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Rapid landing page development / templating

Rapid landing page development / templating

(OP)
So, my brother has brought to my attention a business he is involved in and most of the vendors he works with have (a) no site, (b) horrible sites, (c) fair sites.

These opportunities for me but I do not want to spend days putting together nice landing pages or sites to position myself as a suitable candidate for them to hire as one to (1) design their site or (2) replace their site.

Truth is that I am not a designer at all ... but I am a fairly good developer and well rounded in business areas such as retail, inventory, accounting, purchasing, job costing, etc ... and this is really where I want to get my feet in.

The web site is just a knock, knock if you will, and hope to get invited in. winky smile


On to my question:
What do you guys/gals recommend one uses for rapid html development and delopyment?


I want to set portfolios where people I figure I can offer an "improved" site can go to and see their site as I visualize it after given a "face lift".

--
SouthBeach
http://www.fp2php.com
The good thing about not knowing is the opportunity to learn - Yours truly, 2008.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

I like Adobe Dreamweaver. It's powerful enough to create and manage a very polished HTML5/CSS3 based site, so it looks very modern and professional. The only problem is, it's a bit too complicated. You can't just install it and miracles start happening. I took a one semester class on it at my local junior college and that was enough to get me started. I'm not a "designer" by any means, but my sites to get compliments. They support the theme and purpose of each site and have enough bells and whistles to impress.


RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

(OP)
@SamBones, I have DW CS5 and have experience with it - I never really used much of their "embedded" drag and drop nodes/plug ins but if that is what I must do then be it.

Now lets hunt for some tutorials on DW to see how people use it out there!

lol - Being an old fashion type developer, I normally code using editor and just go at it.

Tks

--
SouthBeach
http://www.fp2php.com
The good thing about not knowing is the opportunity to learn - Yours truly, 2008.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

Quote (southbeach)

What do you guys/gals recommend one uses for rapid html development and delopyment?

Squarespace, wix, wordpress, drupal, facebook, etc.

This question really depends on the type of site. If you're just looking for landing pages (brochure sites) that do not really do anything but look pretty, you might try Adobe Muse.

Most horrible/fair sites are not the fault of a designer or developer. They may be a manifestation of a lack of online business sense. Businesses need to be sold on what a web site can do for them, not what it can look like.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

I find the fastest and easiest method to design and deploy is to write the HTML by hand. You get the functionality required without the bloated code created by most of the modern tools.

Keith
www.studiosoft.co.uk

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

I agree with AudioPro. Create your own base template by hand, and then you can just deploy generic site layouts you can modify easily.

I would stay far far far away from the likes of Dreamweaver which generate massively bloated and rarely standards compliant code.

You can mock up a couple of general layouts and make them responsive in very little time with very little CSS.

Then you can simply customize to each clients colors and info requirements.



----------------------------------
Phil AKA Vacunita
----------------------------------
OS-ception: Running Linux on a Virtual Machine in Windows which itself is running in a Virtual Machine on Mac OSx.

Web & Tech

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

(OP)
Oh boy, you guys really ... I'm getting old and lazy by the minute ... lol

Your suggestions have always been my standard - but admitting that I am not much of a designer, I am my worst critic in not ever deciding on a look, flow ...

I always hated the bloated code that can be replaced with 1/3 the code and 1/10 the complexity.

Obviously, there is no shortcut to "do it the right way!" so, I shall follow your advise.

Thanks!

--
SouthBeach
http://www.fp2php.com
The good thing about not knowing is the opportunity to learn - Yours truly, 2008.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

Don't design. You can browse the web for designs you like, and try to copy them somewhat.

Obviously some design features will be dictated by the company and website function. But you can get good ideas from around the web.

----------------------------------
Phil AKA Vacunita
----------------------------------
OS-ception: Running Linux on a Virtual Machine in Windows which itself is running in a Virtual Machine on Mac OSx.

