) for such an archived thread, I figured it either wasn't allowed, wasn't suggested yet, or I was just blind.
Given a choice, I'd prefer to do business with comrades here.
Good idea, boyelroy.

rfallatt
02-08-2012, 12:08 AM
I'll chime in... I think its a great idea. Whenever I read a post by someone I usually go their web page to see there home. I have them scattered arround different reference documents in hope ill remember them later.

dirknerkle
02-08-2012, 12:23 AM
Okay.... I'm running Dirk's Lights as a link out of http://diychristmas.org where I also have the DIGWDF store, among other things like a backup/alternate chat room, and a PDF-version of the Wiki...

:lol:

(I just know I'm gonna get banned from DIYC sometime soon... I just KNOW it....)

dmcole
02-08-2012, 07:13 PM
... we could do a thread that would basically be a repository for member websites.

I have two sites that might be of interest to the DIYC crowd:


PacificaLights (http://www.pacificalights.info/) wherein all the gory details about my light show are stored. This site runs under Joomla 1.5.22 on a circa 2007 Mac Mini under Snow Leopard. (Why is it a dot-info domain? Godaddy had dot-infos on sale that week.)

DMCole.net (http://www.dmcole.net/) is my blog on fiddling around with microprocessors and LEDs. I have a bunch of content that is almost finished and in the next couple of weeks hope to get it published. This one runs on Wordpress 3.3.1 also on the MM.


HTH.

\dmc

Wayne J
02-08-2012, 07:23 PM
Nothing real special about my site, but I would love some suggestions to make it better.

bcstuff
02-08-2012, 07:44 PM
Nothing real special about my site, but I would love some suggestions to make it better.

Needs more cowbell. :biggrin2:

Slite
02-09-2012, 03:40 AM
Needs more cowbell. :biggrin2:

Isn't that kind of a given for just about everything? That it needs more cowbell that is. :)

Materdaddy
02-09-2012, 12:37 PM
My Christmas website is: http://ChristmasOnQuietHills.com/

I did host it from home on a SheevaPlug, but recently migrated it to running on my linode.com hosting account. It uses wordpress which is tracked in git for easy updating, maintenance, and tracking of my changes.

glaforce
02-09-2012, 09:00 PM
Well its good to see something happening in here. I'm the one that asked if it could be added and was really glad to see that it was.

Here is the link to my very basic web site. Its running on a web server in my home so i dont have a really IP yet and at the price the phone company whats I'm not sure i will

http://hallsvillelights.no-ip.org/

Xenia
02-10-2012, 03:28 AM
This is my new site. Not much content yet, but it will be better by Christmas.

www.xenialightshow.com (http://www.xenialightshow.com)

Wayne J
02-10-2012, 02:05 PM
This is my new site. Not much content yet, but it will be better by Christmas.

www.xenialightshow.com (http://www.xenialightshow.com)

Nice! It looks like some hard work went into that.

dirknerkle
02-10-2012, 02:45 PM
This is probably an appropriate place to post this...

One of the most difficult elements I've encountered in operating a web site is the challenge to keep it "current" and "interesting." To do that, one should continually add or replace content, and it's very, very hard to come up with "new" stuff to make the site change much. There are only so many "how-tos" you can add. Only so many photos that are worth anything. Only so many captions you can create. Add to that the fact that the process of editing a web site is such a putsy task, it can easily become a huge time-sink which only takes time away from making your new displays or rewiring existing ones.

Content management software can sometimes help, and most web hosts provide a modicum of such software applications, but to really change the look and feel of the site, you have to dig a lot deeper than that; usually the whole layout (style sheets, etc.) needs to be changed, too.

I'm horribly guilty for not having kept Dirk's Lights up to date. I haven't added anything to my web site in probably a couple years -- other than perhaps using it to put a video or other file there so I could link to it from a posting here at DIYC. At the conclusion of each lighting season I have good intentions... "Gee, I should update the web site..." but the memory of spending hours and hours of photo editing, multiple text revisions as new content is generated and the resulting multiple edits one has to make on multiple pages comes to mind and the urge to update it quickly evaporates.

