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#1 sevenfoxes

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:39 PM

Hi everyone,
I am new here. Our website was originally designed in Dreamweaver and then I took it over (working on it) a few years ago, using Contribute, which is very easy to use. The owner would now like to have a slide photo on our home page and I have been looking at flash programs. Photo Flash Maker looks pretty good to me and not real expensive. Just wondering if anyone has used it and if a decent program? Or any other suggestions for a inexpensive program to use for this.   We also have a navigation bar across the top of our site which I cannot get in to change I am assuming because done in Dreamweaver. So I would like to change that also, but am finding out that this is another program. Is there such a thing as a flash/slide photo program as well as a navigation generator bar built in together?
Thanks,
Linda

#2 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:49 PM

I'd personally not use flash, and instead go with something more like one of the ones in this list (I think they are all free):

http://vandelaydesig...mage-galleries/

But if flash is absolutely necessary, then someone else will have to answer that as I never use it.

No idea on the nav bar question, sorry.

#3 sevenfoxes

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:13 PM

Just curious why you would not use a flash program?? I am not good with HTML codes at all, so I will need something easy to create the slide show and then upload to website via Contribute.
Thanks,
Linda

#4 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:31 PM

Sorry, I'm an old SEO dog that doesn't like Flash because it is search unfriendly, but that's just me. If Flash is all you can work with, ignore me. :)

#5 fairclb

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:11 AM

For things like a slideshow, Flash is fine... but never for navigation. Personally, I use Adobe Flash to create Flash, so I am not sure what other options are there though.

For your navigation, I would highly recommend buying a book on HTML and learning. If you are going to manage a website you should learn the basics so you can do it well. Search engines will see your navigation as a single Flash program, and not recognize that there are other pages in your website. It will rank your site low because there is little content. It doesn't make sense to work hard on something if no one will be able to find it.

#6 sevenfoxes

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:50 PM

I am sorry, but maybe I wrote that confusing.
The slide show would just be a spot on our home page using a flash program. I have looked at Adobe, but again very expensive, which is why I started looking elsewhere.

For the navigation bar, what I have been finding are websites where you can create a navigation bar like Flash Vortex, that would give you the HTML code that I can upload to my site, but basically you are saying these are no good, as the search engines will not be able to find us through flash navigation bar, is that correct? I did figure out how to make a button through Publisher and link to my pages, but was hoping for a program that would be easier. If I design my own buttons and hyper link to my pages that would be safer for search engines then one of these navigation generator programs?
Thanks,
Linda

#7 bwelford

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:04 PM

One very handy free service is slideshare.net
http://www.slideshare.net/

You can upload a Powerpoint slide show and obtain code that can be embedded within an HTML web page. It works extremely well. It basically creates a flash version of the slide show.

#8 fairclb

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:21 PM

If you are going to use a drop-down style navigation I would suggest using a css/javascript based one. There are plenty of free ones out there. Do a search on google for "css dropdown navigation" you will find plenty to choose from.

#9 Walter

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:12 PM

Hello Seven,

If I design my own buttons and hyper link to my pages that would be safer for search engines then one of these navigation generator programs?


Yes, I think so. You can use CSS to change the background and text properties of your nav buttons on rollover, onclick and etc., and still have actual text that search engines can read for the link. There are alot of great tutorials on this if you google something like "Horizontal, (of Vertical) CSS Navigation.


Walter

#10 sevenfoxes

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:48 AM

Hi everyone,
Thanks for your input!
I am okay with a slide flash program for my photo presentation, however, I am still confusded on the navigation bar as there are so many out there. I have been searching the internet for days. Basically I am looking for a vertical navigation bar and I am seeing many out there that are css javascript. I really don't need one that has pop-outs attached to it at this time. My problem is that the ones I am seeing are all pay ones, which I guess would not be a problem as long as not real expensive. I would like one that when you roll the mouse over it changes colors for each page. At this time I really do not have to worry about coding with HTML as my program Contribute does this all for me when I make the changes in that program.
Any suggestions on a program on just a vertical toolbar with color that would change when the mouse is moved over it?
Thanks,
Linda

#11 adriang

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 12:52 PM

At this time I really do not have to worry about coding with HTML as my program Contribute does this all for me when I make the changes in that program.
Any suggestions on a program on just a vertical toolbar with color that would change when the mouse is moved over it?


Seems you're looking for a sledge hammer to crack a nut!!