Web & Tech

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

Copying basic design concepts, colour combinations etc. is a great idea and saves a lot of time.
Copying other websites exactly is a bad idea but therein lies a problem with Content Management Systems because if everyone uses the same tools there is a good chance that all websites built, using that tool, will be similar if not the same.

Keith
www.studiosoft.co.uk

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

You and I are coders. We're quite happy to pitch in to code editors and produce the leanest meanest code we can. It doesn't matter to us if the pages are full of obscure markup code, because that's what we do - but the same is unlikely to be true of your customers.

So you need to be clearer on what your prospective offer is to these customers. Are you offering to to produce a set of beautifully coded HTML pages which you will maintain? Are they expected to edit them themselves when required? What about hosting and email? Who is responsible for that?

I would suggest that, whatever tools you use to put a prototype together, you consider building the end product on some kind of CMS - I use Wordpress, but other choices exist. Then you can give your clients the power to log in and update the site without breaking anything, and without bothering you for every little change to the text.

Really, the choice of tool is not important at this stage. Think more about what your product is going to be (and take a look at what your potential competitors - like Wix - are doing too).

-- Chris Hunt
Webmaster & Tragedian
Extra Connections Ltd

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

(OP)
Excellent points Chris!

As developers we are used to deal with complexity and problem solving - We also know that users want instant results with no effort from their part.

To your point, being able to provide prospects with a "beautiful looking site" and "flexible" enough that they can edit its content themselves would be an ideal situation.

That said, I aim at the long term relation where the site is not just a landing page for the sake of having a 'web presence' but a hub to a business solution, possibly with B2B, B2C and even a shopping cart.

I can do the server side code relatively in my sleep but for the life of me, I lack design creativity and most people want the "BANG!" effect on the look as if this takes precedence over functionality.

Boy, there was a time where the first question was: does it work? Nowadays, the first and mostly only question is: does it look good? or what does it look like?



--
SouthBeach
http://www.fp2php.com
The good thing about not knowing is the opportunity to learn - Yours truly, 2008.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

I find the major problem is most people don't actually know what they want so it is impossible for them to pass their requirements onto anyone.

Many people settle for what they can get a content management system to actually do rather than get it to do what they really need.

A good example is a website I quoted for but didn't get, no sour grapes here but the designer they went with didn't deliver what they needed. Why else would a visitor to a holiday cottage website, looking for a cottage in Scotland, be offered a cottage in Devon.

Keith
www.studiosoft.co.uk

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

Quote:


I find the major problem is most people don't actually know what they want so it is impossible for them to pass their requirements onto anyone.

This is exceptionally true.

What I usually tell my clients is to show me websites they have been to that have things they might like on their own website. Give me examples of what they've seen before they liked and would like to see. I can then get an idea and can tell them based on their business type whether it would work, or suggest other things that may work better. But starting from something they can already see.



----------------------------------
Phil AKA Vacunita
----------------------------------
OS-ception: Running Linux on a Virtual Machine in Windows which itself is running in a Virtual Machine on Mac OSx.

Web & Tech

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

Quote:

I find the major problem is most people don't actually know what they want

Until you provide what they asked for, then they realise that wasn't what they actually wanted.

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.

Never mind this jesus character, stars had to die for me to live.

RE: Rapid landing page development / templating

(OP)
Interesting how we seem to walk same path, interact with same prospects and yet, have never met ... or so it would appear based on how common our experiences are.

What I hate most about the prospect that makes a decision to go with 3rd party is that after the burn, they want you to fix it at a "very limited budget" because that other guy broke the bank ... ponder

Here is another one, the one that speaks about how great business is, how much money they make and when the time comes to review budget allocation for an IT project, the story line changes ... and then pulls out a phony looking piece of paper claiming it can be done in half the time for half the cost. Time to get up and walk away!

--
SouthBeach
http://www.fp2php.com
The good thing about not knowing is the opportunity to learn - Yours truly, 2008.

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