I'd love to hear suggestions from folks who have a solution to this dilemma... or is it just me??? :shock:

Xenia
02-10-2012, 04:04 PM
Thanks, Wayne. It is a freebie Joomla animated template. I have replaced many of the icons to be more representative of the DIYC community.

Materdaddy
02-10-2012, 08:48 PM
or is it just me??? :shock:

Not just you. It's one of the reasons I only posted my Christmas site here. It's the most current. I have one for my personal tinkering, the family, and our Jeep adventures. The last update on each of those respectively is March 22, 2011, July 21st, 2011, and April 23rd, 2009!

I'd love to hear ideas to make this easier. One of the things that amazes me isn't websites in general, but documentation. Don (djulien) comes to mind with his projects and excellent documentation!

beeiilll
02-11-2012, 05:55 AM
I too am guilty of not keeping my site updated enough. It seems that life gets in the way of things and the site falls through the cracks way too easy.
I built my site with DreamWeaver but I am hoping to change it over to Joomla this year and make it a more CMS site so that I can keep it updated better.
But we all know how tough it can be to maintain sites when we have so many other things to do everyday.
I had even hoped to put a storage section on my site for folks to share sequencing but that too is on the back burner at the moment.

Anybody here figured out how to get 33 hours in a 24 hour day yet?

Bill

docchop
02-20-2012, 06:26 PM
I spent the weekend finding a host and learning about websites and learning about ftp and completely failing to grasp joomla. Stumbled onto Kompozer (http://kompozer.net/) and got started (http://princetonchristmaslights.com). Only have a few links and contact working but so far so good. Soon I'll add a little place to leave comments and finish the links and the pages the links will point to. As I build this seasons pieces I'll upload the photos and descriptions and flesh it all out. I live in a small town and last seasons 24 renard channels were a huge hit. I stood in the seasonal section at Menard's a couple weeks after Christmas and eavesdropped as a small group talked about that Christmas light house in my town. I didn't let on that it was my house. Anyway about the website and this being a small town the local paper is always on the lookout for a nice happy story and maybe that nice newspaper lady will plug my site in an article. If 24 channels were a big hit then 120 channels should be like a rock concert and a Billy Graham event combined. The website should get everyone the information they need to come see the show and make it an even bigger success. Crossing my fingers.

boyelroy11
02-20-2012, 06:28 PM
should be like a rock concert and a Billy Graham event combined.

That could be quite a combination :) Good start in the site!

kychristmas
02-20-2012, 10:36 PM
I stumbled onto Kompozer a while ago as well. Its a great offline tool. Good Start on your site.


I spent the weekend finding a host and learning about websites and learning about ftp and completely failing to grasp joomla. Stumbled onto Kompozer (http://kompozer.net/) and got started (http://princetonchristmaslights.com). Only have a few links and contact working but so far so good. Soon I'll add a little place to leave comments and finish the links and the pages the links will point to. As I build this seasons pieces I'll upload the photos and descriptions and flesh it all out. I live in a small town and last seasons 24 renard channels were a huge hit. I stood in the seasonal section at Menard's a couple weeks after Christmas and eavesdropped as a small group talked about that Christmas light house in my town. I didn't let on that it was my house. Anyway about the website and this being a small town the local paper is always on the lookout for a nice happy story and maybe that nice newspaper lady will plug my site in an article. If 24 channels were a big hit then 120 channels should be like a rock concert and a Billy Graham event combined. The website should get everyone the information they need to come see the show and make it an even bigger success. Crossing my fingers.

Mangrove
02-21-2012, 12:04 AM
Well I’m a complete newbie when it comes to most of this stuff. A year and a half ago I had no idea how to weld, solder a board, how to make lights flash let alone how to create and maintain a website. However what I lacked in knowledge, I made up for in ambition. I asked a lot of silly questions and this great community of folks helped me out!

