RMC: A Note on Things to Come

I’m sorry to say, that I’ve changed my mind once again. Oops, that seems to happen alot. I’m still planning on the design I sketched out, but I’m also going back to the more colorful, vibrant design I had been working on before I started this whole tutorial extravaganza. We’ll pick back up where I left off, but first I’m going to show you the new background that I’m going to use, then I’ll go forward with how I design my header image.

Another thing I wanted to address was the reason I’m not currently taking on pay jobs to customize other people’s TNG templates. One of the things I learned while teaching myself to do websites was that when people pay someone to make their websites for them, sometimes they have very different ideas about what exactly each website designer is capable of. I’ve never reached farther in my web design knowledge then what I needed to use for myself. I started by learning HTML and then fell in love with CSS design. I know a little about MySQL and PHP to get by, but not enough to really dig in deep with things. It’s for this reason I don’t even try to take on “commissions”. It’s just not fair for the paying customer. If you’d like a simple CSS design, I’d be your girl, however, in my experience most people want a little more flash (literally and figuratively) to their websites. That’s perfectly fine for them, but I don’t like flash (literally and figuratively). I like simple, easy loading websites. For me, designing websites for pay or others hasn’t been something I’m confident enough in to take on yet. I’ve been thinking about taking some coding and design classes for it to be an option in the future, but it’s just not in the cards right now.

For now I want to give you a run down of my plan for the next few weeks. Yes, that’s right I said few weeks. I’m really hoping to batten down the hatches and get this done. Seeing as how I’m going back to the original new design, I think it will go much faster. I think the reason I was losing momentum was I didn’t like any of the new designs as much as I like the original redesign. Well, except for the crowded three column format I was going for. Now I have a better idea of where I’m going with it all.

POST 1: Plan Change– In this post, I’ll highlight the changes to my master plan and bring us back up to date with where we left off in the previous tutorials. I think it will include a new design sketch but I haven’t decided yet. I have some paper sketches from before that I might just work from instead of hashing it out all over again.

POST 2: New Banner– This post will highlight the new website banner. My banner is one of the most commented on aspects of my design. For that reason I want to show you with the right tools how simple it is to accomplish.

POST 3: Buttons– As I was researching the new design, I fell across a tutorial for Image Sprites. I fell in love. It’s a CSS way of having that little bit of flash (just figuratively this time). It’s a great little pop to the website. It’s a little more advanced, but with the tutorial I used, I was able to hash it out once, and now I use my example to modify for all other image sprite menus.

POST 4: My Favorite Customizations– This might actually spread across a few posts. I’m not sure at the moment. When I customize my TNG installation, I actually don’t change too many things with the core pages, just the CSS files. This is why I love CSS so much, you can change so many things with just one file. The great thing about TNG is it’s designed to read your mytngstyle.css file before the other css files. So when you put something in YOUR file, it overrides that command in all the other files. Which makes it easy as pie to customize things. If you know the right command that is, but we’ll go over that!

POST 5: TO BE DETERMINED– This is still to be determined because I am toying with the idea of making my own downloadable TNG template. The only drawback is because I use customized images in my design and that might not translate to a template. Right now, this is just a maybe. I’ll be thinking about it over the course of the tutorials.

So there’s the plan so far! I hope to have the first post up by Friday… before I chicken out! This is a little nerve wracking for me. 🙂 I’ve never tried to explain my process before!

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with TNG software or it’s creator, Darrin Lythgoe. I have not in the past or present made any profit from my tutorials about customizing TNG. I can’t promise to fix all problems that come up with TNG or your designs. A lot of web design is about trial and error. All I’m trying to do is help the people who have commented or e-mailed about this software that makes genealogy websites a lot of fun!

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