All you need is a bit of CSS to add to your html.

If your html is
<ul id='navigation'>
<li><a href='#'>Menu option 1</a></li>
<li><a href='#'>Menu option 2</a></li>
<li><a href='#'>Menu option 3</a></li>
</ul>

Then your css is simply:
#navigation a {
  display:block;
  width:200px;
 background:#777;
}

#navigation a:hover {
 background:#aaa;
}



#12 sevenfoxes

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 03:18 PM

Well, like I said I have a navigation toolbar that I cannot make any changes on because it was done in Dreamweaver, located at the top of our home page, so I am looking to create a new navigation toolbar that I can make changes on, more around or do whatever with. Since I know nothing at all about HTML codes that is why I was hoping to just find a simple program that I can upload into notepad of my Contribute program.  Here is our website if someone needs to see what I am exactly talking about.
http://www.sevenfoxes.com
Thanks,
Linda

#13 adriang

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 03:53 PM

Ah, okay, I see. I don't know anything about Contribute but having a quick peek at it and seeing your site I can now understand your dilemma. In light of that, I see that my previous response doesn't help you, sorry.

Easily edit advanced layout components using Adobe Dreamweaver® templates, which provide editable regions within a protected design.


I would say you need to amend your dreamweaver templates to either add in what you need or else provide you a mechanism to be able to edit what's there in Contribute. Sounds like you're "protected" from that bit at the moment. I doubt you'd get something you could just add in without opening up the bonnet on the templates at some point. I've never used Contribute or Dreamweaver so I could be wrong.

Maybe worth you contacting a Dreamweaver expert and getting a quick half hour of hands-on help - otherwise you could be searching for a while. Sorry I couldn't help you more than that.

#14 sevenfoxes

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:24 PM

No problem, I figured I was not making it clear enough. And to clarify it even more, I just want to delete that navigation tool bar at the top which I can do in Contribute which is an extension of Dreamweaver. I do not have the Dreamweaver program. So once I delete that navigation toolbar, I want to insert a new navigation toolbar that I can have access to anytime to change or move, hence the reason I am looking for a new toolbar to insert. Any suggestions on the correct program to do this with. I have read the previous posts to make sure it is css javascript so it does not affect the search engines from finding me.
Thanks,
Linda

#15 Walter

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:39 PM

Hey Seven,

If its a dreamweaver template..you should be able to edit the template directly. This will then change all the pages based on that template. So..you need to find the template. It is there if the site is using one. It will have a .dwt extension. I store mine under "templates" but maybe the original designer used a different name.

While your at it..if its not already done....make the Meta Tags an editable region too like so:

<!– TemplateBeginEditable name=”meta” –>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”keywords go here” />
<meta name=”description” content=”description goes here” />
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow” /><!– robots information –>
<!– TemplateEndEditable –>

This way you can optomize each page for SEO purposes.

Once you find the template..you can use it to modify the nav bar...when you go to save it you will be prompted (as I recall) as to wether you want to update all the other pages based on the template. The first thing though is to locate the template.


Walter

P.S. If you don't find the file on your local copy of the site...look at the copy of the site that is actually on the server.

Edited by Walter, 11 March 2010 - 05:42 PM.


#16 sevenfoxes

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:37 PM

Hi Walter,
I know he originally designed our website in Dreamweaver, which is why I got Contribute to work with it. I have looked in my local copy as well as server and they are buttons (GIF) format each one individually that he put together for the toolbar and he has them under graphics.
But basically I want to change it, as I am going to put a slide photo at the top and then lower on left hand side or under the slide photo show is where I want to put a new navigation tool bar which is why I am searching for an on line navigation bar to upload.
I have also copied your information for the Meta Tags, thanks for that.
Linda