2011 was my first year with blinky flashy versus the standard static display.

As for my website, I bought a book about WordPress, I like NASCAR so I went to Go Daddy for hosting and jumped in. Probably not the best choices but for a guy who knew nothing about web design and hosting it worked. I owe A LOT to Mat er daddy for helping me get the site to look the way I wanted it; thanks again Mat! (believe me he had the patience of Jobe and the skill of a highly trained surgeon)

I agree with Dirk, I have the best of intentions about updating the site but updates seem to fall to the bottom of the list; then off.

I’d like to learn more about how to make my site better and build upon the skills I’ve developed.

Now that I’ve given all my caveats, please visit www.MangroveLights.com

All comments, suggestions, criticism and critiques welcome!

Xenia
02-21-2012, 12:33 AM
Mangrove, I think you site looks great, Very Clean, sharp, and well layed out. I wouldn't believe 2011 was your first year, everything looks very professional. That's what I like about this community, always raising the bar but supplying the path to bring you along.

Materdaddy
02-21-2012, 01:29 AM
Well Iím a complete newbie when it comes to most of this stuff. A year and a half ago I had no idea how to weld, solder a board, how to make lights flash let alone how to create and maintain a website. However what I lacked in knowledge, I made up for in ambition. I asked a lot of silly questions and this great community of folks helped me out!

2011 was my first year with blinky flashy versus the standard static display.

As for my website, I bought a book about WordPress, I like NASCAR so I went to Go Daddy for hosting and jumped in. Probably not the best choices but for a guy who knew nothing about web design and hosting it worked. I owe A LOT to Mat er daddy for helping me get the site to look the way I wanted it; thanks again Mat! (believe me he had the patience of Jobe and the skill of a highly trained surgeon)

I agree with Dirk, I have the best of intentions about updating the site but updates seem to fall to the bottom of the list; then off.

Iíd like to learn more about how to make my site better and build upon the skills Iíve developed.

Now that Iíve given all my caveats, please visit www.MangroveLights.com

All comments, suggestions, criticism and critiques welcome!

HA, you're too kind. Trust me when I say this, I didn't need much patience. You're a lot quicker than you give yourself credit for.

Your site looks great! The only problem you have is the same one I have. Updating the darn thing! :biggrin:

PD Shimmers
02-21-2012, 09:46 AM
Here is my link. Year 2 for web and blinky-flashy. I use a MAC and rapidweaver software for design. 1and1 is my host.

http://www.pdshimmers.com
This year I filmed the video myself, but last year a pro donated his services.

FIRECOP252
02-22-2012, 07:12 AM
Well I dont have the sleek words that everyone else does....crap I dont even know how to change my site but I am hoping to get time to sit down and learn a bit sometime. Someone else built my site for me and it is not finished so I will have to be learning it sometime. Anyways my site is WWW.ASHCHRISTMASONPLANTATION.INFO if anyone would like to see. Its a small start but hope to build it up this year.

glaforce
02-23-2012, 09:51 PM
I spent the weekend finding a host and learning about websites and learning about ftp and completely failing to grasp joomla. Stumbled onto Kompozer (http://kompozer.net/) and got started (http://princetonchristmaslights.com). Only have a few links and contact working but so far so good. Soon I'll add a little place to leave comments and finish the links and the pages the links will point to. As I build this seasons pieces I'll upload the photos and descriptions and flesh it all out. I live in a small town and last seasons 24 renard channels were a huge hit. I stood in the seasonal section at Menard's a couple weeks after Christmas and eavesdropped as a small group talked about that Christmas light house in my town. I didn't let on that it was my house. Anyway about the website and this being a small town the local paper is always on the lookout for a nice happy story and maybe that nice newspaper lady will plug my site in an article. If 24 channels were a big hit then 120 channels should be like a rock concert and a Billy Graham event combined. The website should get everyone the information they need to come see the show and make it an even bigger success. Crossing my fingers.


