Saturday, December 31, 2011

Web Building for Amateurs, Coherently This Time

Here's a quick synopsis of some of the tools I found useful (or not) Winners and losers:
  • Winner: California Fonts! You know how almost all of the standard fonts are either dull or illegible? California Fonts has your answer in the form of hundreds of fun, free downloadable fonts. I ended up not using the ones I downloaded because after doing battle over the publishing and then the images, I didn't have the heart to figure out why my text was not showing up; but probably I just needed to upload the font to the server. It's a fun site to click around; there are hundreds of fonts in the category "Retro" alone. Other categories have names like Eroded, Groovy, AntiLoop. Here's one called "Spa Fon."
  • Winner: Picnik! If you want to incorporate a funky font, you can do it in Picnik, and just make it part of the jpeg.
  • Loser: WebMatrix. Just, no. If you don't know what you are doing, it's not the program for you.
  • Winner: Komposer. Free, WYSIWYG, and very flexible: not, as many web-building tools are, just a collection of templates into which you can plug your images and information. I don't think it came with any templates, which could be a drawback if you were looking for the easiest route. Drawbacks: The Help Section was pretty unimpressive. (Loser.) Also, when it uploaded images, it coded them with a complicated address pointing the where they were located on my desktop. I had to go into the HTML source code and change the name of image file to just "whatever-the-name-is.jpg." This sounds hard to do but it is not. Kompozer has a known issue in the form of its publisher, which seems to simply not work - a serious flaw! I thought that I was just doing it wrong, but a visit to the forums indicated that this had been pinpointed as a weakness. (Loser.) To address this:
  • I downloaded Filezilla, which served the publishing function. I thought it had problems, too, but that really was just me. In actuality it worked like a dream. Winner!
  • Network Solutions, my web host, has a lot of really useful tools for publishing also. It actually turned out to be the easiest solution for uploading, as I could skip all the host-address and FTP://ftp shit. Winner! That stuff was way too hard to find, though, and not, strictly speaking, free, as I am paying for the hosting through them, and paying for the domain name - and it is considerably more costly than other domain name registries such as Go Daddy.
  • Winner: Doug! and me. Now I can quit hassling him to updated my website, and take over the procrastination function myself.

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