#17 Walter

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:53 AM

Hey Seven,

I took a look at your code and put it into dreamweaver. I caught the previous comment about dreamweaver templates and assumed your site was using one, after looking at the code I don't think this is true anymore. Your nav bar is a dreamweaver "library item". "Library items" are similar to templates....but only involve one element on the page, rather than the whole page as with a template. Now....having looked at the code here is my suggestion.
If you are going to be responsible for adding things, maintaining, and making changes to this site for any amount of time in the future...re write the code for the site. You can use the same visual layout if you like...so you don't need new images and ect. You can use Contribute to do this if you want....but I would also suggest getting "under the hood" a bit and tweaking the CSS and HTML manually. The code for the site is really cumbersome and awkward and was not written in such a way as to make future editing by another person...or probably the origianl author after any length of time, very easy. The code is needlessly complicated. If you do re write the code..when you name your classes...use something more descriptive than ".style2" to make future editing for yourself and others easier.
I'm afraid if you continue to try to add things and make modifications to a site where you don't understand the underlying code...the site will eventually "break" I am also guessing that if you are familiar with contribute at all...you can probably re-write the code in less time then its taken you to look for a solution to the issue of the nav bar and the "flash like" slide show. Re writing the site code will also save you a lot of headaches and time down the line.
After you've got the basic site written in an easy to understand and simpler way..you can google "CSS based slide show" and "Css based horizontal nav bar" and you will find that their are many very good turtorials on these topics...some of which provide you with the code you will need to do what you want.
As always I will defer to the judgement of the more experienced members here on this topic, but as it stands, I think this is solid advice.

Walter

P.S. You don't have to tamper with the actual site as it stands on the sever and in your local files at first. Start from scratch with a different site and make sure you get everything working properly before "replacing" your old site with the new one.

#18 sevenfoxes

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:54 PM

Hi Walter,
Yes, this sounds correct, like I said our site was originally designed in Dreamweaver, so when you said from that library I wold say yes for sure. Contribute is a simplified version to make quick changes which is why he suggsted I get this, because we could not wait for the original guy to make simple changes all the time. I have been using it for a few years now.

Okay, here is where you have lost me, you said to re-write the code for the site, are you talking about the entire website?? I am also not sure what you mean by tweaking under the hood, the CSS and HTML.  With Contribute, I do on ocassion go into the notepad to add things, like we had a reservation form, but mainly I make all my changes in a draft form, adding pictures and text or deleting, and then hit publish and very easy to do, I don't have to mess with codes at all. So I am lost when you say re write the code??
Thanks again for your help.
Linda

#19 Walter

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 02:36 PM

Hey Seven,

Yes, I'm suggesting you re-write the code for the site. Now..if you want to use a WYSIWYG editor to do most of the work, such as contribute, I think thats fine. But editors like Dreamweaver or Contribute do not always write the most efficient code, which you can tweak by manually editing the code. You can also add things like CSS based Navigation Bars, which I think is easier to do directly with the code rather than trying to use the design interface on Dreamweaver and I'm guessing Contribute. But this assumes that you know whats what in the code. You can gain this familiarity by writing the code and making comments in the code to jog your memory.
The current code contains dreamweaver library items, dreamweaver behaviors, and etc. The Css is spread all over the code. In some of your paragraphs....they extend horizonally rather than than wrapping, which simply makes things more difficult to edit. Just glancing I see about 98 classes..all indicated by numbers such as ".style98". Again, this makes editing later on very difficult and it seems to me that their is no need for this number of classes given the presentation I see on the screen. The pages don't validate under current standards for HTML...which is the standard most sites are moving towards. This could also cause problems in the future.
Ok....the site works to your satisfaction right now. So why fix something that isnt broke? Because I suspect you are going to have trouble down the line as you edit the site and add other items.... Such as the change of navigation you would like and the slide show.
I'm not saying this is an "emergency" situation. I'm simply saying that I think you can expect to have trouble sometime in the near future. I also think that you could make your life a little simpler and easier in the long term by cleaning up the code behind the design. In this case, because of the nature of the code on this site, I think it might be easier to start from scratch as far as the coding goes.

Thats nothing more than my two cents worth. :)

Walter

#20 sevenfoxes

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:12 PM

Hi Walter,
I certainly do appreciate all your advice, however, like I said, I am not experienced in the coding part of it at all. I do not have the program Dreamweaver, only Contribute. So when I work in Contribute it is just like working on the page of the actual website in a draft form and once I add or make any changes, I then just publish it and done. So for me to even think about rewriting the code starting from scratch would not be something that I would at all be comfortable with since I do not know. Would be like a baby jumping into a deep pool of water and drowning. I did see all those class codes you were talking about, which seem to be mostly where I have added things in Contribute.
I do regular backups or our site in case of crash and in Contribute I can do rollbacks to a previous version if something goes wrong.  If things don't work out this way, then the owner will just have to find a new website designer to update this site.
Again, I appreciate all your advice and help.
Linda

#21 Seriok

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 04:53 PM

What all did it would be better???



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