Doc

I like the layout you are using. Can you tell me where you got it or if you made it? I would like to use either that very one or something very close to it for my website. I also downloaded kompozer and kind of like it so far. I had a trail of dream weaver but find it hard to use plus the trial has run out. I also edited my web page with Microsoft word and that was a bad thing. It did things to the HTML code that i don't even begin to understand.

docchop
02-23-2012, 10:45 PM
Sure thing glaforce. I found the original freebie template and a lot of others on this website (http://www.crazyleafdesign.com/blog/21-free-christmas-website-templates/) and here is Komposer (http://kompozer.net/) and PageBreeze (http://www.pagebreeze.com/). I think out of the two PageBreeze has been much easier to get going with.

Greg Young
02-27-2012, 05:33 PM
Thanks for posting the links to the templates docchop!
Greg

wbottomley
03-04-2012, 11:15 AM
I started with something basic years ago and now I'm on my third design. I still add any Christmas related content I can find to my website. Some of the information there is related to the hobby itself. For example, some of my sequences, links to other places with free sequences, "How To" blog, and much more. I'm currently Joomla 1.5 with a few mods installed.

Check it out and tell me what you think. (http://www.highcountrylights.com)

BillinSoFL
04-28-2012, 09:13 AM
The idea for my website was that it would be the home for my holiday display and help promote it. I am blogging about how I build elements, setup and run the various aspects. Hopefully this will help keep the content fresh and encourage people to come back. Some of the content will be replicated (in-part) on our Facebook page with links back to my site for complete content. That way if people like us on Facebook they'll know when we've made changes to the site. Hopefully it all comes together. I'll continue to evolve the site and our Facebook page until I'm getting good traffic. This will include content and meta-data changes until I'm getting search engine and other placements that I'm satisfied with :)

For those of you running WordPress I'm providing a list of plug-ins that should help managing your site a bit more easy others help with security or provide other under-the hood improvements:

Ultimate TinyMCE - This one IS AWESOME. Really helps with content authoring.
Link Library - Recently added this so I can showcase other Friend's websites, etc. Extends existing Wordpress Links. Pretty nice.
Simple Page Ordering - This is critical for menu ordering, etc.
CleanCode NZ Exclude Pages Plugin - Exclude pages from your WP menus. They are public, they just don't show up. I use for donation thank you pages, etc.
Add Meta Tags
Broken Link Checker
Comprehensive Google Map Plugin
Cool Video Gallery
HTML Javascript Adder
NextGEN Gallery
PayPal Donations
Simple Facebook Connect
Simple Local Avatars
Usernoise
WP Security Scan

I posted a link sharing thread a couple weeks back. Seems a little difficult to get these going... this thread seemed like it was aimed at helping people improve their sites, not necessarily link sharing. My site's links are in my signature below. I would love to trade for those who are interested.

dmcole
04-28-2012, 06:18 PM
For those of you running WordPress I'm providing a list of plug-ins that should help managing your site a bit more easy others help with security or provide other under-the hood improvements:


Pretty nice list. To it I would add:

*Akismet -- Comment and trackback spam protector. I used to use WP-SpamFree until the author gave up on it about a year ago. I switched over to Akismet and fewer than a half-dozen spams have hit the page since then.

*Google XML Sitemaps -- I used to be really picky about sitemaps and built them all by hand ... now I use plugins. This one is pretty good.

Best o' luck.

\dmc

PD Shimmers
04-28-2012, 09:16 PM
It not only is time consuming but it can suck the creativity right out of you. Then it also can be a cancer that grows demanding more and more....time, creativity, content.

website, check
blog, almost forgot you...check, wait
vimeo, youtube..scratch youtube they pulled the sound again, uh oh
Facebook....

Twitter, at least its only 140 characters

linkedin

foursquare- I'm the Mayor!

crap - only 30 days until Thanksgiving...
or
is it just me?