Website Redesign

I’ve been working on the store website, in case you’re wondering why there hasn’t been a post here on the blog in … ah … some time.

The website is currently pretty lame, I know. I’m not going to make excuses for it (I’m no HTML geek; my editor is really, really old; it’s been so long since I worked on the site that I’ve forgotten everything I knew including how to operate the UNIX-based upload protocols on the host site.)

The whole project is kind of mind-boggling. There’s the content, which is only half the problem — what needs to be added? Deleted? Rewritten? — and then there’s the design element and all the nuts-and-bolts associated with that — page hierarchy, links, templates, and so on. It’s like trying to turn an empty lot into a formal garden — it takes time, and effort, and lots of planning. (Add to all this the fact that I tend to have a lot of projects on the go at any one time, and that I possess the powers of concentration of your average two-year-old.)

So here’s what I’ve done up till now. I’ve downloaded a demo version of RapidWeaver, a Mac WYSIWYG HTML editor from RealMac Software, and I’ve been immersing myself in it (and in the manual — thank God for the bigger screen on my new iMac, so that I can have two pages open at once, side by side.) I’m fairly sure that it’s going to be the one to replace my last editor; the late, lamented (at least by me) PageMill from Adobe. RapidWeaver certainly does everything that I’m likely to need — and much more, most of which I haven’t a clue how to use.

I’ve also been doing a lot of research on webpage design. As one great philosopher said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” (Okay, it was Spider-Man, in the 2002 movie of the same name, according to imdb.com. But the responsibility part is still true.) There are so many ways to make web pages more powerful, more intricate, and more interesting, with CSS and Javascript and all kinds of bells and whistles — and so many of them have the potential to turn a site into a ghastly mess. A lot of my research time has been spent at Web Pages That Suck, in the hopes that I can avoid some of the more hideous mistakes.

Anyway, bear with me. Next time, I’ll be reviewing the Settlers of Catan Card Game from Mayfair Games.

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